Professor J Helen Cross OBE has received the 2022 Lord Hastings Award from Epilepsy Action. The award recognises “outstanding personal contribution” to the field of epilepsy.
Prof Cross was elected as the first female president of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) in 2021. She is also currently the Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy and an honorary consultant in Paediatric Neurology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Over the years, Prof Cross’ research has focused on improving outcomes for children with early onset epilepsy. She initially worked on improving imaging techniques to identify areas where seizures start in children with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Following this, she developed an epilepsy surgery programme based on her research.
Notably, Prof Cross conducted the first randomised controlled trial of the ketogenic diet in the treatment of children with drug-resistant focal epilepsy.
Prof Cross is the 16th recipient of the Lord Hastings Award in its 33-year history.
Epilepsy Action deputy chief executive Rebekah Smith said: “It was an honour to present Professor Helen Cross with the Lord Hastings Award at our recent Let’s Talk About Epilepsy event in London. The award is an important opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate individuals who have made a huge impact in the field of epilepsy over the last three decades.
“Professor Cross has worked tirelessly to research and improve outcomes for children with early onset epilepsy. The impact of her work has been huge for children with drug-resistant epilepsy and her dedication to the field offers hope for the families of these children.
“As the 16th recipient of the Lord Hastings Award, Professor Cross joins the company of outstanding individuals who have made a real difference to the lives of people with epilepsy.”
The Lord Hastings Award was established in 1990 and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding personal contribution to improving the lives of people with epilepsy.
The Lord Hastings Award was named after the first president of Epilepsy Action, Lord Hastings, who was also the award’s first recipient.
Prof Cross received her award on 6 April in London at one of Epilepsy Action’s Let’s Talk About Epilepsy events.