Neuropharmacological strategies for disease modification and prevention of the development of epilepsy

Research Opportunity
Masters by Research, Honours
Project Status
Medicine and Radiology
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Pablo M. Casillas-Espinosa
Prof Terence O'Brien

Project Details

Current therapies for epilepsy are symptomatic, only suppressing the symptoms (seizures), but do not impact the development or progression of disease. Many groups around the world, including ours, are testing novel therapies to impact epileptogenesis, intervening very early in epilepsy development to limit the severity of disease, with some preclinical success. But most patients present at the clinic already experiencing seizures, so a more practical strategy would be to attempt to modify epilepsy disease progression.

For this project, we will investigate whether our novel treatments can reverse epilepsy severity in a rat model of acquired epilepsy in cases of established epilepsy. We then evaluate if the animals are having less seizures, behavioural comorbidities and neuroimaging changes after the completion of treatment. If the results are positive, they would have major clinical implications in patients with already established acquired epilepsy.

Moreover, the experimental drugs that we will be tested have a favorable safety profile in early phase clinical trials facilitating the translation of the results of this preclinical study into a clinical trial.


The skills expected to be learnt from this projects include: Small animal handling and neurosurgery (electrode implantations), animal models of temporal lobe and genetic epilepsies, behavioral neuroscience, magnetic resonance imagining interpretation and analysis.

Projects available

  1. Disease modification in epilepsy using novel therapeutic treatments.
  2. Behavioural changes and Imaging the during the epileptogenic process

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

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

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Key Contact

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


Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Epilepsy and Neuropharmacology

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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