PROF Terry O'Brien

PROF Terry O'Brien


  • Dementia
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Neuroscience
  • Traumatic Brain Injury



  • Terence O'Brien (MBBS Melb. MD Melb. FRACP, FRCPE) is The James Stewart Professor of Medicine and Head of The Department of Medicine at The Royal Melbourne, and consultant neurologist. He is a medical specialist in neurology and clinical pharmacology, with particular expertise in epileptology, anti-epileptic drugs 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 University Department Medicine embedded with one of Australia’s leading teaching hospitals which has a focus on translational research and research training, with particular strengths in Neurosciences, Infectious Diseases and Cancer. Under his leadership the Department has grown to be one of the largest such Department in the country with an annual research income of >10.5M, >80 PhD students and >100 undergraduate students. In his own research leads a large translational research team undertaking both basic studies, involving animal models, and clinical studies. He has published >300 peer-reviewed original papers in leading neurological, pharmacological and imaging journals, 6 other papers, 12 book chapters and >2000 abstracts. His work is highly cited (>8700 times, H-index 50). Competitive, peer-reviewed, research-grant funding obtained totals <30M, including being a PI on 14 NHMRC Project grants, a NHMRC Program Grant, 3 NHMRC Development Grants, a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence Grant, two Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative Grants and three US competitive grant (NARSAD, Epilepsy Research Foundation & James S. McDonnell Foundation), and industry funding >5M. His research is broad based, covering both basic and clinical studies related to epilepsy, neuropharmacology and associated areas. The work has had two primary goals: First to better understand the determinants of treatment response in epilepsy, identify    


Member of

  • ASCEPT. Member 2000 -
  • American Epilepsy Society. Corresponding Member 1998 -
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists. Member 1995 -
  • Epilepsy Society of Australia. Member 1995 -
  • Royal Australiasian College of Physicians. Fellow 1995 -


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • MD, University of Melbourne 2000
  • MBBS, University of Melbourne 1988

Awards and honors

  • The Eccles Lecturer, The Australian Neuroscience Society, 2011
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, 2011
  • Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award, American Academy of Neurology, 2006
  • National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, New York, 2005
  • Viertel Clinical Investigator Award, 2001
  • The Department of Neurology Research Award, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA, 1998
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1996
  • The Australian Association of Neurologists' Overseas Training Position, 1995
  • The Margaret Ryan Prize in Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital Clinical School, The University of Melbourne., 1988



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Opportunities available for PhD, Masters and Honours students to undertake research-based degrees supervised by Prof. O'Brien undertaking either clinical or basic science projects in the areas of epilepsy, traumatic brain injury or dementia.