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Annual Conference 2015 Speakers

BLA Annual Conference 2015

Keynote speakers

Professor Shaheen Hamdy is Professor of Neurogastroenterology and based in the Centre for Gastrointestinal Sciences, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester. Research interests include neural mechanisms within the gastrointestinal system, with a particular focus on neuroplasticity and functional recovery following brain injury using human swallowing as an experimental model. This work has provided new knowledge about the cortical control of swallowing in man, and defined which aspects of its organisation are important for recovery after stroke. He has expertise in most aspects of TMS, and have utilised a number of complimentary imaging modalities including PET and fMRI. His most recent work has begun characterising the role of therapeutic interventions in driving cortical plasticity and recovery after cerebral injury, with a particular interest in medical device based neurostimulation such as electrical stimulation. Research has attracted over £3 million in external grant income including current PDUK and RfPB NIHR grants to assess treatments for dysphagia after stroke. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed research papers and contributed to 8 books.

Prof Daniel Sifrim is a Gastroenterologist, trained in Argentina and Belgium, with both clinical and scientific interest in oesophageal benign disorders. He contributed with the development of diagnostic techniques for oesophageal motility disorders and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (high resolution manometry, oesophageal impedance and salivary pepsin measurements). He is Professor of Gastrointestinal Physiology at Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University and director of the Upper GI Physiology Unit at the Royal London Hospital.  His research focused on pathophysiology of GORD, including gastric motility, transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations, types of refluxate measured with impedance-pHmetry and more recently, oesophageal mucosal permeability and its role in hypersensitivity. He has contributed to research in GORD treatment i.e. the use of prokinetics like ERY and AZY, TLOSRs inhibitors and more recently the development of mucosal topical protective strategies.

Invited speakers

Mr Arul Puveendran is a consultant ENT surgeon based in the north-east of England. In addition to his clinical work, he has been Training Programme Director in the North-East as well as  Surgical training committee chairman. He has a particular interest in swallow disorders and chronic ear disease. 

Dr Simon Hammans trained in Cambridge University and in London and won the Noble prize for his Neurological research. He has worked in Chichester and Southampton as a Consultant Neurologist for 20 years. He runs clinics in General Neurology and also a regional specialist clinic in Muscle disease and Neurogenetics.

Dr David Smithard is an acute geriatrician who is trained in elderly and stroke medicine. His present position is at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Smithard also holds an honorary academic position both at King’s College and the University of Kent. Dr Smithard qualified from the Royal London Hospital in 1986. His MD was conducted in Manchester looking at the prevalence and consequences of dysphagia in acute stroke. His work has formed the basis of many bed side swallowing assessments performed today. Over the last 20 years he has continued to work in the field of dysphagia, exploring the epidemiology of swallowing problems, in the community and care homes. He maintains an interest in aspiration particularly silent aspiration. His present work is looking at the identification of dysphagia in older people, swallowing rehabilitation after stroke and the epidemiology of dysphagia in the international community. His collaborators are in the UK, USA and Spain. He is the current Chair of the UK Swallowing Research Group and a founder member. He was a founding member and previous secretary to the British Association of Stroke Physicians and he is a member of the executive of the European Society of Swallowing Disorders.

Dr Jo Patterson is a NIHR Clinical Lecturer (Newcastle University) and Macmillan SLT (Sunderland Royal Hospital). She is a RCSLT Professional advisor, Secretary to the Head and Neck Oncology Clinical Excellence Group RCSLT, member of the NIHR Ear Nose and Throat Specialty National Group and sits on the DAHNO expert panel. She lectures on the undergraduate and postgraduate speech and language degree programme and the MSc Clinical Research at Newcastle University. Her research interests are functional outcomes in head and neck oncology and swallowing outcome measures.