Professor Aarne Ylinen – EFRR President and Professor in Neurological Rehabilitation, Helsinki University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Sweden

Current progress in neurosciences is the background for new challenges in clinical neurological research and especially for research in neurological rehabilitation. Combination of knowledge from basic neuroanatomy and –physiology, molecular biology with increasing knowledge in neuropsychology and social sciences are needed in the research of neurorehabilitation. Multidisciplinary science is the background of multiprofessional practical work in rehabilitation. I started my scientific work with a neurological, neurobiological and multidisciplinary orientation while specializing in neurology. In clinical research the focus was first in the treatment of epilepsy. This led to continue my research in neurobiological research in epileptology. The mechanisms of epileptogenesis are mainly similar to plastic phenomena, but they are negative phenomena. The interest in plastic phenomena led my interest into the investigation of mechanisms of learning and memory – and the mechanisms of learning and memory are basically closely related with mechanisms of neuronal repair needed in neurorehabilitation. This pathway led finally to the interest of multidisciplinary research needed in neurorehabilitation – and further, for multidisciplinary research focusing on the aim to find new possibilities for human welfare. Currently, I’m working as a professor of Neurological Rehabilitation at Helsinki University and as a Chief physician at Helsinki University Central Hospital, TBI Outpatient Clinic and the Rehabilitation Unit.


Professor Frederike van Wijck – Professor in Neurological Rehabilitation, Glasgow Caledonian University, EFRR Vice President and SRR Senior Secretary

Frederike is a professor in Neurological Rehabilitation at Glasgow Caledonian University, where she co-leads the Living with Stroke and other Long Term Neurological Conditions Research Group.  She qualified as a physiotherapist and movement scientist in The Netherlands.

Her research focuses on functional recovery after stroke.  Her work on physical activity after stroke comprises systematic reviews on the effects and experiences of physical activity after stroke, as well as studies on the measurement of physical activity, impact of goal setting and the design and evaluation of interventions, with a view to create a seamless pathway of evidence-based interventions to improve physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviourafter stroke. Frederike has also been involved in the design and validation of the first UK Exercise and Fitness Training after Stroke course and the development of best practice guidelines for community-based exercise and fitness training after stroke.  She is an author/ co-editor of two books, both published by Elsevier: “Exercise and Fitness Training after Stroke: a handbook for evidence-based practice” and  “Applied Neurosciences for the Allied Health Professions”.

Frederike’s research on interventions to improve arm function after stroke comprises systematic reviews including a Cochrane Overview, feasibility studies and definitive randomised controlled trials.  Current work includes studies on wrist-watch accelerometers and robotics, while a trial is underway comparing early with later augmented arm therapy after stroke.

Frederike is a member of the Cochrane Stroke Editorial Group, research lead and founding member of the Scottish Stroke Allied Health Professions Forum, senior secretary of the Society for Research in Rehabilitation and vice-president of the European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation.


Gulseren Akyuz, M.D., Prof.

Marmara University School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Division of Pain Medicine, Istanbul TURKEY

Current President of Mediterranean Forum of PRM (MFPRM)

Current Executive Board Member of ISPRM

Current Representative Member of Turkish Society of PM&R in ISPRM

Past President of European Forum for Research on Rehabilitation (EFRR- 2013-2015)

Gulseren Akyuz is Professor in Marmara University, School of Medicine, Dept of P.M. R. and Division of Pain Medicine and Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory. She is the director of Cancer Pain &Rehabilitation Programs of the same department, She is also Professor at the Institute of Health Sciences of Marmara University. She got Sydney Licht Lectureship Award given by ISPRM in 2009. She has currently focused on pain management, cancer rehabilitation, clinical neurophysiology and osteoporosis.


Susanne Weinbrenner, MD PhD, MPH

Dr. Weinbrenner is working as Chief Medical Officer and Head of Department for Social Medicine and Rehabilitation at the German Statutory Pension Scheme (Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund).
Until 2012 she held the position of Scientific Director and Deputy Executive at the Agency for Quality in Medicine (AQuMed) as Head of Department for Guideline Development and Evidence Based Medicine. Between 2003 and 2006 she worked as a research scientist at the department of Health Care Management of the Technische Universität Berlin (Prof. R. Busse). Between 2000 and 2003 she worked as consultant anaesthetist at the Jewish Hospital, Berlin, while at the same time studying for her Master’s Degree in Public Health. Prior to 2000 she was deputy consultant for anaesthesia at the University Hospital of Tübingen, focusing on intensive care, anaesthesia for cardiac surgery and pain management. At the University of Tübingen she attended specialist training in anaesthesia.



Dr. Sven-Uno Marnetoft



Professor Matilde Leonardi – Neurologist, Head of Neurology, Public Health Disability Unit, Neurological Institute Carlo Besta IRCCS Foundation, Milan, Italy

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, Lecturer in Neuropsychiatry, Disability and Public Health for the Second level degree course in ‘specialist in pedagogy for disability and marginality’.

