World Coma Day 2022 Speakers

Speakers Photo  About
Olivia Gosseries (Belgium) Olivia-Gosseries-Format_myCHU_cropped.png

Dr. Olivia Gosseries is research associate FNRS and  co-director of the Coma Science Group (University of Liege, Belgium). She is also part of the Brain Centre of the Liège University Hospital. As a neuropsychologist, her early work focused on diagnosis and prognosis in patients with disorders of consciousness recovering from coma using non-invasive brain stimulation and electrophysiology. In recent years, she has worked more extensively on therapeutic options for this challenging patients’ population. To study human consciousness more globally, she now also investigates anesthesia, coma memory, lucid dream, meditation, hypnosis, virtual reality, and cognitive trance. She is also the co-chair organiser of this 2nd World Coma Day. 

Her aim is to continue improving the care of patients who recover from coma, contribute to the understanding of human consciousness, and promoting education and public awareness of this fascinating clinical and research topic.
Keri S. Kim (USA)

Keri S. Kim, PharmD, MS-CTS, BCPS is a clinical pharmacist and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy. She is a clinical pharmacist in the area of neurocritical care, where she manages patients with acute ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, brain tumor, and post-spine surgery.  Her clinical role includes staff and patient education and promotion of safe and effective medication therapy management. She is an active member of the Neurocritical Care Society including serving as an executive member of the Neurocritical Care Research Network and co-chair elect of the Guidelines committee. 


Dr. Kim has presented and published nationally and internationally in the areas of thrombosis and hemostasis.  She has created a local research network to identify and secure network clinical enrollment sites in Illinois for the ACTIV acute and post-hospital clinical trials. She is the network co-lead for the ILLI-NET (Illinois Network).  Through the network, she assisted clinical enrollment sites with completion of regulatory documents, execution of subcontracts, and supervised daily activities for protocol adherence for several NIH sponsored COVID Clinical Trials.

Claude Hemphill (USA)

Dr. Claude Hemphill is Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco and Chief of Neurology and Director of Neurocritical Care at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. His research focuses on advanced neuromonitoring, outcome prognostication, and management of intracerebral hemorrhage. He is a founding director and Past-President of the Neurocritical Care Society. He is co-chair of the Curing Coma Campaign and World Coma Day is his favorite new holiday.

DaiWai Olson (USA)

Dr. Olson began his nursing career at in Iowa and obtained his PhD at the University of North Carolina. He worked as a staff nurse from 1986 to 2018. He was an assistant professor at Duke University until 2012 when he relocated to work at the University of Texas Southwestern where he now the first nurse to be promoted to full Professor. 

Dr. Olson’s work is focused on developing a more comprehensive understanding of how nursing care contributes to patient outcomes following acquired brain injury.  In this endeavor, he has published over 300 manuscripts, 16 book chapters, and 200 scientific abstracts. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing and the co-chair of the international Neurocritical Care Research Network. As an invited lecturer or visiting professor, he has had the pleasure to present his work in 39 US states, 10 countries and 5 continents.

TOPIC 1: Introduction to Coma
Kertisha Branson (USA)
Shraddha Mainali (USA) Shraddha Mainali, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr Mainali is a neurocritical care intensivist and clinical trialist. She is currently the primary investigator of several acute care trials.
Eelco Wijdicks (USA)

Eelco F.M. Wijdicks MD, PhD is Professor of Neurology, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. In 1991 he established the Mayo Neurocritical Care Specialty. He is an attending neurointensivist in the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester. He was the founding editor of the journal Neurocritical Care, the official journal of the Neurocritical Care Society. He has been named Honorary Member of the Neurocritical Care Society. He is also a Professor of the History of Medicine and former president of the International Society of the History of Neurosciences. He has over 1000 research papers, practice guidelines, topic reviews, book chapters and editorials to his credit. He originated the FOUR Score coma scale. He has single-authored and co-authored over 25 books on Neurocritical Care with multiple later editions and edited several books on Emergency Neurology. He additionally authored 3 books on the portrayal of medicine, neurology and psychiatry in cinema. He lives with his wife Barbara-Jane in Rochester (MN) and Bonita Springs (FL).

