Neuroscience Intern Elizabeth Gaudio ’19 Publishes Research in Major Medical Journal

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Senior neuroscience major Elizabeth Gaudio was one of the first interns of Rhodes’ Le Bonheur Summer Plus Program, which was established in partnership with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in 2017. At the hospital, Gaudio was assigned to shadow Chief of Pediatric Neurology Dr. James Wheless and follow the status of patients in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. There, she was able to learn about the relationship between patients’ seizures and their EEGs in real time.

Now Gaudio has published a paper with Wheless and Le Bonheur Scientific Editor Andrew Gienapp in the Journal of Child Neurology titled “Perampanel Pharmacokinetics in Children: Correlation of Dose With Serum Concentrations.” In what the authors call the largest real-world review of its kind, the study looked at the antiseizure drug perampanel regarding its concentration-effect relationships, concomitant drug interactions, and adverse effects for pediatric epilepsy patients younger than 12 years old. 

The researchers performed a retrospective medical chart review of children treated with perampanel and at least one other antiseizure drug at Le Bonheur between January 2014 and May 2017. Patients in this population were either taking concomitant enzyme-inducing antiseizure drugs or non–enzyme-inducing antiseizure drugs.

Gaudio obtained institutional review board approval for the research, reviewed patients’ charts for data, performed statistical analysis, and authored the first draft of the research article. “Organizing this research study from start to finish was an incredible learning experience. After completing this fellowship, I am confident that I want to continue to pursue clinical research,” she says. 

Gaudio, who is from Elmhurst, IL, plans to attend medical school. “But first,” says Gaudio, “after graduation I am taking a gap year to work with the Chief Medical Officer of Methodist Hospital, Dr. Robin Womeodu.”