Dr Sudarshini Ramanathan

BSc (Med) MBBS (Hons) FRACP PhD
Neurologist/Neuroimmunologist
Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney
Postdoctoral Neuroscience Research Fellow, Kids Neuroscience Centre, Westmead Hospital Campus and Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group, University of Oxford

Member of the Brain and Mind Centre


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Biographical details

Dr Darshi Ramanathan is an adult neurologist and early career clinician-scientist. She has a subspecialty interest in neuroimmunology, and is focused on clinical and laboratory research related to antibody-mediated neurological disorders, including demyelination and autoimmune encephalitis; as well as the management of patients with multiple sclerosis. She is a clinical neurologist/ neuroimmunologist, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, and a postdoctoral neuroscience research fellow.

Darshi was awarded the NHMRC Neil Hamilton Fairley Early Career Fellowship and is currently undertaking a two year postdoctoral fellowship in Oxford with the Autoimmune Neurology Group at the John Radcliffe Hospital and University of Oxford for 2018 and 2019, before returning to Sydney. Her research focus during this time includes exploring antigenic targets in seronegative patients with suspected antibody-associated demyelination, and mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and treatment responses in subgroups of patients with antibody-associated demyelination and autoimmune encephalitis. Her clinical focus includes neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders and autoimmune encephalitis.

Research interests

Many neuroimmunological conditions have the potential to result in devastating disability, including blindness, paralysis, epilepsy, and cognitive impairment. However, it is increasingly recognised that expedited recognition and diagnosis, and the institution of early and appropriate immunotherapy can result in excellent outcomes. Dr Ramanathan is committed to translational research including basic science projects which help us better understand what triggers autoimmunity, underlying mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, putative targets for the actions of antibodies, and targets for novel therapeutic agents. She also leads clinical projects with an emphasis on performing detailed clinical phenotyping which permits early recognition and diagnosis of these conditions, evaluating therapeutic responses and identifying the most effective treatment algorithms, and identifying features that optimise patients' outcomes.

Dr Ramanathan completed her PhD on the clinical and immunological characterisation of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody-associated demyelination. In 2016, she established and is the lead investigator of the Australasian and New Zealand MOG Study Group. This is a unique collaborative platform of over 150 adult and paediatric neurologists from over 45 centres throughout Australasia, with the goal of better understanding and treating antibody-associated demyelination. She heads this collaboration, and works closely with Professor Russell Dale (paediatric neurologist) and Associate Professor Fabienne Brilot (scientist) at the Kids Neuroscience Centre on these patients. This research team is now responsible for one of the largest international cohorts of close to 500 paediatric and adult patients with MOG antibody-associated demyelination, and have led a number of important publications for the field.

Dr Ramanathan has been the chief investigator for scholarships and grants providing research funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Brain Foundation.

Teaching and supervision

Dr Ramanathan has been involved in medical student and basic physician trainee teaching and examination for the last ten years.

She is currently running a number of projects which would be suitable for an Honours, Masters, or PhD candidate.

Awards and honours

  1. International Impact Award (Kids Neuroscience Centre) (2017)
  2. BJ Amos Travelling Fellowship (Westmead Charitable Trust, Westmead Hospital) (2017)
  3. Young Investigator Award at the Progress in Multiple Sclerosis Research Biennial Conference (2017)
  4. Early Career Researcher seeding project grant - Kids Research Institute & University of Sydney (2016)
  5. Young Investigator Award at the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurology (ANZAN) Annual Scientific Meeting (2015)
  6. Best Poster Prize at the ANZAN Annual Scientific Meeting (2015)
  7. Finalist for the Young Investigator Award at the 13th Asian Oceanian Congress of Neurology meeting (2012)
  8. James McLeod Award at the ANZAN Annual Scientific Meeting (2011)
  9. Resident Medical Officer of the Year - Westmead Hospital Medical Officer’s Association (2008)

