Dennis  Lal,  PhD

Dennis Lal, PhD

Assistant Staff

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Phone: (216) 444-6701


Dr. Lal uses genetic data from in-house and globally collected patient cohorts to discover genes related to epilepsy syndromes, to develop novel methods for interpreting missense variants and to characterize patient disease trajectories. Through his research, Dr. Lal hopes to increase our understanding of how alterations in the genome contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders and, ultimately, to improve patient outcomes.

04/21/2021 |  

Researchers to Study Genetics of Focal Cortical Dysplasia with New NIH Grant

Dennis Lal, PhD, Genomic Medicine Institute, received a five-year, $3.3 million award from the National Institutes of Health to study the genetics of focal cortical dysplasia (FCD), one of the most common causes of drug-resistant epilepsy.

10/26/2020 |  

Not All Mutations are Bad: Researchers Identify Differences between Benign and Pathogenic Variants

An international team of researchers led by Lerner Research Institute has performed for the first time a wide-scale characterization of missense variants from 1,330 disease-associated genes. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study identifies features associated with pathogenic and benign variants that reveal the effects of the mutations at a molecular level.

03/12/2020 |  

Researchers Calculate Incidence Estimates for More than 100 Rare Brain Disorders

A Cleveland Clinic-led team of researchers has estimated for the first time the frequency of more than 100 rare and severe neurodevelopmental disorders, according to a new study published in Brain. Accurate estimates of disease burden—which were previously unavailable for nearly all of the disorders on this list—are critically important for clinicians, researchers, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies and policymakers as they make strategic decisions around care and investment priorities.

10/14/2019 |  

Polygenic Risk Scoring Helps Identify People at High Risk for Epilepsy

An international team of researchers led by Cleveland Clinic has developed new genetic-based epilepsy risk scores which may lay the foundation for a more personalized method of epilepsy diagnosis and treatment. This analysis is the largest study of epilepsy genetics to date, as well as the largest study of epilepsy using human samples.

04/20/2021 |  

Cancer Genetics Researchers Receive VeloSano Awards

Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Dennis Lal, PhD, and Harry (Adrian) Lesmana, MD, were recently named recipients of VelaSano research awards. VeloSano is Cleveland Clinic’s flagship cancer research fundraising initiative, which has raised more than $24 million since its inaugural year in 2014. Drs. Eng, Lal and Lesmana will receive $125,000 over two years for their projects.