Dr. Maria Roberta Cilio is Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at UCSF. She earned her MD degree at the University of Rome La Sapienza in Italy, and she completed a residency in Pediatrics and Child Neurology at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. She completed a Fellowship in Pediatric Epilepsy at the Bambino Gesú Children’s Hospital in Rome, and a PhD at Harvard in Gregory Holmes’ Lab where she carried out studies on the consequences of seizures in the developing brain. Before joining UCSF in 2011, she served as Director of Neonatal Neurology and Neurophysiology and attending epileptologist at the Bambino Gesú Children’s Hospital in Rome for 10 years.
She was awarded with the prestigious UCSF Presidential Chair in 2011 and joined UCSF faculty in 2012, where she serves as Director of Research, UCSF Pediatric Epilepsy Center, and Director of Neonatal Epilepsy Program. Her research focuses on neonatal seizure and rare pediatric epilepsies and resulted in significant advances in the understanding and treatment of genetically-determined early-onset epilepsies, as well as in the development of new treatments for children with severe epilepsy. Her recent work highlighted the electroclinical phenotype and the response to sodium channel-blockers of KCNQ2-related epilepsies, as well as the effects of cannabidiol in children with treatment-resistant epilepsies.