In the media

  1. ‘Researchers in focus’ interview and profile, Kids Neuroscience Centre, Sydney (2018) http://kidsneuroscience.org.au/news/researchers-focus-dr-darshi-ramanathan
  2. Media article regarding research presented at ECTRIMS (2017) https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/2017/10/25/msparis2017-mog-associated-demyelination-can-be-treated-with-steroids-but-maintenance-is-required/
  3. Invited lecture on MOG antibody-associated demyelination for the video series “MS Talks” (Excemed series 2017) https://www.excemed.org/experts/sudarshini-ramanathan-0
  4. Video interview with Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia on MOG antibody-associated demyelination (2017) https://www.facebook.com/MSResearchAustralia/videos/1809350345772233/
  5. Interviewed for a neuro-ophthalmology podcast series (‘The Mind’s Eye - 2017) https://soundcloud.com/user-283403849-29306574/episode-3-nosa-2017-anti-mog-antibody-related-disease-f-brilot-and-s-ramanathan

International links

United Kingdom

(Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group, University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom) Ongoing collaborations with A/Profs Sarosh Irani and Paddy Waters

Selected grants

2018

  • Neuroimmunology and neuroInflammation: from Biomarker and Pathogenesis to patient diagnosis and improvement of clinical outcome; Brilot-Turville F, Dale R, Brown D, Kiernan M, Marais B, Barnett M, Britton P, Guastella A, Halliday G, Harris A, Hickie I, Lewis S, Nassar N, Ramanathan S, Vucic S, Wood N; DVC Research/Sydney Research Excellence Initiative 2020 (SREI).
  • Cutting through complexity: the promise of biomarkers to discover, diagnose, and treat antibody-associated demyelination; Ramanathan S; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Early Career Fellowships.

2016

  • A longitudinal cohort study of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated demyelination: defining the clinical course, therapeutic responses, and outcomes; Ramanathan S, Dale R, Brilot-Turville F; Brain Foundation/Research Grants.

