January 26, 2023
Seer Chief Medical Officer Prof Mark Cook honored as Officer of the Order of Australia
26 January 2023, MELBOURNE, Australia
Seer Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Professor Mark Cook has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2023 Australia Day Honours.
One of Australia’s highest honors, Professor Cook received the Order of Australia in recognition of his distinguished service to neurological medicine and research through contributions to the treatment of epilepsy.
Over the course of his career, Professor Cook has demonstrated an enduring commitment to improving the lives of people with epilepsy and other neurological conditions.
A consultant neurologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne since 1993, Professor Cook is currently the hospital’s Chair of Medicine. Professor Cook also held the position of Director of the Department of Neurology at St Vincent’s Hospital for over twenty years.
Since 2002, Professor Cook has also held the position of Professor of Neurology at the University of Melbourne, first in the Department of Medicine and later in the Faculty of Engineering. With over 400 publications and thousands of citations, Professor Cook’s research has contributed groundbreaking insights into the nature of epilepsy and new methods for seizure forecasting.
Co-founding Seer Medical in 2017 and Epiminder in 2018, Professor Cook has helped to transform the diagnosis and management of epilepsy in Australia and pioneered world first in-human studies of implantable systems for seizure prediction and intracranial drug delivery.
As Chief Medical Officer at Seer, Professor Cook leads Seer’s clinical direction, providing oversight on the scientific research, delivery, quality and efficiency of Seer’s healthcare services. Professor Cook views the commercialization of his research through Seer and Epiminder as one of the most important platforms for improving the lives of people with epilepsy around the world.
“What I’m most passionate about is practical outcomes – that has always been my focus. Whilst I’ve been interested in research and the academic aspects of my work, I’m most interested in developments which lead directly to practical and useful outcomes for patients.”
The pathway from research to commercialization has not been one Professor Cook has tread alone.
“You need a range of people on board in order to make something like Seer or Epiminder happen. Over the years I have worked closely with a variety of experts in fields beyond the medical profession, including engineers, designers, data scientists, finance, regulatory and reimbursement specialists to name a few. Commercialization can be challenging, but you come to appreciate the huge range of skills and expertise available around you. Without these people, none of our successes would have been possible.”
Professor Cook has remained a staunch advocate for people with epilepsy through a range of voluntary positions, including a twenty year tenure as Chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria.
“My chief ambition is to see the success of the epilepsy monitoring service and the implantable device system so that we can make the changes that are necessary to improve the lives of even more people with epilepsy.”
“It’s great to know that my work in epilepsy over so many years has made a difference. People with epilepsy are living in fear all of the time and anything we can do to give them greater peace of mind or more control will improve their lives so much.”
“That’s what we should all be working towards,” he added. “Better treatments, better acceptance, better management in the workplace and a better understanding of epilepsy all round.”