Samuel F. Berkovic
AC, MD, FAA, FRACP, FAHMS, FRS
Sam Berkovic is Laureate Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, and Director of the Epilepsy Research Centre at Austin Health, Australia.
His early work was in neuroimaging where he was a pioneer in the application of MRI and single photon emission computed tomography in epilepsy. This work was rapidly applied to routine clinical use and remains so today. In the late 1980s he realized the potential for clinical genetic research in epilepsy, utilizing twins and large pedigrees. This led, together with molecular genetic collaborators in Adelaide and Germany, to the discovery of the first gene for epilepsy in 1995. Subsequently he and his group have been involved the discovery of many of the known epilepsy genes. This has changed the conceptualisation of the causes of epilepsy, is having a major impact on directions of epilepsy research, has directly translated to impacting daily clinical diagnosis and counselling, as well as refining treatment.
He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2005, Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 2007, Companion of the Order of Australia in 2014 and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (USA) in 2017. Together with Ingrid Scheffer, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2014.