Ingrid Scheffer is an Australian clinician-scientist whose work as a paediatric neurologist and epileptologist has transformed understanding of epilepsy. She has defined many new epilepsy syndromes, and her work led directly to the identification of the first gene for epilepsy in 1995, and many epilepsy genes subsequently. In 2017, she led the first major revision of the classification of the epilepsies in 28 years, the major tool worldwide for the diagnosis and management of people with epilepsy. Her collaborative work has led to a deeper understanding of the biology of seizures and revolutionised scientific approaches to these disorders. Her clinical focus has shed light on the myriad of co-morbidities seen in people with epilepsy, particularly the severe infantile and childhood developmental and epileptic encephalopathies which often carry a poor prognosis.
In 2014, she was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia and, in the same year, she won the Australian Prime Minister’s Prize for Science with Samuel Berkovic FRS. In 2012, she was awarded the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Laureate for the Asia-Pacific region. She is the founding Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.
Chair of Paediatric Neurology, University of Melbourne Director of Paediatrics, Austin Health, University of Melbourne Honorary Senior Principal Research Fellow, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne