About Dr Pillai (Profile, Publication)

Dr Sekhar Pillai has dual specialist qualifications in paediatric neurology and general paediatrics. He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2000 and completed training in general paediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) in 2009. He subsequently completed paediatric neurology training in 2012 at CHW following fellowships in epilepsy and general neurology.

  • He is a staff specialist at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and paediatric neurologist VMO at Norwest Private Hospital. His provides paediatric neurology consultations and a routine EEG service at Norwest Private Hospital and Chatswood Specialist Centre. He does quarterly visits to Canberra at the Equinox Specialist Centre, Deakin. He also does an epilepsy clinic periodically at Allowah Presbyterian Children’s Hospital.
  • He has previously worked as a locum staff specialist at the brain injury clinic and spina bifida clinic at Kids Rehab, CHW.
  • He has completed his PhD research on ‘The Causes and Outcomes of Childhood Encephalitis in Australian Children’ in 2016 and held a University of Sydney Postgraduate Award. He has presented his Phd research at the prestigious International Child Neurology Congress in Cairo, 2010, Brisbane 2012 and Amsterdam 2016.
  • He is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney pursuing his major interest in inflammatory disorders of the brain.
  • He has completed a Master in Public Health from the University of New South Wales in 2009 with special interest in medical education and teaching. He has worked as a Clinical Associate Lecturer with the Discipline of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney.
  • He is a member of the Australia and New Zealand Child Neurology Society (ANZCNS), Epilepsy Society of Australia, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australia Medical Association and previously with the Neuroimmunology group, Institute of Neuroscience and Muscle Research, CHW
  • He is a proud father of six children and understands the needs and challenges of families. His aim is to help care, improve and support the lives of children and their families affected with neurological disorders.


Pillai SC, Mohammad SS, Hacohen Y, Tantsis EM et al. Postencephalitic epilepsy and drug resistant epilepsy after infectious and antibody-associated encephalitis in childhood: Clinical and etiological risk factors. Epilepsia 2016; 57(1):e7-e11

Pillai SC, Hacohen Y, Tantsis E, Prelog K et al. Infectious and Autoantibody-Associated Encephalitis: Clinical Features and Long-term Outcome. Pediatrics 2015; 135 (4):e975-982

Pillai SC, Tantsis E, Ramanathan D, Prelog K, Webster R, Ouvrier R, Brilot F and Dale RC. Confirmed enterovirus encephalitis with associated steroid-responsive acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: An overlapping infection and inflammation syndrome. European Journal of Pediatric Neurology 2015; 19(2):266-270

Pillai S, Suleiman J, Gill D et al. Status epilepticus in childhood encephalitis: A 13 year retrospective single center study. Epilepsia 2011; 52 Sup 6: 68-68

Pillai SC, Gill D, Webster R, Howman-Giles R, Dale RC. Cortical Hypometabolism Demonstrated by PET in Relapsing NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. Pediatrtic Neurology 2010; 43(3): 217-220

Dale, RC, Pillai SC, Brilot-Turville, F. Cerebrospinal fluid CD19+ B cell expansion in N-Methy-D-Aspartate receptor encephalitis. Dev Med Child Neurol 2013; 55(2): 191-193

Dale RC, Merheb V, Pillai S et al. Antibodies to surface dopamine-2 receptor in autoimmune movement and psychiatric disorders. Brain 2012; 135(11):3453-3468

Dale, RC, Brilot, F, Singh, H, Troedsen, C, Pillai, S et al. A prospective study on acute extrapyramidal movement disorders in children. Dev Med Child Neurol 2010; 52(8): 739-48

Dale, RC, Irani, SR, Brilot, F, Pillai S et al. Pediatric dyskinetic encephalitis lethargica is a N-Methyl D-Aspartate receptor – antibody encephalitis. Annals of Neurology 2009; 66(5): 704-709

Dale RC, Pillai, SC. Early relapse risk after a first CNS inflammatory demyelination episode: examining international consensus definition. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Dec; 49(12): 887-93

Mohammad SS, Fung VFC, Grattan-Smith P, Gill D, Pillai S et al. Movement Disorders in Children With Anti-NMDAR Encephalitis and Other Autoimmune Encephalopathies. Mov Disord 2014; 29 (12):1539-1542

Mohammad SS, Sinclair K, Pillai S et al. Herpes simplex encephalitis relapse with chorea is associated with autoantibodies to N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor or dopamine-2 receptor. Mov Disord 2014; 29(1): 117-122

Professional Associations