Professor Ingrid Scheffer
Laureate Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO MBBS PhD FAA FAHMS is a physician-scientist whose work as a paediatric neurologist and epileptologist at the University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute has led the field of epilepsy genetics over more than 20 years, in collaboration with Professor Samuel Berkovic and molecular geneticists. This resulted in identification of the first epilepsy gene and many genes subsequently. Professor Scheffer has described many novel epilepsy syndromes and refined genotype–phenotype correlation of many disorders. Her major interests are in the genetics of the epilepsies, epilepsy syndromology and classification, and translational research. She also collaborates on research focused on the genetics of speech and language disorders, autism spectrum disorders, cortical malformations and intellectual disability. She led the first major reclassification of the epilepsies in three decades, published in March 2017, for the International League Against Epilepsy Commission for Classification and Terminology. She has received many awards including the 2007 American Epilepsy Society Clinical Research Recognition Award, ILAE Ambassador for Epilepsy Award, 2013 Australian Neuroscience Medallion, 2013 Emil Becker Prize for child neurology and the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Laureate for the Asia-Pacific region for 2012. In 2014, she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and also elected as Vice-President and Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. She was a co-recipient of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science and she was warded the Order of Australia in 2014.