UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Szabo, Charles Akos

School of Medicine
(210) 450-0527

After completing my degree at the University of Vienna Medical School, I pursued my residency training in Neurology and then fellowship training in Epilpesy at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation has one of the foremost epilepsy programs in the United States, and for that matter, in the world. As a training program it offered a rare, hands-on experience in evaluating patients for epilepsy surgery and also on provided opportunity to pursue clinical research.

After my fellowship training was completed, I joined the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) as an Assistant Professor in Medicine, Division of Neurology. When I came to San Antonio, my goal was to develop a multidisciplinary comprehensive epilepsy group offering state-of-the-art surgical or nonmedical treatments for adult and children with epilepsy not responding to medical therapy. This required developing a close working relationship with my colleagues in neurosurgery, neuropsychology, neuroradiology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Over time, these efforts have led to development of the South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, which sees about 3,000 patient contacts, performs approximately 30 brain resection surgeries, and implants over 20 vagal nerve stimulators per
year. We admit about 400 patients per year for video-EEG monitoring at University Hospital (up from 80 patients per year when I arrived). This level of service has been awarded the highest level of certification for a comprehensive epilepsy program by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (Level IV) since 2007, the only program with this distinction in South Texas.

Since my arrival to UTHSCSA, my work has been mainly concentrated on patient care, with 1500-2000 patient contacts per year in outpatient clinics including the University Health System Downtown, UT Medicine and Epilepsy Foundation Clinic in Harlingen. I promoted our program through the development of the epilepsy website at University Health System, organizing city-wide education conferences jointly with the local chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation and the Southern Epilepsy and EEG Society, and even was the editor of a newsletter sent out to community neurologists, general practitioners and pediatricians for two years.

From December 2007 to May 2009, I served as the Interim Chair of the newly formed Department of Neurology. This period was fascinating in that I had the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the tripartite of UTHSCSA and apply it directly to our fledgling program. This period was particularly challenging as I had to build a new clinical and administrative infrastructure for the fledgling department, while providing unabated support for the existing research and academic missions. The department grew by four faculty during this period. I have continued in an important administrative role as the Division Chief of Epilepsy).

I continued to pursue my clinical activities at the same level as before during the time I served as intermin Chair, and also successfully obtained my first NIH grant as principal investigator in 2009, an R21 grant to develop a neuroimaging and electrophysiological model of photosensitive generalized epilepsy in the baboon. While the baboon has been well-established as natural model of generalized epilepsy in humans, it has not been adequately developed for the evaluation of the genetics and physiological mechanisms. The Texas Biomedical Institute in San Antonio houses a large pedigree of baboons which includes baboons with epilepsy. I have already phenotyped almost 700 baboons from that pedigree using scalp EEG, and we are in the process of investigating the heritability and the underlying genotypes. I have also developed a method to map cerebral blood flow changes associated epileptic spikes and seizures in the baboon using novel neuroimaging methodology. The electrophysiological causes of the cerebral blood flow changes using electrodes that are placed intracranially in epileptic baboons. Thes

1/2014 - Present CME Director Southern Epilepsy and EEG Society
1/2013 - Present Full Member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), San Antonio, TX
9/2010 - Present Professor UTHSCSA, Neurology, San Antonio, TX
6/2009 - Present Chief of Epilepsy UTHSCSA, Neurology, San Antonio, TX
1/2007 - Present Consultant Christus Santa Rosa, San Antonio, TX
9/2005 - Present Co-Director of the South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center UTHSCSA/UHS/AMVAH, Neurology, San Antonio, TX
9/2003 - Present Director of Epilepsy Surgery Program University Health System, San Antonio, TX