Event Speakers

Meet Your Cutting Edge Speakers

Organising committee

Justin Roe

SLT Representative

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Justin is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist and Professor of Practice in Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation. At Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, he leads the specialist team working as part of the Laryngology/ Airway Reconstruction Service at Charing Cross Hospital.  He is also the Professional Lead for the Department of Speech, Voice and Swallowing and has responsibility for rehabilitation service delivery to the head and neck, lung and neuro-oncology units at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. He was promoted to a clinical professorship in the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London in 2023. He also holds an honorary faculty position in the speech pathology/ head and neck unit at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

Justin was awarded a PhD in 2013 from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. He is an investigator on several National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio studies. He is the research lead for the Therapies Department and senior member of the Applied Health Research team at the Marsden and survivorship theme lead for the International Centre for Recurrent Head and Neck Cancer (IReC).

Justin has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and regularly accepts invitations to present his work internationally. He has contributed to key policy and position papers and is an expert adviser to several national organisations. He served as the AHP Council Member for the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists from 2019-2024 and in 2024, became President of the United Kingdom Swallowing Research Group. He was awarded the fellowship of the RCSLT in 2018 and an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2022 in recognition of his contribution to the profession.

Nick Hamilton

Council Member

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Mr Nick Hamilton is a Consultant Laryngologist and ENT surgeon at the Royal National Ear Nose and Throat Hospital and an Associate Professor at University College London.

Nick completed ENT specialist training in London’s North Thames Deanery where he gained expertise in all areas of general ENT and Laryngology. He undertook a fellowship in Laryngeal Surgery at the MGH Voice Centre in Boston, USA. During this time, he gained focused training on the management of complex voice and airway disorders and the care of the professional voice user.

Nick holds a PhD in regenerative medicine from UCL and has an academic interest in the latest treatments for vocal cord ageing, scarring and paralysis. He is also interested in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic throat symptoms and chronic cough.

Chadwan Al Yaghchi

Honorary Treasurer and Meetings Committee Member

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Mr Chadwan Al Yaghchi is a consultant laryngologist at the National Centre for Airway Reconstruction at Imperial College Healthcare. His specialist areas of interest are airway stenosis and complex dysphagia. He completed his higher surgical training in Ear Nose and Throat in the London North Thames regional rotation and laryngology training at Charing Cross Hospital.

Mr Al Yaghchi holds a PhD in Molecular Oncology from Queen Mary’s University of London, studying oncolytic viruses in head and neck cancers. In addition, he has an active clinical research program in voice, airway and swallowing disorders. He published multiple book chapters, 30 peer-reviewed articles and is currently the Laryngology Section editor of Scott-Brown’s Otolaryngology.

Mr Al Yaghchi is an internationally renowned specialist in gender-affirming voice surgery. He introduced a number of voice feminisation procedures to the UK, including his own modification to the Wendler Glottoplasty technique and Vocal Fold Muscle Reduction. He is a founding member of the International Association of TransVoice Surgeons.

Keynote speakers

Anais Rameau

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Dr. Anaïs Rameau is an academic laryngologist and the current Chief of Dysphagia and Director of New Technologies in the Department of Otolaryngology at Weill Cornell Medical College. She has focused her scientific endeavors on the integration of novel technologies in the diagnosis and treatment of voice and swallowing disorders with the ultimate goal of decreasing cost of care, improving accessibility of specialized health services and detecting pathologies early. Much of her current focus is on the development of a bedside aspiration acoustic screening tool using artificial neural networks in the recognition of the “wet” voice, characteristic of patients with severe deglutitive disorders, funded by the National Institute on Aging prestigious Beeson Award.

She is also a co-investigator on the Voice data generation project of the Bridge to AI initiative of the NIH Common Fund. She is leading the development of a silent speech wearable device for patients with limited phonation, and is actively researching the application of computer vision to automate diagnosis in video-laryngoscopy, a project funded by the American Laryngological Association. Dr. Rameau holds masters degrees from the London School of Economics (health policy) and Cambridge University (philosophy of science), and she has fond memories from her time in the UK. She is an alumna Young Leader of the French American Foundation.

Nupur Kapoor Nerurkar

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Dr. Nupur Kapoor Nerurkar is an ENT surgeon, who has graduated in 1994 from KEM Hospital with a first rank in the Bombay University. Since 2004, she is practicing exclusively as a laryngologist and is currently heading the Bombay Hospital Voice & Swallowing Center. Dr. Nerurkar is DNB coordinator of the ENT department and director of the laryngology fellowship program. She is course director of the annual phonosurgery workshops being conducted since the past 17 years.

Nupur is a past president of the Association of Phonosurgeons of India (APSI) and currently on the governing council. She is the chief editor of the “Textbook of Laryngology” – official textbook of APSI and has authored “Atlas of Phonomicrosurgery” in 2017.

She has over 100 publications and book chapters to her credit and has delivered over 300 presentations including multiple prestigious orations and keynotes, such as at IFOS (Paris) and LSA (Sydney).

