Novartis Morning Symposium


Martin Duddy studied biochemistry and medicine at Queen’s University Belfast, graduating in 1992. His clinical training and post-graduate research in neurology were at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and the Montreal Neurological Institute, Canada. He was appointed a consultant neurologist with a special interest in MS at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne in 2003 and is Clinical Director for Neurosciences. He was clinical lead for the UK MS Risk Sharing Scheme and is the local principal investigator and UK chief investigator for a large number of collaborative studies. He is involved in clinical research, acting as the local primary investigator for a large number of collaborative studies, and is the editor of the Topical Reviews section of the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

Workshop 1: Neuroimaging

Johan Van Goethem is Associate Professor of Medical Imaging and Neuro-Imaging at Antwerp University, Belgium, a senior staff member at the General Hospital AZ Nikolaas, and consultant at the Antwerp University Hospital, both in Belgium. Johan Van Goethem is Past-President of the European Society of Neuroradiology for 2020-2022. He is a longstanding and active member of this Society and served 12 years on the Executive Committee, of which 9 years as Treasurer. He is chair of the ESNR-ASNR and the ESNR-RSSA Liaison Committees  Chair of the European School of Neuroradiology Committee. He is a member of the European Board of Neuroradiology. He also is the Belgian neuroradiology representative at the UEMS. He is an established and active member of the American Society of Neuroradiology and the American Society of Spine Radiology where he served 9 consecutive years as an Executive Committee Member. He is an Honorary Member of the Russian Society of Neuroradiology and Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia.  Prof. Van Goethem is an active researcher in the field of neuro-imaging, especially spinal imaging, with an h-index of 35. He is the author or co-author of over 100 manuscripts in neuroradiology. He is the first editor of the book Spinal Imaging and co-editor of the book The Intervertebral Disc. He is a distinguished speaker and has delivered more than 400 invited presentations at numerous international meetings and courses. He is the designated organizer of the prestigious European Course of Neuroradiology for 2017-2022.

Dr Reddy’s Lunch time Symposium

Felix Potocnik Potocnikobtained his medical degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1975. He obtained his Diploma in Midwifery in 1978 and his psychiatric qualification at the University of Cape Town in 1984. He started his career heading their Psychogeriatric Unit and continued in this position when he came across to the University of Stellenbosch in 1994. He is the former head of the Psychogeriatric Unit of Tygerberg and Stikland Hospitals and represents Old Age Psychiatry for the Provincial Government of the Western Cape and the South African Society of Psychiatrists. Research interests include: Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias; zinc, vitamins A and D and burden of disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Equine nutrition. He also runs a private practice in Durbanville, Cape Town.

Sanofi-Genzyme Lunch time Symposium
Scientific Session 1

Hadi Manji was appointed Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital, Queen Square London in 1997. He studied medicine at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and the Middlesex Hospital. He initially trained as a GP and subsequently in neurology at the National Hospital and Hospital Kremlin Bicetre, Paris. His specialist interests are in Neuro-infections (including HIV, Tropical Disorders, and now Covid-19) as well as Peripheral Nerve disorders. He is part of the MRC Centre For Neuromuscular Diseases at the National Hospital. Dr. Manji has recently stepped down as President of the Neurosciences Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. Other interests are teaching - he has taught and lectured in Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and India. He is Senior author and editor of the Oxford Handbook of Medicine (3rdedition now in preparation).

Lionel Green-Thompson is the Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He served previously as the Dean at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (2018 – 2020) after working as the Assistant Dean: Teaching, Learning and Undergraduate Affairs (2014 – 2018) at Wits University. He served as a co-author panelist for the ASSAf Consensus Report: Reconceptualising health professions education in South Africa. This report released in 2018, represented a national response to the Lancet Commission of 2010. Lionel has also served on the education workstream which produced the 2030 Human Resources for Health Strategy: Investing in the Health Workforce for Universal Health Coverage for the South African government. He is a specialist anesthesiologist by training and completed a Ph.D. in 2014 entitled: The nature of social accountability in South African medical education and practice. Lionel has an interest in the assessment of learning in both clinical and cognitive domains. He currently represents the SA Committee of Medical Deans (SACOMD) in engagements with the Colleges of Medicine of SA with a view to the development of workplace-based assessments for specialist education. He currently serves on the board of the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) and Towards Unity for Health (TUFH). He is a member of AMEE and serves on the Research Committee, co-chairing a Network called Medical Education in Resource-Constrained Environments (MERCS).