2013

  • The clinical, radiological, and immunological characterisation of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies in central nervous system demyelination; Ramanathan S; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Postgraduate Scholarships Grant.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Ramanathan, S., Irani, S. (2018). Autoantibody-Mediated Forms of Encephalitis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, , 1-18. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Mohammad, S., Tantsis, E., Nguyen, T., Merheb, V., Fung, V., White, O., Broadley, S., Lechner-Scott, J., Vucic, S., Henderson, A., Barnett, M., Reddel, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2018). Clinical course, therapeutic responses and outcomes in relapsing MOG antibody-associated demyelination. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 89(2), 127-137. [More Information]
  • Dale, R., Ramanathan, S. (2017). Cell surface antibody-associated neurodegeneration: The case of anti-IgLON5 antibodies. Neurology, 88(18), 1688-1690. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F. (2016). Anti-MOG antibody: The history, clinical phenotype, and pathogenicity of a serum biomarker for demyelination. Autoimmunity Reviews, 15(4), 307-324. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Sato, S., Matsushita, T., Masaki, K., Yamasaki, R., Dale, R., Kira, J., Brilot-Turville, F. (2016). Antibodies to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein are uncommon in Japanese opticospinal multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 22(1), 127-128. [More Information]
  • Kothur, K., Wienholt, L., Tantsis, E., Earl, J., Bandodkar, S., Prelog, K., Tea, F., Ramanathan, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2016). B Cell, Th17, and Neutrophil Related Cerebrospinal Fluid Cytokine/Chemokines Are Elevated in MOG Antibody Associated Demyelination. PloS One, 11(2), 1-16. [More Information]
  • Sinmaz, N., Tea, F., Pilli, D., Zou, A., Amatoury, M., Nguyen, T., Merheb, V., Ramanathan, S., Cooper, S., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F. (2016). Dopamine-2 receptor extracellular N-terminus regulates receptor surface availability and is the target of human pathogenic antibodies from children with movement and psychiatric disorders. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 4, 1-18. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Prelog, K., Barnes, E., Tantsis, E., Reddel, S., Henderson, A., Vucic, S., Gorman, M., Benson, L., Alper, G., Barnett, M., Parratt, J., Hardy, T., Merheb, V., Nosadini, M., Fung, V., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R., et al (2016). Radiological differentiation of optic neuritis with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies, aquaporin-4 antibodies, and multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 22(4), 470-482. [More Information]
  • Nosadini, M., Alper, G., Riney, C., Benson, L., Mohammad, S., Ramanathan, S., Nolan, M., Appleton, R., Leventer, R., Deiva, K., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R., et al (2016). Rituximab monitoring and redosing in pediatric neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, 3(1), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Pathmanandavel, K., Starling, J., Merheb, V., Ramanathan, S., Sinmaz, N., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F. (2015). Antibodies to Surface Dopamine-2 Receptor and N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor in the First Episode of Acute Psychosis in Children. Biological Psychiatry, 77(6), 537-547. [More Information]
  • Sinmaz, N., Amatoury, M., Merheb, V., Ramanathan, S., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F. (2015). Autoantibodies in movement and psychiatric disorders: Updated concepts in detection methods, pathogenicity, and CNS entry. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1351 (1), 22-38. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Langguth, D., Hardy, T., Garg, N., Bundell, C., Rojana-udomsart, A., Dale, R., Robertson, T., Mammen, A., Reddel, S. (2015). Clinical course and treatment of anti-HMGCR antibody-associated necrotizing autoimmune myopathy. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, 2(3), 1-8. [More Information]
  • Pillai, S., Tantsis, E., Prelog, K., Ramanathan, S., Webster, R., Ouvrier, R., Kesson, A., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2015). Confirmed enterovirus encephalitis with associated steroid-responsive acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: An overlapping infection and inflammation syndrome. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, 19(2), 266-270. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Fung, V., Bielich, A., Masters, L., Russo, R., Buckland, M., Sarros, S., Klug, G., Collins, S., Reddel, S. (2015). Hyperekplexia as the presenting symptom of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Neurology: Clinical Practice, 5(6), 498-501. [More Information]
  • Nosadini, M., Mohammad, S., Ramanathan, S., Brilot, F., Dale, R. (2015). Immune therapy in autoimmune encephalitis: a systematic review. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 15(12), 1391-1419. [More Information]
  • Dale, R., Tantsis, E., Merheb, V., Kumaran, R., Sinmaz, N., Pathmanandavel, K., Ramanathan, S., Booth, D., Wienholt, L., Prelog, K., Mathey, E., Brilot-Turville, F., et al (2014). Antibodies to MOG have a demyelination phenotype and affect oligodendrocyte cytoskeleton. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, 2014 (1), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Reddel, S., Henderson, A., Parratt, J., Barnett, M., Gatt, P., Merheb, V., Kumaran, R., Pathmanandavel, K., Sinmaz, N., Yiannikas, K., Vucic, S., Stewart, G., Booth, D., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F., et al (2014). Antibodies to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein in bilateral and recurrent optic neuritis. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, 1(4), 1-12. [More Information]
  • Mohammad, S., Wallace, G., Ramanathan, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2014). Antipsychotic-induced akathisia and neuroleptic malignant syndrome in anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 26(4), 297-298.
  • Ramanathan, S., Mohammad, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2014). Autoimmune encephalitis: Recent updates and emerging challenges. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 21(5), 722-730. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Bleasel, A., Parratt, J., Orr, C., Dale, R., Vincent, A., Fung, V. (2014). Characterisation of a syndrome of autoimmune adult onset focal epilepsy and encephalitis. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 21(7), 1169-1175. [More Information]
  • Mohammad, S., Fung, V., Grattan-Smith, P., Gill, D., Pillai, S., Ramanathan, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2014). Movement disorders in children with anti-NMDAR encephalitis and other autoimmune encephalopathies. Movement Disorders, 29(12), 1539-1542. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Wong, C., Rahman, Z., Dale, R., Fulcher, D., Bleasel, A. (2014). Myoclonic status epilepticus as a presentation of caspr2 antibody-associated autoimmune encephalitis. Epileptic Disorders, 16(4), 477-481. [More Information]
  • Mohammad, S., Ramanathan, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2013). Autoantibody-Associated Movement Disorders. Neuropediatrics, 44(6), 336-345. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Wong, C., Fung, V. (2013). Long duration between presentation of probable anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis and either clinical relapse or positive serum autoantibodies. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 20(9), 1322-2653. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Lenton, K., Burke, T., Gomes, L., Storchenegger, K., Yiannikas, C., Vucic, S. (2013). The utility of multimodal evoked potentials in multiple sclerosis prognostication. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 20(11), 1576-1581. [More Information]
  • Vucic, S., Burke, T., Lenton, K., Ramanathan, S., Gomes, L., Yannikas, C., Kiernan, M. (2012). Cortical dysfunction underlies disability in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 18(4), 425-432. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., McMeniman, J., Cabela, R., Holmes-Walker, D., Fung, V. (2012). SIADH and dysautonomia as the initial presentation of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 83(3), 344-345. [More Information]

