Samuel Berkovic has made discoveries about familial forms of epilepsy that have led to a complete overhaul of their clinical management and provided new insights into their underlying biology. His research has established that mutations in single genes encoding neuronal membrane channels cause epileptic seizures. Professor Berkovic and his collaborators have discovered eight of the twelve genes presently known for which mutations are associated with idiopathic epilepsies. These discoveries have revolutionised basic scientific research into epilepsy. Professor Berkovic’s research has been recognised over the past ten years by numerous awards and prizes within Australia and internationally.