ILAE British Branch 18th SpR Teaching Weekend

Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 September 2021 ∙ Birmingham, UK

Dr Ailsa McLellan

Dr McLellan is a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. She trained in Paediatrics in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dundee and in Paediatric Neurology in Dundee, Edinburgh, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Miami Children’s Hospital. Dr McLellan’s area of particular expertise is in Paediatric Epilepsy and she manages a tertiary level epilepsy service with outreach to hospitals in the South-East of Scotland. She manages the teenage epilepsy service, epilepsy transition services and the Ketogenic Diet service. She is lead clinician of the Scottish Paediatric Epilepsy Surgery Service. She is interested in education in epilepsy and participates widely in teaching events locally and nationally. She is involved in the development of Paediatric Epilepsy Training (PET) courses in the UK and internationally. Her research interests include epilepsy and behaviour, epilepsy and cognitive outcomes, epilepsy and sleep, aetiology of epilepsy, SUDEP and seizure detection.

Dr Arjune Sen

Dr Sen is Consultant Epileptologist at The John Radcliffe Hospital. Having initially spent a summer studentship with Professor Shorvon at the Institute of Neurology at the age of 19, he went on to develop an enduring interest in Epileptology through Neurology Training, a MRC funded PhD at UCL that examined the molecular basis of neuronal loss in epilepsy and an Epilepsy Fellowship at Prince of Wales, Hospital, Sydney.  As well as being heavily involved in clinical work, Arjune also founded and is Head of the Oxford Epilepsy Research Group, an expansive collective that includes over 50 scientists in Oxford alone and has multiple international partners. The Epilepsy Research Group has diverse interests including immune-mediated epilepsy, ultra-high field imaging, epilepsy genomics and basic science, but fundamentally seeks to galvanise research between University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals to deliver tangible patient benefit.  At a personal level, Arjune is particularly interested in co-morbidity in epilepsy and factors that may contribute to the cognitive, psychological and psychosocial difficulties that patients with epilepsy so commonly experience.

Dr Elaine Hughes

Dr Hughes is lead consultant for Paediatric Epilepsy based at Evelina London Children’s Hospital (part of Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Trust) and at Kings College Hospital. She is also lead for Regional Paediatric Epilepsy services in South-east London, Kent, and East Sussex, and for Regional Paediatric Epilepsy Surgery programme.

Dr Hughes is a member of CESS (Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service) National Steering Group and National specialist advisor to Dravet UK. And established SE Thames Paediatric Epilepsy Group, now part of OPEN UK and co-founder of UK Paediatric Epilepsy Group (now BPEG) and a founder member of the BPNA PET (Paediatric Epilepsy Training) development group.

She has particular interests in early onset epilepsies, metabolic and genetic epilepsies and the interaction between epilepsy, learning and behaviour. Support joint working through multidisciplinary clinics for children with Dravet syndrome; complex epilepsy and behavioural disorders; neuro-metabolic disorders and epilepsy; and epilepsy surgery.

Dr Fergus Rugg-Gunn

Dr Rugg-Gunn is a Consultant Neurologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and UCLH NHS Hospitals NHS Trust, and the UCL/Institute of Neurology. He qualified from St Thomas’s Medical School and completed general medical training in London and Oxford. He subsequently obtained a PhD with the Epilepsy Group at The Institute of Neurology, Queen Square. Specialist training in neurology was undertaken in London and he became a Consultant Neurologist at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy in 2008. He is Clinical Lead at Chalfont, Educational Lead for the Epilepsy Dept. and Council member of the UK chapter of the ILAE. He is also a member of the Medicines Safety Committee at UCLH. Dr Rugg-Gunn holds out-patient clinics at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Chalfont and is responsible for in-patients in the Sir William Gowers Assessment and Treatment Unit at Chalfont. His research interests are magnetoencephalography, advanced imaging techniques and SUDEP.

Prof Hannah Cock

Prof Cock qualified from the University of London in 1989 and completed her post-graduate and research training in and around London. She is Consultant Neurologist at Atkinson Morley Regional Neuroscience Centre, St Georges University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London and Professor of Epilepsy and Medical Education in the Institute of Medical & Biomedical Education at St George’s, University of London. The Epilepsy group provide a full range of diagnostic and management services, including: an epilepsy surgery program; joint transition clinics with paediatric neurology & intellectual disability services; joint clinics with maternal medicine for pregnant women with epilepsy, and an established network across the South West London region.

