Our Faculty

Home » Our Faculty » Ruth Ottman

Ruth Ottman

Professor of Epidemiology (in Neurology and the Sergievsky Center)

Deputy Director for Research, G.H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Dr. Ruth Ottman's primary area of expertise is genetic epidemiology. Her research addresses the role of inherited factors in susceptibility to neurologic disorders, focusing on epilepsy and other seizure disorders. She also concentrates on methodologic issues in genetic epidemiology, including research designs for evaluating gene-environment interaction, methods for collection of valid family history data, and approaches to assessing familial aggregation. Dr. Ottman's research group was the first to recognize the familial epilepsy syndrome "autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features" and to identify LGI1 as a major susceptibility gene for the disorder. Her other studies on epilepsy have addressed a wide range of issues, including assessment of familial risks, the shared and distinct genetic influences on different types of epilepsy, consistency with different modes of inheritance, the "maternal effect" in epilepsy, fertility deficits, comorbidity with migraine, and the psychosocial impact of genetic information on individuals with epilepsy and their family members. She is currently a collaborator in the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project, a large-scale collaborative project whose goal is to collect highly detailed phenotypic information on individuals and families with epilepsy, and Epi4K, a Center without Walls for Collaborative Research in the Epilepsies, whose goal is to identify genetic variation influencing the risk for epilepsy using next generation sequencing in 4,000 affected individuals.   View Faculty CV here (PDF).
Education & Training:

    PhD, 1980, University of California at Berkeley


University Affiliations:

  • Division of Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Instittue  Research Scientist

Additional Affiliations:

  • Member, Genetics Commission, International League Against Epilepsy
  • Member, Clinical Research Task Force, American Epilepsy Society
Selected Publications:
  • Ottman R, Winawer MR, Kalachikov S, Barker-Cummings C, Gilliam CT, Pedley TA, Hauser WA LGI1 Mutations in autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features Neurology 62 1120-1126 2004
  • Ho Y-Y, Ionita-Laza I, Ottman R Domain-dependent clustering and genotype-phenotype analysis of LGI1 mutations in ADPEAF Neurology 78 563-568 2012
  • Winawer MR, Rabinowitz D, Pedley TA, Hauser WA, Ottman R Genetic influences on myoclonic and absence seizures Neurology 61 1576-1581 2003
  • Ionita-Laza I, Ottman R Study designs for identification of rare variants in complex diseases: the utility of family-based designs Genetics 189 1061-1068 2011
  • Winawer MR, Rabinowitz D, Barker-Cummings C, Scheuer ML, Pedley TA, Hauser WA, Ottman R Distinct genetic influences on generalized and localization-related epilepsy Epilepsia 44 1176-1182 2003
  • Shostak S, Zarhin D, Ottman R What’s at stake? Genetic information from the perspective of people with epilepsy and their family members Social Sciences & Medicine 73 645-654 2011
  • Kalachikov S, Evgrafov O, Ross B, Winawer M, Barker-Cummings C, Martinelli Boneschi F, Choi C, Morozov P, Das K, Teplitskaya E, Yu A, Cayanis E, Penchaszadeh G, Kottmann AH, Pedley TA, Hauser WA Mutations in LGI1 cause autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features Nature Genetics 30 335-341 2002
  • Madsen AM, Hodge SE, Ottman R Causal models for investigating complex disease. I. A Primer Hum Heredity 72 54-62 2011
  • Winawer M, Martinelli Boneschi F, Barker-Cummings C, Lee JH, Liu J, Mekios C, Gilliam TC, Pedley TA, Hauser WA, Ottman R Linkage to chromosome 10q24 in 4 new families with autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features Epilepsia 43 55-66 2002
  • Madsen AM, Ottman R, Hodge SE Causal models for investigating complex disease. II. What causal models can tell us about penetrance for additive, heterogeneity, and multiplicative two-locus models Hum Heredity 72 63-72 2011

Contact Information


630 W. 168th Street, P&S Box 16

New York, NY 10032

Website Address:

Homepage URL