2018

  • Ramanathan, S., Irani, S. (2018). Autoantibody-Mediated Forms of Encephalitis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, , 1-18. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Mohammad, S., Tantsis, E., Nguyen, T., Merheb, V., Fung, V., White, O., Broadley, S., Lechner-Scott, J., Vucic, S., Henderson, A., Barnett, M., Reddel, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2018). Clinical course, therapeutic responses and outcomes in relapsing MOG antibody-associated demyelination. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 89(2), 127-137. [More Information]

2017

  • Dale, R., Ramanathan, S. (2017). Cell surface antibody-associated neurodegeneration: The case of anti-IgLON5 antibodies. Neurology, 88(18), 1688-1690. [More Information]

2016

  • Ramanathan, S., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F. (2016). Anti-MOG antibody: The history, clinical phenotype, and pathogenicity of a serum biomarker for demyelination. Autoimmunity Reviews, 15(4), 307-324. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Sato, S., Matsushita, T., Masaki, K., Yamasaki, R., Dale, R., Kira, J., Brilot-Turville, F. (2016). Antibodies to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein are uncommon in Japanese opticospinal multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 22(1), 127-128. [More Information]
  • Kothur, K., Wienholt, L., Tantsis, E., Earl, J., Bandodkar, S., Prelog, K., Tea, F., Ramanathan, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2016). B Cell, Th17, and Neutrophil Related Cerebrospinal Fluid Cytokine/Chemokines Are Elevated in MOG Antibody Associated Demyelination. PloS One, 11(2), 1-16. [More Information]
  • Sinmaz, N., Tea, F., Pilli, D., Zou, A., Amatoury, M., Nguyen, T., Merheb, V., Ramanathan, S., Cooper, S., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F. (2016). Dopamine-2 receptor extracellular N-terminus regulates receptor surface availability and is the target of human pathogenic antibodies from children with movement and psychiatric disorders. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 4, 1-18. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Prelog, K., Barnes, E., Tantsis, E., Reddel, S., Henderson, A., Vucic, S., Gorman, M., Benson, L., Alper, G., Barnett, M., Parratt, J., Hardy, T., Merheb, V., Nosadini, M., Fung, V., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R., et al (2016). Radiological differentiation of optic neuritis with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies, aquaporin-4 antibodies, and multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 22(4), 470-482. [More Information]
  • Nosadini, M., Alper, G., Riney, C., Benson, L., Mohammad, S., Ramanathan, S., Nolan, M., Appleton, R., Leventer, R., Deiva, K., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R., et al (2016). Rituximab monitoring and redosing in pediatric neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, 3(1), 1-10. [More Information]

