Brain Sciences


UCL professor’s global epilepsy consortium wins PR award for COP26 campaign

1 December 2021

A global epilepsy consortium founded by Professor Sanjay Sisodiya (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) won PR Week’s ‘Favourite Campaign of COP26’ for a campaign to promote the links between epilepsy (and other neurological diseases) and climate change.

Sarah Green, MP for Chesham and Amersham, speaking to Professor Sanjay Sisodiya about the conference and campaign

Professor Sisodiya’s campaign involved the production of a special-edition newspaper highlighting the impact of climate change on health, which used ink derived from algae, pulp from sustainable forests, and was manufactured using wind-powered energy. It was distributed in Glasgow during COP26 within Scotland’s broadsheet newspaper, The Herald. A digital version, designed to make the lowest environmental impact with no imagery, colour and simple text, also ran on The Herald website and on social channels.

The conference was organised to follow on from COP26 and brought together experts from a range of sectors to share their insights into the damning effects climate change is having, or may have, on individuals with epilepsy, and assess what actions are needed in the short and long term. 

Academics from across UCL were joined by representatives from UCB Pharma, the NHS, the Wellcome Trust and Dravet Syndrome UK to discuss topics such as how to reduce carbon emissions in the health sector, in the pharmaceutical industry and in research laboratories. Anthony Costello, ex-director of maternal, child and adolescent health at the World Health Organisation, gave a keynote speech on how climate change is the challenge of our times.

The consortium, Epilepsy Climate Change (EpiCC), is a global initiative founded by Professor Sisodiya to foster research and share knowledge of the impact of climate change on epilepsy. It is made up of neurologists, scientists, epilepsy nurses, and representatives from industry and charities from across the world. 

Professor Sisodiya said:

“I was pleased to see PR Week enjoyed our special edition newspaper. I think it’s a good example of showcasing innovative ways we can and should do things differently in our mission to combat climate change. Springboarding off this recognition into the first-ever EpiCC virtual conference was fantastic, as it was great to see so many experts come together to share their research and advice on what needs to be done to help prevent climate change negatively impacting those with epilepsy any further.”


Sarah Green, MP for Chesham and Amersham, speaking to Professor Sanjay Sisodiya about the conference and campaign