Finding a cure for a devastating form of epilepsy

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research
Department / Centre
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Christopher Reid 0390356372 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Paulo Pinares-Garcia

Summary Epilepsy is a devastating disease with no cure for most. We have engineered a genetic mouse model based on a human mutation to better understand the disease and develop new therapeutic strategies.

Project Details

Epileptic encephalopathy is a severe disease that is characterised by intractable seizures and neurodevelopmental delays. The genetic revolution has begun to unravel the molecular basis of disease with a number of genes now implicated in causing the disease. This includes mutations in a brain ion channel called HCN1. The following quote highlights the issues faced by families with this disease. ‘Alli watched alarmed as her 3 month old baby daughter frothed at the mouth, stiffened, convulsed and struggled to breathe before being airlifted to hospital’. There are no adequate treatment options available. To help overcome this we have engineered a mouse model that has the human mutation based on this child that lives in Australia. In this project the student will help characterise the mouse model to test if it has epilepsy and/or developmental delays. The project will extend to determining the cellular basis of disease using state of the art electrophysiological techniques. And based on knowledge of the disease process, new therapeutic strategies will also be tested on the mouse model.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.