Research in Dr. Kearney's laboratory focuses on identifying genetic modifiers of pediatric epilepsy and epileptic encephalopathies. They use classical genetic approaches to identify modifier genes in mouse models and then investigate whether the same genes contribute in human patients. Kearney and her team are currently focusing on identifying genetic modifiers of Dravet syndrome, a severe epileptic encephalopathy in which patients have intractable epilepsy accompanied by intellectual disability and autistic features. They have developed a mouse model of Dravet syndrome that exhibits variable phenotype severity depending on the genetic background. Identifying genetic modifiers and understanding how they contribute to disease development and progression may suggest novel therapeutic strategies for epileptic encephalopathies.