Sylvain Rheims’ CV


Date of birth: April 22 1979

Nationality: French



2015         HDR (Habilitation thesis), University of Lyon

2009        PhD in Neurosciences. Mediterranean Institute for Neurobiology. Aix-Marseille University

2005        Master 2 in Neurobiology, Aix-Marseille University

2001        Master 1 in Neurobiology, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg


2011        Certification in Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Lyon

2010        MD degree and habilitation in Neurology. University of Lyon

2009        Certification in Epileptology, University of Nancy

2003-2008    Neurology residency (Lyon)

2003        National selection to Medical Internship (France, Rank: 1st / > 4000 candidates). 

1997-2003    Medical school: Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg (France)


Since 2016     Professor of Neurology, Department of functional Neurology and Epileptology, Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL) and University of Lyon 1 (UCBL), Lyon, France  

- Science position: Co-leader of the Epilepsy Team within the Lyon’s Neuroscience Research Center (Team TIGER, INSERM U1028 / CNRS UMR 5292 / UCBL), France

- Clinical position: Head of Department of Functional Neurology and Epileptology, HCL, France


2013-2016        Associate Professor of Neurology. Department of functional Neurology and Epileptology, HCL and UCBL, Lyon, France.

2011-2016     PI: Team TIGER within the Lyon’s Neuroscience Research Center (INSERM U1028 / CNRS UMR 5292 / UCBL), France


2010 – 2013        Assistant professor of Neurology, Department of Functional Neurology and Epileptology, HCL and UCBL, Lyon, France

2005 – 2008        “Poste d’accueil INSERM”, INSERM U901, Mediterranean Institute for Neurobiology (INMED). Dr Y. Ben Ari, Marseille, France

2003 – 2010        Resident, Neurological Hospital, HCL, Lyon, France


2021    Doctoral and research supervision award (PEDR) from the National Council of Universities for Neurology

2018    European Young Investigator Award of the International League Against Epilepsy

2012    Young Investigator Travel Awardee. 10th European Congress on Epileptology, London, UK,

2008   Young Investigator Awardee. 62ème annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, Seattle, USA,

2007   1st Prize for a MD thesis in Neurology (Schering-Edimark), France,

2006   Young Investigator Travel Awardee. 7th European Congress on Epileptology, Helsinki, Finland


Epilepsy Team within the CRNL (Team TIGER, INSERM U1028 / CNRS UMR 5292 / UCBL), France

2010 – 2021     4 Postdocs (Dr V. Alexandre, Neurologist Sao Paulo, Brazil ; Dr A. Javor, Salzburg, Neurologist, Austria; Dr A. Neal, associate Professor in Neurology, Melbourne, Australia) ; Dr H. Kouchi (ongoing)

2 PhD (T. Almashaiki, currently Neurologist – N. Gasmi, currently in post-doc stay) and 4 ongoing PhD)

3 Master Students


Teaching position: 2010-2013 (Assistant Professor of Neurology), 2013-2016 (Associate Professor of Neurology) and since 2016 (Professor of Neurology Co-head of Neurology teaching at the East Lyon Faculty of Medicine. Co-head of national certification in clinical neurophysiology. 

Lyon 1 University (Medicine students, Neuroscience master student, University certification in Neurology, Geriatric, University diploma to graduated neurologists): general neurology, epilepsies (basic phenomenon, clinics, neurophysiology), Neurophysiology (EEG, basis, analysis and applications), evoked potentials: 40 to 60 hours / year. Clinical teaching at hospital to students and residents: Neurology, epilepsy, EEG.


2018    Chair of the organizing committee of the French Epilepsy Conference (Annual Meeting of the French Chapter of the International League against Epilepsy)



-    Member of the expert panel of the ITMO Neurosciences (INSERM/CNRS) (Since 2020)

-    Member of the SAB of the start-up GAOMA therapeutics developing drugs for epilepsies (Since 2019)

-    Co-Head of the clinical research unit at Neurological Hospital, Hospices Civils de Lyon (Since 2017)

-    Co-head of the intra-cerebral EEG (iEEG) platform of the IHU CESAME and of CRNL (Since 2015)

-    Member of the Clinical Research Council of the Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL) (Since 2011)


-    Head of the Department of Functional Neurology and Epileptology at Hospices Civils de Lyon (Since 2015)

-    Head of the national reference center for rare epilepsies at Hospices Civils de Lyon (Since 2017)


-    Director of the Epilepsy Institute IDEE, Lyon (since 2018)

-    Vice-President of the French League Against Epilepsy in charge of scientific affairs (since 2017)

-    Member of the board of the French Society of Neurology (2016-2020)


2018-    Member of the editorial board of Epilepsia

2007-     Reviewer for scientific journals: Lancet Neurology, British Medical Journal, Brain, Annals of Neurology, JAMA Neurology, Neurology, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Epilepsia, Pain, Cochrane Collaboration, CNS Drugs, PLoS One, Acta Neurologica Scandinavia, Epilepsy Research, Epilepsy and Behavior, Epileptic Disorders, Frontiers in neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, European Journal of Neurology. 

