Dr Rhys Thomas

Honorary Consultant in Epilepsy


I joined Newcastle University from Cardiff University in August 2017. I am an Honorary Consultant in Epilepsy at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, where he leads on epilepsy and learning disability. I joined the Mitochondrial clinical team in 2018.

My research interests include the causes and consequences of epilepsy – primarily the genetic causes of the epilepsies. As such I focuse on seizures and stroke-like episodes in our mitochondrial clinics.

I was the 2017 Royal College of Physicians Linacre lecturer. I spoke about the risks and benefits of Sodium Valproate for women of child-bearing age. I am a Trustee of Epilepsy Research UK and Disability North. I am an Associate Editor of Practical Neurology, Web Editor of Seizure and on the editorial board of Clinical Medicine.

Research Focus

Mitochondrial Disorders Priority Setting Partnership (PSP).

I am the clinical lead for the Mitochondrial Disorders PSP.

This is a collaboration of patients, carers and clinicians to identify the research questions most important to children and adults with mitochondrial disorders. The process involves asking the community for their unanswered research questions, reviewing and then ranking them. This follows a research methodology supported by the James Lind Alliance, so that the results of this PSP are comparable to other common and rare conditions.

This is due to report in 2020 and is funded by Genetic Alliance UK. Our hope is that this will lead to a set of research priorities to challenge the international research community to focus on the needs of people living with mitochondrial disorders.

Sponsor/Funder: Genetic Alliance UK (grant from the Wellcome Trust)