1993 …2024
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Personal profile


Professor Terence (Terry) OBrien is the Van Cleef Roet Chair of Medicine (Neurology), Head of Central Clinical School's Department of Neuroscience, Monash University, and Director of Neurology, Alfred Health. The mission of the Department of Neuroscience is to undertake high quality, internationally significant, research, research training and teaching across a broad range of basic and clinical neuroscience fields, and to translate these to improve treatment and outcomes of patients with neurological diseases. The Department has 25 research groups investigating a wide variety of brain diseases, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other neuroinflammatory conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders, headache and pain, neuromuscular diseases, brain tumours, stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. See more about the Department of Neuroscience's research areas from their Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) projects on offer.

The Department of Neurology at Alfred Health is one of the premier such departments in the country. It has specialty units in Epilepsy, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis/Neuroimmunology, Neuromuscular Disease, Otoneurology, Movement Disorders, Neuroopthalmology, Neuroimaging, Cognitive Disease, Neuromuscular Diseases and Clinical Neurophysiology (EMG, EEG, evoked potentials). For more information: https://www.alfredhealth.org.au/services/neurology. 



Terence J. O’Brien, MB, BS, MD, FRACP, FRCPE, FAHMS, FAES, is The Van Cleef Roet Professor of Medicine (Neurology), Head, Departments of Neuroscience and Medicine, and Deputy Head of School, Central Clinical School, Monash University. He is also Program Director, Alfred Brain, Director of Neurology and Deputy Director of Research at Alfred Health. He was formally The James Stewart Chair of Medicine, The Department of Medicine, The Royal Melbourne Hospitals (2008-17). He is currently the President of the Epilepsy Society of Australia (ESA).

He is a specialist in neurology and clinical pharmacology, with particular expertise in epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases, neuropharmacology and in-vivo imaging in animal models and humans. He did his clinical and research training at St. Vincent’s and Royal Melbourne Hospitals in Melbourne, and then the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA (1995-1998). He leads a large translational research team undertaking both basic studies and clinical studies focused on developing improved treatments and biomarkers for people with epilepsy and related brain diseases, including traumatic brain injury, dementias and brain tumours. He has published >450 peer-reviewed original papers in leading scientific and medical journals which have been cited >16,700 times (H-Index 68) (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=83LmNvMAAAAJ&hl=en).

He has received 17 awards for his research from national and international scientific bodies, including the Ambassador for Epilepsy Award of the International League Against Epilepsy (2017), Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation Medal (2017), The Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award of the American Academy of Neurology (2006), The Eccles Lecturer and Medallion of The Australian Neuroscience Society and The Neurosurgical Society of Australia (2011), and Election as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (2016).

 Prof. O’Brien has attracted post-doctoral, doctoral and undergraduate students and fellows from many countries to train and work in his basic and clinical programs. This includes supervised to completion multiple research doctoral students (33), research masters students (8) and undergraduate research students (61), post-doctoral fellows (13) and clinical epilepsy fellows (16).

External positions

Professorial Fellow, The University of Melbourne

1 Dec 2017 → …

Director of Neurology, The Alfred

1 Oct 2017 → …

Consultant Neurologist, The Royal Melbourne Hospital

1998 → …

Professorial Fellow, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Research area keywords

  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • traumatic brain injury
  • stroke
  • brain tumours
  • neuroinflammation
  • epilepsy
  • Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • cognitive disorders

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2018 2024

Research Output 1993 2019

Acquired cardiac channelopathies in epilepsy: Evidence, mechanisms, and clinical significance

Li, M. C. H., O'Brien, T. J., Todaro, M. & Powell, K. L., 1 Sep 2019, In : Epilepsia. 60, 9, p. 1753-1767 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Age-dependent release of high-mobility group box protein-1 and cellular neuroinflammation after traumatic brain injury in mice

Webster, K. M., Sun, M., Crack, P. J., O'Brien, T. J., Shultz, S. R. & Semple, B. D., 15 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Comparative Neurology. 527, 6, p. 1102-1117 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

A genome-wide association study of sodium levels and drug metabolism in an epilepsy cohort treated with carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine

Berghuis, B., Stapleton, C., Sonsma, A. C. M., Hulst, J., de Haan, G. J., Lindhout, D., Demurtas, R., Krause, R., Depondt, C., Kunz, W. S., Zara, F., Striano, P., Craig, J., Auce, P., Marson, A. G., Stefansson, H., O'Brien, T. J., Johnson, M. R., Sills, G. J., Wolking, S. & 7 others, Lerche, H., Sisodiya, S. M., Sander, J. W., Cavalleri, G. L., Koeleman, B. P. C., McCormack, M. & the EpiPGX Consortium, 1 Mar 2019, In : Epilepsia Open. 4, 1, p. 102-109 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

An animal model of genetic predisposition to develop acquired epileptogenesis: The FAST and SLOW rats

Leung, W. L., Casillas-Espinosa, P., Sharma, P., Perucca, P., Powell, K., O'Brien, T. J. & Semple, B. D., Oct 2019, In : Epilepsia. 60, 10, p. 2023-2036 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review