She has considerable clinical trial experience, provides the adult epilepsy support for the supraregional tuberous sclerosis service, was chair of the UK epilepsy research network Interventions & treatment clinical study group 2010-2014, and now sits on the Scientific Advisor Committee of Epilepsy Research UK.  Other particular interests include functional non-epileptic attacks, status epilepticus, epilepsy and the law.  Prof Cock was chair of the Education Committee of the European Academy of Neurology (2014-2018) and is now on the ILAE Epilepsy Education Task force. She is professionally qualified in higher education, and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has been involved in all aspects of undergraduate medical and post-graduate neurological education throughout her career.

Dr John Craig

Dr Craig is a Consultant Neurologist, based at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland. He is Clinical Director for Neurosciences for Northern Ireland.  His major research interest is in the management of epilepsy in pregnancy, in particular the effects of anti-epileptic drugs.  He is principal investigator of the UK Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register and sits on the Central Programme commission of EURAP – An International Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register.  He is an Editorial board member for Seizure – A European Journal of Epilepsy.  He has published widely in the field of epilepsy, particularly on the effects of anti-epileptic drugs in pregnancy.

Dr Nick Medford

Dr Nick Medford is currently the lead consultant for the Lishman Unit, a national specialist neuropsychiatry inpatient unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital, London, UK. The unit accepts patients with a range of complex and severe neuropsychiatric disorders, such as acquired brain injury, functional neurological disorders, and psychiatric complications of neurological conditions. He has previously been a Wellcome Trust funded research fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, and a visiting fellow at Yale University, USA, where he carried out a PhD using functional MRI to explore the neural basis of depersonalization disorder. After this he was Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK, where he was head of psychiatry teaching and the clinical lead for a regional neuropsychiatry service, before moving to his current post in 2016. He has around 40 peer-reviewed publications on neuropsychiatric topics, mostly on depersonalization and other dissociative conditions, and is the Vice-Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Neuropsychiatry.

Dr Khalid Hamandi

Dr Hamandi was appointed consultant neurologist at University Hospital of Wales in 2006 and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University. He trained in neurology and epilepsy at Frenchay Hospital Bristol and the National Hospital, Queen Square, London and the National Society for Epilepsy. He gained his PhD from UCL’s Institute of Neurology on simultaneous EEG-fMRI in epilepsy. He leads the epilepsy surgery evaluation in South Wales. He also works in Cardiff University Brain Imaging Research Centre, using advanced brain imaging methods, MRI and MEG to study epilepsy.

Dr Sanjeev Rajakulendran

Dr Rajakulendran is a Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL Institute of Neurology. He trained in Neurology at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery after which he completed an Epilepsy Fellowship at King’s College Hospital. He was awarded a PhD for his work on the role of ion channels in paroxysmal disorders of the central nervous system including epilepsy. His current research interests include pharmacological treatment of epilepsy, metabolic aspects of epilepsy, early epilepsy and status epilepticus.

Prof Philip Smith

Prof Smith qualified in general medical in Liverpool and wrote an MD thesis on breathing during sleep in muscular dystrophy.  He trained in clinical neurology in Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Cardiff. After four years as consultant in Cornwall he returned to Cardiff in 1996 to develop interests in epilepsy and education. He became ABN President in 2015 and was President of the International League Against Epilepsy UK Chapter (2008–11). He co-edits Practical Neurology and has a busy commitment to training as Sub-Dean for Assessments, and Associate Medical Director for Quality for the Royal College of Physicians.

Dr Rajiv Mohanraj

Dr Mohanraj MBBS, PhD, FRCP is a consultant neurologist at the Manchester Centre for Clinical Neurosciences, and an honorary lecturer at the University of Manchester. He runs the regional specialist epilepsy clinic at GMNC and conducts a rapid access first seizure clinic. He leads the epilepsy surgery programme in Manchester. He is also a member of the regional neuro-oncology MDT and participates in paediatric epilepsy handover clinics as well as obstetrics-neurology clinics.

Dr Mohanraj has a clinical and research interest in drug resistant epilepsy. He is a principal investigator in a number of clinical trials of investigational epilepsy drugs. He is deputy chair of the Epilepsy Specialist Advisory Group of the Association of British Neurologists, and secretary of the North of England Neurological Association. He has published a number of peer reviewed papers and book chapters on epilepsy.

