Professor Mark Rees is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Life Science (ILS), Swansea University Medical School (SUMS). He spent 15-years at SUMS (2004-2019) where he led a successful neurology research group, was Director of ILS (2007-2012) and Founder/Director of the Wales Epilepsy Research Network (WERN, 2005-2015).  He also established the Swansea Neurology Biobank (SNB) which is now part of several international consortia and driving SUMS research.  He continues to chair and lead the SNB up until April 2020.

He gained his PhD at the Department of Molecular Haematology, University of Wales College of Medicine (1989-1994) and worked with Sir Mike Owen in Psychiatric Medicine, Cardiff University as a MRC Postdoctoral Fellow (1994-1999). In 1999, Professor Rees began a six-year academic post at the University of Auckland Medical School, New Zealand as a Senior Lecturer in Neurology Genetics. He has published over 115 peer-reviewed publications and has attracted over £21m of research investments in his career.

Professor Rees was Chair of the Epilepsy Research-UK (ERUK, 2011-2014) Scientific Advisory Committee in London and a Trustee of ERUK until 2019. He is a Fellow of the Learned Society for Wales (FLSW), the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath), the Royal College of Physicians (FRCPE), and the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB). He received a DSc from Swansea University and is also Honorary Fellow of the Association of British Neurologists. Professor Rees’s team were winners of the 2015 Swansea University Impact Awards in Health & Wellbeing.

In 2019, he joined as Deputy Executive Dean the Faculty of Medicine & Health (FMHS) at the University of Sydney (USYD) and is using his 30 years of experience to meet Faculty objectives. He co-ordinates the collaborative interaction between Faculty and the independent Medical Research Institutes (MRI’s), Sydney Local Health Districts and Multi-Disciplinary Initiatives (MDI’s) in conjunction with Deputy-VC of Research. He is also responsible for growing the biomedical, commercial and philanthropic capabilities of the FMHS 2019-2024.

Areas of Expertise

  • Human Molecular Genetics & Genomics
  • Molecular Neuroscience
  • Clinical and Biomedical Networks
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Regional Biobanking
  • SAIL Data-Linkage


  1. Wolking, S., May, P., Mei, D., Møller, R., Balestrini, S., Helbig, K., Altuzarra, C., Chatron, N., Kaiwar, C., Stöhr, K., Widdess-Walsh, P., Mendelsohn, B., Numis, A., Cilio, M., Van Paesschen, W., Svendsen, L., Oates, S., Hughes, E., Goyal, S., Brown, K., Sifuentes Saenz, M., Dorn, T., Muhle, H., Pagnamenta, A., Vavoulis, D., Knight, S., Taylor, J., Canevini, M., Darra, F., Gavrilova, R., Powis, Z., Tang, S., Marquetand, J., Armstrong, M., McHale, D., Klee, E., Kluger, G., Lowenstein, D., Weckhuysen, S., Pal, D., Helbig, I., Guerrini, R., Thomas, R., Rees, M., Lesca, G., Sisodiya, S., Weber, Y., Lal, D., Marini, C., Lerche, H., Schubert, J. Clinical spectrum of STX1B-related epileptic disorders Neurology 92 11
  2. Earle, N., Crawford, J., Hayes, I., Rees, M., French, J., Stiles, M., Waddell-Smith, K., Donoghue, T., Monkley, R., Neas, K., Aitken, A., Tse, R., Love, D., Skinner, J. Development of a cardiac inherited disease service and clinical registry: A 15-year perspective American Heart Journal 209 126 130
  3. Romaniello, R., Arrigoni, F., Fry, A., Bassi, M., Rees, M., Borgatti, R., Pilz, D., Cushion, T. Tubulin genes and malformations of cortical development European Journal of Medical Genetics 61 12 744 754
  4. Sagie, S., Lerman-Sagie, T., Maljevic, S., Yosovich, K., Detert, K., Chung, S., Rees, M., Lerche, H., Lev, D. Expanding the phenotype of TRAK1 mutations: hyperekplexia and refractory status epilepticus BRAIN 141 7 e55 e55
  5. Sen, A., Dugan, P., Perucca, P., Costello, D., Choi, H., Bazil, C., Radtke, R., Andrade, D., Depondt, C., Heavin, S., Adcock, J., Pickrell, W., McGinty, R., Nascimento, F., Smith, P., Rees, M., Kwan, P., O'Brien, T., Goldstein, D., Delanty, N., Pickrell, O. The phenotype of bilateral hippocampal sclerosis and its management in “real life” clinical settings Epilepsia 59 7 1410 1420

See more...



