The AEP has an impressive multidisciplinary team of world-leading experts in neuroimaging, neuropsychology, genetics, and business leadership working together to change the professional understanding and lived experience of epilepsy.
David is a physicist, neuroscientist and informatician whose research has made substantial advances in human brain mapping of Epilepsy. David leads the Epilepsy Neuroinformatics Laboratory at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. He is an Australian National Imaging Facility Informatics Fellow and an Honorary Principal Fellow in the Department of Medicine at The University of Melbourne. Scientific Publications – Google Scholar
Health Economics Lead
Zanfina is a pharmacist, epidemiologist and health economist. She specialises in health services economic evaluations alongside clinical trials and clinical registries, chronic disease modelling, health technology assessments and decision analytic modelling for economic evaluations. She is head of the Monash Outcomes Research and Health Economics (MORE) group at Monash University. She is a trained pharmacist, epidemiologist and health economist. She leads health economic components of a number of NHMRC, MRFF and industry funded studies. Scientific Publications – Google Scholar
Clinical Research Assistant
Ojasvi is a Clinical Research Assistant with prior experience coordinating various multi-site clinical trials. A purpose-driven individual, she is passionate about developing her leadership to create change and global impact in healthcare. Ojasvi is inspired to be working alongside individuals with a shared vision of changing lives from day one.
Subhaga joins Florey Institute as Product Lead of The Australian Epilepsy Project. A qualified lawyer and entrepreneur, Subhaga founded, raised investment and scaled a marketplace as she could see how an easy to use technology platform could assist individuals better build and run a business. Subhaga is purpose-led and was drawn to the tremendous potential that the AEP has to radically change healthcare in Australia and globally.
Lived Experience Ambassador and Participant Lead
Amanda started having focal seizures at the age of 23 in 2003 - this was her first encounter with Epilepsy. Seven years later, after being referred to The Austin Hospital, she had neurosurgery. Amanda has had only three seizures which she classes as a huge success. Amanda completed a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) in 2018 and is now the Lived Experience Ambassador for the Australian Epilepsy Project at The Florey.
Clinical Trials Assistant
Seiko has joined the team as a Clinical Trials Assistant after previous roles as a Clinical Research Coordinator and as a Database Developer. She completed a Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences, majoring in Neuroscience, while also undertaking computer science topics. She combined both her computer science and medical science knowledge in her role as a Research Database Developer, utilising REDCap to build clinical trial databases and registers. Seiko also has experience in Investigator lead clinical trials, where she worked in coordinating late phase radiation oncology trials. She is passionate about neuroscience and has a strong interest in researching and improving treatments for individuals living with neurological conditions.
Marty is a research assistant in the Epilepsy Imaging Group at the Florey. Having retrained in psychology, with honours in neuroscience, his experience in electroencephalography (EEG) and brain imaging is further complemented by his previous experience as a biological scientist, including a strong interest in ecological and network perspectives on brain science. He works on several translational projects, including the ‘AFFECT’ clinical trial, which uses simultaneous EEG and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) for better targeting of Epilepsy surgery.
Aaron is a software engineer within the Neuroinformatics team at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. He obtained a PhD in physics from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. For his doctoral research he worked in high-energy particle physics, analysing heavy-ion collision data at CERN, Switzerland. During this time he became passionate about computing and software engineering and is excited to be able to contribute to the Australian Epilepsy Project.
Jodie is a neuropsychology registrar who works as a research assistant in the Epilepsy Cognition Laboratory at The Florey. Jodie completed her doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at Monash University in 2019. Her research has focused on the use of telehealth in neuropsychology. Jodie joined The Florey in 2021. She also works as a lecturer in psychology at Australian Catholic University and as a clinician in private practice. She has a particular interest in the use of telehealth methods to assess cognitive function.
Bhushan De Costa
Data Manager and Software Engineer
Bhushan comes with a background in data, systems and processes with a blend of functional and technical skill sets within large enterprise systems, across industry sectors such as Manufacturing, Services and Consulting. He now enjoys infusing his experience in the data space into Research-Healthcare with fresh eyes. Bhushan is excited by the opportunity to contribute to and work with a great team that is advancing humanity by finding cures for epilepsy.