Stephen Mayer (USA) Stephan A. Mayer, MD, FCCM, FNCS is Director of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology Services for Westchester Medical Center Health System and Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery  at New York Medical College.  Dr Mayer earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in New York City.  He completed a residency in neurology and a fellowship in critical care neurology at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, where he rose to the rank of Professor of Neurology and built one of the nation’s leading academic neurocritical care programs.  Following that he moved to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he was Founding Director of the Institute for Critical Care Medicine.  More recently, he served as the William T. Gossett Chair of Neurology for the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan.

Dr. Mayer is considered a world leader in neurocritical care.  He has published more than 280 original research articles, 190 chapters and review articles, 370 abstracts, and written or edited 10 books, including the most recent edition of Merritt’s Textbook of Neurology, considered a standard text in the field.  Dr. Mayer was a founding member and past president of the Neurocritical Care Society, an international society with over 2,700 members.  He was principal investigator of the FAST Trial, a worldwide multicenter clinical trial evaluating ultra-early hemostatic therapy for brain hemorrhage, and served as principal investigator of the NIH-funded New York Presbyterian Hospital hub of the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) network and the Columbia University Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Outcomes Project.  His work in helping victims of severe brain injury has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and in the book Cheating Death, by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

TOPIC 2: Dream Team
Shweta Goswami (USA)

Shweta Goswami is a current first year neurocritical care fellow at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. She also serves as the chair-elect to the trainee section of the Neurocritical Care Society. When not busy caring for patients in a coma, she spends time with her husband, son and husky.

Willemijn Erp (Netherlands)

Willemijn van Erp, MD, PhD, has dedicated her clinical and scientific work to patients with the severest outcomes of acquired brain injury since 2011. After obtaining her PhD at the universities of Nijmegen, the Netherlands and Liège, Belgium and completing her medical specialization in long-term care medicine, she helped centralize and professionalize all PDOC diagnostic and rehabilitation facilities in the Netherlands within one academic chain of care, called EENnacoma (‘One after coma’). Van Erp provides in-hospital consultations for virtually all new PDOC patients in the Netherlands, is senior clinician at one of the specialized nursing homes where PDOC patients receive prolonged intensive neurorehabilitation, and works as a post-doctoral researcher at the Radboudumc in Nijmegen. In this last role, she focusses on epidemiology, responsible implementation of accessory diagnostics and treatment interventions, and medical decision-making in PDOC.

Haibo Di (China)
  • Vice president of DOC rehabilitation society of China
  • Principal of key international (regional) cooperative research projects of NSFC
  • Final review expert of key projects of NSFC
  • Member of the 10th, 11th and 12th Hangzhou CPPCC
  • Visiting professor of University of Liege, Belgium
  • Visiting professor of Zhejiang University, member of Expert Committee of rehabilitation medicine research center of Medical College of Zhejiang University
  • Vice president of Zhejiang society of physiological sciences and head of unconscious physiology group

Ekatherina Kondratyeva (Russia) Kondratyeva is a neurologist and PRM Doctor of ICU of Almazov National Medical Research Centre, St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated from Pediatric Medical Academy of St. Petersburg in 1999, undertook postgraduate training in neurology, anesthesiology and intensive care.  Authored: 2005 “Vegetative state- diagnosis, intensive care, prognosis.”
Suparna Gangopadhyay (India)

After completing my graduation from Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER), Kolkata, India I worked as an Assistant Professor at Christian Medical College, Vellore, a prestigious Medical Institute in India. Subsequently I moved to Australia and worked there for 6 years. Gathering experience from the best institutes both India and abroad I returned to my home town Kolkata and joined as the Director of the Department of Neurorehabilitation at Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata. My area of interest is Neurorehabilitation (Spinal cord injury and Brain injury rehab). Have a few publications as well. I am also involved in quite a number of research activities.

TOPIC 3: Patient Advocacy

Elijah “Eli” Sanchez (USA)

Jannette Dodge (USA)

Varina Boerwinkle (USA)

Varina L. Boerwinkle, MD is a pediatric neurologist and medical director of the Functional Neuroimaging and Neuroscience Laboratory and Founding Director Neurocritical Care Service at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She is the chair of the Neurocritical Care Society’s Pediatric Working Group for the Cure Coma Campaign, co-chair of the NINDS Common Data Elements Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Project, and an associate professor at Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Mayo Clinic. She earned her medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern, completed a residency in child neurology from Baylor College of Medicine.

