Below you will find a list of confirmed speakers. 
The list will be updated regularly, with the confirmation of each new speaker, regarding the 2017 congress.

Keynote Speakers

Prof. John Rothwell | Prof. John Krakauer | Prof. Mindy levin | Prof. Fiona Jones

Invited Speakers:

Dr. Michelle McDonnell | Prof. Vincent de Groot | Caroline van Heugten | Prof. Alice Nieuwboer | Prof. Valerie Pomeroy | Prof. Jules DeWald | Prof. Baziel van Engelen | Prof. Frans van der Helm

Keynote Speakers:


Prof. John Rothwell


After receiving a PhD from the University of London, UK, in 1980, John Rothwell worked in London as a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Neurology Department of Professor CD Marsden at the Institute of Psychiatry until 1988, before moving as a Senior Scientist to the Medical Research Council Human Movement and Balance Unit at the Institute of Neurology. In that period he developed his interest in the pathophysiology of human movement disorders, with particular attention to Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and myoclonus. The 1980s were times of great expansion in the new technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation, which he and others developed for the study of the human cortical motor system. He became Acting Director of the MRC Unit in 1998 before being appointed to be Head of the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders at the UCL Institute of Neurology in London and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1994.

He is currently Professor of Human Neurophysiology at UCL Institute of Neurology. Current research projects include using neurophysiological techniques to study the mechanisms of neural plasticity that underpin motor learning, and using this knowledge to devise new therapeutic interventions for rehabilitation after stroke.


Prof. John Krakauer


Dr. Krakauer is nationally and internationally recognized for his study of the human motor system in health and disease. His scientific achievements to date include bringing a motor learning paradigm called visuomotor rotation learing into the neuroscience mainstream, discovering the proportional recovery rule for stroke, characterizing a sensitive period of heightened plasticity after stroke, developing new conceptions and definitions of motor skill, and coming up with the notion of implicit motor motivation. His research has been funded by the NIH, NSF, and various other agencies and foundations. In 2015 he received The Salute to Science Award from The Mind Science Foundation. Dr. Krakauer is routinely invited to speak at scientific meetings, and at other venues such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, TEDx, The Charlie Rose Show, NPR, and the Aspen Institute.

Prof. Mindy Levin


Dr. Levin trained as a physiotherapist at McGill University and practiced for several years at the Rehabilitation Institute of Montreal where she specialized in neurological rehabilitation. She then obtained a M.Sc. degree in Clinical Sciences from the University of Montreal followed by a Ph.D. in Physiology from McGill University under the directership of Dr. Christina Hui-Chan. She completed an additional two years of post-doctoral training in neurophysiology at the Universoty of Montreal under the co-directorship of Drs. Yves Lamarre and Anatol G. Feldman. From 1992 to 2004, Dr. Levin held positions as researcher and professor in the School of Rehabilitation at the Université de Montréal. She taught courses at the undergraduate and graduete level mainly in the areas of electrotherapy and neurology. Dr. Levin was Scientific Director of the Research Centre of the Rehabilitation Institute of Montreal from 1997 until November 2001. She was a Research Scholar of the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec from 1992 until 2004. In 2004, Dr. Levin became the Director of the Physical Therapy Program in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University until 2008 and was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in MotorRecovery and Rehabilitation (2005-2012, 2012-2019).

Dr. Levin served as President of the International Society of Motor Control. She was a founding member and is current President of the International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation as well as a founding member and current executive member of the International Neurological Physiotherapy Association of the World Physical Therapy Association.

Dr. Levin's research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms underlying arm sensorimotor deficits and their recovery in adults and children with central nervous system lesions. Her research program aims to elaborate the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying disordered motor control and learning after brain damage and then to develop and test treatment interventions to remediate sensorimotor impairments and disabilities based on these findings. Amongst her research methodologies are new technologies such as virtual reality and robotics.


Prof. Fiona Jones


Fiona is Professor of Rehabilitation Research at St George’s University of London and Kingston University, and the founder of ‘Bridges self-management’. She was previously the Chief Investigator for SESAME- a cluster feasibility trial to test Bridges within stroke teams in London. Since developing the Bridges programme she has also carried out studies to explore self-management support for people with acquired brain injury and long term neurological conditions  as well as exploring professional attitudes and factors influencing sustainability of using programmes within rehabilitation. Fiona has published articles on self-management and self-efficacy, currently supervises six doctoral students who are carrying out research related to self-management. Fiona is also the Chief investigator for a new NIHR funded study,  ‘CREATE’  which started in January 2016 and uses Experience–Based Co-Design to explore ways to increase therapeutic activity in stroke units . In 2009 Fiona received the life after stroke award for excellence from the UK Stroke Association and in 2011 she was made a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. Fiona is currently the President of the UK Association of Physiotherapists in Neurology. 


Invited Speakers:

Dr. Michelle McDonnell

Dr. Michelle McDonnell is a Neurological Physiotherapist and Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation at the University of South Australia. Her research investigates mechanisms to promote neuroplasticity following brain damage, and in particular the role that physical activity may have in stroke prevention and treatment. Other research interests are concerned with the intensity and types of interventions used to improve arm function following stroke.