National Research and Health Institute, Head of Neurology, Public Health, Disability Unit. Scientific Director and Co-ordinator of Coma Research Centre. Developing and carrying out research projects related to neurology, disability, ageing, public health, ICF (WHO’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health). Co-ordinator of several EU- and national research projects. WHO and EU liaison. Director of WHO Italian Collaborating Centre-Research Branch Besta. Liaison with and expert for Italian authorities to implement health and disability policies using WHO tools, ICF and WHO DAS II.


Dr Esra Giray -Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Marmara University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

Dr. Giray graduated from İstanbul University Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine in the top-3 of her class among graduates in July 2010. She completed her residency training in PM&R in Marmara University School of Medicine Department of PM&R in April 2016. Dr. Giray has been practising in İstanbul, at the Department of PM&R of Marmara University School of Medicine since the completion of her residency training.

Her clinical and research areas of interests are pediatric rehabilitation, neurological rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound and pain management.

She is a board certified specialist by the Turkish PM&R and UEMS PRM Section and Board.

She is a member of the Turkish Society of PM&R and Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Electrodiagnostic Medicine and Pediatric Rehabilitation Study Groups of  the Turkish Society of PM&R


Dr Alex Pollock – Senior Research Fellow within the Scottish Government funded Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Profession (NMAHP) Research Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University

Alex is a Senior Research Fellow within the Scottish Government funded Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Profession (NMAHP) Research Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University.   Alex has particular expertise relating to systematic reviews of complex interventions, leading methodological work, completing and supporting systematic reviews across the research unit.  She is an Associate Editor with Cochrane Stroke and an author on 11 Cochrane systematic reviews and 2 Cochrane overviews.   She has published work relating to the use of GRADE in overviews, and instigated and co-leads an international GRADE overviews project group.  Alex has an active interest in public involvement in research, and has led and contributed to a number of research prioritisation projects, including two with the James Lind Alliance (JLA).   She leads the ACTIVE project, funded by Cochrane Training, aimed at supporting review authors have meaningful involvement of patients and the public in systematic reviews.   Alex originally qualified as a Physiotherapist before completing her PhD in which she carried out a small randomised controlled trial exploring the effectiveness of different approaches to physiotherapy for people with stroke.


Professor Marion Walker MBE – Professor of Stroke Rehabilitation and Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Nottingham

Marion Walker is Professor of Stroke Rehabilitation and Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Nottingham.  She is an occupational therapist by professional background and has played a leading role in developing a research culture within her own profession. She has served as Chair (UK Stroke Forum, Stroke Association Strategic Research Board), President of learned societies (UK Society for Rehabilitation Research) and Associate Director for Rehabilitation and Portfolio Development of the UK Stroke Research Network (2005-2015).

Marion has a strong research portfolio covering a wide area of local, national and international research projects. Marion is a strong advocate of patient partnership and has co-chaired the Nottingham Stroke Research Partnership Group for 10 years. Marion is also passionate about equality for women in STEM subjects and leads the Women in Nottingham (WIN) agenda (previously WinSET Women in Science Engineering and Technology) at the University of Nottingham. Marion is a Trustee of the Stroke Association. Marion was elected to Senate in October 2016 with responsibility for overseeing education, teaching and research, and for the academic quality and standards of the University.

She is an NIHR Senior Investigator and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2012 for her service to stroke rehabilitation and stroke survivors. Marion is an international advisor for stroke and stroke rehabilitation research in Sweden, Norway and Australia and holds honorary professorial positions at the University of Sydney, University of Gothenburg and the University of Queensland.


Kate Allatt – Motivational Speaker, Trainer and Lecturer

Marketeer, Mum & former 70 mile-a-week fell runner Kate Allatt (46), suffered a brainstem stroke and was diagnosed with locked in syndrome (LIS) when her children were 5, 8 and 10 years old. She won Extraordinary Woman in 2011 and founded her registered digital charity in 2011. She gave a TEDx speech and is a regular motivational speaker, trainer and lecturer. Kate pioneered the @ESCAPS_study and is a collaborator.  She believes social media can transform awareness of life after stroke regularly micro blogging and even blogs for The Huffington Post.

She is a national media commentator & is an internationally published author ‘Running Free Breaking Out Of Locked In Syndrome.’

She is passionate about:

  • Eliminating early onset young stroke misdiagnosis in A & E to reduce the high cost burden to the NHS;
  • Using positive clinical language to enhance patient improvement outcomes;
  • Helping the NHS to truly embrace and value ‘patients as partners’ (and not pay them lip service).

Together, we can improve NHS and boost our economy; Communication being a basic human right!



Prof. John Hunter