In disorders of consciousness of children and neonates, Dr. Boerwinkle’s approach to whole brain network analysis by functional MRI elucidates capacity for recovery, a biomarker for treatment, and detection of current consciousness during the ICU stay.  These clinical and research efforts in brain networks began in 2010, she pioneered the clinical utilization of resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) for children to localize seizure onset zones, brain networks, and improve outcomes. Through her efforts, over 2000 individual children with neurological disorders, primarily due to various forms of brain injury, have received rs-fMRI with clinically impactful results. For many of these children, who are unable to perform demanding tests reliably, rs-fMRI, analyzed by methods validated in her lab, offers comprehensive major brain network characterization with capacity for clinical correlation.

Christine Buckley (USA)

After 15 years of working in healthcare finance as an auditor, reimbursement specialist, and consultant, Christine J. Buckley became the Executive Director of the Brain Aneurysm Foundation in 2006. Before her official position as the first full time employee at the foundation, Christine had been a volunteer with the foundation for 9 years prior, as well as a past Board President. She established the foundation’s first major fundraiser, a 5K and 1.5-mile walk, 20 years ago that continues to raise approximately $100,000 each year. Her most prized accomplishment at the foundation has been the establishment of the research grant program which has awarded over $4,000,000 in 15 years. Christine is a 1990 graduate of the Isenberg School of Management from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. Her transition into the non-profit sector with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation some years ago has been very rewarding and has truly become a passion. Christine resides in Marshfield, MA with her children coming in and out, Benjamin – 25, and Bridget – 22.

Elchanan Schwarz (USA)
Steven Laureys (Belgium)

Neurologist Steven Laureys MD PhD FEAN is internationally recognized for his clinical and scientific studies of severe brain injury and neural plasticity. Prof Dr Laureys is founding director of the GIGA Consciousness Research Unit and founder of the Coma Science Group at the University of Liège, Belgium, head of the Brain Centre of the Liège University Hospital, Research Director at the Belgian Fund of Scientific Research and co-director of the Hangzhou International Consciousness Institute in China. He currently is invited professor at the CERVO Brain Research Centre at Laval University, Canada. With his team, he explores the human mind in health and disease using the latest brain imaging technologies and wearables assessing coma and related states, concussion, near-death experiences, anesthesia, dreaming and meditation. He has published over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers and ten scientific books including ‘The Neurology of Consciousness’. Dr Laureys is a fellow of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine and recipient of numerous awards (e.g., from the European Academy of Neurology, Max Planck Institute, Association of the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and Society of Cognitive Neuroscience). He is co-founder of the International Mind Care Foundation and appreciated for his interventions in the media, as bestselling author and as a keynote speaker on the power of the mind. 

LIVE Discussion
Cassia Righy (Brazil) Graduation in Medicine at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, residency internal medicine at the State University of Rio de janeiro, fellowship in intensive care at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Doctorate in Clinical Research at the Oswaldo Cruz foundation in rio de Janeiro,  Master's degree in critical care from Federal university of Rio de janeiro. She is currently a researcher in Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and attendant physician in the ICU of Brain's Institute - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  
Kent Owusu 
Kent A. Owusu, PharmD, is a critical care pharmacist and the Surgical Services Care Signature Lead for Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS). In his current role at YNHHS, Dr. Owusu leads teams within Surgical Services to uncover unnecessary clinical practice variation and harness best evidence-based practices and system clinical consensus into the development of Clinical Pathways.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Biochemistry from Florida State University, Dr. Owusu received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree with honors from Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy. He subsequently completed his Pharmacy Practice Residency and a Critical Care Pharmacy Residency at Yale New Haven Health, New Haven, CT in 2015, and transitioned into the role of neurocritical care pharmacist. Dr. Owusu is dual board certified in Pharmacotherapy and in Critical Care. He is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), Neurocritical Care Society (NCS), American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Owusu is a fellow of the SCCM and NCS. His research interests include health equity, management of epilepsy, and clinical decision support.
Katja Wartenberg (Germany)

Katja E. Wartenberg, M.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Neurointensive Care Unit at the University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. She has clinical research interests in delayed cerebral ischemia after subarachnoid hemorrhage, critical care of the poor grade subarachnoid hemorrhage patient, and prognosis after subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhage. She completed her medical school training at the Medical Faculty of Humboldt University / Charité in Berlin, Germany, her internship at NYMC / Metropolitan Hospital Center in New York, NY, her residency in Neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and her fellowship in Neurocritical Care at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY. She is the secretary on the board of the German NeuroIntensive Care Society and served as the chair of the international committee and a board member of the Neurocritical Care Society in the past.

