Annapurna (Ann) Poduri, MD, MPH is the Director of the Epilepsy Genetics Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. A leader in the field of neurogenetics, Ann brings together cutting-edge science with novel approaches to medicine. Through her innovative multi-disciplinary program that spans from the clinic to the laboratory, she has launched concept-changing studies that continue to reveal many genetic causes for epilepsy, a condition that affects 1 in 26 people.
Ann’s research has taken on a fundamental and largely unasked, and until recently unanswerable, question—what causes epilepsy? Driven by a mission to understand this condition to transform how patients are diagnosed and treated, Ann has brought together physicians, genetic counselors, researchers, and students in her clinic and laboratory. Together, they bring modern genomics and increasingly precise genetic diagnoses to patients, they bring human disease insight into zebrafish and other models, and they pursue basic neurodevelopmental studies that are relevant to human brain development and disease. Ann’s research has garnered support from the National Institutes of Health, private foundations, and philanthropic contributions. Her contributions have been recognized through numerous honors, including the American Neurological Association’s Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award, the American Academy of Neurology’s Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award, and the Harvard Club of Boston’s Most Influential Women designation.
Her novel translational and collaborative approach has been held up as a model nationally and her perspective sought widely, with recent citations in Science, the Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe. She is proud to serve as an invited member of the Genomics Commission of the International League Against Epilepsy, Chair of the American Epilepsy Society/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Benchmarks Stewards Committee, and on scientific advisory boards for companies and foundations devoted to developing precision medicine for patients with epilepsy.