Personal profile

Research interests

The focus of the stem cell laboratory is to find new treatments for patients with epilepsy that are not adequately treated with currently available anti-seizure medications.  To do this, we take patient's own cells and turn them into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) – which can then be directed to become any cell in the body. To study epilepsy, we instruct iPSCs to become brain cells or neurons – the cells which are affected in epilepsy. This allows us create a personalised ‘epilepsy-in-a-dish’ model for each patient, on which we can then test a variety of existing or new anti-seizure medications. Importantly, this personalised model allows testing without any risk to the patient and can be scaled up to allow high-throughput screening of thousands of potential life-changing drugs.

Supervision interests

Consulting

Ben Rollo has developed a rapid method for functional readout of compounds with anti-seizure properties. This method was developed using multielectrode array (MEA) technology which is used to detect the electrical activity of iPSC-derived neural cultures. Compounds can be tested for thier ability to reduce spontaneous and epileptiform activity of neural cultures. These methods have been used to screen pre-clinical lead compounds for industry partners and drug libraries.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Personalised medicine
  • Stem Cells
  • Disease model development

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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