Dr. Nupur has been awarded multiple prizes at national AOI meetings such as the gold medal junior consultant award, first prize in S.L. Jaiswal video session, first prize at Phonocon 2006 and senior consultant award. She was awarded the David Howard prize in cutting edge laryngology 2012.

Nupur is currently the only Indian fellow of the American Bronchoesophagological Association as well as the American Laryngological Association, founder and board member of the International Association of TransVoice Surgeons and executive committee member of IAP.

Nupur is focused in phonomicrosurgery, neurolaryngology, laser surgeries for early glottic cancer and pitch alteration surgeries.

Marc Remacle

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Dr Marc Remacle is an Emeritus Academic Professor of the faculty of Medecine at the University of Louvain, Belgium. He is consultant in the department of ORL and Head & Neck surgery of CHL, Luxembourg. He is also director of the Voice and swallowing center.

Dr Remacle chaired the joint commission of the Free University of Brussels and the Catholic University of Louvain for the master’s degree in Logopedics.

His interest in Laser surgery led him to contribute to the development of dedicated devices as the micromanipulator and microinstruments. He initiated the new scanner and the new robotic micromanipulator for laser-assisted incision and dissection. He contributed to the development of the Co2 laser wave-guide. Together with his colleague Prof Georges Lawson, they have initiated the TORS in Belgium.

He presented numerous communications and published papers mainly on laser-assisted microsurgery and microphonosurgery. He organized the first European course on TORS in Head & Neck surgery in 2012. Later on, he developed the flex robotic system from Medrobotics. He performed the first 2 procedures on Human for vocal fold lesions on June 16, 2016.

He is an expert in voice feminization, practicing the Wendler glottoplasty for more than 15 years. He regularly takes part in International courses and conferences on laser microsurgery.

Event Speakers

Kursat Yelken
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Dr. Kursat Yelken is a Professor of Otolaryngology, Head&Neck Surgery and a Fellow of the European Board of Otolaryngology, Head&Neck Surgery. After graduating from Ankara University, Faculty of Medicine, he became ENT specialist with a thesis entitled ”a comparison of voices of singing students studying in different music types, by means of acoustic analysis” in 2005. He was awarded with a scholarship from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and served as a fellow at Harvard Medical School, MEEI Department of Laryngology between 2008-2009.

Dr. Kursat Yelken is the former president of Turkish Voice Speech and Swallowing Society and the current president of VoiceIstanbul Congress. He published over 50 articles in international and national journals; continually gives lectures and makes presentations in international and national conferences. He is the founder of Voicest Clinic in Istanbul and continues to serve in this clinic since 2016.

Christella Antoni
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Christella Antoni is a Consultant SLT who specialises in Voice work. Qualifying in 1995 from UCL, Christella worked for 15 years as a Lead Voice Clinician for both Imperial Hospitals NHS Trust at Charing Cross Hospital and for West London Mental Health Trust at the Gender Identity Clinic.

Currently, Christella now primarily works in Independent practice. She was the former SLT professional representative on the committee of British Laryngological Association (BLA) and is the U.K representative on the Voice and Communication Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
Christella has extensive training in Voicecraft and is noted for her own ability to demonstrate voice qualities. As well as voice rehabilitation, Christella works with professional voice, singing and performance voice and transgender voice modification.

Since 2001, Christella has offered courses to SLTs in Voice and transgender voice providing training in practical voice skills and exercises underpinned by theoretical knowledge and background. Her courses are consistently rated as ‘excellent’ by attendees. She has supported many SLTs on a national level via training, mentoring and supervision and is a keen supporter of SLT students.

Christella’s publications include Principles of Speech & Language Therapy in Practical Laryngology, Ed’s D. Costello & G. Sandhu, (2016) and Voice, Speech & Language Therapy in The Transgender Handbook Ed’s. W.Bouman & J. Arcelus. (2017). Christella has developed a voice feminisation app in conjunction with Speech Tools Ltd – Christella VoiceUp. Her Voice Genie blog discusses a plethora of voice presentations and includes pre and post treatment examples and voice demonstrations.
As well as continuing to present widely at conferences and courses, Christella has appeared in a range of television and radio broadcasts including ITV’s Transformation Street (2018) and the ‘This Morning’ programme (2004-2017); Radio Wolfgang’s Science(ish) (2016); BBC Radio 4’s The Vox Project ; Stephen Fry’s English Delight (2010); BBC 4’s The Voice (2008); and A Voice Like Honey, BBC Radio 2 hosted by a Jan Ravens (2006).

Kate Heathcote
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Since 2013, Kate has been a consultant laryngologist at the Poole Hospital Foundation Trust on the South Coast of England; as a Fellow to Professor Jean-Paul Marie in Rouen, France, she learnt techniques of laryngeal reinnervation which she has continued to develop, research and introduce into the UK.

A further laryngology fellowship at the RNTNE focused on airway procedures with Guri Sandhu and Phonosurgery with John Rubin. She has a comprehensive NHS laryngology service in Poole, offering a laryngology treatment clinic and voice clinic. She is working at disseminating good practice and educational content via the BLA.