Anton de Weger
AEP Digital and Technology Lead
Anton is an experienced leader, founder and technical director specialising in machine learning strategy and application within enterprise systems. He has established and sold a multinational enterprise systems consulting company, helped pivot a global enterprise software company to a “Machine Learning First” approach, architected and built a machine learning multimedia transcription application and established high performance technical teams across multiple countries. Anton is excited by machine learning product design and methodology, AI ethics, the combination of machine learning with human decision making and the application of technology using high performance teams. This perfectly combines with the opportunities the AEP provides around the encoding and distribution of world leading brain analysis expertise and data collection practices for epilepsy.
Clinical Trials Assistant
Chathurini was awarded her PhD in Neuroscience from The University of Melbourne and worked in the Florey’s Stem Cell & Neural Development Laboratory before beginning her career in clinical research. She brings with her the experience and knowledge gained from both investigator-initiated and commercially sponsored clinical research in Movement Disorders. Chathurini is very passionate about research that helps better the lives of people living with neurological conditions and is very enthusiastic about being part of the Australian Epilepsy Project.
Senior Data Scientist
Jonas Haderlein is a passionate data scientist with a background in engineering and computational neuroscience. He recently finished his PhD work on seizure prediction in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne and the ARC Training Centre for Cognitive Computing in Medical Technologies. Prior to that, he worked in the field of machine learning at the BMW Group in Munich where he also received his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Clinical Research Assistant
Elise is a research assistant for the Australian Epilepsy Project and part of the team responsible for our online neuropsychological testing, via telehealth. She completed her Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) at La Trobe University in 2022, with keen interest in the interaction of how genetics and the environment can influence psychiatric disorders, neurological disorders, and cognition. Elise is very excited to have the opportunity to work with the AEP to enable positive health outcomes for people living with epilepsy and contribute to research, to better understand the condition.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Rachel has a background in Psychology, Mental Health and Interventional Psychiatric research. She has a passion for translational, innovative, best practice research and brings this to the Australian Epilepsy Project in her role as Clinical Research Coordinator. She has extensive clinical trials and research implementation experience, from both the Investigator lead and Commercially Sponsored sectors, where she has previously worked in Transcranial Magnetic Brain Stimulation, Psychopharmacology, and early phase clinical trials for a range of neuropsychiatric conditions.
Donna joined the Florey Institute as Executive Lead of the Australian Epilepsy Project. With extensive strategy, business transformation and scale-up experience across the financial services, education and social sectors, Donna is a purpose-led leader who loves helping businesses solve complex problems and deliver great customer outcomes. Donna is passionate about leading the AEP as it has the potential to change thousands of lives and transform the way that brain-related healthcare is diagnosed and delivered in Australia.
Molly is a research assistant in the Epilepsy Imaging Group at the Florey. Having completed an undergraduate Bachelor of Science majoring in Neuroscience, she later completed an Honours in visual neuroscience. Her project tested the hypotheses of computational models which estimated how the brain uses visual input to guide rapid movements. Molly is interested in understanding how behaviour and sensory processing can reflect the computational approach taken by the brain. Molly is currently working on projects to identify noise during fMRI for Epilepsy patients, with a goal to improve the quality of assessments that can be inferred from patient data.
Professor Graeme Jackson is a Neurologist and a clinician researcher in brain imaging and Epilepsy. His research is based on using innovations in MRI technology to understand brain structure and function. His focus is translating research insights to the treatment of Epilepsy. He is deputy director of The Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health and a Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne. Scientific Publications – Google Scholar
Marketing and Communications Manager
Sam has joined the Australian Epilepsy Project after spending the past few years working in marketing and fundraising, in the not-for-profit sector. She is passionate about connecting and building relationships that benefit from what the brand delivers through creating engaging content, that ensures a loyal following of customers and advocates.
She is thrilled to be joining the AEP and bring about positive outcomes, not only for participants of the project, but to the global healthcare system.
