Committees

Committees

The World Stroke Congress unites academic, clinical and industry leaders in the field of Stroke to deliver a program of thought-provoking presentations and engaging discussions.

We are proud to present to you the experts behind WSC 2021 (hover over their pictures, to learn more about each committee member).

Scientific Committee:

Sean Savitz, USA
Scientific Committee Chair

Sean I. Savitz, MD is a tenured Professor of Neurology, holds the Frank M. Yatsu Chair in Neurology, and directs the Institute for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHealth). He and his team run one of the largest academic stroke programs in the world, developing novel treatments and health care delivery models for patients with ischemic stroke and brain hemorrhage. Dr. Savitz oversees a bidirectional, translational laboratory and clinical research program on cell therapies in stroke and has been conducting some of the first clinical trials testing cell therapies in stroke patients. He also oversees a fellowship program to train stroke specialists and has won several teaching awards both in Boston and at UTHealth. He is an author of over 200 publications in the biomedical literature.

Sean Savitz, USA
Scientific Committee Chair
Ana Catarina Fonseca, Portugal
Scientific Committee Co-chair

Ana Catarina Fonseca is a neurology consultant and has a PhD in Medicine, from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon (2014). In 2014, she completed a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University (USA), having previously completed two masters: in Stroke Medicine at the University Danube Krems (Austria) and in Neuroscience at the University of Lisbon.
She is a researcher at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular where she manages the stroke biobank collection, teaches Pharmacology and Neurology at the Faculty of Medicine (University of Lisbon) and works at the stroke unit of Hospital de Santa Maria in Lisbon, Portugal.
She participated in the “value of treatment project” of the European Brain Council” and in the writing of guidelines for the “European Stroke Organization”. She is an editorial board member for Stroke and BMC Neurology. Her main research interests are cryptogenic stroke, heart-brain interactions and precision medicine.

Ana Catarina Fonseca, Portugal
Scientific Committee Co-chair
Julie Bernhardt, Australia

Julie Bernhardt is a clinician researcher and Senior Principal Research Fellow at Melbourne’s Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, where she co-heads the Stroke Theme and leads a research team focused on developing interventions to improve stroke recovery. She’s worked with stroke patients for 30 years, is Principal Investigator of the international, early rehabilitation trial, AVERT DOSE and is Australia’s leading rehabilitation trialist. Julie is also Director, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery. She’s led two international Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Roundtables to develop new research standards and is a strong advocate for Women in Science.

Julie Bernhardt, Australia
Maria Epifania Collantes, Philippines

Maria Epifania Collantes, MD,Msc Fellow, Philippine Neurological Association, Fellow, Philippine College of Physicians, Fellow, World Stroke Organization. Positions: Associate Professor 3, University of the Philippines College of Medicine, Head of Stroke Team, Philippine General Hospital, Chair, Neurophysiology Lab, Manila Doctors Hospital, Past President, Stroke Society of the Philippines. She conducts nationwide Thrombolysis workshops and WSO Cardinal Principles of Stroke Management (CPOST); is active in training and establishment of acute stroke ready hospitals and stroke units in far flung areas of the Philippines; mobilizing the Stroke Society for nationwide stroke awareness campaigns; and is instrumental in drafting of the National Stroke Policy for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation with the Philippine Department of Health.

Maria Epifania Collantes, Philippines
Mahmut Edip Gurol, USA

Dr. Gurol, a vascular neurologist and NIH-funded researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, is an international expert on atrial fibrillation and cerebral small vessel diseases of the elderly such as cerebral amyloid angiopathy, conditions that increase the risk of both hemorrhagic and ischemic cerebral events in affected individuals. Dr. Gurol leads multicenter studies in ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke prevention, especially in atrial fibrillation patients. Dr. Gurol is the NeuroCardiology Section Editor of AHA’s Stroke journal, associate editor for the Journal of Stroke, the chair of World Stroke Organization’s task force on cerebral small vessel diseases and vascular cognitive impairment, and he published over 200 articles in high impact scientific journals.

