The Gordon and Mary Cain Pediatric Neurology Research Foundation was established in 1988 by senior executives of the Houston-based companies founded by the late Gordon Cain, a pioneer in the chemical industry. During his distinguished career spanning half a century, Gordon Cain created a series of successful companies, characterized by a unique model of profit-sharing with his employees. In creating this Foundation to fund pediatric epilepsy research, the trustees honor and carry forward the generous spirit of Gordon and Mary Cain.
The Foundation seeks to identify underlying molecular causes and potential therapies for devastating childhood catastrophic epilepsies. Conditions such as infantile spasms, Ohtahara syndrome, Angelman syndrome and Sturge-Weber syndrome are typically accompanied by frequent seizures and intellectual and/or behavioral disabilities and are currently incurable.
A recent report from the National Academies states that 1 in 26 people will have some form of epilepsy during their life and a third of those are unresponsive to existing anticonvulsant medications. This means in the US alone, about 100,000-150,000 children are in urgent need of new types of anti-seizure medication. The annual cost burden of epilepsy is estimated to range from $9.6 to $12.5 billion. A significant percentage of the costs are associated with the pediatric catastrophic epilepsies since they arise early in life and result in life-long disabilities. However, the economic, social and emotional burdens on the children and their families are incalculable. Therefore, our ultimate goal is to combine preclinical and clinical research to uncover novel therapeutic targets for patients suffering from various refractory epileptic disorders.
The Gordon and Mary Cain Pediatric Neurology Research Foundation funds epilepsy research programs at the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas. The close relationship between Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine permits Cain Foundation Laboratories to draw upon internationally renowned faculty and staff to accomplish their research goals. The labs are located within the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) building, a one-of-kind institute built specifically to bring together neuroscientists and neurologists interested in childhood neurological diseases. Being located at the heart of the world’s largest medical center, the Texas Medical Center, Cain Foundation researchers have many opportunities to collaborate with physicians and scientists from nearby world-class medical and research institutions.