Martina Wiedau Professor of Neurology and since 2013 Director of the ALS Clinic and Research Center at UCLA. She also serves as Medical Director of the neurology outpatient clinics and Vice-Chair of Clinical Affairs in the Department of Neurology. She was educated in Germany with a medical degree from Philipps University Marburg. Germany. She was awarded a Summa cum Laude degree for neuroscience research from the Free University in Berlin, Germany, and completed her residency in neurology and postdoctoral fellowships in Neuromuscular Neurology and Neurogenetics at UCLA. Her research over the past 25 years has been dedicated to exploring disease mechanisms in ALS and the identification of new therapeutic targets. AS ALS clinic director, she oversees the multispecialty team caring for a large patient group and directs clinical research.

Cipla Evening Symposium

Peter Goadsby is a Professor of Neurology at, University of California, Los Angeles. He is Director, NIHR‐Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility, King’s College London, and Honorary Consultant Neurologist, King’s College Hospital. He is an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond St, London, UK. His major research interests are in the basic mechanisms of primary headache disorders, such as migraine and cluster headache, in both experimental and clinical settings, and translating these insights into better management. Peter Goadsby obtained his medical degree and training at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. Neurology training was with James W. Lance and clinical neurophysiology with David Burke. After post‐doctoral work in New York with Don Reis at Cornell, Jacques Seylaz at Universite VII, Paris, and post‐graduate neurology training at Queen Square, London with C David Marsden, Andrew Lees, Anita Harding, and W Ian McDonald, he returned to UNSW, and the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney as a consultant neurologist and became an Associate Professor of Neurology. He was appointed a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Neurology, University College London, and was Professor of Clinical Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. He was a Professor of Neurology, at the University of California, San Francisco.


Acino Swiss Morning Symposium

Alison Bentley has been seeing patients with sleep problems, both adults and children, off and on over the last 30 years. She ran the first private diagnostic sleep laboratory in South Africa from 1990 to 1998. After joining Wits University she was head of the Wits Dial.a.Bed Sleep Laboratory in the School of Physiology for 10 years. She was the founding chairperson of the Sleep Society of South Africa in 1996 and served two terms representing Africa on the governing council of the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM). She has supervised more than 10 Masters and 2 Ph.D. students on sleep-related topics. She has over 30 published peer-reviewed articles and two book chapters. She has presented over 40 formal invited presentations at conferences ranging from the International Paediatrics conference and World Association of Sleep Medicine to local conferences such as SA Thoracic Society and PainSA. She is currently in private practice in Johannesburg which includes a company that runs home-based apnea diagnostic tests. She is also the interim chairperson of the newly constituted South African Society for Sleep and Heath.

Scientific Session 2

Bruce Brew is Professor of Medicine (Neurology) University of New South Wales and the University of Notre Dame, Director of the Peter Duncan Neurosciences Unit St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research, and neurologist at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. He graduated in Medicine from the University of Sydney (MBBS Hons) and holds two higher degree doctorates – Doctorate of Medical Sciences from the University of Sydney and a Doctorate of Science from the University of New South Wales. He has a long-standing interest in HIV neuropathogenesis particularly in relation to cognitive impairment at both clinical and basic science levels, and HIV-related neurological complications in general. He has designed and participated in numerous clinical trials related to HIV brain disease and written over 400 papers and four books with approximately 17,500 citations and an H index of 71 (Scopus). He has supervised 21 Ph.D. students one MD, 5 Masters, and 6 Bachelor degrees. He has attracted 9 senior scientists and fellows from the UK and Europe to work with him. He has been invited to give >200 lectures internationally and nationally since 1996. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including AIDS, Lancet HIV, and several societies including CROI and the International Society for Neurovirology of which he was elected President beginning 2019. In 2015 he was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to Neurology. In 2019 he was elected President of the International Society for Neurovirology.

