Faculty Profile

Dr. Aristea S. Galanopoulou, M.D.,  Ph.D.

Aristea S. Galanopoulou, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology (Child Neurology)

Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Areas of Research: Development of antiepileptogenic and disease modifying therapies for post-traumatic epilepsies; Mechanisms and treatments for epileptic encephalopathies; age and sex specific epileptogenesis; models of lissencephaly

Professional Interests

The maturation of GABAA receptor-mediated signaling from depolarizing to inhibitory is an age-related process controlled by cation chloride cotransporters, such as KCC2. As a result, GABA exerts dual functions, being an important neurotrophic factor during early development and the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter of the mature central nervous system. In our laboratory we have been investigating the age and gender specific mechanisms through which early life stressors and seizures may disrupt the normal patterns of brain development, by disrupting the neurotrophic effects of GABA. We are also studying methods to reverse these adverse processes. Furthermore, we are very interested in understanding how epileptogenesis proceeds in the developing brain and what is the specific role of GABAA receptors in this process.

To better understand the pathophysiology and design better methods to treat catastrophic early life epilepsies, we are developing and studying new models of early life epilepsy. These include models of symptomatic infantile spasms that recapitulate most of the features of the human condition. Several projects are under way to (a) elucidate the pathophysiology of infantile spasms, and (b) conduct preclinical trials to find better treatments for spasms and the associated comorbidities. Our studies have provided preclinical evidence for new potential treatments with disease modifying properties for these early life epileptic encephalopathies, such as mTOR inhibitor, carisbamate and a new vigabatrin analog.

Post-traumatic epilepsy is a common consequence of traumatic brain injury leading to high morbidity and morbidity. Our lab is participating in an international multicenter preclinical consortium, EpiBioS4Rx, leading efforts to develop better therapies for post-traumatic epilepsy. We use a rodent model of traumatic brain injury to identify targets and test for better therapies, through a combination of expression studies, in vivo behavioral and electrophysiologic monitoring and therapy screening to identify antiepileptogenic compounds. Furthermore, through a separate project, we are looking into factors predicting epilepsy and behavioral outcomes after traumatic brain injury.

Genetic etiologies are often identified in patients with epilepsies. Our lab has been investigating genes involved in lissencephaly associated epilepsies and developmental disorders as well as Rett syndrome which is due to MeCP2 gene mutations. Through the use of mouse models we have been investigating genotype-phenotype correlations and mechanisms involved with the ultimate goal of testing therapies.

Students interested in these projects will gain exposure to a variety of in vivo and in vitro techniques that combine molecular biology, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, histological, and behavioral studies and will be involved in projects with direct translational relevance to the clinical practice, i.e. identification of novel therapies. 


Selected Publications

  1. Galanopoulou AS: “Dissociated gender-specific effects of recurrent seizures on GABA signaling in CA1 pyramidal neurons: role of GABAAreceptors”: J Neurosci 28 (7): 1557-67 (2008). PMID 18272677. https://www.jneurosci.org/content/28/7/1557.long
  2. Briggs SW, Mowrey W, Hall CB, Galanopoulou ASCPP-115, a vigabatrin analogue, decreases spasms in the multiple-hit rat model of infantile spasms. Epilepsia (2014) 55(1):94-102. PMID 24321005. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/epi.12424 
  3. Galanopoulou AS and Moshé SL. Pathogenesis and new candidate treatments for infantile spasms and early life epileptic encephalopathies: a view from preclinical studies. Neurobiology of Disease (2015): Neurobiol Dis. 2015 Jul;79:135-49. PMID 25968935.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096999611500162X?via%3Dihub
  4. Galanopoulou AS, Mowrey WB, Liu W, Li Q, Shandra O, Moshe SL. Preclinical Screening for Treatments for Infantile Spasms in the Multiple Hit Rat Model of Infantile Spasms: An Update. Neurochem Res. 2017;42:1949-61. PMID 28462453.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11064-017-2282-0
  5. Galanopoulou AS, French JA, O’Brien T, Simonato M. “Harmonization in preclinical epilepsy research: a joint AES/ILAE translational initiative”. Epilepsia (2017) 58 (Suppl 4):7-9. PMID 29105072. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/epi.13921
  6. Ono T, Wagenaar J, Giorgi FS et al, Galanopoulou AS. A companion to the preclinical common data elements and case report forms for rodent EEG studies. A report of the TASK3 EEG Working Group of the ILAE/AES Joint Translational Task Force. Epilepsia Open. 2018;3:90-103. PMID 30450486. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6210053/pdf/EPI4-3-90.pdf
  7. Akman O, Raol YH, Auvin S et al, Galanopoulou AS. Methodologic recommendations and possible interpretations of video-EEG recordings in immature rodents used as experimental controls: A TASK1-WG2 report of the ILAE/AES Joint Translational Task Force. Epilepsia Open. (2018) vol 3: 437-459. PMID 30525114. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6276777/pdf/EPI4-3-437.pdf
  8. Katsarou AM, Li, Q, Liu W, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS. “Acquired parvalbumin-selective interneuronopathy in the multiple-hit model of infantile spasms: a putative basis for the partial responsiveness to vigabatrin analogs?” Epilepsia Open (2018) vol 3 (S2): 155-164. PMID 30564774. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6293059/pdf/EPI4-3-155.pdf
  9. Salar S, Moshé SL, Galanopoulou AS. “Metabolic etiologies of West syndrome”. Epilepsia Open (2018) 3(2):134-166. PMID 29881795. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5983207/pdf/EPI4-3-134.pdf
  10. Saletti PG, Ali I, Casillas-Espinosa PM et al, Galanopoulou AS. In search of antiepileptogenic treatments for post-traumatic epilepsy. Neurobiol Dis. (2019) 123: 86-99 (2019).  PMID: 29936231. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969996118301980?via%3Dihub

More Information About Dr. Aristea Galanopoulou

Research Interests

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Rose F. Kennedy Center
1410 Pelham Parkway South , Room 306
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.3791
Fax: 718.430.8899

Research Information