Mahmut Edip Gurol, USA
Norlinah Mohd Ibrahim, Malaysia

Norlinah Mohamed Ibrahim MBBCh,BAO (Ireland), BMedSci, MRCPI, AM is a Professor of Neurology in UKM Medical Center, Malaysia. She is currently the Lead for Neurosciences and Mental Health Research, of Universiti Kebangsaan. She is a Committee Member for Neurology Postgraduate Education Training Committee under the Malaysian Medical Council. She currently serves as a Steering Committee member for Lancet -WHO for Stroke in Low to Middle Income Countries and Task Force member for Movement Disorders Society Asian-Oceanic Section. She is the recipient of High Impact Grant in 2012 and 2019, Research Award in 2016, and Anugerah Bitara, UKM (2016) for outstanding contribution to research and publications. She has received Excellence Service Awards from the Faculty of Medicine in 2010 and 2019.

Norlinah Mohd Ibrahim, Malaysia
Hugh Markus, United Kingdom

Hugh Markus is Professor of Stroke Medicine and Honorary Consultant Neurologist in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, UK. He trained in Medicine at Oxford and Nottingham and in Neurology in London. He was Professor of Neurology at St George’s, University of London, before moving to his current post in 2013. He spends approximately half of his time in clinical care of stroke patients, including hyperacute stroke care as well as specialist stroke interests including running a National CADASIL Clinic. His research applies genetic and imaging techniques to investigate the pathogenesis of stroke and develop new treatments with a particular interest in cerebral small vessel disease and vascular cognitive impairment.

Hugh Markus, United Kingdom
Mayowa Oyo Owolabi, Nigeria

Prof. Owolabi MBBS, MSc, DrM, FMCP, FAAN, FANA, FRCP, FAS is a Professor of Neurology, Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; an expert in Neurorehabilitation, Stroke, Cognitive neurology, Genomic and epidemiology. He has >270 publications in peer-reviewed journals and is principal investigator of numerous international- funded studies. His several inventions/ innovations include the stroke levity scale, stroke recovery cycle, stroke quadrangle, Seed of Life Model, health-related quality of life in stroke patients tool. He is a member of the Presidium World Federation of NeuroRehabilitation, Lead Co-chair, WSO-WHO-Lancet Neurology Commission on Stroke, member Board of Directors, World Stroke Organization; a Fellow American Academy of Neurology, Nigerian Academy of Science and Royal College of Physicians.

Mayowa Oyo Owolabi, Nigeria
Yvo Roos, Netherlands

Yvo Roos is Professor of Acute Neurology and vice-head of department in the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His research interest is mainly in the field of developing and investigating treatments for both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. He was co-PI of the MRCLEAN trial (NEJM 2015). After the MRCLEAN trial he was PI of the CLOT-MRCLEAN study (NEJM 2017). He is currently one of the executive members of the MRCLEAN Registry study, a population-level real world experience in thrombectomy for stroke and exemplary for medical registries globally. Within the CONTRAST-consortium he is co-PI of the new MRCLEAN No-IV. He was also on the executive committee of the Chinese DIRECT-MT trial published in the NEJM in 2020. Co-author in more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscript, he has a Hirsch index of 45 (Google Scholar).

Yvo Roos, Netherlands
Alexis Simpkins, USA

Alexis N. Simpkins, MD, PhD, MSCR, FAHA is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Florida. Dr. Simpkins completed neurology residency at The Johns Hopkins University, and a combined clinical and research vascular neurology fellowship at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, and Stroke. She obtained a Master’s of Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina 2019 as an American Academy of Neurology TRANSCENDS Scholar. Dr. Simpkins has received several awards for her cutting-edge stroke research on novel acute stroke therapies, stroke prevention, and advanced brain imaging. She is also an Assistant Editor of the eNeurological Science Journal, editorial board member of the Journal of Neuroimaging, and a Special Section Editor for the Stroke Journal.

Alexis Simpkins, USA

Congress Planning Committee:

Stefan Kiechl, Austria (CPG Co-chair)

Sean Savitz, USA (CPG Co-chair)

Natan Bornstein, Israel

Michael Brainin, Austria

Marc Fisher, USA

Ana Catarina Fonseca, Portugal

Werner Hacke, Germany

Patrice Lindsay, Canada

Deidre de Silva, Singapore

Bernard Yan, Australia