John Hardy Following his Ph.D., Hardy did postdoctoral research at the MRC Neuropathogenesis Unit in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and then further postdoctoral work at the Swedish Brain Bank in Umeå, Sweden where he started to work on Alzheimer's disease. He became Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at St. Mary's Hospital, Imperial College London in 1985 and initiated genetic studies of Alzheimer's disease there, before moving to the USA in 1989 then took the Pfeiffer Endowed Chair of Alzheimer's Research at the University of South Florida, in Tampa in 1992. In 1996 he moved to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, as a Consultant and Professor of Neuroscience. He became Chair of Neuroscience in 2000 and moved to National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland, as Chief of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics in 2001. In 2007 he took up the Chair of Molecular Biology of Neurological Disease at the Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies, University College London. November 2015, he was awarded the Breakthrough Prize and in 2018 jointly the Brain Prize from The Lundbeck Foundation in Denmark.

Allergan Lunch time Symposium

Andrew Blumenfeld is Director of The Headache Center of Southern California, San Diego, US. As Director, he has encouraged the development of a center addressing the multifaceted needs of headache sufferers, including acute care, educational programs, and other specialty services. Board-certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, he is also certified in headache medicine. He attended the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa Medical School and completed a neurology residency at Johannesburg Hospital. In 1986, he moved to the US and completed a neurology residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Following this, he completed an EEG and EMG fellowship, also at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Blumenfeld has been an active researcher in headache and other neurological conditions with over 10 issued patents for various treatments. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. He chaired the American Headache Society section on interventional Procedures for Headache. He has published widely and has over 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Merck Lunchtime Symposium

Sharmilee Gnanapavan qualified from St Bartholomews and The Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry. She specialised in neurology and academically in neuroscience with a Ph.D. from the Institute of Neurology (UCL) entitled “Putative biomarkers of Neuro-restoration”. She is currently a Consultant Neurologist at Barts Health and Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Neuroscience Trauma, Queen Mary University of London. She is also on the steering committee of the European Biomarker Consortium (BioMS-eu), the advisory board for the UK Brain Bank, and the UK MS Society expert on progressive MS research focus is body fluid biomarkers, ranging from basic science through to translation work in clinical practice, including clinical trials.

Workshop 2: Ethics and Medical Law

Jocelyn Downie is the James Palmer Chair in Public Policy and Law at Dalhousie University. Her work on end-of-life law and policy includes: Special Advisor to the Canadian Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide; author of Dying Justice: A Case for the Decriminalizing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada; and member of the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision-Making, the plaintiffs’ legal team in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying, and the Canadian Council of Academies Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying. She was named a member of the Order of Canada in part in recognition of her work advocating for high-quality, end-of-life care. She is also a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Jillian Gardner is a senior lecturer in the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has a doctorate in philosophy from Stellenbosch University and a master's degree in bioethics and health law from the University of Witwatersrand.

Anita Kleinsmidt BA (UWC) LLB LLM (Wits) PGDip Applied Ethics (Stell), practiced as an attorney in Johannesburg before joining the AIDS Law Project, an NGO at Wits Law Faculty, assisting people living with HIV/AIDS with their legal problems and conducting public impact litigation in labor law, medical law, and constitutional law. She has lectured medical law and bioethics at Wits and at Stellenbosch Universities.

Udo Schüklenk is the Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics at Queen’s University at Kingston. He held academic appointments in Australia, the UK, and South Africa prior to moving to Canada. He is a long-serving Joint Editor-in-Chief of the journal Bioethics, the official publication of the International Association of Bioethics. His most recent publications are This is Bioethics: An Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell 2021) and Bioethics: An Anthology 4th ed (Wiley-Blackwell 2021).

Suzanne van de Vathorst, MD Ph.D., is a professor of quality of end-of-life and dying, at the Department of Ethics, Law, and Humaniora at the Amsterdam UMC. She is also an associate professor of ethics at the Department of Medical Ethics, Philosophy, and History at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. She is (amongst other things) a former member of the Dutch Euthanasia Committee and has done extensive research into the practice of assisted dying in the Netherlands. She is currently a member of the Dutch Health Council and of the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects.

