Confirmed speakers to Brain Injury Australia’s 9th National Brain Injury Conference, to be held at Adelaide Oval from the 24th to 26th September, 2024…

DR. MARK BAYLEY is Professor and Coriat Family Chair in Rehabilitation Innovations at The University of Toronto and Program Medical Director and Physiatrist-in-Chief at the University Health Network-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He leads large-scale national and international implementation science and knowledge translation research aimed at improving recovery from brain injury, including the International Cognitive (“INCOG”) Rehabilitation Guidelines after Traumatic Brain Injury. His work has redesigned brain injury and stroke rehabilitation systems in Canada.

DR. EVE VALERA is Director of the Valera Lab, an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Research Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. For the last 25 years she has pioneered the study of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) and Acquired Brain Injury in women, receiving the prestigious Robert D. Voogt Founders Award from the North American Brain Injury Society in recognition of her work. Dr. Valera was the first researcher to use neuroimaging to investigate the effects of DFV on women’s neural connectivity and cognitive function. She has authored over 50 publications and is a reviewer for more than 60 journals and travels the world training stakeholders – shelter workers, clinicians, law enforcement, judicial officers etc. – and raising awareness of this global epidemic.

RIK LEMONCELLO is a Clinical Associate Professor of medical speech-language pathology in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Portland State University in Oregon. His work focuses on collaborative, functional rehabilitation that supports community re-integration and social participation for adults with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). In 2016, he founded a non-profit organization called Sarah Bellum’s Bakery & Workshop and continues to serve as the volunteer program director. The Bakery & Workshop is a community-based, functional rehabilitation program that empowers adults with an ABI to re-engage in the community and re-build a sense of purpose, meaning, and identity.

Presenters at Brain Injury Australia’s 8th National Brain Injury Conference – held in June 2022 at Sydney Business School of The University of Sydney – included…

