Affecting more than 50 million people worldwide, there are more than 30 different types of epilepsy with 70 per cent of cases thought to have a genetic basis. Many of the epilepsies have an onset during childhood, but epilepsy can first present at any age.

Headed by Associate Professor Leanne Dibbens, the Sansom Institute's epilepsy research group is a global leader at the forefront of a wave of research that is changing the way we think about epilepsy and providing insights into the disorder with the aim of helping patients and their families.

Researchers from the group have made a major contribution to the field, identifying the genes responsible for some of the familial types of epilepsy and forms of severe childhood epilepsies that can co-occur with intellectual disability and/or autistic features.

Working closely with clinicians and an international team of collaborators, the group utilises new genetic technologies that are revolutionising our ability to identify the causes of many of the different forms of epilepsy - the aim being to advance diagnosis and - treatment of this common neurological disorder.


Associate Professor Leanne Dibbens, PhD
Dr Sarah Heron, PhD
Marta Bayly BscHons
Bev Johns
Xenia Iona
Bree Hodgson
Robert Schultz 


Professor John Mulley, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
Professor Sam Berkovic, University of Melbourne
Professor Ingrid Scheffer, University of Melbourne 


Epilepsy, Female limited and Mental Retardation (EFMR) due to protocadherin PCDH19 mutations
The genetic causes of the progressive myoclonus epilepsies (PME)
The contribution of sodium channel mutations to forms of epilepsy 


The Epilepsy Research Group is based in the Centenary Building at the University of South Australia's City East campus in Adelaide.

For more information about the group and its activities, please contact us on:
Phone: +61 8 8302 1124     Fax: +61 8 8302 2389     Email: leanne.dibbens@unisa.edu.au

Areas of study and research

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