Aspen Evening Symposium

Yahya E. Choonara is a Professor of Pharmaceutics, Director and Principal Researcher at the Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform (WADDP) in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa). His research is at the forefront of producing targeted and personalized medicines to treat infectious, hereditary, and lifestyle diseases in which he continues to make a major impact on generating intellectual property. He received many prestigious awards recognizing his pioneering research including an African Union-The World Academy of Science Award for advancing pharmaceutical technology and innovation and several national awards for designing first-in-the-world drug delivery systems, neuro-pharmaceutical devices for regenerative medicine, biomaterials, and nanomedicines to challenge conformist thinking in the field. He also received the SA Top Intellectual Property Creator Award for his 21 international granted patents including the world’s fastest dissolving matrix, drug-eluting devices, 3D-bioprinted platforms, nanomedicines, neuro-therapeutics, and bio-inspired tissue engineering scaffolds. He is a member of prestigious academies including Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, The World Academy of Sciences, and the International Pharmaceutical Federation and authored >280 ISI-accredited publications, features in the Stanford Top 2% of scientists globally, and mentored >85 postgraduates/postdocs from 9 countries, many receiving prestigious emerging researcher awards.


Sanofi Morning Symposium

Francois Venter, MD, FCP, Ph.D. is the Divisional Head of Ezintsha at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he received most of his training. He has an active interest in public sector access to HIV services, and his work involves health systems research that directly translates into national programs, most recently involving dolutegravir and TAF. He leads multiple antiretroviral treatment optimisation studies and is currently working on new first and second-line antiretroviral options, patient linkage-to-care interventions, and self-testing projects. He has led large PEPFAR-funded HIV programs in South Africa, focusing on different populations such as men, women, children, young people, truckers, sex workers, and LGBTI. For the last 20 years, he has been an advisor to bodies such as the South African government, Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, UNAIDS, and WHO, including contributing to international, regional, and national HIV guidelines. He has been involved in several human rights cases involving HIV within the Southern African region and has an active interest in medical ethics.

Suzaan Marais obtained her MBChB from the University of the Free State in 1995. She received clinical training as a Neurology Registrar at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and obtained her FC Neurol (SA) degree from the College of Medicine in 2012. Funded by a Carnegie Corporation Research Award (2011), a Discovery Foundation Academic Fellowship Award (2011), and a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship Award (2012) she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2014. The studies towards her Ph.D. thesis focused on HIV-associated tuberculous meningitis (TBM) and TBM-immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), which she performed under the supervision of Robert J Wilkinson, Katalin A Wilkinson, and Graeme Meintjes, all based at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, UCT. From February 2016 up to December 2019 she served as a Consultant Neurologist at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at UKZN. Suzaan is passionate about central nervous system infectious diseases in HIV-infected individuals. Her current research continuous to focus on TBM, including her being a co-investigator of a multinational TBM treatment trial (HARVEST, ISRCTN15668391) funded by the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom that is underway in South Africa, Uganda, and Indonesia. She plans to increasingly include other infectious diseases in her research agenda in the future.

