Institute of Genetics and Cancer

A new PhD training programme focused on epilepsy research awarded

A new Doctoral Training Centre led by Prof Richard Chin (Child Life and Health) and Prof Cathy Abbott (Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine) has been funded by the charity Epilepsy Research UK. June 21.

Epilepsy Research UK

This new Doctoral Training Centre is part of a new initiative by Epilepsy Research UK and will focus on childhood onset epilepsies. These disorders not only have immediate consequences for affected children and their families in terms of seizures and (often) learning difficulties, but can often have far reaching effects into adulthood. Although many children will achieve good seizure control, almost a third do not respond to any of our current treatment options and will continue to have seizures throughout their lives.

The programme will build on the complementary experience on its leads, Prof Chin a paediatric neurologist and Prof Abbott a scientist with extensive experience running postgraduate training programmes.  The aim of the DTC  is to train a cohort of students in research projects which will improve diagnostic methods and provide a better understanding of how biological mechanisms result  in seizures with the ultimate goal of providing improved therapies and outcomes for people with childhood onset epilepsies.

The programme will be structured in such a way as to ensure that all students, regardless of their specific project, acquire an understanding of the whole discovery pathway from underlying mechanisms through to the development and implementation of new treatments. This will allow them to put their own results in context, and to appreciate where their work might lead in terms of new therapies.


We are all very excited about this new programme, and can’t wait to get started on recruiting the students, who will be poised to make discoveries that will improve lives for people with epilepsy. We’re so grateful to ERUK and to all the supporters who raise funds for this fantastic cause for giving us the opportunity to train and inspire the next generation.

Professor Cathy Abbott



News on the ERUK website 

Prof Cathy Abbott Research Group website 

Prof Richard Chin Research Group website