Christopher T. Wootten
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Christopher T. Wootten, M.D., is an assistant professor of Otolaryngology in the Department of Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. He earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He completed his internship in General Surgery and his residency in Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He also completed a two-year fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

He is the director of the Pediatric Otolaryngology Service supervising the treatment of ear, nose and throat-related disorders in children at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and its satellite locations. His clinical practice encompasses all aspects of Pediatric Otolaryngology, with an emphasis on advanced reconstructive surgery for the adult and pediatric airway, multilevel diagnosis and management of refractory pediatric obstructive sleep apnea, operative management of resonance disorders, and the diagnosis and management of pediatric hearing loss.

His research interests include the cellular and molecular basis of acquired laryngotracheal stenosis, the multidisciplinary staging of aerodigestive inflammation, and endoscopic device design and application to natural-orifice surgery in the head and neck. For these endeavors, he holds institutional grants, and he is an investigator on the North American Airway Collaborative (NoAAC), funded by a large Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant.

Declan Costello
Declan Costello
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Declan Costello is a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon specialising in voice disorders (a laryngologist).  He studied music at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar, and went on to study medicine at Imperial College.  As a singer himself, he has a particular interest in treating voice disorders in performers.

Having worked for ten years in Birmingham as a consultant, he moved to Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire in 2018.  He has published a number of books and has written many chapters, including the chapter on “Larynx” for the 42nd edition of “Gray’s Anatomy”.  In the middle of 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, he helped to coordinate research on the perceived dangers of singing and aerosols.  This research led to the UK government opening up performing after a prolonged period of enforced silence.

Declan was appointed President-Elect June 2022.

Jason Dunn
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Dr Jason Dunn is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Guy’s and St Thomas‘ Foundation Trust Hospitals, with a special interest in endoscopic therapy for early Upper GI cancer.He studied at GKT medical school, graduating in 2000. He was awarded MRCP (London) in 2005 and appointed as a consultant in 2012.Dr Dunnhas a special interest in Barrett’s oesophagus and isproficient in Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) and Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) techniques. He is the Early Diagnosis Lead for the London Cancer Alliance.

He was awarded a CRUK clinical fellowship at UCL and studied use of optical diagnostics and minimally invasive therapies for the treatment of Barrett’s oesophagus. He gained his PhD in 2011 and has presented his work at national and international meetings. His work on treatment of Barrett’s oesophagus with RFA, and the use of biomarkers to predict cancer progression, has won prizes and been published in high impact factor journals.

Dr Dunn is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Upper GI collaborative research group at Guy’s and St Thomas‘ and Kings College London. Dr Dunn also holds an Honorary lecturer post atOsloUniversityin theInstituteofMedical Informatics. He is PI on several clinical trials and current research interests include: predicting cancer progression in Barrett’s oesophagus using Image cytometry DNA ploidy analysis; oesophageal microbiome in Barrett’s oesophagus; use of Lugol’s iodine to assess dysplastic field change of the squamous oesophagus and target Radiotherapy; RFA for symptomatic cervical inlet patch.

Alexander Gelbard
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Dr. Gelbard is a board-certified Otolaryngologist and tenured professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee. His clinical and scientific efforts focus on adult laryngeal and tracheal disease. He completed his undergraduate education at Stanford University, medical school at Tulane School of Medicine, and internship and residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas.

Dr. Gelbard completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in Immunology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center as well as a clinical fellowship in Laryngeal Surgery at Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and lectures internationally on adult airway disease. He is Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and an NIH-funded principal investigator studying the molecular mechanisms underlying benign laryngeal and tracheal disease.

He is also PI of an externally funded prospective multi-institutional study of idiopathic subglottic stenosis (iSGS) and managing director of the North American Airway Collaborative (NoAAC). NoAAC is a funded, multi-institutional consortium with 40 participating centers in the United States and Europe that works to exchange information concerning the treatment of adult airway disease. It is composed of outstanding collaborators who pursue a unique combination of genetic, molecular, and epidemiologic based approaches to investigate the critical factors underlying the pathogenesis and outcomes of laryngotracheal stenosis.

Guri Sandhu
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Guri Sandhu is a Consultant Otolaryngologist and Head & Neck Surgeon at Imperial College and The Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospitals in London, with honorary contracts at The Royal Brompton, University College and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College and University College London.

Mr Sandhu graduated from the University of London in 1990 having trained in Medicine at The Royal London Hospital. As a registrar, he trained in ENT at The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital and in Paediatric ENT at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. He is a laryngologist with a special interest in laryngotracheal stenosis but also manages voice and swallowing disorders. He has experience in performing the full spectrum of endoscopic and open surgical procedures on the larynx, pharynx and airway; many of these procedures he has pioneered himself.

He lectures nationally and internationally on these subjects and has an active research programme. He was responsible for setting up the National Centre for Airway Reconstruction in London which comprises a multidisciplinary team of specialists with an interest in airway problems. This unit has treated the largest number of adult patients with laryngotracheal stenosis in Europe.