Workshop 3: ICU for the Neurologist

Mervyn Mer currently presides as a principal specialist at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He also serves as Clinical Head of the Adult multidisciplinary Intensive Care Unit at CMJAH. Mervyn’s academic background includes a MBBCh degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as a Dip PEC (South Africa), FCP (South Africa), M Med (University of the Witwatersrand), and a Ph.D. (University of the Witwatersrand). He has a Pulmonology subspecialty as well as Cert Critical Care (SA). He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians - FRCP (London, UK) and a Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians - FCCP (United States). He is involved in various aspects of clinical research, is a hands-on clinician, and has participated in more than 950 lectures and presentations. He is extensively involved in postgraduate and undergraduate teaching and serves as an examiner for the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa in several disciplines. In addition, Mervyn has published numerous journal articles, at the regional and international levels. He is also one of the editors of the recently published book “Clinical Examination Skills in the Adult Critically Ill Patient”. Mervyn is a past President of the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa (CCSSA), having served three terms. He also served as Secretary of the CCSSA for 17 years. He previously ran the portfolio of Continuing Medical Education for the South African Thoracic Society (SATS) for more than a decade and was a founder-member, and is current vice-President of the Southern African Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (SASTH). Mervyn is the current Chairperson of the Global Intensive Care Working Group of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and has been integrally involved in the ALIVE Sepsis project. He is also an invited member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) (USA) and ESICM venture that is currently addressing sepsis in developing countries. In 2018, he was invited to become a panel member of the next international Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines, as well as to be a contributor to the new international mucormycosis guidelines. He serves as a Council member of the recently formed African Sepsis Alliance. In 2018, Mervyn was invited to be a visiting professor at the world-renowned Amsterdam Medical Center and the University of Amsterdam (one person globally invited). He has received numerous awards, including the Surgeon General Commendation Award, the Phillip V. Tobias and Convocation Clinical Award for Distinguished Teaching (highest teaching award offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand), The FJ Milne Department of Medicine Service, and Teaching Award (premier award conferred to a member of the Department of Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand), the President’s Award of the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa (highest award offered by the CCSSA to a doctor for outstanding contributions to Critical Care) and the Sam Naidoo Award for the best clinician, conferred by the Southern African Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Most recently, he was the first recipient of the Hilda Datnow Jacobson award (awarded to the most competent, caring, and capable doctor in the profession, irrespective of the field of interest).

NBI (National Bioproducts Institute) Lunch time Symposium

Val Beaumont is a pharmacist who has specialised in industrial pharmacy. She consults to the health sector on strategic, regulatory, policy, ethics, and technical matters related to medicines and medical devices. She is the Executive Officer for the Marketing Code Authority and the Managing Editor of Juta Pharmapedia (A publication in development on health law). Her past endeavors include: Technical and management roles within the pharmaceutical industry, 14 years in training and skills development as the founder and Managing Director of Health Science Academy (now owned by FPD), 11 years as Executive Director of a pharmaceutical industry trade association, a short period as the owner of a community pharmacy, diverse consulting projects, and academic appointments lecturing at undergrad and post-grad level. She has contributed to the profession of pharmacy through;10 years as an elected member of the South African Pharmacy Council, and various leadership roles within the Pharmaceutical Society, and has been recognised by the profession through the award of a fellowship of the Pharmaceutical Society. Val is currently studying for an MSc(Med) in Bioethics and Health Law, at Wits Medical School’s Steve Biko Centre for Ethics.

Boehringer-Ingelheim Lunch time Symposium

Ales Tomek currently serves as a Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Cerebrovascular Board of Czech Neurological Society. Dr. Tomek works as a chief of the cerebrovascular program and deputy director of the Neurology Department, 2nd Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Dr. Tomek is also a fellow of the European Stroke Organisation. Dr. Tomek received his MD in 1998 at Charles University, he then completed his neurology board exams in 2001 and 2004. In 2014 he completed his Ph.D. with the thesis "Pharmacogenetics of warfarin". His research interests include cerebrovascular neurology, clinical and research applications of personalized medicine in stroke patients (specifically, the pharmacogenetics of vitamin K antagonists, acetylsalicylic acid, thienopyridines, and novel oral anticoagulants), and neurocritical care in acute stroke. Dr. Tomek has authored over 50 research papers, over 300 congress presentations, 8 book chapters and two monographs as principal editor. He has been a co-investigator in over 15 clinical trials and in 8 research grant projects.

Scientific Session 3

Yosuf Veriava, Professor Emeritus is a specialist Physician and a certified Nephrologist. He qualified as a doctor in 1968 and spent his entire clinical career at the public sector academic hospitals attached to the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. He was appointed as the Chief Specialist Physician at the Helen Joseph Hospital and the Academic Head of Internal Medicine at Wits in 2005. He occupied this position until his retirement in 2008, Professor Yosuf Veriava was bestowed with the Order of Luthuli in Silver for his contribution to medicine in South Africa. In 2009, the University of Witwatersrand awarded him an Honorary Doctorate for his unwavering commitment and dedication to the human, moral, ethical, and transformational aspirations of Wits and the community he served. Presently he provides an advisory service on clinical matters to the Clinix Group of Hospitals. He is also the chairperson of the ministerial Task Team of the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Medical Collaboration between Cuba and SouthAfrica.

