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World renowned epilepsy researcher Professor Samuel Berkovic from the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne at Austin Health has been awarded The 2009 Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation Medal, recognizing his outstanding contribution to research in neurological disorders.

The medal recognises Professor Berkovic’s achievement as a leading academic neurologist over the past 20 years. His ongoing commitment and leadership in epilepsy research has resulted in many advances in patient management, as well as the adoption of new concepts in understanding the condition.

Prof Berkovic is the Director of both the Epilepsy Research Centre of the University of Melbourne and of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Austin Health Heidelberg, where his research focuses on the genetic foundations of epilepsy. He and his team were the first to prove that many types of epilepsy have a significant genetic component. The award is just one of many received by Professor Berkovic in recent years, highlighting the world class standard of research in Melbourne.

The Award is made to an individual within Australia that has made an outstanding contribution in the areas of progressive neurological disorders or palliative care, either in basic or clinical research activities. The winner receives a medal and a $5,000grant.

“I am delighted to receive this recognition from my peers,” Prof Berkovic says. “It acknowledges the dedicated work of a large team that I am privileged to lead.  Moreover, it highlights the opportunities for real advances in our University Hospitals like the Austin, where outstanding clinical care and cutting-edge research go hand-in-hand.”