Aphrodite Iacovidou
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Ms Aphrodite Iacovidou is an Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) consultant surgeon practising at Imperial NHS Trust, London’s National Centre for Airway Reconstruction within Charing Cross Hospital. Her primary focus lies in laryngology and airway disorders, with a particular emphasis on laryngeal pathology, airway issues, subglottic stenosis, voice disorders and laryngotracheal reconstruction.

Ms Iacovidou runs a weekly Voice clinic at St Mary’s Hospital and operates an office-based phonosurgery/interventional clinic at Charing Cross Hospital.

Ms Iacovidou received her specialised training at some of London’s leading healthcare institutions, including GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital), UCLH (University College London Hospital), Northwick Park Hospital, and Imperial NHS Trust. Her training in these diverse environments emphasised the importance of a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care and has equipped her with a wide range of skills to diagnose and treat issues that her patients present with.

She has received awards including BMA research award, Rowena Ryan Best Project award, BAETS best presentation awards and Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh award for her research work. She remains committed to continuous professional development and has expanded her expertise by attending international meetings and courses. She is undergoing continuous work in research with collaborations with other international centres and Imperial College London. She has been awarded Clinical Teacher for Imperial College Medical School.

She performs more than 500 operations per year, both endoscopically and open surgical procedures as well as clinic based operations. She specialises in microlaryngoscopy and laser surgery, photosurgery, airway/tracheal operations, thyroplasty and vocal fold medialisation procedures and laryngotracheal reconstructions. She also offers laryngeal re innervation procedures to eligible patients.

Emilie Dronkers
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Emilie Dronkers, MD, PhD, MPH, is a consultant laryngologist and head and neck surgeon at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. She was first to complete the 2 year UEMS European Laryngology Fellowship Program in Nijmegen and Leiden (the Netherlands), and at the National Centre for Airway Reconstruction at Imperial College Healthcare in London, UK. During this time, she gained expertise in laryngopharyngeal oncology, neurolaryngology, dysphagia management, office based procedures and reconstruction of complex airway stenosis. Emilie holds a masters degree from the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (Clinical Epidemiology). She was awarded a PhD in head and neck oncology, and co-developed a value based healthcare program for head and neck cancer patients, including an innovative prognostic model and PROMs.

Emilie has a strong motivation to improve functional problems and quality of life of patients, focusing on innovative surgical procedures and the balance between voice, swallowing and breathing in a shared-decision making process. She is very passionate about creating visionary strategies and practical yet scientifically based solutions to improve patient-centered care. Emilie has authored over 30 peer-reviewed international articles and chapters of textbooks, and works closely together with many researchers in Europe and the USA on the topics of bilateral vocal fold immobility and laryngotracheal stenosis.

Jonathan Fishman
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Jonathan Fishman BM BCh (Oxon), MA (Cantab), PhD, FRCS (ORL-HNS)

Jonathan Fishman is an ENT Consultant and Laryngologist at the Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Associate Professor at University College London. He has both an adult and paediatric laryngology practice and runs weekly multidisciplinary voice clinics. He also leads the airway service at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He has a dedicated interest in voice disorders and neurolaryngology.

Jonathan was awarded a PhD from University College London in 2013 for his research. He has received numerous awards, grants, prizes (including recipient of the BLA David Howard Laryngology Prize in 2014) and research fellowships and has published widely in the field of laryngology. He has lectured both nationally and internationally and has organised and chaired sessions at National, European and International meetings pertaining to laryngology. He is Senior Editor for the Journal of Laryngology & Otology.

Jonathan has been on the BLA Council for several years now, serving as both Trainee representative and more recently Meetings Secretary. He is passionate about the field of laryngology. Laryngology, by comparison with other ENT subspecialties, is a relatively young discipline in the UK. He aims to drive innovation within the field, through collaborative research and audit, in order to establish the UK as a World leading laryngology centre of excellence.

Natalie Watson
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Natalie Watson is a Locum Laryngology Consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust with a passion for laryngology and singing. She has a Masters in Clinical Education, for which she was awarded a distinction from King’s College London. Natalie qualified with two distinctions from Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Medical School and was awarded the prestigious Jelf medal. She obtained an intercalated Honours BSc in Neuroscience having received the Health Foundation Student Research Fellowship.

Currently, she is in the PERFORM working group looking at respirable particles emitted during singing, woodwind and brass instruments, exercise, speech and language therapy exercises and inputting this data into computational fluid dynamic modelling. This project is funded by an EPSRC Grant, sponsored by Public Health England and results directly communicated to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Kenneth W. Altman
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Dr. Altman is Chair of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at Geisinger Health System in Central Pennsylvania, and Professor at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. He is board-certified, and a renowned expert in laryngology, care of the professional voice, cough and dysphagia. After receiving his BS from the University of Illinois at Champaign, Dr. Altman went to Duke University for his MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering followed by his MD degree. He was at the University of Pennsylvania for residency in Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, and then completed a fellowship in Laryngology & Care of the Professional Voice at Vanderbilt University. His career spanned Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Director of the Eugen Grabscheid Voice Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

 

He has over 150 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, edited 2 books, and delivered over 260 conference and course presentations, receiving multiple awards including New York and Texas Super Doctors, achieving Honor Roll status in 2018. Dr. Altman was Secretary/Treasurer of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, and Past-President of the American Laryngological Association. He is a fellow of the ALA, American Academy of Otolaryngology, American College of Surgeons, American Rhinological Society, and The Triological Society.