Shira E. Slasky, MD, is an Attending Radiologist at Montefiore Medical Center, as well as an Associate Professor of Radiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, New York. Her clinical focus is on imaging of the adult and pediatric brain, spine, head, and neck as well as advanced imaging. Dr. Slasky obtained her Doctor of Medicine in 2002 from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After graduating, she completed an internship in internal medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, followed by a residency in radiology at Montefiore. In 2003, she completed a fellowship in neuroradiology at Montefiore. In 2009, she received the American Board of Radiology Subspecialty Certificate in Neuroradiology. Dr. Slasky’s research focuses on traumatic, infectious, and congenital conditions of the brain. She is also involved in research regarding carotid webs. Dr. Slasky has published on topics including deep venous occlusion, delayed neurologic deterioration after a head injury, hippocampal malrotation, and spinal infections and has held presentations nationally. Dr.Slasky presents imaging findings at weekly epilepsy surgery planning interdisciplinary conferences. A valued instructor, Dr. Slasky received awards for resident and student teaching including the UMDNJ Best Teacher of Residents Award and a nomination for the NJMS Golden Apple Teaching Award.

Kailash Bhatia is a Professor of Clinical Neurology in the Department of Clinical and Movement Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology, UCL, Queen Square, London, and an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the affiliated National Hospital for Neurology, Queen Square. He obtained his medical degree and also neurology degree from Bombay University India and obtained further training in neurogenetics and movement disorders with the late Professor’s Anita Harding and David Marsden at Queen Square London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and corresponding Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. His main research interest is in movement disorders, merging clinical, electrophysiological, and genetic methods to study the pathophysiology of movement disorders conditions like Dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, and atypical parkinsonian syndromes. He currently has over 620 peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters and has edited 4 books including a large reference tome “Marsden’s Book of Movement Disorders” by Oxford University Press (OUP) which was the recipient of the best book in Neuroscience award at the BMA awards in 2013. He is the current and founding editor in chief of Movement Disorders Clinical Practise Journal (MDCP) and has previously been the Associate Editor of Movement Disorders Journal (MDJ). He has served on several international committees of the MDS and the ENS, EFNS including the International Executive Committee (IEC) of Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders Society and their central science program committee (CSPC). He is on the executive committee for movement disorders for the Association of British Neurology (ABN). He has been an active member of the EAN as a delegate and full individual member and was the subcommittee chairman of movement disorders when the EAN was formed. He started a term in 2019 for two years as Secretary- elect of the MDS- ES to continue the close collaboration in the education programs with the EAN and other bodies.

Andrew Charles is a Professor of Neurology at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he holds the Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Migraine and Headache Studies. He is Director of the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program, which includes basic and clinical research, education, and care of patients with headache disorders. His laboratory focuses on cellular and pharmacological mechanisms of migraine and pain, with a particular interest in the development of novel therapies. He is an associate editor of the journal Cephalalgia, and he has served on the Board of Trustees of the International Headache Society. He is President-Elect of the American Headache Society.

Roche Evening Symposium

Jo Wilmshurst is Head of Paediatric Neurology at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, University of Cape Town, in South Africa. She is President of the International Child Neurology Association (2018-2022). She is a member of the Pediatric, Education, and Epilepsy Surgery Commissions for the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) as well as an Education officer for the African Commission and chair-elect for the African Commission (2021-2023). She is a member of the executive board of the Paediatric Neurology and Development Association of Southern Africa (PANDA-SA) and the African Child Neurology Association (ACNA). She is director of the African Paediatric Fellowship Program – a training program under the auspices of the University of Cape which aims at developing skills in pediatric disciplines of doctors from across Africa. She is an associate editor for Epilepsia and Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, chief editor for the Paediatric Neurology sub-section of Frontiers in Neurology, and on the editorial board for the JICNA, the Journal of Child Neurology, Epileptic Disorders, and Seizure. She has over 150 peer-reviewed publications. She has interests in rare neurological disorders, such as neuromuscular diseases and neurocutaneous syndromes, and common high-impact diseases, such as epilepsy and neuroinfections.


