Professor Laurence Kenney PhD BSc CSci MIPEM – Chairman NSC – University of Salford

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Professor Laurence Kenney PhD BSc CSci MIPEM

After graduating in mechanical engineering from the University of Salford, Laurence studied for a PhD in engineering design. Since the mid-1990s he has worked in the area of rehabilitation engineering, with a focus on prosthetics and functional electrical stimulation systems. His research has contributed to the design of two regulatory-approved functional electrical stimulation devices, as well as the development of novel outcome measures based on the use of wearable sensors. Professor Kenney now co-leads the research group in Rehabilitation Technologies and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Salford.  He joined the INSPIRE’s National Scientific Committee in March 2016 and became its Chairman in September 2018.

Dr Maurizio Belci DMS MSc MRCS FRCP – NSIC Stoke Mandeville

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Dr Maurizio Belci DMS MSc MRCS FRCP - NSIC, Stoke Mandeville

Since 2011, Maurizio has been a consultant in Spinal Cord Injuries at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville, the UK’s founder spinal unit.  His education began in his native Croatia and from 1983 he studied at the University of Padua Medical School graduating as a Doctor in Medicine & Surgery (DMS) in 1996.  In 1997 he received his Diploma from the  Italian National Board of Medical and Surgical Examiners at Padova University.  Thereafter he moved to England and gained his Masters in Surgical Science at Imperial College London in November 2001.

He was awarded Membership of Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) in July 2006 and completed his Spinal Cord Injuries (Rehab Medicine) training at Oxford in 2010.  In 2016 he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians,  London.  During his career he has held medical appointments in Italy, Poland Croatia and all over the UK including major hospital in Torbay in Devon,  Addenbrokes in Cambridge and Preston, Lancashire where he was a Senior House Offier in Neurosurgery.

Maurizio’s career path has included anaesthetics,  obstetrics and gynaecology, trauma and orthopaedics and intensive care and peripheral neuropathy.  He has undertaken a great deal of research into SCI and one of his recent multinational projects was titled: ‘Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) on Chronic Pain in Spinal Cord Injured’.  He was introduced to the INSPIRE Foundation by Mariel Purcell and willingly agreed to join the National Scientific Committee in December 2019.

Doctor Ed Chadwick BEng (Hons), PhD, MIPEM, FHEA – University of Aberdeen

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Doctor Ed Chadwick BEng (Hons), PhD, MIPEM, FHEA - University of Aberdeen

Dr Chadwick is a Biomedical Engineer in the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen. His research interests are in biomechanics, computer modelling of human movement, and rehabilitation engineering. He has a particular interest in shoulder and arm function, and the development of assistive technologies for the restoration of function in people with spinal injuries. He enthusiastically agreed to become a member of INSPIRE’s National Scientific Committee in May 2019.

After gaining a first-class degree in Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham University, he went on to complete a PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Following international post-doctoral positions at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, he returned to the UK in 2008. He was a Lecturer in Biomechanics at the University of Aberystwyth until 2012, and Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at Keele University until 2019.

Professor Michael Duncan Craggs PhD BSc(Hons) MSB CBiol CSci MIPEM – London Spinal Cord Injury Centre

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Professor Michael Duncan Craggs PhD BSc(Hons) MSB CBiol CSci MIPEM

Emeritus Professor of Applied Clinical Neurophysiology at UCL Medical School and Director of Neuro-spinal Research & Consultant Clinical Scientist for the Functional Assessment & Restoration Service at The London Spinal Cord Injury Centre, RNOH Stanmore, Professor Craggs is one of the World’s leading authorities on the clinical development and application of medical devices.In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr Dorit Kunkel MPhil PhD – Southampton General Hospital

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Dr Dorit Kunkel MPhil PhD

Dorit qualified with a Physiotherapy Diploma in her native Berlin in 1992. Her interest quickly developed in neurological rehabilitation and she now has more than 17 years’ experience in managing mixed methods, research studies and trials. After completing her PhD in 2002 at University of Southampton, Dorit specialised in fall prediction, characterisation of fall events in people with stroke and appointed as a Senior Research Fellow in 2004. In recent years, her research work has focused on exploring novel interventions to promote independence and stability, with the overarching goal to improve quality of life in people with Parkinson’s and stroke. Her skills will be readily relevant to spinal cord injury and she was delighted to have been selected to join INSPIRE in November 2017. Dorit continues the long association between the University of Southampton and INSPIRE’s National Scientific Committee.

Professor Andrew Jackson PhD – Newcastle University

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Professor Andrew Jackson PhD

After obtaining a PhD in neuroscience from University College London, Andrew pursued post-doctoral research at the University of Washington, in the United States. He then returned to the UK and to his current appointment as Professor of Neural Interfaces at Newcastle University. In addition, he is also a Senior Research Fellow with the Wellcome Trust. Andrew’s research focuses on applications of neurotechnology in treating neurological conditions including spinal cord injury and epilepsy. He became a member of INSPIRE’s NSC in October 2017.

Dr Mariel Purcell

Dr Mariel Purcell, MB BCh BAO MRCGP – Queen Elizabeth University Teaching Hospital, Glasgow

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Dr Mariel Purcell, MB BCh BAO MRCGP

Dr Mariel Purcell graduated from University College Dublin in 1997. She then went on to complete rehabilitation training in Aberdeen. In February 2007 she took up her post as Consultant in Spinal Injuries at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit, at Queen Elizabeth University Teaching Hospital in Glasgow. Mariel is an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in the University of Glasgow and Director of the Scottish Centre for Innovation in Spinal Cord Injury. She was elected to the INSPIRE Foundation’s National Scientific Committee in September 2017, assuming the post from Matthew Fraser. Her research profile is at: Mariel Purcell 

Dr Paul Strutton BSc (Hons) PhD FHEA – Imperial College London

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Dr Paul Strutton BSc (Hons) PhD FHEA

Paul Strutton runs the Nick Davey lab at Imperial College’s Charing Cross Hospital campus in West London. He has been involved in exploring a range of topics relating to motor control in health and disease and the effects of pain on this control. He utilises brain stimulation techniques to investigate neural control and plasticity and correlates these with changes in function. He has more recently begun to investigate the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to modulate pain, using a model of top-down analgesic control.

Paul was recently the Principal Investigator of an INSPIRE funded project called TRUNK CONTROL exploring the interactions between limb movements and trunk control in people with incomplete spinal cord injury investigating if exercise of the limbs might improve trunk control. He is a reviewer for over 30 scientific journals and has reviewed grants for NIHR, MRC and the Wellcome Trust. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the Physiological Society. He was elected to the INSPIRE National Scientific Committee in March 2018.

Dr Paul Taylor CSci IPEM PhD CEng MIPEM MSc BSc (Hons) – National Clinical FES Centre

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Dr Paul Taylor CSci IPEM PhD CEng MIPEM MSc BSc (Hons)

Paul Taylor is a Biomedical Engineer and leads the FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) research team at the National Clinical FES Centre in Salisbury.  He is also visiting professor at the Faculty of Health and Social Science, Bournemouth University.  He has researched and developed clinical exploitation in many guises and his role is to coordinate research leading to the development and clinical exploitation of FES and other rehabilitation techniques.

He has acted as chief, principal investigator and co-applicant in multi centre trials, investigating the clinical efficacy of FES in stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury.  He has developed a range of electronic devices for the restoration of walking and upper limb function for people with neurological problems, from proof of concept, through clinical trials, CE marking to commercial production.  He is a co-founder of Odstock Medical Ltd, the first English NHS Trust owned company and is President of IFESS.  Paul was elected to INSPIRE’s National Scientific Committee in March 2016.

Mr David Temple – Retired RAF & EMI Avionics Engineer – Bath

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Mr David Temple - Bath

David Temple’s promising career in the RAF as an avionics engineer was cut short after a spinal cord injury in 1985 while serving in Hong Kong.  He suffered a dislocation of T7/8 and had luque rods fitted to stabilise his fracture.  Although the initial prognosis was not good, after extensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation at NSIC Stoke Mandeville and RAF Headley Court, he eventually learned to walk again using sticks.  In 1987 he was discharged from the RAF and worked for EMI for 3 years and he then specialised in engineering in avionics, aircraft maintenance, procurement and R & D both for commercial organisations and the MOD.  Now semi-retired, David lives in Bath with his wife and son.  He was elected to INSPIRE’s National Scientific Committee in April 2017 and to the Board of Trustees in October 2019.

Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe PhD MSc – Centre for Rehabilitation, University College London

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Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe PhD MSc (Belgium)

Anne was a truly international student with schooling in her native Belgium before completing her final year as an Erasmus student in the Netherlands.  She then undertook a 5 year Masters of Engineering Science in Belgium, followed by her PhD at University College London (UCL).  She has worked in Germany (IMTEK, Freiburg) and Australia (UNSW, Sydney), where she contributed to the development of the Bionic Eye.  She co-founded the Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology CREATe, at UCL, where she is an associate professor (research profile).  She develops implantable electronic devices to improve the quality of life of patients, through applications such as, control of prosthetic limbs, restoration of movement for paralysed muscles,  activation of artificial organs and neuromodulation for improved bladder control or spasticity management.  She was the second grant holder for INSPIRE’s successful project NEUROMOD (2016-2018) and is now involved in NEUROMOD II.

Anne chairs the UK chapter of the International Microeletronics Assembly and Packaging Society (IMAPS-UK).  She is also a keen teacher, who actively seeks new strategies to develop more inclusive learning spaces and to improve the university experience of non-mainstream students. Her focus and ambition is to improve the quality of life of people affected by disease and disability by supporting the development of therapeutic and rehabilitation interventions.  Her research includes core engineering considerations for new devices interacting with the nervous system, as well as scientific collaborations with clinicians.  Despite her extremely busy professional portfolio, Anne was delighted to be asked to join INSPIRE’s National Scientific Committee in May 2019.