Local Organising Committee

Local Organising Committee

Professor Helen Cross is The Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy and Head of the Developmental Neuroscience Programme at UCL-Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Neurology Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London and Young Epilepsy, Lingfield, UK. Her research has been targeted at improving outcomes in early onset epilepsy, specifically in assessing the role of surgery and ketogenic diet. She has also held key leadership roles both nationally and internationally. She is Treasurer of the International League Against Epilepsy 2017-2021 (Secretary General 2013-2017), Clinical Advisor to the National Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service, and Clinical Advisor to the update of the NICE guidelines for Childhood Epilepsy 2018-2021. She developed, as Coordinator, the European Reference Network for Rare and Complex Epilepsies (EpiCARE) launched in 2017.

Anita Devlin has been a Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS FT since 2002. She graduated from University College London Medical School in 1988 and has trained in Oxford, Southampton, Aberdeen, London and Newcastle gaining a higher doctorate (MD) for research in 2001.

Anita specialises in the diagnosis and management of epilepsy in childhood and is the departmental and regional lead for epilepsy in children and young people. She successfully obtained funding for and set-up a regional Ketogenic Therapy service for children in the North-East and Cumbria and set up the regional paediatric epilepsy network in the North East and Cumbria. Anita was a member of the award winning team, which produced national training courses in paediatric epilepsy (PET courses) and has published in peer review journals as well as reviewing manuscripts and guidelines for publication.

Anita graduated from the London Business School Executive MBA programme in 2009 and uses these skills along with her knowledge about epilepsy to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of Young Epilepsy and the Medical Board of Matthew’s Friends for Ketogenic Dietary Therapies.

Julie is a founding Trustee and Deputy CEO of Matthew’s Friends charity, since their registration in 2004, working alongside Emma Williams in the day to day running of the organisation.

Her main duties include the organisation of the Global Symposiums on Medical Ketogenic Dietary Therapies when they are held in the UK (previously 2010 Edinburgh and 2014 Liverpool) and the next KETO2020 meeting in Brighton.

Prof. Simon Heales obtained his PhD from Aston University in 1987 and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2003. He is the Head of the Enzyme Laboratory at Great Ormond Children’s Hospital in London.

Prof. Heales also holds the UCL Chair of Clinical Chemistry and has a strong interest in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with inherited metabolic disorders. This work is underpinned by a number of basic and translational research projects that are carried out in conjunction with the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. He has published over 150 papers in the area of mitochondrial, neurotransmitter and lysosomal disorders.

Prof. Heales is also the Director of the Neurometabolic Unit at the National Hospital, Queen Square (UCLH Foundation Trust).

Ketogenic dietitian, Matthews Friends Clinics, Lingfield, UK.Honorary Research Associate, Department of Neuroscience, UCL-Institute of Child Health, London, UK.

Liz Neal graduated from Surrey University in 1988, with a BSc honours degree in Nutrition. This was followed by a number of years working as a dietitian specialising in paediatrics, and a Masters degree in Public health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Liz started working as a ketogenic diet research dietitian at UCL-Institute of Child Health in 2001, and has completed her PhD and written scientific publications on the subject. She currently works for Matthews Friends ketogenic therapy clinics and continues research links with the Institute of Child Health where she holds an honorary post.

Founder/CEO – Charity, Director – Clinics.Matthew’s Friends – Ketogenic Dietary Therapies.

Emma set up the Matthew’s Friends Charity in 2004 after her son Matthew responded so positively to the ketogenic diet. She is now one of the world’s leading advocates for ketogenic therapies and has worked full time in this field for over 14 years, as well as being a single mum to her 2 children. Not only does she have over 6 year’s personal experience of managing her own son with these diets, she has supported thousands of other families through the charity.

She has written numerous magazine articles, featured in many television/radio interviews and co-authored several papers on the Ketogenic therapies with some of the leading Ketogenic medical experts from around the globe.

Emma is invited to speak at a considerable number of International meetings and was the pioneer behind Nutricia’s global ‘Cooking with Ketocal’ Campaign. She is an International Patron for the ‘Diets for Epilepsy in India’ organisation and she is also the only non-medical member of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Task Force for Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy.

With branches of Matthew’s Friends now registered in New Zealand and Canada, she works with her Country CEO’s to make sure that the mission of Matthew’s Friends is continued so that ketogenic therapies are available to all those who may need them and could benefit from them. 2013 saw her awarded an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for her services to Children with Epilepsy.

Prof Williams is Head of the Centre for Biomedical Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London. His key research focus is to improve our understanding of therapeutic treatments for epilepsy, including the development of novel drug and dietary interventions. His work has often been based in an innovative non-animal model system, with breakthrough discoveries translated to specific pre-clinical models.