Rita Formisano (Italy)

Rita Formisano, MD, PhD is the Director of the Post-Coma Unit and of the neuropsychological rehabilitation service of patients with severe acquired brain injury (sABI) of the neurorehabilitation hospital and research institute Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy. She has been engaged in the evaluation, rehabilitation and translational clinical research of severe brain injury (sABI) patients with disorder of consciousness (DoC) for 35 years. Over the years she has promoted and has been involved in several national and international protocols, multicentric studies and National Consensus Conferences on severe brain injury patients and is involved in University teaching courses as professor in Neurological and Neuropsychological evaluation and rehabilitation of patients with severe acquired brain injury (Sapienza University and Tor Vergata University), national coordinator of the international study group on QOLIBRI (Quality of Life of Brain Injury patients). She is IBIA Board of Governors member and e-learning senior representative of the “Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Panel” of the EAN, actively participating to the European Guidelines on the diagnosis of coma and other disorders of consciousness. President of the Italian Society of High Specialty Rehabilitation (SIRAS)


Jeffrey Mucksavage, PharmD, FNCS, BCPS is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy where he also serves in the Department of Pharmacy Practice as the Director of Teaching Innovation. Additionally, he is a Clinical Pharmacist in Neurosciences at UIHealth in Chicago where he spends time treating patients in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit. He is an active member of the Neurocritical Care Society working with pharmacists on the creation of educational materials related to pharmacotherapy in neurocritical care, hosting podcasts for the Neurocritical Care Society on pharmacotherapy topics, and serving as Chair-Elect of the Pharmacy Section. 

Risa Richardson (USA)

Risa Nakase-Richardson, Ph.D., FACRM is a Clinical Research Neuropsychologist & Director of the Defense Health Agency TBI Center of Excellence at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. She shares a dual appointment at the University of South Florida where she is a Professor and Director of Sleep Medicine Research in the Department of Internal Medicine in the Morsani College of Medicine, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Division. She has worked in neuro-rehabilitation in both clinical and research capacities since 1998. She is a Fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and National Academy of Neuropsychology. She has 125 publications and over 250 presentations at scientific meetings. She has served as PI or Investigator on 21 grants funded by various federal agencies and private organizations including VA, DOD, PCORI, NIH, NIDILRR, and NAN. She currently serves in various leadership roles including Chair of the TBIMS and ACRM BI-ISIG DOC Task Force, Vice-Chair of the TBIMS Planning Committee, ACRM BOG Member-at-Large, and Co-Chair of the Implementation Science Module in the Curing Coma Campaign.

TOPIC 4: Behavioral diagnosis
Nelleke Koeners (Belgium)
Anat Arzi (Israel)

Dr. Anat Arzi is an assistant professor at the Department of Medical Neurobiology and the Department of Cognitive sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where her thesis focused on olfactory processing, learning, and memory of consciously unperceived odors, particularly during sleep. In recent years, she has been studying sensory and cognitive processing during consciousness recovery in patients with disorders of consciousness. Her work aims to answer how we process the world under loss of consciousness.

Caroline Schnakers (USA)

Caroline Schnakers have been working as a clinical scientist in the neurorehabilitation field for the past 15 years. I focus my research on brain-injured patients with Disorders of Consciousness (DOC) and, more particularly, on the assessment of their brain activity and cognitive functions using behavioral, electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques.
She has published more than 100 articles (H-index: 53) in international peerreviewed journals such as Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Nature Reviews Neurology and Lancet.
She served as the chair of the Special Interest Group on DOC for the International Brain Injury Association and

She is actively involved in the Curing Coma Campaign.

She currently works as assistant director at the Research Institute of Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare (Pomona, CA).

