The genomic and epigenomic landscapes of epilepsy


There are two visions of our team, led by Associate Professor Lata Vadlamudi.

  1. Deepen understanding of the complex genomic and epigenomic landscapes of epilepsy; and
  2. Integrate genomics into clinical practice to improve patient management.

Our research is focused on answering two of the most difficult clinical questions that neurologists struggle to answer in the epilepsy clinic – “What is the cause of my epilepsy” and “How can my epilepsy be treated?”.

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders affecting over 50 million people worldwide and is characterised by occurrence of seizures. One in 26 people will develop epilepsy during their lifetime. Despite more than 20 anti-epileptic medications, more than 30% of patients are not able to control their seizures with anti-epileptic medications. Refractory epilepsy is the failure of two anti-epileptic medications to control seizures.

With the rapid increase in gene discovery in epilepsy, functional genomics are required to understand the role of complex genomic landscapes within individual patients and provide patients with a cause for their epilepsy. The future lies in then developing bespoke treatments, based on the functional genomics outcomes, to ultimately cure this debilitating disorder.

A/Prof Lata Vadlamudi has been a researcher in the field of epilepsy for over 15 years and has been a neurologist in clinical practice for almost 20 years.

Our team collaborates with Prof Ernst Wolvetang, an international leader in the field of pluripotent stem cell biology and functional genomics for almost 20 years.  He is the senior group leader of the Stem Cell Engineering Group at The University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and Co-director of the Centre for stem cell ageing and regenerative engineering (stemCARE).

Our team also collaborates with A/Prof Jeffrey Craig from the Deakin University in Victoria, who is an epigeneticist and twin researcher with over 20 years’ experience. He is the Deputy Director of Twins Research Australia.

Funding for this research has been from the following sources: Queensland Genomics, University of Queensland Mayne Bequest Funding, Queensland Health Research Fellowship, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Research Project Grants, Viertel Charitable Foundation Establishment Grant, Ramaciotti Establishment Grant and RACP Servier Barry Young Fellowship in Neurology.


+61 7 3346 5034

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Professor Ernst WolvetangProfessor Ernst Wolvetang ​

Senior Group Leader, Head of the Stem Cell Engineering Laboratory, University of Queensland

Dr Hannah LeesonDr Hannah Leeson ​

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Mohammed ShakerDr Mohammed Shaker ​

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Organoid Biology

Zoe HunterZoe Hunter ​

Honours student (2020-2021)

Priyanka SainPriyanka Sain ​

Student, Masters of Biotechnology (2020)


Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Namitha MohandasNamitha Mohandas

PhD Candidate


  • Early Life Epigenetics, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne 
  • Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
  • Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne

Jane LokeYuk Jing (Jane) Loke

Research Officer


  • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne

Stephanie HopkinsStephanie Hopkins

Honours Student (2018)


  • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne
  • University of Newcastle, Newcastle

Deakin University

Associate Professor Jeffrey CraigAssociate Professor Jeffrey Craig

Deakin University, Centre for Molecular and Medical Research, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health


  • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne
  • Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
  • Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne