Speakers

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.

Prof Linda de Vries

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 Seetha Shankaran

She took up her post as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health in 2008 and has developed her research interest into early brain injury and Neurodevelopmental outcome since that time. Her aim is to improve long term neurological outcome through improved detection, prediction and early intervention following neonatal brain injury.

Dr Murray is the Principal investigator of the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort Study and through this study; funded by the National Children’s Research Centre has established a large extremely well phenotype birth cohort with the first neonatal biobank in Ireland. In 2012 she was the first Irish Pediatrician to be awarded the prestigious HRB Clinician Scientist Award to develop her research in the field of novel biomarkers in Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy through the BiHiVE study. In 2013 she became one of 9 Principal Investigators in the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT centre).

Prof Diedre Murray

Suddin Thayyil MD, DCH, FRCPCH, PhD is head of the Weston group (Academic Neonatology) and Director of the Centre for Perinatal Neuroscience at Imperial College London. He is an NIHR Clinician Scientist (2011 to 2016).

His research is focussed on disease stratification and evaluation of novel neuroprotective therapies in neonatal encephalopathy using advanced magnetic resonance biomarkers. He is the chief investigator of several large multi country studies funded by the NIHR and MRC including MARBLE (Magnetic Resonance biomarkers in Neonatal Encephalopathy) MARINAC (N acetyl cysteine in cooling), Heart Beat (heartbeat variability in Neonatal Encephalopathy) GENIE (Genomic Imaging in neonatal Encephalopathy) and the HELIX (Hypothermia for Encephalopathy in low and middle– income countries trial.

Prof Sudhin Thayyil

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 Lena Wellström-Westas

Dr Ronit Pressler MD, MRCPCH, PhD has worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for three years and is currently the clinical lead of the EEG-video telemetry unit and Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL Institute of Child Health. She is one of very few clinical neurophysiologists in this country who specialises in the EEG of children. Her research interests include neonatal seizures, particularly their diagnosis and treatment, and the effect of epilepsy on cognition.

She is currently the co-ordinator for a large European funded program investigating the safety and efficacy of bumetanide for the treatment of seizures in babies.

Her main research interests are the diagnosis and treatment of neonatal seizures, as well as pre-surgical evaluation in children with complex epilepsy. She is currently chair of the ILAE neonatal seizure classification task force as well as co-chair of the ILAE neonatal guidelines update task force and the INC Neonatal seizure working group.

Dr Ronit Pressler

Professor Helen Cross is The Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy and Head of the Developmental Neuroscience Programme at UCL-Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Neurology Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London and Young Epilepsy, Lingfield, UK. Her research has been targeted at improving outcomes in early onset epilepsy, specifically in assessing the role of surgery and ketogenic diet. She has held key leadership roles both nationally and internationally. She is Treasurer of the International League Against Epilepsy 2017-2021 (Secretary General 2013-2017), Clinical Advisor to the National Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service, and Clinical Advisor to the update of the NICE guidelines for Childhood Epilepsy 2018-2021. She developed, as Coordinator, the European Reference Network for Rare and Complex Epilepsies (EpiCARE) launched in 2017. She continues to work closely with disease specific and patient led organisations.

Prof Helen Cross

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.

Prof Mary Rutherford

Topun Austin BSc, MBBS (University College London), MRCP (Paediatrics), MRCPCH, PhD (University College London) is a Consultant Neonatologist at the Rosie Centre of the Cambridge University Hospitals. He leads the Evelyn Perinatal Imaging Centre (EPIC), based at the Rosie Hospital, Cambridge. The centre has a dedicated infant functional brain imaging unit and also houses a 1.5T MRI scanner for mothers and babies.

The research interests of the group are in the development of monitoring and imaging technologies to identify vulnerable infants at an early stage. He is also working to develop a regional Neuro-NICU with Prof David Rowitch.

Prof Topun Austin

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.

Dr Anthony Hart

I am a consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and honorary senior lecturer at Imperial College. Prevention of transmission of HIV from mother to infant, and management of HIV infected children are my main areas of clinical work. I am also interested in other congenital infections and their prevention, including cytomegalovirus. I run both HIV and other congenital infection clinics at St Mary’s. I am ward attending consultant for Paediatric Infectious Diseases 4 months per year.

I am a member of the PENTA (Paediatric European Network for the Treatment of AIDS) steering committee and participate in HIV treatment trials for children. I chaired the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) training committee 2013-6, and was awarded the ESPID medal for education 2016. I have been actively involved in development of international courses for online education for Paediatric Infections for many years  (www.espid.org/) and I am a tutor on the Oxford Paediatric Infectious Diseases Diploma (www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/pgdip-paediatric-infectious-diseases ). I became a member of the ESPID board in 2018, and was invited to give the Bill Marshall lecture at the ESPID meeting in Malmo 2018, my chosen topic was “Lessons from HIV - Can we eradicate congenital Cytomegalovirus infection?”

Dr Hermione Lyall

Dr Rahul Singh trained in paediatric neurology in London and is now a consultant paediatric neurologist at Guys and St.Thomas’ Hospital, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, London since April 2015. He specialises in Neonatal and Fetal Neurology, Neonatal Stroke, Neonatal Neuromuscular diseases as well as fetal brain malformations. He continues to have interest in inflammatory brain disorders, inherited and acquired white matter diseases in children and IIH. He works closely with the white matter disease team and is involved in trials with Opsoclonus Myoclonus syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis. He is postgraduate education lead for neurology trainees and a keen educator, alongside aspiring to spread knowledge of paediatric neurology to the developing world.

Dr Rahul Singh

Dr Anne Gordon is the chief therapist at Evelina London Children’s Healthcare, with strategic leadership responsibility for dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and speech and language therapy services across Evelina London's hospital and community based services.  She is also associate chief therapist for Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Anne works clinically as a consultant occupational therapist in paediatric neuroscience at Evelina London Children's Hospital.  Her clinical and research interests are in paediatric neurodisability, particularly acquired brain injury and stroke. Anne runs the child stroke and acquired brain injury recovery clinic, the ECMO outcome clinic, and the Evelina REACH rehabilitation service.

She has a PhD in paediatric neuroscience and has ongoing research collaborations with colleagues internationally. Anne is an honorary senior lecturer at King’s College London, has supervised PhD and MSc students, and has an established peer-reviewed publication track record.

Anne is a technical adviser to the World Health Organisation collaborating centre at Public Health England in nursing, midwifery and early intervention.  Anne completed a secondment with NHS England, leading a national project scoping children's rehabilitation services and was chair of the rehabilitation and long-term outcomes working group for the national Childhood Stroke Guidelines (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health)

Dr Anne Gordon

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