Medical Research: Bench to Bedside Department of Medicine (RMH)

Professor Terence John O'Brien

Department of Medicine (RMH/WH)
4th Floor, Clinical Sciences Building
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Royal Parade, Parkville, Vic. 3050 AUSTRALIA



Professor Terence John O'Brien MBBS Melb. MD Melb. FRACP is The James Stewart Chair of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine, The Royal Melbourne and Western Hospital, at The University of Melbourne. He is also Head of the Epilepsy Program and Consultant Neurologist, The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is a consultant physician with dual FRACP accreditation in neurology and clinical pharmacology. He has particular research and clinical expertise in epilepsy, anti-epileptic drugs and functional imaging.


Career Summary
FRACP training in Neurology at St. Vincent’s and Royal Melbourne Hospitals.
Subspecialty training in Epileptology and research for Doctor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, USA (1995-8). Here he developed and validated the SISCOM imaging technique, which has been widely adopted in clinical practice and research in worldwide. In 1998 undertook a Fellowship in Neuropharmacology at St. Vincent’s Hospital. In 2000 appointed Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Neuropharmacology and Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine, SVH, The University of Melbourne. With Professor Frank Vajda, he established the internationally recognised prospective Australian Pregnancy Register of Anti-epileptic drugs. This has been highly influential in changing medication prescribing practices to pregnant women with epilepsy. 2002 was appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, RMH establishing a laboratory utilising animal epilepsy models to investigate clinical relevant europharmacological, genetic, neuropsychiatric and imaging problems, with his research team having grown to 35 staff and students publishing >90 papers in the last 5 years. Clinical research has focused on pharmacogenetics and adverse effects of anti-epileptic drugs. We have derived and validated a multigenic model which is predictive of seizure control in newly treated epilepsy, the first such model for the treatment of any diseases. In 2008 was appointed as the 4th James Steward Chair of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.


Published >160 peer-reviewed original papers in high quality neurological, neuroscience, pharmacological and imaging journals which have been cited >2000 times (average/article published before 2007 = 23.0). Additionally, he has published 10 book chapters, 5 other papers and >500 abstracts. An invited lecturer at >70 national/international scientific meetings, and multiple Institutional invited Professorships/Lectureships. Competitive, peerreviewed, research-grant funding obtained totals >$13.5M and industry funding >$2M, including being a CI on 9 NHMRC project and a NHMRC development grant, a $1M Victorian Neurotrauma Grant and three US competitive grant (NARSAD, Epilepsy Research Foundation & James S. McDonnell Foundation). Has developed an extensive network of collaborations both locally, nationally and internationally. Received 11 research awards, including The Dreiffus-Penry Award from The American Academy of Neurology (2006), and 58 to students/fellows supervised. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the 28th International Epilepsy Conference in
2009, and the Asian and Oceanic Epilepsy Conference 2010.


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