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Carter Snead

Title: Staff Physician, Division of Neurology
Designations: MD
Alternate Contact Name: Wendy Ricketts
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7851
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and Pharmacology; Member Institute of Medical Sciences in Graduate School


Dr. Snead has been at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) since 1996, having come here from Los Angeles. His major clinical interest is paediatric epilepsy, with a focus on magnetoencephalography (MEG), paediatric epilepsy surgery, drug resistant epilepsy, and infantile spasms.  

His basic research interests entail using animal models of epilepsy to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of this disorder. More recently, after spearheading the development of a Provincial comprehensive epilepsy care program in Ontario, he’s become engaged in a Provincial epilepsy knowledge translation program, Project ECHO Epilepsy Across the Life Span.


Dr. Snead has done research in the use of MEG as a non-invasive diagnostic modality to help identify children who are candidates for epilepsy surgery.

He's an expert in animal models of epilepsy and was among the first to develop animal models of absence and atypical absence epilepsy and to characterize GABAB-mediated mechanisms of these disorders. In addition, he's developed an animal model of infantile spasms in Down syndrome and have shown the effectiveness of genetic and pharmacological rescue strategies in this model. 

Education and experience

  • 1966: BS, West Virginia University (Pharmacy), Morgantown, WV  
  • 1970: MD, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 
  • 1970–1971: Paediatrics Internship – Duke University Med. Ctr. Durham, NC   
  • 1971–1972: Paediatrics Residency – Duke University Med. Ctr. Durham, NC   
  • 1972–1975: Fellowship Child Neurology – Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • 1975–1977: Keesler Air Force Medical Center, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS 
  • 1977–1989: Alabama Children’s Hospital, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 
  • 1989–1996: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 
  • 1996–Present: The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada 


  • 1987–1988: Fogarty International Fellowship Award, Centre de Neurochimie/NIH, INSERM, Strasbourg, France  
  • December 1991: Milken Family Foundation, Basic Neuroscientist Award, American Epilepsy Society, Philadelphia, PA
  • April 1992: Epilepsy Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Pharmacology of Antiepileptic Drugs, American Society of Pharmacology, Presented at FASEB Meeting, Anaheim, CA
  • February 1997: Inaugural Holder, Holland Bloorview Chair in Paediatric Neuroscience, SickKids, Toronto, Ontario
  • August 1998: Canadian Foundation for Innovation Researcher
  • 2005: Bernard Sachs Award from the Child Neurology Society
  • June 2009: Michael J. Bresnan visiting Professor; Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • 2010: Plenary lecturer, Canadian League Against Epilepsy
  • 2012: Robert H.A. Haslam Lectureship, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON
  • 2013: Physician Research Award for Career Excellence, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto
  • 2014: Wilder Penfield Award from Canadian League Against Epilepsy for Career Excellence in Epilepsy Research, Clinical Care, Teaching, and Advocacy
  • 2018: HOPE award from Epilepsy Toronto
  • April 2018: Pierre Gloor Lecturer, Montreal Neurological Institute
  • December 2018: Neuroscience Day Lecturer, University of British Columbia and British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute
  • January 2019: Inaugural Peter Humphreys Lecturer. University of Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario 
  • June 2019: Inaugural Susan Iannaccone Lecturer. University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine, Dallas TX
  • June 2019: Alfred Dorfman Lecture. University of Chicago School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • 2020: Designated Founder of Child Neurology by Child Neurology Society and International Child Neurology Association


  1. SNEAD OC, Myers G,  Benton JW.  ACTH and prednisone in childhood seizure disorders.  Neurology 1983;33:966-970 
  2. SNEAD OC. Basic mechanisms of generalized absence seizures. Ann Neurol 1995;37:146-157 
  3. Minassian BA, Otsubo H, Weiss S, Elliott I, Rutka JT, SNEAD OC. Magnetoencephalography localization in pediatric epilepsy surgery: comparison with invasive intracranial electroencephalography. Ann Neurol 1999;46:627-633 
  4. Wu Y, Chan KF, Eubanks JH, Wong CGT, Cortez MA, Shen LQ, Liu CC, Perez-Velazquez J-L., Wang YT, Jia ZP,  SNEAD OC. Transgenic mice over-expressing GABA(B)R1a receptors acquire an atypical absence epilepsy-like phenotype. Neurobiol Dis 2007;26:439-51 
  5. Joshi K, Shen L, Michaeli A, Salter M, Thibault-Messier G, Hashmi S, Eubanks JH, Cortez MA, SNEAD OC. Infantile spasms in Down syndrome: Rescue by knockdown of the GIRK2 channel. Ann Neurol 2016;80:511-21 
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