Dr Rebecca Liu

Dr Liu is a Consultant Neurologist at the Royal Free Hospital where she runs specialist epilepsy clinics treating patients with newly diagnosed and chronic refractory epilepsy. She also runs an epilepsy service for patients with tuberous sclerosis.

She is passionate about improving epilepsy care in the primary and secondary care setting. She helped to establish and run a community epilepsy service in Camden providing integrated and holistic epilepsy care and sits on the North Central London STP Steering Group committee.

She has an interest in functional neurological disorders and is leading on the development of a new dissociative seizures pathway for the Trust. Research interests include the effects of seizures on the brain, and more recently, SUDEP communication.

Dr Ronit Pressler

Dr Pressler is Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology and clinical lead of the Telemetry Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, London and Honorary Reader at the UCL-GOS Institute of Child Health. She qualified from Berlin University in 1992 and trained in paediatrics in Berlin, Germany and clinical neurophysiology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London.

Her research interests include neonatal seizures, particularly their diagnosis and treatment, as well as the effect of epilepsy on cognition and pre-surgical evaluation in children with complex epilepsy. She is currently chair of the ILAE neonatal guidelines update task force.

Dr Sallie Baxendale

Dr Baxendale has worked on the epilepsy surgery programs at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford and the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery London since qualifying as a clinical psychologist in 1992. She is currently the Consultant Neuropsychologist on the epilepsy surgery program at the National Hospital for Neurology, Queen Square and has over 130 academic publications in epilepsy. Her research ranges from studies of the neural substrate of cognitive deficits in seizure disorders, to looking at ways in which the epilepsy is (mis) represented in the media and how the stigma associated with the condition can be reduced.

She serves on the editorial boards of five journals: Epilepsia Open, Epilepsy & Behavior, Epilepsy & Behavior: Case Reports, Neuropsychology Review and Epilepsy Professional and  was elected to serve on the committee of UK ILAE Chapter in 2014.  She chairs the ILAE Diagnostic Commission – Neuropsychology Task Force and is the Course Director for the Biannual ILAE Neuropsychology of Epilepsy Training Course. She is a longstanding faculty member of the European Project for the Development of Epilepsy Surgery Programs and coordinates the neuropsychological input for these courses. She regularly lectures in the UK and abroad and has been invited to speak in over 20 countries on neuropsychological aspects of epilepsy. In 2018 she was awarded the Arthur Benton Award by the International Neuropsychological Society in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of neuropsychology.

Dr Sofia Eriksson

Dr Eriksson is a consultant neurologist and honorary senior lecturer at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London specialising on epilepsy and neurological sleep disorders. She started her medical career in Göteborg, Sweden, before joining the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy (DCEE) in London in 1998 as part of her PhD. She was awarded her PhD in 2003 after which she did a post doc in the DCEE.

Her initial research focused on brain malformations and epilepsy and her current research interests focus on the relationship between epilepsy and sleep disorders, in particular NREM parasomnias.

She is the clinical lead for the neurological sleep services at the National Hospital and in her clinical practice she sees, investigates and treats patients with epilepsy as well as hypersomnolence and paroxysmal nocturnal events.

Dr Beate Diehl

Dr Diehl graduated from the Ruprecht-Karls-University Medical School in Heidelberg and pursued her Neurology training at both the Universities of Mainz and Muenster in Germany.  She obtained subspecialty training in Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland USA. Subsequently, she also qualified as a Neurologist in the USA and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology. She held a faculty position at the Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Center from August 2003 until March 2008 when she joined the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery in London as a Consultant Clinical Neurophysiologist.

Her main clinical focus is on the presurgical evaluation of intractable epilepsy patients including intracranial EEG recordings to localize the epileptogenic zone and cortical functions.  Some of Beate’s research interests include novel imaging techniques and advanced neurophysiological methods to better delineate the epileptogenic zone and investigating higher cortical functions with direct brain stimulation. Furthermore, she leads research efforts in autonomic and imaging biomarker of SUDEP. She has published extensively and holds active grant funding.

Prof Adam Zeman

Prof Zeman is a clinical academic, and has been Professor of Neurology at Exeter University Medical School since 2005. His specialised clinical work is in cognitive and behavioural neurology, including neurological disorders of sleep. Current research interests include amnesia associated with epilepsy ( and disorders of visual imagery ( The work of the TIME project focuses on Transient Epileptic Amnesia (TEA) and accelerated long-term forgetting and autobiographical amnesia occurring in epilepsy.  Editor of ‘Epilepsy and Memory’ (OUP, 2012) with Marilyn Jones-Gotman and Narinder Kapur.