 

Dr. Altman is proud of his patient-centered care. He has numerous research interests including care pathways, chronic cough, pre-malignant vocal fold disease, and dysphagia in the presence of neurodegenerative disorders.

Sadie Khwaja
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Sadie is a Consultant Laryngologist based in Manchester, serving the Great Manchester area and tertiary referrals from outside the region. Saide has been practising Laryngology for over 8 years.
The Manchester voice team treat all benign and premalignant laryngeal pathology from diagnosis to treatment whether that be dedicated disease-specific therapy, LA office procedures, Botox clinics to tubeless microlaryngeal surgery. Running dedicated dysphagia clinics with a TNO dilatation/laser service and a biopsy service along with her head and neck colleagues and is a member of a complex adult airway MDT.

Sadie has been a BLA member from the start and has contributed to a number of BLA Covid-19 guidelines. Her motto is teamwork, a holistic approach following evidence-based treatment plans leading to a patient journey which enables trusted results.

James Burns
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James Burns, MD FACS is Chief of the Laryngology Division of Northwestern’s Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Department and specializes in the medical and surgical management of voice and airway disorders.  He comes to Northwestern after 17 years at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital where he was both a leader and key collaborator in developing novel assessment and treatment paradigms for the management of benign and malignant laryngeal disorders. Nationally, Dr. Burns is well-recognized within the specialty of Laryngology, serving in leadership positions of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Laryngological Association, and as past-president of the American Broncho-Esophagological Association.

After completing an otolaryngology residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center, Dr. Burns served on active duty with the United States Air Force from 1996-2000, during which he served as medical director of the Otolaryngology service at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  He then completed a Laryngology Fellowship at Harvard Medical School – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Dr. Burns’ research interests include optimizing photoangiolytic laser parameters to improve voice outcomes in laryngeal surgery, creating arytenoid repositioning techniques to improve glottic function in patients with vocal fold paralysis, and developing high-fidelity simulation models to teach office-based laryngeal surgery.  He brings his experience and a collaborative approach to Chicago to continue Northwestern’s proud heritage of developing cutting-edge programs across the spectrum of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Nick Gibbins
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Nick Gibbins is a Consultant Otolaryngologist and Voice Surgeon at University Hospital Lewisham. He graduated from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London in 1998 and was awarded the Registrar’s Gold Medal for research by the ENT Masterclass in 2011. His ENT training ran through London and the South East, and included paediatric ENT and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.

He is a laryngologist and has a specialist interest in the diagnosis and treatment of Voice Disorders, the management of the professional voice, and the biomechanics of the body that can affect both voice and swallow.

He has published articles and written text-book chapters regarding the management of voice disorders. He teaches, trains and examines both under- and postgraduate medics and has appeared on BBC Radio 3 discussing the voice. His passions include the evolution of the larynx, ensuring professional voice users know how to manage their voice, and what to do when it goes wrong.

Martin Birchall
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Martin is one of the leading academic Otolaryngologists in the world, one of the leading academic surgeons in Europe and an international figure in the field of translational regenerative medicine. His work is dedicated to the successful translation of innovative technologies, especially in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine, with a focus on alleviating suffering and improving the quality of life for those with disorders of the head and neck, voice and swallowing. He aims to achieve these goals through forming partnerships with the very best scientists and surgeons in the appropriate fields. These multidisciplinary teams focus on clear therapeutic targets.

He has supervised 9 PhD and 5 MD students, raised over £4 million in peer-reviewed grant money, including from MRC, NIH and the Wellcome Trust (nearly £2 million held presently) and has published 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers plus numerous reviews and reports. He is Director of UCL Partners ENT Programme and was named Morgan Stanley Briton of the Year in 2008.

Anna White
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Anna White is a Clinical Academic Speech and Language Therapist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. She has 22 years’ experience working as a Speech Therapist with patients with voice disorders and has worked with the Nottingham team for over 17 years. She works in the joint voice clinic as well as offering virtual and face to face appointments to patients. She has done additional training related to the assessment and management of voice disorders including cognitive behavioural therapy for voice disorders, solution focused brief therapy, laryngeal manual therapy, and endoscopic evaluation of the larynx.

She currently holds a prestigious National Institute of Health Research, Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship which she is undertaking at the University of Nottingham. Anna’s research interests include pre and post-operative voice therapy for benign vocal fold lesions, the development and evaluation of complex interventions, improving voice outcomes for patients with voice disorders and investigating behaviour change techniques within the field of voice therapy. Anna is now in the final year of her PhD and undertaking a non-randomised feasibility study with embedded process evaluation to consider implementation and acceptability of the pre and post-operative voice therapy (PAPOV) intervention she has developed.