Research Finance Manager – Florey
Carmel is the Research Finance Manager for the Florey Institute. Carmel has had over 20 years’ experience working closely with researchers in the development of budgets, and the management, monitoring and reporting of research funds. Carmel has been instrumental in the AEP formulating a sustainable and feasible budget for both the pilot project and Stage 2 planning.
Lead Epileptologist AEP South Australia
Dr Michelle Kiley is the Director of Epilepsy Services at the Central Adelaide Local Health Network and Clinical Lecturer at Adelaide University. She works as a neurologist and epileptologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Dr Kiley has interests in EEG, status epilepticus and women with epilepsy. She has served on the Epilepsy Society of Australia (ESA) Executive since 2007 and was the President from 2015-218. She is currently the Chair of the ESA Education and Training Committee (ETC). Dr Kiley has convened 3 ESA annual scientific meetings in Adelaide.
Dr Kiley has also served on the Council of the Australian and New Zealand (ANZAN) from 2010-2016 (serving as the Honorary Treasurer from 2011-2016) and then again from 2019-2022 (during which time she served as the Chair of the ANZAN ETC). She has also served on the ANZAN Scientific Program Committee, and she has served 2 terms on the Advanced Trainee Committee for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
Dr Kiley has been Chief Investigator for clinical trial work, collaborated in a number of Australian multi-centre real-world observational studies in refractory focal and generalised epilepsy syndromes and is the Local Principal Investigator for the South Australian hub for the Australian Epilepsy Project, launched February 2023. In 2022 M Kiley was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to Neurology and Professional Associations.
Data, Machine Learning and Product Strategy Advisor
Hamid joined the Florey as Strategy Advisor for Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP). He is a scientist and an engineer passionate about helping organisations define and implement data, analytics, and product strategies. Hamid has extensive experience in delivering effective, user focused and future aware solutions for complex business problems.
Patrick is a Professor of Neurology who specialises in the management of epilepsy in adults at The Alfred where he heads the epilepsy program. He is also Professor of Neurology at Monash University. He is interested in a broad range of research that aims to better understand and improve the treatment outcomes of epilepsy using a more tailored approach. He has a particular interest in using technologies to facilitate the application of ‘precision medicine’. Scientific Publications – Google Scholar
Head of Strategic Partnerships & Engagement
Katie is a stakeholder engagement specialist, with extensive experience in delivering innovative projects and activating partnerships across national and international settings. She has established relationships and networks with current Australian and international leaders across numerous sectors including the innovation and startup ecosystem, government, corporate, academic, social enterprise, and NGOs. Inspired by leaders and businesses making an impact beyond the bottom line; Katie excels when bringing diverse stakeholders together to solve challenges, invoke change, and create impact. Scientific Publications – Google Scholar
Paul has been conducting clinical trials for 27 years and epilepsy trials for 20 years. He has been involved in the pivotal trials for all new drug treatments for epilepsy in the last 2 decades. He has recently come to the AEP from a director’s role at Barwon Health with responsibility for clinical trials. Paul has a Nursing and Science background, he has contributed to the design and management processes of many clinical trials and consulted to Industry and government on policy and clinical trial design, especially in Epilepsy treatments. He has particular expertise in the Human Research Ethics approval process in Australia and extensive contacts with other Clinical Trials Centres and industry.
Loren is a research assistant in the Epilepsy Imaging Group at the Florey. She has completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in neuroscience, and later went on to complete an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Psychology. She has a broad range of interests, spanning neuroscience, psychology, and statistics, with a particular interest in using advanced methods to better diagnose and treat neurological conditions, such as epilepsy.
Health Economics Research Fellow
Clara is a Research Fellow in Health Economics at the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety at Monash University, Melbourne. She did her PhD in Health Economics at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash, and has worked as a health economics consultant for governmental agencies and industry partners. Her work on the optimisation of chronic disease care from a health economics standpoint, with particular focus on interventions to improve patient outcomes as well as health system resilience. Prior to her PhD, Clara worked in clinical and biomedical research in top research institutions Spain, Sweden and Australia.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Epilepsy & Imaging Division
Remika is a postdoctoral researcher in the Imaging and Epilepsy group at the Florey. Her research utilises cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques to investigate neurological disorders, with a recent focus in epilepsy. She is an early-career neuroscientist, having completed her PhD research in neuroimaging in dementia (University of Melbourne), and Honours degree in neuropathology, for which she received the University Medal (University of Sydney).
