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Department of Pathology Weekly Seminars


Professor Lynette SadleirLynette Sadleir

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Otago, Wellington

1pm Friday 23 August, D'ath Lecture Theatre, Hercus Building

Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathies: big problems in small children

Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological illness of children and young people. It is a group of disorders with varying outcomes organised into syndromes defined by age of onset, type of seizures, EEG features and comorbidities. The developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEE) are the most devastating childhood epilepsy syndromes in which seizures and interictal electrographic epileptic activity contribute to severe cognitive and behavioural deterioration beyond what is expected for the underlying pathology alone. Mortality in these children is 25% by 20 years of age and those who survive have significant lifelong disabilities. Although individual epileptic encephalopathy syndromes may be rare, as a group the epileptic encephalopathies are not uncommon (1 in 2000 births) and account for a significant proportion of health resource allocation. The discovery of de novo mutations in SCN1A in 80% of children with a specific type of DEE was paradigm shifting in our understanding of the aetiology of the epileptic encephalopathies which, prior to 2001, were thought be acquired. We are now able to make a clinical genetic diagnosis in ~40% of individuals with these catastrophic disorders. Ongoing research using sophisticated phenotyping and novel molecular genetic strategies are also progressing the goal of precision medicine for these children.

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Upcoming seminars

All seminars, unless stated otherwise, are held at 1pm in the Hercus D’Ath Lecture Theatre, Department of Pathology, Hercus Building

  • 4 October  Luke Henderson, PhD Exit Seminar
  • 11 October  Postgraduate Student Research talks - Sean Driver and Sai Shyam
  • 18 October  Suzan Almomani, PhD Exit Seminar
  • 25 October  Professor Eileen McLaughlin, University of Canberra
  • 1 November  Issam Mayyas, PhD Exit Seminar

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Previous seminars

  • Professor Helen Heslop  John Borrie Professorial Fellow, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, USA
  • Dr Helen Petousis-Harris  Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland
  • Associate Professor Tim Woodfield  Centre for Bioengineering & Nanomedicine, University of Otago Christchurch
  • Dr Jeong Park  School of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University
  • Professor Nancy Longnecker  Centre for Science Communication
  • Professor Christine Winterbourn  Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science, University of Otago (Christchurch)
  • Dr Ann Poduri  Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School, USA
  • Dr Volker Blank  Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research / McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Dr Peter Mace  Department of Biochemistry
  • Dr Robert Weinkove  Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and Wellington Blood and Cancer Centre
  • Professor Adrian Harris  Colin Geary Visiting Professor, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford, UK
  • Professor Andrew Jackson  University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Dr Caiyun Grace Li  Stanford University
  • Dr Anna Brooks  Auckland Cytometry, University of Auckland
  • Dr Rachel Purcell  Department of Surgery, University of Otago (Christchurch)
  • Dr Kelly Rogers  Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), Australia
  • Associate Professor Adam Patterson  Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, University of Auckland
  • Dr Priyakshi Kalita-de Croft  University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research
  • Dr Logan Walker  Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science, University of Otago (Christchurch)
  • Dr Heather Lee  Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle
  • Dr Jo-Ann Stanton  Department of Anatomy
  • Dr Hong Zhu  College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University
  • Dr Phillip Wilcox  Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Dr Anna Pilbrow  Christchurch Heart Institute
  • Dr Paul Gardner  Department of Biochemistry
  • Professor Franca Ronchese  Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Wellington
  • Associate Professor Glen Reid  Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, University of Sydney
  • Dr Sarah Diermeier  Department of Biochemistry
  • Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles  University of Auckland
  • Dr Ian Griffin  Director, Otago Museum
  • Professor Tony Merriman  Department of Biochemistry
  • Professor Neil Gemmell  Department of Anatomy
  • Professor Greg Cook  Department of Microbiology and Immunology
  • Professor Catherine Day Department of Biochemistry
  • Professor Roger Reddel  Colin Geary Visiting Professor, Director of Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI), and the Sir Lorimer Dods Professor, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney
  • Dr Chris Jackson  Medical Director, Cancer Society of New Zealand
  • Dr Peter Stockwell  Department of Biochemistry
  • Dr Chris Brown  Department of Biochemistry
  • Professor Vicky Cameron  Department of Medicine, University of Otago (Christchurch)
  • Professor Mark Hampton  Centre for Free Radical Research, University of Otago (Christchurch)

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