Taking Flight Award

Evaluating the Role of Repeat Expansions as a Genetic Cause of Epilepsy

Mark Bennett, Ph.D.
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia

Genetic factors can impact a person’s risk of developing epilepsy. ‘Repeat expansions’ are genetic changes that occur when repeated segments of DNA are copied many times. They have been linked to neurological (brain) disorders, including several types of epilepsy.

Dr Bennett will investigate the contribution of repeat expansions to the genetics of epilepsy. He will use cutting-edge computational methods to analyse data from one of the largest genetic studies of epilepsy and aim to discover repeat expansions that are linked with epilepsy. This research will provide new insights into the genetic causes of epilepsy, which he hopes will lead to better treatment options.