Clinical Trials Assistant
Evie joined the Australian Epilepsy Project as a Clinical Trials Assistant after completing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Pathology at the University of Melbourne. She is passionate about improving the outcomes and experiences of people living with epilepsy, and is looking forward to contributing to innovative neuroscience research.
Karen is a Bioinformatician with 12 years' research experience in epilepsy clinical genetics. As a Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne’s Epilepsy Research Centre she also holds an ongoing position at The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research. She is a valued member of a number of multi-disciplinary international projects, including the International League Against Epilepsy Consortium on Complex Epilepsies. Scientific Publications – Google Scholar
Science & Operations Support Lead
Recently returning to Melbourne from New York, Heath uses computational techniques to identify anatomical changes in the human brain associated with disease. He uses these techniques to assist in treatment planning for patients with severe epilepsy by using MRI to identify regions in the brain that cause epileptic seizures.
Senior Research Assistant
Donna is a Senior Research Assistant with a background in psychology and psychophysiology. With over 10 years’ experience working with the Epilepsy Imaging Group at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, she works across several projects, including image analysis for the Australian Epilepsy Project, simultaneous EEG-fMRI set-up, and pre-surgical fMRI evaluation for clinical studies referred to the Epilepsy Imaging group. Coordinating a highly skilled team of Research Assistants working across neuropsychology, fMRI, data science and informatics, Donna is responsible for nurturing learning and development through convening discussion groups, clinical case study analysis, and epilepsy related training.
Mangor is a neuroscientist with a PhD from The University of Melbourne. His early-career research has ridden a wave of rapidly expanding study on functional MRI connectivity and machine learning. In recognition of Mangor’s work, he was one of four recipients of the prestigious American Epilepsy Society Young Investigator Award in 2017, out of 1300 applicants. Scientific Publications – Google Scholar
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Advanced MRI Development – Imaging Division
Eric is a medical physicist and has been developing advanced MRI imaging techniques at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health for the past six years. One of his main focuses is the continued development of the new Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting technique, in an international collaboration with Nature authors Mark Griswold and Dan Ma, with whom he completed his doctorate.
Remy is a research assistant and PhD candidate in Epilepsy Cognition Group at the Florey Institute. She is currently completing her doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at Monash University. Her research focuses on screening neuropsychological function in new-onset epilepsy within a First Seizure Clinic.
Youjin is a talented product designer with a passion for creating exceptional user experiences. With a strong background in human-centered design and a keen eye for detail, Youjin excels at turning complex problems into elegant, intuitive solutions. With a focus on empathy and human-centered design, Youjin played a key role in launching Wisr Todays a psychology based financial wellness app. Passionate about creating meaningful value, Youjin's expertise extends beyond the professional realm, with a love for exploring new hobbies like musical instrument and art. With an insatiable curiosity and an eye for detail, Youjin is poised to make a remarkable impact in any organization striving for ambitious goals.
Senior Research Officer – Imaging Division
Robert is a physicist and engineer, with 10 years’ experience at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in the development of computational techniques for using MRI to reconstruct and analyse the brain's internal wiring. He is an Australian National Imaging Facility Fellow, and a lead developer of the free open-source neuroimaging software package MRtrix3.
Laura is a research assistant in the neuroimaging team within the Epilepsy Research Group at the Florey. She recently completed an honours degree in Psychological Science at La Trobe University. Combining her background in psychology and neuroscience research, she is interested in the mechanisms that underlie neurological conditions such as epilepsy.
Senior Research Scientist
Bahman is a senior research scientist with an engineering background working with the Australian Epilepsy Project. His work focuses on Bloch equations and the use of analytical and numerical tools to design optimal excitation patterns for MRI. Bahman also has several years of experience in computational neuroscience and artificial intelligence. In 2018, he was elevated to a senior member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics (IEEE).