2015

  • Pathmanandavel, K., Starling, J., Merheb, V., Ramanathan, S., Sinmaz, N., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F. (2015). Antibodies to Surface Dopamine-2 Receptor and N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor in the First Episode of Acute Psychosis in Children. Biological Psychiatry, 77(6), 537-547. [More Information]
  • Sinmaz, N., Amatoury, M., Merheb, V., Ramanathan, S., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F. (2015). Autoantibodies in movement and psychiatric disorders: Updated concepts in detection methods, pathogenicity, and CNS entry. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1351 (1), 22-38. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Langguth, D., Hardy, T., Garg, N., Bundell, C., Rojana-udomsart, A., Dale, R., Robertson, T., Mammen, A., Reddel, S. (2015). Clinical course and treatment of anti-HMGCR antibody-associated necrotizing autoimmune myopathy. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, 2(3), 1-8. [More Information]
  • Pillai, S., Tantsis, E., Prelog, K., Ramanathan, S., Webster, R., Ouvrier, R., Kesson, A., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2015). Confirmed enterovirus encephalitis with associated steroid-responsive acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: An overlapping infection and inflammation syndrome. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, 19(2), 266-270. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Fung, V., Bielich, A., Masters, L., Russo, R., Buckland, M., Sarros, S., Klug, G., Collins, S., Reddel, S. (2015). Hyperekplexia as the presenting symptom of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Neurology: Clinical Practice, 5(6), 498-501. [More Information]
  • Nosadini, M., Mohammad, S., Ramanathan, S., Brilot, F., Dale, R. (2015). Immune therapy in autoimmune encephalitis: a systematic review. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 15(12), 1391-1419. [More Information]

2014

  • Dale, R., Tantsis, E., Merheb, V., Kumaran, R., Sinmaz, N., Pathmanandavel, K., Ramanathan, S., Booth, D., Wienholt, L., Prelog, K., Mathey, E., Brilot-Turville, F., et al (2014). Antibodies to MOG have a demyelination phenotype and affect oligodendrocyte cytoskeleton. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, 2014 (1), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Reddel, S., Henderson, A., Parratt, J., Barnett, M., Gatt, P., Merheb, V., Kumaran, R., Pathmanandavel, K., Sinmaz, N., Yiannikas, K., Vucic, S., Stewart, G., Booth, D., Dale, R., Brilot-Turville, F., et al (2014). Antibodies to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein in bilateral and recurrent optic neuritis. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, 1(4), 1-12. [More Information]
  • Mohammad, S., Wallace, G., Ramanathan, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2014). Antipsychotic-induced akathisia and neuroleptic malignant syndrome in anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 26(4), 297-298.
  • Ramanathan, S., Mohammad, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2014). Autoimmune encephalitis: Recent updates and emerging challenges. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 21(5), 722-730. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Bleasel, A., Parratt, J., Orr, C., Dale, R., Vincent, A., Fung, V. (2014). Characterisation of a syndrome of autoimmune adult onset focal epilepsy and encephalitis. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 21(7), 1169-1175. [More Information]
  • Mohammad, S., Fung, V., Grattan-Smith, P., Gill, D., Pillai, S., Ramanathan, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2014). Movement disorders in children with anti-NMDAR encephalitis and other autoimmune encephalopathies. Movement Disorders, 29(12), 1539-1542. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Wong, C., Rahman, Z., Dale, R., Fulcher, D., Bleasel, A. (2014). Myoclonic status epilepticus as a presentation of caspr2 antibody-associated autoimmune encephalitis. Epileptic Disorders, 16(4), 477-481. [More Information]

2013

  • Mohammad, S., Ramanathan, S., Brilot-Turville, F., Dale, R. (2013). Autoantibody-Associated Movement Disorders. Neuropediatrics, 44(6), 336-345. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Wong, C., Fung, V. (2013). Long duration between presentation of probable anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis and either clinical relapse or positive serum autoantibodies. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 20(9), 1322-2653. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., Lenton, K., Burke, T., Gomes, L., Storchenegger, K., Yiannikas, C., Vucic, S. (2013). The utility of multimodal evoked potentials in multiple sclerosis prognostication. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 20(11), 1576-1581. [More Information]

2012

  • Vucic, S., Burke, T., Lenton, K., Ramanathan, S., Gomes, L., Yannikas, C., Kiernan, M. (2012). Cortical dysfunction underlies disability in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 18(4), 425-432. [More Information]
  • Ramanathan, S., McMeniman, J., Cabela, R., Holmes-Walker, D., Fung, V. (2012). SIADH and dysautonomia as the initial presentation of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 83(3), 344-345. [More Information]

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