Winter Forum 2021
Speaker Bio's & Recorded Presentations
Dr Ela Chakkarapani
Dr Ela Chakkarapani completed his undergraduate Medicine course in Chennai, India and specialist training in Paediatrics and Neonatology in the UK. Looking after families of babies with brain injury inspired him to work towards improving the outcomes for those babies and their families.
To achieve his mission, he gained MD in Neonatal Neuroprotection at the University of Bristol under the leadership of Prof M Thoresen. He travelled to Canada and pursued post-doctorate training at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver under the leadership of Dr K Poskitt and Prof S Miller, which enhanced his neuroimaging and neonatal neurology expertise. He currently works as a clinical academic with 50:50 NHS clinical and UoB research and teaching commitments. He is a consultant neonatologist at the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, St Michael's Hospital, Bristol with special interests in neonatal neurology, neuroprotection, brain and neurocognitive development and improving the outcomes of families of babies with brain injury.
He is the research lead for the regional neonatal intensive care unit, elemental lead for the Care of the Newborn for year 4 medical students and committee member in Neonatal Society.
Helen Robinson started her neonatal physiotherapy career nearly 30 years ago in London. She is an advanced physiotherapy practitioner in neonatal neurology and development, and for the past two decades has worked both on the neonatal unit at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and in the neonatal follow up setting. She has a particular interest in the early identification of infants with neurodevelopmental difficulties to facilitate early intervention. She has completed a MSc in Neonatology at Southampton University and has undertaken a neonatal research role in this setting. Helen is a visiting lecturer for Southampton and Plymouth universities. She is currently involved in project work with Health Education England, supporting the development of educational material and career pathways for neonatal physios and is also supporting the UK validation project for the new Bayley 4 assessment. She is a committee member for the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists – Neonatal Group.
Emily Hills is a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist. She graduated from Brunel University in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy. Emily graduated from Southampton University in 2018 with a MSc in Neonatal Studies. Emily works for both the NHS and in private settings. Emily currently runs a small private practice in London and works in a level 2 and level 3, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), in London. In the NICU Emily leads on developmental care, neurobehavioral and neurodevelopmental assessments and developmental interventions including follow up after discharge. Emily is passionate about family-centred care and creating the optimal sensory environment for the preterm baby and their family. Emily is a certified neonatal therapist (CNT). She has completed Newborn Individualised Developmental Care Assessment Program (NIDCAP), Advanced Prechtl General Movement Assessment, Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS) and Newborn Behavioural Observation (NBO) certification. She is a lecturer for both the Brazelton Centre in Great Britain and The Family and Infant Neurodevelopmental Education (FINE). Emily is an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration (SI), she is Neonatal Touch and Massage Certified (NTMC) and is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI).
Lindsay Hardy is Director of Clinical Services at Pace, a therapy and education centre for children from birth -18 years. At Pace Lindsay leads a team of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech & language therapists who provide Early Intervention Services for ex-preterm infants and those at risk of developmental delay, therapy for children with cerebral palsy, Autistic spectrum and other learning difficulties and emotional-behavioural challenges. She provides clinical supervision and mentoring to a number of therapists working within the NHS and privately and has developed a number of courses on child development, neurodevelopment and sensory processing.
Professor Axel Heep
Current position - Clinical Director, Department of Paediatrics, Elisabeth Children’s Hospital, Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany
Researcher (Unpaid status for visiting medical staff), Division of Women and Child Health, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK
Academic Status - Professor of Paediatrics, European Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg
Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer and member of the Stem Cell and Neuroregeneration Research Group, University of Bristol
Research Interest: Perinatal neurobiology of early brain development. Pathophysiology of posthaemorrhagic ventricular dilatation in preterm infants, studying the functional development of connectivity in the brain with fMRI.
Qualifications - GMC Reference No: 7182137, Specialist Register; Fellow des Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK (08/10/2013); Specialist for Neonatology (3/1998); Paediatrics (10/1996); Primary Qualification: Staatsexamen Humanmedizin (Germany; 6/1989).
Publications - 79 original articles, case reports and reviews (h-Index: 27)
Memberships - Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health; German Society for Neonatology and Paediatric Intensive Care; British Association of Perinatal Medicine; European Society of Paediatric Research; European Society of Neonatology; European Neonatal Brain Consortium; Perinatal Neurology Working Group