Dale C. Ekbom
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Residency in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan with a fellowship in Laryngology/Care of the Professional Voice at Vanderbilt Univ Medical Center. Clinically specializing in airway compromise due to laryngeal, subglottic, and tracheal stenosis; all aspects of voice, especially management of vocal fold paralysis; dysphagia specifically Zenker’s diverticulum and Cricopharyngeal muscle dysfunction; and early laryngeal cancer.

Research interests include idiopathic subglottic stenosis and GPA with surgical and medical management of the airway, Zenkers diverticulum and CP dysfunction both multi-institutional research and investigation within Mayo in improving surgical techniques, and vocal fold paralysis.

Giovanna Cantarella
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Giovanna Cantarella received her medical degree with distinction from the University of Naples, Italy

 She obtained the titles of Specialist in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Phoniatrics from Milan University, Italy

She is an Associate professor of Phoniatrics at Milan University, Italy. She serves as a  staff member in the Otolaryngology Department of the Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico  in Milan, Italy.

Her main interests include the diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders, phonosurgery, airway obstruction, vocal fold unilateral and bilateral paralysis, treatment of velopharyngeal incompetence, and pediatric laryngology. She specializes in “cold” and CO2 laser-assisted microsurgery of the vocal folds. One of the objectives of her professional activity is the treatment of glottic incompetence caused by vocal fold paralysis, hypotrophy, and scarring through a regenerative approach by microfat and nanofat injections. She also performs endoscopic treatment of laryngotracheal stenosis in adult and pediatric patients.

She is the author of 106 articles in peer-reviewed journals and  of more than 300 presentations in national and international congresses

Lucian Sulica
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Lucian Sulica, MD is the Sean Parker Professor of Laryngology and the founding Director of the Sean Parker Institute for the Voice at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and a Past President of the American Laryngological Society. His practice is limited to voice disorders. He has a special interest in medical and microsurgical treatment of injuries of the vocal cord (or fold) from voice use, particularly in performers, and in neurologic voice disorders, including vocal fold paralysis and paresis, spasmodic dysphonia and tremor. Dr. Sulica has also been a leader in the development of procedures for the treatment of voice disorders in the office, without the need for general anesthesia.

Dr. Sulica is the recipient of the American Laryngological Association’s Casselberry Award for distinguished research in laryngology, awarded only 29 times in its 107-year history, for work on the mechanics of vocal fold injury from voice use, and delivered the 2022 Felix Semon Lecture to the Royal Society of Medicine. His investigations have been devoted to establishing clear, evidence-driven principles for the treatment of voice conditions. In all, Dr. Sulica has authored more than 110 journal articles and 40 book chapters. He has edited three books, Vocal Fold Paralysis, Classics in Voice and Laryngology, and Patologia Laringea y Fonocirugia, the last in Spanish. He is as passionate about teaching as he is about clinical care and research, and has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad.

Justin Roe
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Justin is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist and Professor of Practice in Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation. At Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, he leads the specialist team working as part of the Laryngology/ Airway Reconstruction Service at Charing Cross Hospital.  He is also the Professional Lead for the Department of Speech, Voice and Swallowing and has responsibility for rehabilitation service delivery to the head and neck, lung and neuro-oncology units at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. He was promoted to a clinical professorship in the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London in 2023. He also holds an honorary faculty position in the speech pathology/ head and neck unit at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

Justin was awarded a PhD in 2013 from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. He is an investigator on several National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio studies. He is the research lead for the Therapies Department and senior member of the Applied Health Research team at the Marsden and survivorship theme lead for the International Centre for Recurrent Head and Neck Cancer (IReC).

Justin has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and regularly accepts invitations to present his work internationally. He has contributed to key policy and position papers and is an expert adviser to several national organisations. He served as the AHP Council Member for the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists from 2019-2024 and in 2024, became President of the United Kingdom Swallowing Research Group. He was awarded the fellowship of the RCSLT in 2018 and an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2022 in recognition of his contribution to the profession.

Philipp P. Caffier
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Philipp P. Caffier (MD, PhD) is a Professor of Phoniatrics and senior physician at the Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Charité – Berlin University Medicine, Germany. He is a specialist in phoniatrics and pediatric audiology, otorhinolaryn­gology, and allergology. Prof. Caffier’s main areas of expertise are laryngology, phonosurgery, LASER and musicians’ medicine, including the diagnostics and treatment of voice and hearing disorders. He is as passionate about teaching as he is about clinical care and research.