Dr Sophia Varadkar

Dr Varadkar completed her undergraduate degree at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and her postgraduate medical training in Dublin and London, UK.  She is a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, where she is the Chief of Service for the Brain Directorate.  Her clinical work in epilepsy focuses on the Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service and she is clinical lead for the Vagus Nerve Stimulation therapy programme. Dr Varadkar sits on the NHS England National Clinical Coordinating Group for the Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Programme.  She is a regular faculty member of the British Paediatric Neurology Association Paediatric Epilepsy Training (PET) courses (for which she is chair of the PET steering committee).  She is a council member of the International League Against Epilepsy British Chapter. Originally from Dublin, she now lives in London with her husband and two children.

Dr Tejal Mitchell

Dr Mitchell is a Consultant Neurologist at Peterborough City Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. She is also commissioned by Peterborough and Borderline LCGs to be the Clinical Lead for Epilepsy for the Peterborough Epilepsy Service. In addition, she jointly delivers the regional epilepsy service at Addenbrookes Hospital, including reporting video telemetry EEG. She is the Training Programme Director (Neurology) at Health Education East of England and jointly organises the very successful ILAE EEG and Seizure Semiology course in Cambridge. Dr Mitchell completed a one-year Clinical EEG and Epilepsy Fellowship at Westmead Hospital, Sydney Australia in 2007 and a PhD in MRI in Epilepsy from 1999-2002.

Dr Maria Oto

Dr Maria Oto is a consultant neuropsychiatrist currently working at the Scottish Epilepsy Centre in Glasgow, which is the only residential centre for the assessment and management of epilepsy in Scotland.  A third of the patients referred to the centre have a learning disability. Dr Oto has been working in the field of epilepsy for most of her career; initially at the Institute of Neurology in Glasgow and thereafter at the Scottish Epilepsy Centre.

Since 2014 has also been part of the multi-disciplinary team based at the West of Scotland regional epilepsy surgery program as well as leading the UK network of neuropsychiatrists involved in epilepsy surgery programs. Over the years Dr Oto has been involved with research and published widely.  In 2010 completed a PhD on the diagnosis and management of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures which is one of her main research interest.

In 2017 was the lead for a research project funded by the Scottish Government aiming to review the standards of epilepsy care of people with Learning Disabilities in Scotland. Dr Oto was also part of the team that reviewed the epilepsy SIGN guidelines in 2015. She is an honorary lecturer at Glasgow University, a member if the editorial board of Seizure, director of the Glasgow based charity Epilepsy Connections and chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists epilepsy working group.

Dr Dominic Heaney

Dr Dominic Heaney is a Consultant Neurologist at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He has clinical responsibilities in a range of general neurological disorders, and his specialist interests include management of neurological disorders in pregnancy, and complex epilepsy. Dr Heaney is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the UCL Institute of Neurology and was awarded a PhD in 2002 for his work on the economic aspect of epilepsy treatment.

Prof Sanjay Sisodiya

Sanjay Sisodiya is Professor of Neurology at UCL Institute of Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Epilepsy Society. Professor Sisodiya studied medicine at the University of Cambridge and Guy’s Hospital and trained in Neurology in Oxford and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He was awarded a PhD for working in brain magnetic resonance imaging in epilepsy. His key interests are in epilepsy, difficult-to-treat epilepsy, epilepsy genetics and treatment-response genetics, which are also his key research interests. He runs a specialist inpatient facility for the evaluation and management of epilepsy in adults. He is the Chief Investigator of the EU-funded epilepsy pharmacogenomics project EpiPGX.

Dr Fahmida Chowdhury

Dr Chowdhury is a Consultant Neurologist/ Neurophysiologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.
She qualified from Edinburgh Medical School in 2003. She completed a MRC Funded PhD in Epilepsy in 2012 from King’s College, University of London, looking at multimodal endophenotypes (TMS, EEG, MRI) in generalised epilepsy. She trained in Clinical Neurology in London and following CCT undertook a Fellowship in Complex Epilepsy at the National Hospital. She has a special interest in Epilepsy, and in particular presurgical evaluation of medically refractory patients, including intracranial EEG recordings to localize the epileptogenic zone and map cognitive functions. She is the Clinical Lead of the Videotelemetry Unit at the NHNN.