Chris is a clinician-scientist. He works as a Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Epilepsy Program at Austin Health, and leads the Epilepsy Cognition Laboratory at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. He also has a background in systems neuroscience. His research uses neuropsychological methods, harnessed to MRI techniques, to study cognition and its impairment in health and disease.Scientific Publications – Google Scholar
David is a neurologist who specialises in the management of adult Epilepsy at Austin Health. His clinical research at The Florey uses advanced MRI methods to understand network changes in brain diseases. He jointly leads the ‘AFFECT’ clinical trial, using simultaneous EEG-fMRI for better targeting of Epilepsy surgery. His neurology training was at Austin Health, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and as the ANZAN fellow to NHNN Queen Square, London.
Carmen is a clinical neuropsychology registrar. Having recently completed her master’s studies at the University of Melbourne, she now works as a research assistant in the Epilepsy Cognition Lab of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, and in the Multiple Sclerosis & Neuroimmunology clinic of the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Chair, AEP Steering Committee
Emilio Perucca trained as a clinical pharmacologist and as a neurologist at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, UK. He spent much of his career as Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Pavia, Italy. He is currently Honorary Clinical Professor at the Department of Medicine (Austin Health), The Universty of Melbourne, and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Neuroscience, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He is also Chair of the Steering Committee of the Australian Epilepsy Project.
Dr. Perucca served as President of the International League against Epilepsy (ILAE) for the 2013-2017 term. He received several awards, including the ILAE-IBE Ambassador for Epilepsy Award in 1997, the European Epileptology Award in 2018, the Lifetime Achievement in Epilepsy Award from the Georgian League against Epilepsy in 2019, and the Lifetime Accelerator Award from the U.S. Epilepsy Foundation in 2021.
Over the last 40 years, his research activities have focused on the clinical pharmacology of antiseizure medications, the treatment of seizure disorders and outcome assessment in people with epilepsy. He has co-edited or contributed to several international textbooks and authored over 500 Pubmed-listed publications, with an H-Index of 103 and a Citation Index over 42,000.
AI Expert Advisor
Mark Jenkinson is a Professor of Neuroimaging at both the University of Adelaide and the University of Oxford. He has considerable research experience in medical image analysis, particularly human brain imaging, using AI and statistical methods. Prof. Jenkinson has 20 years of experience in developing world-leading image analysis methodology. He is a co-founder and the principal developer of the FSL software package, the most widely used package covering the analysis of structural, diffusion and functional MR images of the brain, utilised in over 2000 laboratories worldwide.
AI Expert Advisor
Professor Karin Verspoor is Executive Dean of the School of Computing Technologies at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. She has extensive experience in artificial intelligence applications involving text and structured data in biomedicine, and early in her career spent five years in AI startups building natural language processing systems. Her work ranges from literature mining of biological events, analysis of social media for public health purposes, to predictive analytics and machine learning for medical applications.
AEP Lived Experience Ambassadors
Lived Experience Ambassador
Wally Lewis is a former professional rugby league footballer and coach. Currently a television commentator of the sport, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest rugby league players of all time. His time as a player and coach was followed by retirement from professional sport and he became a sports commentator across various media platforms. Wally had his first seizure when he was 19 but was not diagnosed with epilepsy for another seven years. In 2007 he had neurosurgery to have part of his left temporal lobe removed at The Austin and it was a complete success. He is now seizure free and has returned to presenting on television. Wally talks openly about epilepsy to try and raise awareness about the condition. His book “Out of the Shadows: A Champion’s Return to the Spotlight” details his inspirational journey. Wally is Patron of Epilepsy Queensland and ambassador for The Australian Epilepsy Project and part of the Steering Committee.
Lived Experience Ambassador
Rachel was 15 when she was diagnosed with Epilepsy in 2011. After living with Epilepsy for three years, and at the age of 18, she made the decision to have a lesion removed from the left side of her brain. This surgery was a world first and has since provided her with seizure freedom. Rachel recently completed a Bachelor of Education in 2019 and is now a Lived Experience Ambassador for Australian Epilepsy Project at The Florey. Rachel is eager to share her insight and experience with Epilepsy in the hopes of helping many others currently living with Epilepsy.