2015-     Grant Reviewer: Ministry of Health (France), Epilepsy Research UK, ZonMw (the Netherlands), French League against Epilepsy, French Neurology Society, INSERM Transfer


2016     Member of the French Neurology Society and of the European Academy of Neurology 

2009     Member of the French League against Epilepsy and of the American Epilepsy Society


-    Philippe Ryvlin - Department of Clinical Neuroscience, CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland. Clinical research in SUDEP ; epilepsy surgery ; organization of intracerebral neuronal networks in patients with epilepsy.

-    Orrin Devinsky and Daniel Friedman: Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York University, USA. Clinical research in SUDEP

-    Massimo Mantegazza: Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, CNRS UMR7275 & University Cote d’Azur, Nice, France: Neurobiology of SUDEP in Dravet Syndrome

-    Fabrice Bartolomei: Timone Hospital, Marseille, France: epilepsy surgery ; organization of intracerebral neuronal networks in patients with epilepsy

Research networks: 

-    Member of the EPI25 consortium

-    Member of the EpiCare European Network of Rare and Complex Epilepsies 

-    Member of the European Collaboration for Epilepsy Trials (ECET)


Till 2016, my position associate 50% of my time as neurologist/researcher at HCL and 50% as teacher/researcher at UCBL


122 peer-reviewed publications including 

-    33 as a first author 

-    29 as senior author and/or corresponding author and 

-    11 publications in journals with an impact factor > 10. 

2880 citations (citations without self-citations: 2745), average citations per item: 23.23 

h-index: 24 (as of 14/04/2021, source Web of Science) 

Ten publications in leading international peer-reviewed journals (Impact Factor, citations, ‡without PhD supervisor, *equally contributing authors). 

1.    Loizon M, Ryvlin P, Chatard B, Jung J, Bouet R, Guenot M, Mazzola L, Bezin L, Rheims S. Transient hypoxemia induced by cortical stimulation: a mapping study in 75 patients. Neurology. 2020 Jun 2;94(22):e2323-e2336 (IF 8.77, 2c, ‡). This paper identified which cortical regions are associated with direct electrical stimulation-induced alteration of respiration significant enough to result in transient hypoxemia in patients with epilepsy

2.    Domenech P, Rheims S, and Koechlin E. Neural mechanisms resolving exploitation-exploration dilemmas in the medial prefrontal cortex. Science 2020;369 (IF 41.85, 3c, ‡). This paper, not focused on epilepsy and SUDEP, reported a cognitive neuroscience study conducted in patients with drug resistant epilepsy investigated with intracerebral electrodes within the CRNL’s iEEG platform, which I co-lead and which is embedded in my Epilepsy Department at HCL

3.    Rheims S, Alvarez BM, Alexandre V, Curot J, Maillard L, Bartolomei F, Derambure P, Hirsch E, Michel V, Chassoux F, Tourniaire D, Crespel A, Biraben A, Navarro V, Kahane P, De Toffol B, Thomas P, Rosenberg S, Valton L, Bezin L, Ryvlin P, (2019) Hypoxemia following generalized convulsive seizures: Risk factors and effect of oxygen therapy. Neurology 92: e183-e193 (IF 8.77, 15c, ‡). This paper analysed the risk factors and evolution of post-ictal hypoxemia after a generalized convulsive seizure. It was the first paper to formally demonstrate the efficacy of oxygen therapy to reduce the severity of post-ictal respiratory dysfunction.

4.    Ryvlin P, Cross JH, Rheims S. Epilepsy surgery in children and adults. Lancet Neurol (2014) 13(11): 1114-1126. (IF 30.04, 158c, ‡). An exhaustive review on management of patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy

5.    Alexandre V, Mercedes B, Valton L, Maillard L, Bartolomei F, Szurhaj W, Hirsch E, Marchal C, Chassoux F, Petit J, Crespel A, Nica A, Navarro V, Kahane P, De Toffol B, Thomas P, Rosenberg S, Denuelle M, Jonas J, Ryvlin P, Rheims S. Risk factors of postictal generalized EEG suppression in generalized convulsive seizures. Neurology (2015) 85(18): 1598-1603. (IF 8.77, 52c, ). This paper was the first to report the relation between postictal generalized EEG suppression and peri-ictal brainstem posturing and the preventive effect of oxygen therapy.

