Samuel Berkovic is an Australian neurologist esteemed for his work in epilepsy research and treatment. In particular, his discoveries about familial forms of epilepsy have led to a complete overhaul of their clinical classification and have provided new insights into their underlying biology.
He established that mutations in single genes encoding neuronal membrane channels cause epileptic seizures. He discovered, or co-discovered, many of the genes presently known for which mutations are associated with idiopathic epilepsies. These discoveries have revolutionised basic scientific research into epilepsy.
In 2005, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia. Following on from this honour, in 2014 he was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia for his eminent service to biomedical research in the field of epilepsy genetics, to the study of neurology on a national and international level, and for his work as an ambassador for medical science education in Australia.