Associate Professor Karin Borges, Head of the Neurological Disorders and Metabolism Laboratory, studied Biology in at the University of Freiburg (Germany). Studying glutamate receptors in glial cells, she received a PhD in Neurobiology at Heidelberg University in 1994. She continued her education as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Pharmacology at Emory University studying the regulation of transcription of the glutamate receptor subunits, GluR1 and GluR4.

Since 2001, she has been interested in the morphological and functional changes involved in the development epilepsy as an instructor at Emory University, then as Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University (2005-2008) and since 2009 at UQ. Her long-term goal is to find new treatments for neurological disorders, including metabolic and anti-inflammatory approaches. To this end she has been receiving several grants from NHMRC, US philanthropic foundations and pharmaceutical industry for her laboratory work and clinical trials of her findings.

She has applied for several patents regarding triheptanoin as a new treatment for epilepsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS)/Motore Neuron Disease (licensed). Currently, the laboratory is investigating the specific biochemical impairments in energy metabolism in epilepsy and ALS with the goal to develop scientifically validated new treatment approaches that target these specific impairments.   

  • Available projects: Metabolism of medium chain fatty acids in brain. For Honours and PhD projects please email Associate Professor Borges.
  • Associate Professor Karin Borges and her research team are conducting research into using medium chain triglycerides (MCT) oils to provide protection from seizures in people with the debilitating neurological disorder epilepsy.

    Associate Professor Borges and her team recently completed two clinical trials at the Queensland Children’s Hospital and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, demonstrating promising results for the less-restrictive alternative treatment.

    Next will be a large-scale international clinical trial. Potential trial participants can register their interest by emailing Associate Professor Borges.

  • Development of triheptanoin as a new anticonvulsant treatment - reviewed on Youtube.

  • Associate Professor Borges together with Professor Terence O’Brien, started a clinical trial of triheptanoin in epilepsy patients in July 2012 in Melbourne. The trial is funded by the Epilepsy Therapy Project through the American Epilepsy Research Foundation


Group Head


PhD students

2013-2017 Thrasher Award - Clinical trial of add-on triheptanoin in children with medically refractory epilepsy

2013-2015 NHMRC - A new metabolic approach to treat epilepsy and stroke

2012-2015 Epilepsy Therapy Project - Clinical trial of add-on triheptanoin in adults with medically refractory epilepsy

2010-2012 NHMRC - Complement activation in experimental epilepsy: role of C5a receptors

2009-2011 NIH - The role of ketones in the anticonvulsant mechanism of the ketogenic diet

2008-2009 CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) - Anaplerosis as a new treatment for epilepsy

  • Society for Neuroscience, member since 1995
  • American Epilepsy Society, member since 2001
  • Epilepsy Society Australia, member since 2009
  • Australian Neuroscience Society, member since 2010
  • Epilepsy Queensland, member since 2011

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Dr Borges' research, please contact

Your support is greatly appreciated and will help us to develop new treatments for neurological disorders, including epilepsy and ALS.

Find out more about our research environment and how to apply to do a short or long-term research project with us.