DR. HARRIS EYRE trained in clinical medicine and neuroscience. He is now President and Chief Medical Officer of PRODEO, which propels novel brain health technology companies; supporting their business development, their product strategy and helping raise capital. He is also Co-Founder of the PRODEO Institute which – in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and with funding from Gates Ventures, Johnson & Johnson, PwC and the Milken Institute – seeks to incubate new approaches to brain-based investing, economics and policy. Harris maintains advisory or adjunct roles with the American Psychological Association, the Global Brain Health Institute at the University of California San Francisco, the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine and Deakin University. He has authored over 100 book chapters and papers, for Lancet Neurology, World Psychiatry and The RSA Journal. He is also lead editor of “Convergence Mental Health: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Innovation”, recently published by Oxford University Press.
DR. TIM FEENEY is Chief Knowledge Officer at Belvedere Health Services – a community-based rehabilitation service in New York State. Over the past 30 years, he has worked in a variety of capacities including: special education teacher; staff psychologist; Assistant Professor of Special Education; and director of a statewide program for individuals with autism. He has been responsible for the procurement and coordination of over US$10 million in grant-funded programs serving individuals with “behaviours of concern” and has authored over 50 scholarly journal articles and book chapters. As Director of the New York Neurobehavioral Resource Project, Tim supported individuals with brain injury and significant “behaviours of concern” to live successfully in their home communities, at considerable cost savings to government (during 1996-1997 alone, the Project cost just over US$200,000 but resulted in savings of over US$2 million, based on conservative calculations by external New York State Health Department auditors).
PROFESSOR JENNIE PONSFORD AO is Professor of Neuropsychology and Director of Clinical Programs in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University and Director of the Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre at Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. She has spent 40 years investigating outcomes following mild, moderate and severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and factors predicting outcome. She has published over 320 journal articles and book chapters, and two books on rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury. In 2013, Jennie was awarded the Robert L. Moody prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury and Rehabilitation, in 2015 the INS Paul Satz Career Mentoring Award and in 2017 she was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to medical research in the field of neuropsychology and through seminal advances in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injuries.
PROFESSOR CHARLIE TEO AM has been instrumental in the development, dissemination and acceptance of the concept of keyhole minimally invasive techniques in neurosurgery. His innovative approach to neurosurgical and neurological conditions was demonstrated while in the USA when he established and directed both the Arkansas Pediatric Neuro-oncology Clinic and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Movement Disorders Center. After returning to Australia, he established a fellowship program that attracts over 600 applicants yearly and has trained many of the world’s leading neurosurgeons at distinguished centres such as the Barrow Neurological Institute and Johns Hopkins, Yale, Duke, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Harvard Universities. He currently has academic appointments in Australia, Singapore, USA, Vietnam, Europe and India. Charlie has over 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has authored two books on keyhole approaches to brain tumours and is a guest editor for several journals. Over the last few years, Charlie has developed and nurtured several game-changing companies: Omniscient Neurotechnologies – a data software company that can map the functionality of the brain through “connectomics”; and Cingulum Health – a clinic dedicated to brain health and fitness using scientific rigour, a holistic approach and transcranial magnetic stimulation.
DR. EVE VALERA is an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in the United States and a Research Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has worked in the field of Domestic and Family Violence for over 25 years using a range of methodologies to understand the neural, neuropsychological and psychological consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) resulting from Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).  She published one of the first studies examining the prevalence of IPV-related TBI and its relationship to cognitive and psychological functioning, and has more recently provided the first neural mechanistic evidence of IPV-related TBI. Eve has authored over 50 publications and is a reviewer for more than 60 journals.
PROFESSOR LEANNE TOGHER is Professor of Communication Disorders following Traumatic Brain Injury and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellow at The University of Sydney. Leanne has published 4 books, 20 book chapters and 120 papers, has attracted over AUD$26 million in external grant funding and, in 2018, was awarded the NHMRC’s Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award as the highest ranked female research fellow applicant in the field of Clinical Science and Medicine. Professor Togher’s communication treatments for people with brain injury and their families, carers, service providers and community agencies include TBI Express and TBIconneCT
PROFESSOR STUART GRIEVE is Parker Hughes Chair of Radiology at Sydney Medical School. With an undergraduate degree in biochemistry, followed by a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) physics and degrees in medicine and surgery, Stuart leads a research program focused on the use of cutting-edge imaging acquisition techniques and pragmatic clinical translation to improve the practice of medicine – including the impact of concussion and mild Traumatic Brain Injury on mental health and emotion regulation. Stuart has authored 140 journal articles and received $8 million in competitive grant funding.
PROFESSOR MARCIA LANGTON AO is an Aboriginal woman of Iman descent. She is an anthropologist and geographer with a strong research track record on Aboriginal alcohol use and harms, family violence, Aboriginal land tenure, management of environments and native title, and aspects of Aboriginal culture, art and performance and the shift to modernity. Marcia has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne since 2000. Professor Langton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of Trinity College, Melbourne and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College at the University of Queensland.
PROFESSOR GARY BROWNE is an Emergency Physician and Senior Physician in Sports and Exercise Medicine at the Children’s Hospital Westmead in Sydney, where he has been Director of the Sports Concussion Service since 2006. He is Professor of Emergency Medicine at The University of Sydney and is the author and editor of over 100 peer-reviewed papers and 20 textbooks on paediatric emergency and sports and exercise medicine.
PROFESSOR KAREN CAEYENBERGHS heads the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit’s Neuroplasticity and Multimodal Imaging Lab at Deakin University in Melbourne, investigating the impact of moderate-severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on the child’s developing brain. The contributions of Karen’s research include: publishing the first studies using diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in children with TBI; developing novel home-based training programs (ProBalance, BrainGames and CogMo); providing the first evidence of chronic cognitive impairments from a disconnection syndrome perspective; and publishing some of the first brain-wide maps of dynamic structural connectivity changes with training and disease progression. Karen has authored over 110 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Brain, Neuroimage, Developmental Science, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, and the Journal of Neuroscience).
PROFESSOR SKYE McDONALD is Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at UNSW. Skye worked as a clinician with people with acquired brain disorders for 10 years before joining UNSW. She has led a national Centre of Research Excellence – “Moving Ahead” – to address psychosocial rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury. She has a substantial record of grant procurement for research ranging from basic science through to rehabilitation. She has published 170 peer reviewed journal articles, 20 book chapters and 2 books. Skye’s research interests include understanding how the brain processes emotions and social cognition (the ability to read social signals in order to understand the meaning behind other people’s behaviour), Traumatic Brain Injury and rehabilitation. Skye’s test of social cognition – “The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT)” – is widely used in English-speaking countries and has been translated into multiple languages.
RACHEL RAMIREZ is the Founder and Director of The Center on Partner-Inflicted Brain Injury, a project of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network in the United States. The Center provides statewide, national, and international leadership to raise awareness on the emerging area of brain injury caused by Domestic and Family Violence. The Center increases collaboration among systems, and provides training, technical assistance, consultation, research, and resource development for researchers and direct service providers. For the past 13 years at the Network, Rachel has led multiple initiatives on trauma-informed approaches, mental health and substance use, with a recent national focus on partner-inflicted brain injury. She co-authored Trauma-Informed Approaches: Promising Practices and Protocols for Ohio’s Domestic Violence Programs, as well as peer-reviewed research studies in the Journal of Family Violence and the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma.
DR. BRUCE POWELL has over 30 years of medical expertise as a specialist endocrine anaesthetist, as Head of Department in the newly commissioned Intensive Care Unit at Rockingham Hospital in Western Australia and as Australia’s longest-serving state/ territory director of organ donation. Bruce served five years as a Medical Officer in the Royal Navy, before specialising in medicine and nephrology and attaining Membership of the Royal College of Physicians. He then trained in intensive care and anaesthesia, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. While competing in a cycling race in 2018, Bruce suffered catastrophic injuries including a broken neck and back, a ruptured kidney and lung, and a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that ended his medical career. Now, with experience of both “sides” of TBI, Bruce is committed to supporting other survivors and their families.

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