Roche Morning Symposium

Patty Francis MBBCH (Wits), FC Neurol (SA) is a consultant Neurologist in private practice, she has a special interest in acute stroke in addition to full general neurology. In addition to her extensive experience as a general neurologist in South Africa, she also has experience as a consultant neurologist in the United Kingdom. She is the current president of the Neurological Association of South Africa.

Dominic Giampaolo MBBCH (Wits), FC Neuro (SA) is a General Neurologist and has been in private practice for over 25 years. Furthermore, he is the current lead author of the local Multiple Sclerosis guidelines.


Chris Retief MBCHB (Pret), MMed (Neuro) Pret is a Neurologist and clinical investigator in numerous clinical studies for Multiple Sclerosis. Furthermore, he is a co-author of the local MS guidelines.

Scientific Session 4

Andrè Venter was the Academic Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of the Free State for more than 20 years. He has now retired but remains an emeritus professor at the UFS, and is still in private practice. He is a Neurodevelopmental Paediatrician, with a passion for children with developmental delay and other handicaps. Prof Venter is fascinated by the way the brain works and factors that influence the way we learn, think, and concentrate. He was very fortunate to be awarded the Katherine Swallow Fellowship which enabled him to do a Ph.D. in Child Development at the University of Alberta in Canada in the early 90’s. He enjoys teaching, making difficult neurological concepts easy for students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. He also has an entrepreneurial spirit, which has led him to be the project leader of many successful projects, like the Beds of Hope campaign, the Children Wing campaign, and currently the MACAH foundation and the establishment of a Mother and Child Academic Hospital in the Free State. He is the founder, chairman, and immediate past president of the Paediatric Association for Neurology and Development in South Africa (PANDA SA) and was also the founder president of the African Neurology and Developmental Association (ACNA). He was awarded for his work by being elected Bloemfonteiner of the year in 2008 as well as a National Management Award from the Kovsie Alumni 2008. He received a lifetime award for teaching Paediatric Neurology in 2012 as well as a Panda SA lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Neurosciences in South Africa.

Simon Nemutandani is the Head and CEO of the School of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand and President of Health Professions Council of South Africa. He was also the Chairperson of the Association of Deans of Dental Schools in Southern Africa. He qualified as a dentist from the University of Western Cape approximately 30 years ago. He holds three Master’s degrees in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Venda, Maters of Science in Medicine(MSc-Med), and a specialist in Community Dentistry (MCHD) from the University of Witwatersrand and a Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Pretoria. His research interests are on health systems, policy, and traditional medicine, and HIV. He explored a decolonisation model for collaboration between indigenous and western trained health providers in post-colonial South Africa. In his role as a policy and public oral health specialist, he has been instrumental in developing the South African Oral Health Policy, providing advises on oral health matters to National and Provincial governments in South Africa.

Boehringer-Ingelheim Lunch time Symposium

Götz Thomalla is a Professor and senior physician at the Clinic and Polyclinic for Neurology in the Head and Neuro center of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Dr.GötzThomalla was awarded the Adolf Wallenberg Prize for his research work "Characterization of cerebral ischemia and control of acute treatment using multiparametric MRI" by the German Society for Neurology (DGN) and the German Stroke Society (DSG). Dr. Thomalla, Head of the "Clinical Stroke Imaging" working group, “…opens up new treatment options for the large group of patients with unknown onset of stroke symptoms. His working group was able to show that with the help of various MRI sequences, regardless of the information about the time of the onset of symptoms, patients with high accuracy can be identified who are in a time window in which they can likely be successfully treated with thrombolysis.” As part of the Hamburg Stroke Working Group, the work of Dr.Thomalla has already contributed directly to improving the treatment of acute stroke in the region.

Pharmaco Lunch time Symposium

Andreas Luft is Professor of Vascular Neurology and Rehabilitation at the University of Zurich and Director of the research clinic Cereneo specialized in neurorehabilitation located in Vitznau, Switzerland. At the University Hospital Zurich he is heading the Stroke Center in the Department of Neurology. His research focuses on new methods in stroke rehabilitation that focus on training intensity, motivation, and reward. In animal models, his team investigates how reward enables successful recovery from a brain lesion. In human stroke survivors, he conducts clinical studies and trials to explore the effects of new training strategies that are based on the physiological understanding gained in the animal model.