Before studying medicine at the Humboldt University Berlin, he attended the music secondary school Georg-Friedrich-Händel, was a member of the choir Rundfunk-Kinderchor Berlin, and earned a degree in classical, folk and modern dance. 2003 medical doctorate (Dr. med.), 2008 ENT specialist, 2011 habilitation (Priv.-Doz.) and postdoctoral lecture qualification (venia legendi), 2013 specialist for Phoniatrics and Pedaudiology. He is the recipient of Karl Storz Teaching Awards (2013, 2018), Medal of Merit (2014) and Gerhard Kittel Science Medal (2021) from the German Society for Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology (DGPP). Prof. Caffier is a board member of the German Association for Hearing- and Speech-impaired Children and Adults (since 2013), and a member of BCMM, DGPP, DGHNO-KHC, DGLM, and UEP. Since 2014 he is also a board member of the German Voice Teachers Association (BDG) in scientific advisory capacity.

Taranjit Singh Tatla
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Mr Taran Tatla received First Class BSc Honours (Intercalated) in Anatomy (1994) and MBBS (1996) at University College London. In postgraduate years, he made rapid progress through highly competitive and comprehensive basic and higher surgical training programmes, incorporating posts at many of the renowned London teaching hospitals (FRCS (Eng) awarded in 2006). In 2008 he commenced his substantial NHS consultant post at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, specialising in ENT disorders with Head and Neck (H&N) sub-interest.

He manages a wide variety of adult and paediatric patients. Working in one of the busiest and largest ENT-H&N service providers in London, he contributes as a core member and chair to the Thyroid and H&N Cancer multi-disciplinary teams, providing secondary and tertiary care services. Super-specialist clinics focus on dysphagia and tracheostomy care.

He runs a number of innovative and celebrated national postgraduate training courses for both surgeons and multi-disciplinary staff on the back of his clinical practice. He is Training Programme Director for higher surgical training in ENT (North Thames) and a current council member of the BLA.

Mr Tatla is ENT Specialty Clinical Research Lead for the NIHR NW London Comprehensive Research Network and National ENT research group Industry Co-Champion. He spear-heads a number of pioneering, multi-disciplinary, collaborative research projects focused on targeted community ENT healthcare screening across the age spectrum; paediatric, through adult to elderly patient care. He leads an exciting, multi-centre, collaborative research project based in North West London, developing and piloting a novel point of care ‘optical biopsy’ tool to facilitate early and accurate disease diagnosis. This has formed the basis of his PhD award at Imperial College London (2018) working with the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery.

Hyung-Tae Kim
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Dr. Hyung-Tae Kim, MD, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, South Korea. Since 2003, he has been privileged to lead the Yeson Voice Center in Seoul.

A humble dedication to advancing knowledge has marked his contributions to the field of laryngology. In 1998, he introduced EMG-guided injection laryngoplasty, a significant advancement in treating voice disorders. Dr. Kim also developed the multichannel phonokinetic evaluation system to assist professional singers and pioneered the vocal fold shortening with retrodisplacement of the anterior commissure (VFSRAC) technique for gender-affirming voice surgery.

Beyond his professional roles, Dr. Kim is honored to be the founder and chairman of the Korean Foundation for Voice of Performing Arts board. He currently serves as the vice president of the esteemed Korea International Medical Association.

With a deep sense of humility, Dr. Kim actively engages in international trans-healthcare and pedagogical organisations, aiming to contribute to his field with unwavering dedication and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Grainne Brady
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Grainne is Clinical Lead Speech & Language Therapist in Head and Neck Cancer working at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Grainne is currently Chair of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist’s (RCSLT) head and neck clinical excellence committee and is also a specialist advisor to the RCSLT.

In 2016 Grainne was awarded a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Maters of Research at St George’s University of London. Since this she has been awarded a Health Education England bridging fellowship to pursue her ongoing work on dysphagia in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer.

Grainne is also very interested in quality improvement in patient care and the use of Experience Based Co-Design (EBCD) in service re-design in healthcare settings.

Grainne has published a number of research focused papers on swallowing and communication in both lung and head and neck cancer and have presented at a number of national and international conferences on these topics in addition to the use of EBCD in the development of improved services for head and neck cancer patients. Her current focus of research is on functional outcomes for patients with residual/ recurrent head and neck cancer.

Anthony R. Hobson
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Professor Anthony R. Hobson PhD – Clinical Director – The Functional Gut Clinic – London

Anthony is an internationally renowned clinical GI scientist. He did his initial training at the University of Manchester, graduating in 1999 with an MPhil in Clinical Physiology and subsequently with a PhD in 2003.  

Since then, he has built wide-ranging experience across the NHS and private healthcare sectors, as well as in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, assessing gut function from top to bottom. This spans conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), faecal incontinence, and constipation.

Anthony’s industry experience includes designing and implementing clinical trials to test experimental approaches and innovative treatments in conditions such IBS, an area in which he has a particular interest.

His vision is that the highest-quality gastrointestinal physiology testing should be available to all patients. That’s why he’s set up mobile clinics with several NHS centres around the UK to provide these important services.

Awards

Several prestigious awards demonstrate Anthony’s contribution to advancing the field of GI physiology:

  • Young Healthcare Scientist of the Year 2005 – awarded by the Department of Health and Chief Scientific Officer
  • The Functional Brain-Gut Young Investigator Award 2005 – awarded by Digestive Diseases Week (USA)
  • Young Investigator in Pain Award 2005 – awarded by EFIC- Grünenthal (Germany).

