DR Alan Lai

DR Alan Lai

Positions

  • Epilepsy (Seizure abatement, anticipation and monitoring)

Overview

OverviewText1

  • I am a biomedical engineer and my primary goal is to develop new medical technology to improve the management of epilepsy. I have 10 years of experience in epilepsy research, which include seizure detection and anticipation using EEG, therapeutic electrical stimulation to abate seizures, probing the brain (with electrical or magnetic stimulation) to track cortical excitability and heart rate variability in relation to seizure occurrence. The research was conducted in human patients in a clinical setting, as well as in in-vivo models. In particular, I have experience with recording EEG from four species, as well as the use of electrical stimulation to abate and anticipate seizures in two of those species.
    Currently, my main focus is developing an under-the-scalp implantable device for long-term seizure monitoring in order to improve the management of epilepsy patients. This work is being carried out by our multi-disciplinary team consisting of A/Prof Chris Williams, Dr Yuri Benovitski (neuroscientist and biomedical engineer, respectively, Bionics Institute), A/Prof Michael Murphy, A/Prof Wendyl D'Souza and Prof Mark Cook (neurosurgeon and neurologists, respectively, St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne and The University of Melbourne) with the ultimate goal of world-wide clinical use for the device. More recently, I have collaborated on other projects within The University of Melbourne including the use of electrical stimulation to improve post-stroke recovery with Dr Roulston (neuroscientist, Department of Medicine at St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne), nitrous oxide as a humane method of piglet euthanasia with Dr Jean-Loup Rault (animal behaviour scientist, Animal Welfare Science Centre) and development of a novel neural electrode with Dr Nicholas Apollo (materials physicist, School of Physics).

       

Publications

Selected publications

Research

Additional Grant Information

  • Research support
    • St. Vincent's Hospital Research Endowment Fund 2018, 85217, Multi-modal interrogation of the brain using functionalised carbon micro-yarns, $20,000, Role: Co-investigator
    • St. Vincent's Hospital Research Endowment Fund 2018, 85242 Predicting seizure outcomes after epilepsy surgery using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, $20,000, Role: Co-investigator
    • NHMRC development grant (2014-2016): APP1075347 Black out advisory system – development of an implantable sub-scalp seizure monitor, $840,715, Role: Associate Investigator.
    • Epilepsy Foundation (USA) Shark Tank Competition 2015, A sub-scalp seizure monitor for epilepsy management, $164,976, Role: Co-investigator.
    • St. Vincent’s Hospital Research Endowment Fund 2013, 75.2012 Development of a subgaleal EEG ‘black box’ recording system for the diagnosis of epilepsy, $20,000, Role: Co-investigator.

       

Awards

Education and training

  • PhD, Swinburne University of Technology 2011
  • MEngSc, Monash University 2004
  • BE(Hons), Monash University 1999

Awards and honors

  • Best poster award (A portable device for investigating automated seizure abatement in humans using electrical stimulation, first author and presenter), 10th European Congress on Epileptology, 2012
  • Best poster award (Implantation of phenytoin-loaded polycaprolactone microspheres in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy, co-author and presenter), 10th European Congress on Epileptology, 2012

Linkages

Supervision

Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • My primary research area is epilepsy, which include seizure detection and anticipation using EEG, therapeutic electrical stimulation to abate seizures, probing the brain (with electrical or magnetic stimulation) to track cortical excitability and heart rate variability in relation to seizure occurrence. I have experience in conducting research in human patients in a clinical setting, as well as recording EEG from four other species, as well as the use of electrical stimulation to abate and anticipate seizures in two of those species.

    Currently, my main focus is developing an under-the-scalp implantable device for long-term seizure monitoring with the ultimate goal of world-wide clinical use to improve the management of epilepsy patients. More recently, I have collaborated on other projects within The University of Melbourne including the use of electrical stimulation to improve post-stroke recovery with Dr Roulston (neuroscientist, Department of Medicine at St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne), nitrous oxide as a humane method of piglet euthanasia with Dr Jean-Loup Rault (animal behaviour scientist, Animal Welfare Science Centre) and development of a novel neural electrode with Dr Nicholas Apollo (materials physicist, School of Physics). I am interested in collaborating on projects that involve the analysis of neural signals and development of novel technologies and methods to improve our understanding of the brain and improve patient outcomes.