    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell
  • Complement Activation and Regulation in Multiple Sclerosis (awarded 2020)

    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell
  • Analysis of potential mRNA splice-affecting gene-variants identified in epilepsy families and cases (awarded 2019)

    Other supervisor: Dr Jonathan Mullins
    Other supervisor: Dr Seo-Kyung Chung
  • The importance of cortical lesions in multiple sclerosis. (awarded 2018)

    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell
  • 'Cortical grey matter demyelination and meningeal inflammation in a cohort of short duration Multiple Sclerosis.' (awarded 2018)

    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell
  • Exploring emerging data types for epilepsy research: Electronic Healthcare records, free texts and genetic mutation. (awarded 2018)

    Other supervisor: Prof Xianghua Xie
    Other supervisor: Dr Seo-Kyung Chung

External Responsibilities

  • Biobanking Wales Task Group for HCRW, HCRW, Cardiff

    2017 - Present

  • Research Impact Lead for the Wales Gene Park, Cardiff., Wales Gene Park, Cardiff.

    2017 - Present

  • Fellow of the Learned Society for Wales, Cardiff., Learned Society for Wales, Cardiff.

    2016 - Present

  • Academy of Medical Sciences SpringBoard Champion for Swansea Uni, Medical School, Swansea University

    2015 - Present

  • Executive Member of the Wales Gene Park, Cardiff., Wales Gene Park, Cardiff.

    2015 - Present

  • Executive Member of the HCRW BRAIN Unit, Cardiff., BRAIN Unit, Cardiff.

    2015 - Present

  • Core Group Member of the NIH Epi4K Epilepsy Genomic Consortium., Epi4K Epilepsy Genomic Consortium.

    2014 - Present

  • Trustee for the Epilepsy Research UK Trustees Board, London., UK Trustees Board, London.

    2014 - Present

  • Senior Leader for HCRW Faculty, Cardiff., HCRW Faculty, Cardiff.

    2013 - Present

  • Honorary Professor to the Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland.

    2013 - Present

  • Honorary Member of the Association of British Neurologists (ABN), Association of British Neurologists (ABN)

    2009 - Present

  • Chair of Epilepsy Research UK Scientific Advisory Board, London., UK Scientific Advisory Board, London.

    2011 - 2014

  • External Examiner for UCL Masters in Clinical Neuroscience, Lond, UCL, London

    2010 - 2014

  • Founder and Director of the Wales Epilepsy Research Network. , Wales Epilepsy Research Network.

    2005 - 2015

  • Strategic Director of the Wales Gene Park., Wales Gene Park, Cardiff.

    2007 - 2011

Research Groups

  • The Neurology Research Group

    The Neurology Research Group

  • Swansea Neurology Biobank

    Swansea Neurology Biobank

  • Swansea University Biobank

    Swansea University Biobank

  • Neurology SAIL Group

    Neurology SAIL Group

  • HCRW BRAIN Unit WorkPackage

    HCRW BRAIN Unit WorkPackage

  • HCRW Wales Gene Park WorkPackage

    HCRW Wales Gene Park WorkPackage

  • SU Collaborative Partnerships Data Projects

    SU Collaborative Partnerships Data Projects

Administrative Responsibilities

  • ARCH Neurology Regional Services Re-configuration Committee.

    2017 - Present

  • Member of the Swansea University Postgraduate Committee.

    2016 - Present

  • Chair/Dean, Swansea University Collaborative Partnerships Board

    2015 - Present

  • Member of the University Academic Quality and Standard Committee

    2015 - Present

  • Member of the ABMUH Joint Clinical Research Facility Executive.

    2015 - Present

  • Chair of the SU/ABMUH Biobanks Sub-Committee.

    2015 - Present

  • SUMS Executive Committee.

    2006 - 2013

  • Director of the Institute of Life Science, Swansea University.

    2006 - 2013