Prof Deirdre Murray

Prof Deirdre Murray is a Prof of Paediatrics and Consultant Paediatrician in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork. Prof Murray trained in General Paediatrics in Dublin before completing a Specialist Registrar Training and Fellowship training in Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine in the Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital, Bristol and the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Prof Murray then returned to Ireland to take up a dedicated Research Fellowship in UCC and complete her PhD in the area of neonatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, supported by the Denis O’Sullivan Research Fellowship award. Prof Murray has a strong research background in newborn brain injury and developmental assessment.

She is a founding member of the Neonatal Brain Research Group ( ) and a principal investigator of the INFANT (Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research ( She is the principal investigator of the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort Study and the BiHiVE study. Through large international studies she has been working to develop new ways to predict newborn brain injury using continuous multi-channel EEG, blood based biomarkers and early neurological assessment. In 2012 she was awarded a Health Research Board Clinician Scientist Award to study early blood based biomarkers in hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, the BiHiVE2 study (

She is the principal investigator of the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort study ( which is a collaborative birth cohort study examining early environmental influences of neurocognitive and behavioural outcome. In response to the growing evidence of long term learning difficulties in HIE, Prof Murray is now working to develop new methods of early cognitive assessment using touchscreen technology in the Science Foundation Ireland funded Beyond BiHiVE project. 


Prof Seetha Shankaran

Seetha Shankaran is Professor of Paediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Prof Shankaran was the site Principal Investigator (PI) of the study evaluating the impact of maternal lifestyle during pregnancy on childhood and adolescent outcome. She was the Wayne State University site Principal Investigator of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development multi-centre Neonatal Research Network from its founding in 1985 to 2016 and performed the first US trial of neuroprotection with whole-body hypothermia for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) in term infants with continued follow up of trial participants to childhood.

Prof Shankaran has described an MRI classification of brain injury following neonatal HIE which has excellent predictability for childhood outcome. She is currently a co-investigator in a clinical trial of hypothermia for neonatal HIE in low-resource countries and another trial of hypothermia plus umbilical stem cells for neonatal HIE.


Prof Lena Hellström-Westas

Lena is a Professor of Perinatal Medicine at Uppsala University and senior consultant in neonatology at the Department of Neonatology at Uppsala university Hospital, Sweden. She is medical CO-Director at the Karolinska NIDCAP centre and scientific advisor in neonatology to the Swedish National board of Health and Wellbeing.

She is pioneering research in Lund on amplitude integrated EEG monitoring with focus of early prediction of outcome in asphyxiated infants and preterm infants, seizure detection and sleep and pain assessments.


Prof Sandra Juul

Dr. Sandra ”Sunny” Juul, MD, PhD is Division Chief of Neonatology at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington. Juul’s goal is to identify new therapeutic approaches to neonatal brain injury, determine whether they are safe and effective, and bring these new treatments from the laboratory to the bedside. Using a variety of approaches and several animal models, she has worked to optimize Epo treatment in the developing brain at risk for injury. This work includes studies of pharmacokinetics, drug dosing, and duration of therapy as well as identifying mechanisms of Epo neuroprotection and possible synergistic treatments. She is Principal Investigator of the Preterm Epo Neuroprotection Trial (PENUT) and multi-PI with Dr. Yvonne Wu (UCSF) on the High-Dose Erythropoietin for Asphyxia and Encephalopathy (HEAL) Trial, a randomized controlled trial of Epo neuroprotection for 500 term infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This multicenter trial will determine whether Epo in addition to therapeutic cooling will improve the outcome for infants with HIE.


Prof Monica Lemmon

Monica Lemmon is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health Sciences at Duke. She is a core faculty member in the Duke Initiative for Science & Society & the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. She qualified from Harvard Medical School in 2009 and completed her Pediatric training at Johns Hopkins hospital. She has worked on a wide range of research projects and has been awarded several grants and awards, including: Decision Making for Infants with Neurologic ConditionsNeonatal Seizure Registry Developmental Functional EValuation (NSR-DEV)Decision Making for Critically Ill InfantsContinued anticonvulsants after resolution of neonatal seizures: a patient-centered comparative effectiveness studySpasm Prediction After SyMptomatic neonatal seizures - the SPASM studyNo question too small: Development of a question prompt list for infants and their families, and NeuroSpeak: Developing a curriculum in delivering bad news for medical students in neurology.

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Prof Linda de Vries

Linda S. de Vries trained as a pediatrician and neonatologist in the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Subsequently she also trained as a pediatric neurologist in Leuven, Belgium. Since 1989 till 2019, she has worked in the department of Neonatology in Utrecht, where she is now an emeritus professor in Neonatal Neurology.   

Her research focuses on prediction of neurodevelopmental outcome in high risk preterm and full-term newborns, using neurophysiology and neuro-imaging methods.  These at risk children were also seen by her in the follow-up clinic. She has a special interest in neonatal stroke and brain plasticity.  She co- authored three books, The, Atlas of Neonatal Brain Sonography; The atlas of amplitude-integrated EEGs in the newborn and Beyond the NICU.

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Prof Frances Cowan

Dr Cowan holds an honorary senior lecturer/clinical consultant post in perinatal neurology within Imperial College London and is a visiting professor to the department of Neonatal Neuroscience in the, University of Bristol. She is now retired from clinical work but continues to be involved with teaching, brain image reporting, PhD supervision and helping with and advising on research projects.

