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Karen Wilcox headshot

Karen Wilcox, PhD

Academic Information

Departments College of Pharmacy , Distinguished Professor and Chair - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Understanding basic mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis, seizure generation, and therapy-resistance to anticonvulsant drugs


The Wilcox laboratory is interested in understanding basic mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis, seizure generation, and therapy-resistance to anticonvulsant drugs. To achieve these goals, we use electrophysiological, calcium imaging, pharmacological, behavioral, genetic, immunoblot, and immunohistochemical techniques in a variety of in vitro preparations and animal models of epilepsy. Our working hypothesis is that insight into disease-induced changes in neuronal and glial function will provide new avenues for therapeutic interventions in patients at risk for developing epilepsy or those patients who are refractory to current treatment options. To that end, I am also the Director the Anticonvulsant Development (ADD) Program and evaluate proprietary investigational compounds through a contract with NINDS at the National Institutes of Health to determine antiseizure and disease modifying potential.


FAR Page

Research Lab

IDEAS in Neuroscience

ADD Program

Education History

Undergraduate Allegheny College
Doctoral Training University of Pennsylvania

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Thomson KE, West PJ, Metcalf CS, Wilcox KS. Response: Usefulness of the post-kainate spontaneous recurrent seizure model for screening for antiseizure and for neuroprotective effects. Epilepsia. 2021 May;62(5):1290. doi: 10.1111/epi.16884. Epub 2021 Mar 29. PubMed PMID: 33778946.

  2. Simonato M, Agoston DV, Brooks-Kayal A, Dulla C, Fureman B, Henshall DC, Pitkänen A, Theodore WH, Twyman RE, Kobeissy FH, Wang KK, Whittemore V, Wilcox KS. Identification of clinically relevant biomarkers of epileptogenesis - a strategic roadmap. Nat Rev Neurol. 2021 Apr;17(4):231-242. doi: 10.1038/s41582-021-00461-4. Epub 2021 Feb 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 33594276.

  3. Bell LA, Wallis GJ, Wilcox KS. Reactivity and increased proliferation of NG2 cells following central nervous system infection with Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus. J Neuroinflammation. 2020 Dec 3;17(1):369. doi: 10.1186/s12974-020-02043-5. PubMed PMID: 33272299; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7713670.

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