Head of Laboratory

Dr Karin Borges


Skerman Building, Rooms 423, 412


Ms Melissa Benson, BSc (Hons)
Ms Kah Ni Tan
Ms Tanya McDonald, BSc (Hons)


Dr. Borges 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 now at UQ. Her long-term goal is to find new treatments that are anticonvulsant and can prevent the development of epilepsy after brain insults.

Dr. Borges has discovered that triheptanoin is anticonvulsant in four mouse epilepsy models. Clinical trials for add on triheptanoin in patients with epilepsy have been initiated. Currently, Dr. Borges laboratory is exploring the anticonvulsant mechanisms triheptanoin in mouse models. Another project explores the role of complement factor C5a receptors in experimental epilepsy models.

Recent Publications

  1. Thomas, N.K., Willis, S., Sweetman, L., and Borges, K. (2012) Anticonvulsant profile of triheptanoin in acute mouse seizure models. Epilepsy Research, 99 (3) 312-7.
  2. Sonnewald, U. and Borges, K. (2012) Triheptanoin - a medium chain triglyceride with odd chain fatty acids: a new anaplerotic anticonvulsant treatment? Epilepsy Research, 100: 239-344.
  3. Samala R, Klein J, Borges K. (2011) Ketogenic diet-induced changes in the hippocampal extracellular fluid. Neurochemistry International 58: 5-8.
  4. Willis S, Stoll J, Sweetman L, Borges K. (2010) Anticonvulsant effects of a triheptanoin diet in two chronic mouse epilepsy models. Neurobiology of Disease, 40: 555-572.
  5. Borges, K., M.Gearing, D.L. McDermott, A.B. Smith, A.G. Almonte, B.H. Wainer and R. Dingledine (2003) Neuronal and glial pathological changes during epileptogenesis in the mouse pilocarpine model.
  6. Exp. Neurol. 1882: 21-34
  7. Borges, K., McDermott, D., Irier, H., Smith, R. and R. Dingledine. (2006) Degeneration and proliferation of astrocytes in the mouse dentate gyrus after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus
  8. Exp Neurol 201:416-427
  9. Borges, K., Shaw, R. and R. Dingledine. (2007) Seizure preconditioning changes gene expression mainly within the dentate gyrus granule cell layer. Neurobiology of Disease 26: 66-77
  10. Borges, K., Gearing, M., Rittling, S., Sorensen, E., Kotloski, R., Denhardt, D., and R. Dingledine. (2008) Characterization of osteopontin expression and function after status epilepticus
  11. Epilepsia 49:1675-85
  12. Samala, R, Willis, S. and Borges, K. (2008) Anticonvulsant profile of a balanced ketogenic diet in acute mouse seizure models. Epilepsy Research 81:119-27
  13. Willis, S., Samala, R., Rosenberger, T. and Borges, K. (2009). Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids are not anticonvulsant or neuroprotective in acute mouse seizure models. Epilepsia 50: 138-42

Student projects


Please email enquiries to Dr. Borges


  1. Role of metabolism in epilepsy
  2. Characterisation of anticonvulsant mechanisms of triheptanoin

Research support

2013-2015 NHMRC - Mechanisms of a novel strategy for neuroprotection in experimental models of stroke and epilepsy

2012-2014 Epilepsy Therapy Project - Clinical trial of add-on triheptanoin

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


  • Development of triheptanoin as a new anticonvulsant treatment - reviewed on YouTube.
  • Dr. Borges together with Professor Terence OBrien, 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.