6.    Rheims S, Rubi S, Bouvard S, Bernard E, Streichenberger N, Guenot M, Le Bars D, Hammers A, Ryvlin P. Accuracy of distinguishing between dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors and other epileptogenic brain neoplasms with [11C]methionine PET. Neuro Oncol (2014) 16(10): 1417-1426. (IF 10.25, 7c, ‡). A PET study where I reported the diagnostic interest of [11C]methionine PET in the presurgical evaluation of patients with focal epilepsy related to neuroglial tumours

7.    Ryvlin P, Nashef L, Lhatoo SD, Bateman LM, Bird J, Bleasel A, Boon P, Crespel A, Dworetzky BA, Hogenhaven H, Lerche H, Maillard L, Malter MP, Marchal C, Murthy, JM, Nitsche M, Pataraia E, Rabben T, Rheims S, Sadzot B, Schulze-Bonhage A, Seyal, M, So EL, Spitz M, Szucs A, Tan M, Tao JX, Tomson T. Incidence and mechanisms of cardiorespiratory arrests in epilepsy monitoring units (MORTEMUS): a retrospective study. Lancet Neurol. 2013. 12(10). 966-77. (IF 30.04, 475c, ‡). A seminal study which was the first to report in patients the primary role of post-ictal apnea in the fatal cascade of SUDEP

8.    Ryvlin P*, Cucherat M, Rheims S*. Risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy in patients given adjunctive antiepileptic treatment for refractory seizures: a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled randomised trials. Lancet Neurol 2011. 10(11):961-8. (IF 30.04, 174c, ‡). An emblematic study which demonstrated that administration of efficacious antiseizure drug was associated with a 7-fold reduction in the SUDEP risk in comparison with placebo. Since confirmed by the FDA, these results participated in the modification of the recommendations on the design of clinical trials in epilepsy

9.    Rheims S, Cucherat M, Arzimanoglou A, Ryvlin P. Greater response to placebo in children than in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis in drug-resistant partial epilepsy. PLoS Med 2008. 5(8): e166. (IF 10.5, 105c, ‡). The first study which reported the methodological bias related to the evolution of the response to placebo in epilepsy trials

10.    Minkeviciene R*, Rheims S*, Dobszay M*, Zilberter M, Hartikainen J, Fülöp L, Penke B, Zilberter Y, Harkany T, Pitkänen A, Tanila H. Amyloid b-induced neuronal hyperexcitability triggers progressive epilepsy. J Neurosci 2009. 29(11):3453-62. (IF 5.67, 345c). In this study conducted during my PhD, I performed patch-clamp recordings and showed the effect of Amyloid β-accumulation on the neuronal excitability in the mouse neocortex.


-    Rheims S, Ryvlin P. Pregabalin. In Shorvon S, Perucca E, Engel, eds. The Treatment of Epilepsy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Group, 2016.

-    Loizon M, Rheims S. Sudden and unexpected death in epilepsy: from presumptive mechanisms to prevention. In Eyal and Ekstein, eds. Personalized and stratified therapy in epilepsy. Elsevier, 2021 

-    Rheims S, Braun K, Fish B, So E. Drug withdrawal and other Activating Techniques. In Engel J, Moshe S, eds. Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Textbook. 3rd Edition. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. 2021

-    Hagiwara K Rheims S. insular-origin seizures with hypermotor presentation. In Nguyen D, Kahane P, Isnard J. Insular Epilepsies and their Treatment. Cambridge University Press. 2021. 


39 invited presentations in national/international meetings and institutes

-    19 in international conferences and advanced schools (see below a selection)

-    20 in international/national institutes and national meetings 

33 communications in national and international meetings

-    9 Oral communication in national (n=4) and international meetings (n=5)

-    24 abstracts/posters in national (n=5) and international meetings (n=19)

Invited presentations to peer-reviewed, internationally established conferences and/or international advanced schools (selection)

-    34th International Epilepsy Congress. Organisation of networks involved in central regulation of breathing and arousal systems (Online, 2021)

-    6th annual meeting of the European Academy of Neurology. Antiepileptic drug treatment for refractory epilepsy: The who, when, and how (Online, 2020)

-    6th annual meeting of the European Academy of Neurology. Mortality in patients with drug resistant epilepsy (Online, 2020)

-    5th East Mediterranean Epilepsy Congress. SUDEP prevention: Current strategies and future perspectives (Marrakech. Morocco. 2019)

-    Annual meeting of the Israeli Chapter of ILAE. SUDEP Prevention. From identification of risk factors to potential therapeutic interventions (Tel Aviv. Israel. 2019)

-    44th Congress of the Romanian Society of Neurosurgery. Epilepsy surgery in 2018. For which patients? For which outcomes ? (Timisoara. Romania, 2018)

-    13th European Congress on Epileptology. SUDEP Prevention. From identification of risk factors to potential therapeutic interventions. (Vienna. Austria, 2018)

-    10th International Epilepsy Colloquium. Invasive evaluation of hemispheric malformations – can we? (Miami. USA. 2017)

-    12th European Congress on Epileptology. Relationships between efficacy and placebo rates (Prague. Czech Republic. 2016

-    30th International Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology of the IFCN. Novel antiepileptic drugs (Berlin. Germany. 2014)

-    30th International Epilepsy Congress. Pharmacoresistant patients do not become seizure free with repeated AED trials. (Montreal. Canada. 2013)

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