Prof Alistair Gunn

 Alistair Jan Gunn, Professor, Physiology and Paediatrics, a Paediatrician-scientist in the Department of Physiology at the University of Auckland, has conducted groundbreaking research into the mechanisms and treatment of asphyxial brain injury, identifying compromised fetuses in labour and prevention of life threatening events in infancy. His research helped to establish mild cooling as the first ever technique to reduce brain injury due to low oxygen levels at birth.  This simple and effective treatment is now standard care around the world. 

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Prof Robert Clancy

Robert Clancy is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, who received his Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and chemistry from Georgetown University and medical doctor degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He performed his internship and residency training in general pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and pediatric neurology and clinical neurophysiology fellowships at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, California. 


He joined the faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and is now Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Pediatrics. He is the founder and former director of the Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His clinical and research interests include neonatal EEG, neonatal seizures, neuroprotection, pediatric EEG and epilepsy. He authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and co-authored the three-volume collection: “Atlas of Electroencephalography” and the interactive DVDs “The Normal Neonatal EEG” and “The Abnormal Neonatal EEG and Seizures”. He currently lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania and enjoys doting on daughters Maggie, Maira, Caitlin, Kelly and Laura and granddaughters Fiona and Kira.


Dr Anthony Hart

Tony Hart is a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. He has a clinical and research interest in perinatal neurology, including improving prognostication following diagnosis of fetal neurological abnormalities, and unravelling differential diagnoses and prognostication in neonates. He was the chairperson for the team of neonatologists and neurologist who developed the British Paediatric Neurology Association’s Neonatal Neurology Course (NeoNATE Course), and is the chairman of the BPNA specialist interest group into perinatal neurology.


Prof Nadia Badawi

Professor Badawi is an internationally recognised neonatologist and expert in cerebral palsy and newborn brain conditions. In her role as Chair of Cerebral Palsy, she is responsible for implementing the strategic plan for cerebral palsy research priorities. Professor Badawi is renowned for her research on the outcomes of neonatal intensive care, neurodevelopmental outcomes following major cardiac and non-cardiac surgery, neonatal encephalopathy and cerebral palsy. Her reputation as a leading authority on cerebral palsy has ensured the Research Foundation has some of the world’s best research minds now working collaboratively and proactively to find ways to prevent, treat and cure cerebral palsy. She is also the Medical Director and Co-Head of the Grace Centre for Newborn Care at The Children’s Hospital Westmead.


Prof Mary Rutherford

Mary Rutherford trained as a paediatrician, specialising in neonatal neurology. She has worked with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for over 20 years. Her expertise is in the acquisition and interpretation of fetal and neonatal MRI of the brain. Her research interests include optimising MR sequences to allow objective quantification of both normal and abnormal brain development.

She is employed by Kings College London and has an Honorary contract with Guys and St Thomas’ Trust (GSTT). She is funded by the Medical Research Council.

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Prof Nikki Robertson

Professor Nikki Robertson trained in neonatal medicine in Melbourne and London after completing her medical training at the University of Edinburgh. Her interest in perinatal brain injury was kindled at the Hammersmith Hospital, London in the late 1990s, a time of exponential increase in our understanding of the evolution of brain injury after birth asphyxia. Since 2003 at UCL, Professor Robertson has used pre-clinical models to assess the safety and efficacy of additional  therapies that  can complement and synergize with therapeutic hypothermia, eg melatonin and human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells. She has worked with collaborators in Ghana and Uganda to optimize therapies for neonatal encephalopathy.  In 2020, Professor Robertson took up a secondary appointment at the University of Edinburgh as Professor in Perinatal Neuroscience and is now leading her laboratory research at both UCL and Edinburgh.


Prof Sudhin Thayyil

Sudhin Thayyil MD, DCH, FRCPCH, PhD is a Professor of Perinatal Neuroscience and Director of the Centre for Perinatal Neuroscience, Imperial College London, UK. He was awarded an NIHR Clinician Scientist fellowship in 2011, followed by an NIHR advanced fellowship in 2019. His research is focussed on disease stratification and evaluation of novel neuroprotective therapies in neonatal encephalopathy using advanced magnetic resonance biomarkers. He leads one of the largest clinical research programs in neonatal encephalopathy in the world and have generated over £15 million research grant income and published over 100 papers. The ongoing studies led by his group include Heart Beat (heartbeat variability in Neonatal Encephalopathy), GENIE (Genomic Imaging in neonatal Encephalopathy), COMET (Cooling in Mild encephalopathy), HELIX (Hypothermia for Encephalopathy in low and middle-income countries trial, PREVENT (Prevention of Epilepsy by reducing Neonatal Encephalopathy) trial, EMBRACE (Erythropoietin Monotherapy for Neonatal Encephalopathy in Low and Middle-income countries) and EDEN (Erythropoietin and Darbepoetin in Neonatal Encephalopathy)

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Dr Hermione Lyall

I am a consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and honorary senior lecturer at Imperial College. I am interested in congenital infections and their prevention, particularly HIV and CMV. I run both HIV and other congenital infection clinics at St Mary’s Hospital in London, and I am ward-attending consultant for Paediatric Infectious Diseases 4 months per year.

I am a member of PENTA-ID and participate in HIV treatment trials for children. In 2018, I joined the board of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID). At the 2018 ESPID meeting, I received the “Bill Marshall” award, my chosen lecture topic was “Lessons from HIV- Can we eradicate congenital Cytomegalovirus infection?” I have been actively involved in development of international courses for education for Paediatric Infections for many years (