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meet our research team

Our researchers are investigating the causes and treatment of epilepsy. Our research fellows are lead by Professor Sanjay Sisodiya in genetics and Professor John Duncan and Professor Matthias Koepp in neuroimaging. Our medical director Professor Ley Sander leads on  research into the incidence and prevalence of epilepsy in large populations.

 

Professor Ley Sander

Ley Sander is medical director of Epilepsy Society. He is professor of neurology and clinical epilepsy and honorary consultant neurologist with a specialist interest in epilepsy. Ley heads the World Health Organisation Collaborative Centre for Research and Training in Neurosciences in London and is also director for scientific research at SEIN, the Epilepsy Institutes of the Netherlands Foundation. 

His research  includes looking at the incidence and prevalence of epilepsy in large populations and investigating its cause and source. He is also interested in the genetics of the epilepsies and the management of epilepsy in resource-poor countries including China, Brazil, Ecuador, Georgia, Bulgaria, Kenya and Senegal. 

Professor Sanjay Sisodiya

Sanjay Sisodiya is professor of neurology at Epilepsy Society and University College London’s Institute of Neurology He is also honorary consultant neurologist at Epilepsy Society and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Sanjay leads the genetic research team at Epilepsy Society, looking at the causes of epilepsy, treatment responses and outcomes, drug resistance, pathology and population genetics.

Professor John Duncan

Professor John Duncan is clinical director for neurology at NHNN, London. He is a key figure in our world-leading epilepsy research programme at the Chalfont Centre in Buckinghamshire, with a particular interest in neuroimaging.

His recent research into the long-term outcome of brain surgery for people with epilepsy showed that almost 50 per cent of patients remain seizure free after surgery.

Professor Matthias Koepp

Matthias Koepp  is professor of neurology at the Institute of Neurology, University College London and at the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery. He oversees the medical care of patients with refractory epilepsy and additional learning and motor disabilities at Epilepsy Society's Chalfont Centre in Buckinghamshire. His particular clinical interests are generalised epilepsies, epilepsy and co-morbidities (depression), and non-epileptic attack disorders.

Research interests include imaging of epilepsy using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)and PET (positron emission tomography), drug-refractoriness, inflammation and blood-brain-barrier dysfunction and new antiepileptic treatment strategies.

 

Dr Gavin Winston

Dr Gavin Winston is MRC clinician scientist at the Institute of Neurology, University College London and honorary consultant neurologist at the Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. His clinical interest is the assessment of patients with refractory epilepsy for surgical treatment.

His research, based in the MRI Unit, aims to improve MRI techniques to detect the source of seizures in patients with refractory focal epilepsy. This will hopefully enable more people to be offered surgery with better outcomes. He also works with researchers in London to use brain imaging to guide and improve the safety of surgery.

Dr Pam Thompson

Dr Pam Thompson is head of psychology at Epilepsy Society, and consultant neuropsychologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College, London Hospital Trust.

Her research includes the psychological impact of epilepsy and its treatment; memory disorders and memory rehabilitation; and the cognitive and psychiatric consequences of temporal lobe surgery.

Dr Sallie Baxendale

Dr Sallie Baxendale is a consultant neuropsychologist with Epilepsy Society and University College London Institute of Neurology. She has published over 60 scientific papers on a wide range of topics in epilepsy. Her current research interests include memory function in epilepsy, outcomes following epilepsy surgery, alternative treatments for epilepsy and the study of stigma and representations of epilepsy in the media.

 

Ana Paula Bartmann

Epilepsy Society, University College London Institute of Neurology - Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy

'I started working at Epilepsy Society in January 2014. I studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), in Brazil and did my neurology training at Santa Casa de Porto Alegre.  I began my MSc in clinical neurology at University College London in 2011 and my PhD in 2014.

I feel very lucky to work at Epilepsy Society which is of such historical and scientific importance. I hope that my research will provide some clinically useful tools for better understanding epilepsy and prognosis.'

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to look at  the thickness of retinal fibres in the eye 

Simona Balestrini

Epilepsy Society, University College London Institute of Neurology - Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy

'I studied medicine and completed my neurology training at Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy. During my neurology training, I  spent a period at UCL as research fellow in the field of epilepsy.  I also visited the “C. Munari” Epilepsy Surgery Unit at Niguarda Hospital, Milan, Italy where I focused on neurophisiology and surgical treatment of epilepsy.

Working at Epilepsy Society enables me to really see and understand the impact that seizures have on people with epilepsy. It is also a great opportunity to develop my research in epilepsy, collecting and analysing data and working with other researchers.'

Research projects: 3D imaging to analyse facial shape and genetic variations 
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to look at  the thickness of retinal fibres in the eye 
SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy)

EpiPGX team

Professor Sanjay Sisodiya, Professor Ley Sander, Dr Andreja Avbersek, Kristin Heggeli, Joseph Willis, William Stern, Narek Sargsyan, Anna Tostevin

Our team is made up or researchers from Epilepsy Society, University College London's Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. The team is part of a consortium of scientists from across several  European countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Iceland, Luxembourg, Italy, and Slovenia. In the past year, EpiPGX researchers have extended their collaboration with other international consortia. The scientists include experts in the fields of epilepsy, genetics, pharmacology, and bioinformatics.

Research project: EpiPGX project