Workshop 4: Pain Management

Milton Raff is an anesthesiologist and a Pain Management Practitioner at the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. He graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry and Genetics from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1973, before being awarded his bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pretoria in 1979. He was appointed Director of the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital Pain Clinic in 1997, where he has remained in this position since. Additionally, he is a councilor at the College of Anaesthesiologists of South Africa, a constituent college of the South African College of Medicine. Dr Raff was President of the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (2008–2010) and of PAINSA, the South African Chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) (2009–2012). He is the immediate past Chair of the main committee of the World Federation of the Societies of Anaesthesia (WFSA), holding this position until 2016, and he was a member of the Developing Countries Working Group of the IASP between 2008 and 2014. Dr. Raff is the current editor of the Journal of Pain SA and is the author of many peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

Roy Freeman is a Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Autonomic and Peripheral Nerve Disorders in the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Freeman is past President of the American Autonomic Society, past chairman of the World Federation of Neurology research group on the autonomic nervous system, and past chairman of the Autonomic Section of the American Academy of Neurology. He is currently Chairman of Consortium on Clinical Endpoints and Procedures for Peripheral Neuropathy Trials, a subgroup of Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (ACTTION), a public-private partnership with the United States FDA. Dr. Freeman is Editor of Autonomic Neuroscience — Basic and Clinical and on the editorial board of the Clinical Autonomic Research, Clinical Journal of Pain and Pain Reports. His research and clinical interests are the physiology and pathophysiology of the small nerve fibers and the autonomic nervous system. His research encompasses the neurological complications of diabetes; neuropathic pain; the autonomic complications of neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy; and the diagnosis and treatment of autonomic and peripheral nervous system disorders. He has 275 publications. He has been principal investigator on many neuropathic pain clinical trials and has been principal investigator on National Institutes of Health-funded studies on the neurological complications of diabetes, on cutaneous biomarkers in neurodegenerative disease, and the neurobiology of stress.

Ralf Baron Professor Dr med FFPMCAI is Head of the Division of Neurological Pain Research and Therapy at the Department of Neurology, Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet Kiel, in Germany. From 1999-2004, he served as General Secretary of the German Interdisciplinary Pain Society (DIVS), from 2005-2016 he served as a Management Committee Member of the Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group (NeuPSIG) of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and from 2008-2010 as a board member of the Deutsche Schmerzgesellschaft. He has been a Councilor of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) from 2010-2016. His main research interest is the pathophysiology and therapy of neuropathic pain states. He has intensive scientific collaborations with several researchers worldwide, e.g., Professor HL Fields, San Francisco, USA, and Professor TS Jensen, Aarhus, Denmark. Professor Baron is an associate editor and reviewer for many scientific journals (Advisory Board Member for Nature Reviews Neurology, Associate Editor for the European Journal of Pain). He has been the recipient of the German Pain Award, the Heinrich-Pette-Award of the German Neurological Society, and the Sertürner-Award. In 1998 he was awarded a Feodor Lynen fellowship by the German Humboldt Foundation and was visiting professor at the Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco. Professor Baron has authored more than 370 publications with his outstanding and motivated research team and has lectured at numerous conferences and symposia worldwide.

Amar Salti is a practicing Consultant in Anesthesia and Pain Medicine at Cleveland Clinic – Abu Dhabi - the United Arab Emirates since February 2020. Dr Salti studied Medicine at Rene Descartes University, Paris, France, and did his fellowship in anesthesia and intensive care at Bichat hospital, Paris, France. He is French board certified in both Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. He also obtained the European diploma of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine organized by the European Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ESRA). Dr.Salti has a great passion for educational activities which is reflected in his active participation, presentations, workshops, and publications in major textbooks as well as journal articles. Dr.Salti is a frequent national and international speaker and has received many professional and academic awards. He is the chairman of (NYSORA) New York School of Regional Anesthesia Middle East and the Co-founder of the Gulf Pain School. Dr Salti is adjunct clinical professor at Gulf Medical University and associate professor at Lerner medical college, Cleveland Ohio.