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Sonya Dumanis PhD

Senior Director of Innovation at Epilepsy Foundation


Sonya Dumanis is the Senior Director of Innovation at the Epilepsy Foundation and is tasked with overseeing the Foundation's research granting programs. In 2016, she facilitated the launch of the Foundation’s newest research program the Epilepsy Innovation Institute, an innovation incubator for the Epilepsy Foundation and broader epilepsy community. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked at the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy. Working with individual philanthropists and foundations interested in biomedical philanthropy, she was charged with identifying key philanthropic opportunities poised to have a transformative impact on the state of research and developing research programs. Sonya earned her Ph.D in neuroscience from Georgetown University and completed her postdoctoral training at both The Johns Hopkins University and the Max-Delbrück Center in Berlin, Germany. She has authored numerous scientific articles and received a number of honors, including an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation fellowship, a National Research Service Award from the NIH, and the Mark A. Smith prize from the Journal of Neurochemistry.

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