Prof. Vincent de Groot

Prof. Dr. Vincent de Groot was born in 1970 and obtained his MD degree in 1996. Subsequently, he entered the rehabilitation medicine residency programme, which he combined with his PhD training. In 2004 he started working as a rehabilitation physician at VU University Medical Center Amsetrdam. In 2007 he succesfully defended his PhD thesis 'Outcome measurement and functional prognosis in early multiple sclerosis'.

Since September 2014, he has been professor of rehabilitation medicine and chair of the department of rehabilitation medicine at the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam. He is also deputy instructor of the rehabilitation medicine residency programme and vice-president of the executive board of RIMS (Rehabilitation In Multiple Sclerosis). His clinical and research focus is on neurorehabilition, in particular multiple sclerosis, gait analysis, orthotics of the lower limb and spasticity treatment. He is project leader of the research programme 'Disabling Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis. How should it be treated?' for which he obtained a ZonMW grant of € 1.090 k.

Prof. Caroline van Heugten

Prof. Dr. Caroline van Heugten is working as a professor in clinical neuropsychology at Maatstricht University. Her research is directed at the consequences of acquired brain injury, both in adults and in children. The main aims of her research are: 1) development and evaluation of instruments to assess cognitive, emotional and behavioural consequences of acquired brain injury, 2) development and evaluation for the clinical and cost effectiveness of neuropsychological interventions and 3) investigating factors influencing the outcome of neurorehabilitation. She has published over 150 international peer-reviewed papers and supervised 17 PhD students succesfully. Caroline van Heugten was the program leader of the national research program Restore4 stroke and is currently setting up the Limburg brain injury center.

Prof. Alice Nieuwboer

Alice Nieuwboer works as a full professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Leuven, teaching physiotherapy students in specialized subjects of neurological rehabilitation and evidence-based physiotherapy. She is head of the Neuromotor Rehabilitation research group and together with her team is working on several research programs which focus on the mechanisms of gait disturbances in Parkinson's disease (PD), including a prospective study on freezing of gait, combining gait and postural analyses with brain imaging. The group was the first to firmly establish the link between freezing of gait and freezing in other effectors of the motor system, and has since then published widely on this issue. Furthermore, Alice’s research team is engaged in motor learning-related work, investigating the effectiveness of writing practice and dual task gait training while offering and withdrawing motor feedback. Novel research themes include how non-invasive brain stimulation may boost neuroplasticity and whether brain dysfunction affects posture and gait control differentially in PD. Underlying all these studies is the question how motor dysfunction and recovery are intertwined in neurodegenerative disease and how this interaction imprints on the brain at the neurological systems level.

Prof. Valerie M. Pomeroy

Professional education:
1981-1984  Cambridge School of Physiotherapy

1984  Diploma in Physiotherapy, Cambridge School of Physiotherapy
1985  BA (2:1) Biological Sciences and Psychology, Open University
1994  PhD in Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

Academic Distinctions:
2004  Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
1996-9  Visiting Fellow, Dept Geriatric Medicine, University of Southampton
2007-2010  Visiting Professor, St George's University of London
2009  Visiting Fellow, Physical Therapy Programme, University of Washington, St Louis, USA
2010-present  Visiting Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Strathcylde
2010  Visiting Fellow, Center for Rehabilitation, Emory University, Atlanta, USA

Prof. Jules Dewald

Dr. Dewald received a Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Medicine in 1978 and a Master's degree in Neurophysiology and Rehabilitation Medicine in 1980 from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. He received a PhD in neurophysiology and biophysics in 1992 from Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California. From 1988-2001 Dr. Dewald worked as pre-doctoral investigator, subsequently as a post doc, clinical assistant professor and finally as a senior clinical research scientist in the rehabilitation institute of Chicago. From 2001 to 2005 Dr. Dewald worked as tenure-track assistant professor in the departments of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences (PTHMS), Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Physical Medicine & rehabilitation (PM&R) at Northwestern University. He became chair and associate professor in PTHMS and associate professor in BME and PM&R in 2006. Dr. Dewald became professor and chair of neural control and rehabilitation, Department of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands in 2009. In 2010, Dr. Dewald became full professor in PTHMS, BME and PM&R. He is the director of the neuroimaging and motor control laboratories and his research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the department of education (NIDRR), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Heart Association (AHA). His training has been in the neurobiology of movement disorders as well as in biomechanics and basic signal analysis. He has worked for over 20 years in the area of characterizing mechanisms underlying the loss of independent joint control and spasticity following brain injury due to stroke and cerebral palsy. Furthermore, he has 16 years of experience performing high density EEG research and about 10 years of experience in rehabilitation robotic development. Dr. Dewald's research combines the fields of neurobiology, engineering, and clinical sciences by incorporating applications of brain imaging (MRI, DTI, and high density EEG), rehabilitation robotics, and pharmacological manipulations of the motor system. 

Prof. Baziel van Engelen

Baziel van Engelen studied medicine at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam which he finished cum laude in 1992. He did his Neurology residency at the Universities of Berlin and Nijmegen, followed by a research fellowship in the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation in Rochester Minnesota, USA. He became associate professor for neuromuscular diseases at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in 2000, and full professor in 2003. He has published over 350 articles in his research field. His focus is on clinical and translational research of neuromuscular disorders, especially FSHD, IBM and myotonic dystrophy. He adopted these diseases with the main aim to integrate cure and care. The search for a future cure and the application of already existing care should go hand in hand.

Prof. Frans van der Helm