Publications

Anthony has published over 200 journal articles, abstracts and book chapters, including two first-author publications in gastroenterology. He’s a frequent speaker at international conferences about advances in GI physiology. He also lectures trainee doctors in the UK to advance understanding of the applications of gastrointestinal testing.

James Burn
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Dr James Burn has been a Consultant Gastrointestinal Radiologist at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, London, United Kingdom since 2017 and is the lead for Gastrointestinal imaging. Dr Burn trained at the Imperial College School of Medicine and later completed his general radiology training in London before undertaking sub-specialty fellowship training in gastrointestinal imaging at St Mark’s Hospital, London and then Abdominal Imaging and Intervention at the University of British Columbia, Canada.
He routinely undertakes a broad range of CT and MRI, US and fluoroscopic imaging, as well as image-guided drainage and biopsy procedures. He routinely undertakes fluoroscopic examinations to support the gastroenterology, upper GI surgical and ENT services at Imperial, alongside providing radiology expertise to several multidisciplinary teams, including the dedicated complex dysphagia review. He is an active participant in research and is on the editorial board for the Journal Clinical Radiology.

Chadwan Al Yaghchi
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Mr Chadwan Al Yaghchi is a consultant laryngologist at the National Centre for Airway Reconstruction at Imperial College Healthcare. His specialist areas of interest are airway stenosis and complex dysphagia. He completed his higher surgical training in Ear Nose and Throat in the London North Thames regional rotation and laryngology training at Charing Cross Hospital.

Mr Al Yaghchi holds a PhD in Molecular Oncology from Queen Mary’s University of London, studying oncolytic viruses in head and neck cancers. In addition, he has an active clinical research program in voice, airway and swallowing disorders. He published multiple book chapters, 30 peer-reviewed articles and is currently the Laryngology Section editor of Scott-Brown’s Otolaryngology.

Mr Al Yaghchi is an internationally renowned specialist in gender-affirming voice surgery. He introduced a number of voice feminisation procedures to the UK, including his own modification to the Wendler Glottoplasty technique and Vocal Fold Muscle Reduction. He is a founding member of the International Association of TransVoice Surgeons.

Yakuba Karagama
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Yakubu Karagama is a Consultant Laryngologist at the Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital, London.

He completed his higher surgical specialist training in the Northeast Deanery, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK in 2007 and obtained his certificate of specialist training from General Medical Council (GMC) the same year.

He is an internationally renowned laryngologist and leads the voice, airway and swallowing service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

Yakubu is the founder and director for London and Manchester International Phonosurgery, Laser Laryngeal Surgery, Transnasal Oesophagoscopy (TNO) and Dysphagia Courses. He is keen on voice research and has obtained an MSc in advanced voice research in 2005 at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Sarah Wallace
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Sarah Wallace OBE FRCSLT is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist specialising in Critical Care and Dysphagia with over 30 years’ experience. She holds lead SLT roles with the Intensive Care Society (ICS) and the National Tracheostomy Safety Project and has been an RCSLT Specialist Advisor for 21 years. Sarah leads and contributes widely to national policies and guidelines for the ICS, RCSLT and NCEPOD relating to communication and swallowing, FEES, tracheostomy and COVID.

She has many publications from her research into intubation related laryngeal injury and rehabilitation in ICU, dysphagia and dysphonia post Covid and aerosol generating procedures and has an AJSLP Editors award and IJLCD top cited article.

Sarah trains SLTs internationally to develop FEES and ICU services in countries such as Singapore and Chile as well as across the UK and is a volunteer for the NGO Speech Therapy Cambodia. Her collaborative work on tracheostomy patient quality improvement has been adopted by NHS England and international teams and won awards from the BMJ and ICS. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic she has played a key role in the RCSLT Covid-19 Advisory Group, the COVID-19 SLP Global Group and the ICS Rehabilitation Collaborative. Sarah was awarded an OBE in the Queens New Year’s Honours list 2020/21 and a fellowship of the RCSLT in 2021 for her contributions to the NHS.

Anna Gillman
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Anna Gillman is a clinical specialist speech and language therapist co-leading the Complex Dysphagia Clinic at Tallaght University Hospital in Ireland. She is in the final year of a Provost Award funded PhD at Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital, Dublin. Her primary research is determining the nature, severity, and impact of dysphagia following oesophageal cancer surgery. Anna has worked in Ireland, New York, Australia, and New Zealand and her clinical and research expertise lies in the assessment and management of swallowing disorders in adults with stroke, neurological disease, infants, and upper GI disorders.

She has a special interest in oropharyngeal dysphagia rehabilitation, understanding the inter-relationship between the pharynx and the oesophagus during swallowing, and the application of pharyngeal high-resolution manometry to guide dysphagia management. Anna has authored publications, presented her work nationally and internationally, and is actively involved in teaching at Trinity College Dublin.

*The programme is preliminary and may be subject to change up to and including the day of the event