TOPIC 5: Prognosis
Calixto Machado (Cuba)

Dr. Calixto Machado graduated as MD in 1976. He continued his medical training to become a Specialist in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, First Degree in 1980 and Second Degree in 1984. In 1990 he became the youngest Dr. in Sciences (Second Degree) in his country. Dr. Machado received clinical training in specialized neurology centers in Sweden, Italy, Austria, and the US. During the last 30 years, he has run many research protocols, such as brain death, coma, persistent vegetative states, and other disorders of consciousness, stroke, autism, autonomic nervous system, etc. He has over 450 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and seven books. His Book “Brain Death: A Reappraisal” has been recognized with great enthusiasm among neurologists, neurosurgeons, intensivists, and physicians specializing in transplants. During the last 15 years, Dr. Machado has been invited at Johns Hopkins on several occasions as a key-note speaker, and he has impressed the Neuroscience Critical Care team, stimulating scholars to begin a fruitful scientific exchange with Dr. Machado. Dr. Machado has continuously demonstrated a strong desire to develop and maintain close relations between U.S.-based and Cuban Neuroscientists, and many AAN Members recognize him as the “remaining bridge among American and Cuban neurologists.”

Anna Estraneo (Italy)

Anna Estraneo, MD, clinical neurologist with expertise in Neurorehabilitation and Neurophysiology.She currently works in Neurology Unit at General Hospital in Nola (Italy) and is scientific consultant of Neurorehabilitation Unit for patients with prolonged DoC at Don Gnocchi Foundation Scientific and Rehabilitation Institute for patients with severe brain injury.She was the coordinator of the ICS Maugeri Research Laboratory for the study of Disorders of Consciousness (DoC) and of the Neurorehabilitation Unit for severely brain–injured patients with prolonged DoC, (Italy) for 25 years.She was adjunct Professor at Dept. of Neurophysiology, University Federico II of Naples and she got Italian Qualification as Associate Professor in Neurology.

Sheila Alexander (USA)

Dr. Alexander is an Associate Professor of Nursing and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, USA. She is a nurse by passion and practice. She obtained her BSN and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and was a 2002 National Institute of Nursing Research, Summer Genetics Institute Fellow. She has a line of research exploring genetic, epigenetic, genomic and other ‘omic’ biomarkers of brain recovery from acute illness and injury.

TOPIC 6: Brain Imaging in Coma
Bertrand Hermann (France) Dr. Bertrand Hermann, MD, PhD is an intensivist trained in neurology working in the neuroICU of the GHU Psychiatrie & Neuroscience, Université de Paris and Brain & Spine Institute in Paris, France. His clinical and research topics of interest are the clinical and brain-imaging assessment of coma and disorders of consciousness with a special expertise on quantitative electrophysiology.
Edilberto Amorim (USA/Brazil)

Ed Amorim is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco practicing as a critical care neurologist and epileptologist at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Amorim’s research focuses on invasive and non-invasive brain monitoring of patients with acute brain injury such as cardiac arrest, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. His group is developing tools to enable multimodal integration of brain monitoring and bio-signals time-series to neuroimaging and electronic health care data. He has a particular interest in coma neuroscience and advancing physiology-driven therapies in neurocritical care.  


Dr. Amorim completed residency training in Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh followed by fellowship training in neurocritical care and epilepsy at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital (Harvard Medical School). He pursued postdoctoral training fellowship in neuroscience and machine learning at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a board certified neurocritical care physician and epileptologist. 

Marcello Massimini (Italy)

Marcello was trained as a Medical Doctor, received a PhD in Neurophysiology and is currently Professor of Neurohysiology at the University of Milan and fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research (CIFAR).
Spanning from intracranial recordings to neuroimaging, his research activity is devoted to understanding the neuronal and network mechanisms underlying physiological and pathological transitions across different brain states, such as wakefulness, sleep, anesthesia, and coma.

Over the last ten years, he has collaborated with different international partners to develop a novel strategy, based on non-invasive brain stimulations and recordings, to detect and monitor recovery of consciousness after severe brain injury. On this subject, Marcello has published several original papers, review articles (18K citations overall) and a book, “Sizing up consciousness” for Oxford University Press.  

LIVE Discussion
Vigneswaran Veeramuthu (Malaysia)

A pioneer in the niche area of Clinical Neuopsychology in Malaysia, Dr Vigneswaran Veeramuthu is currently a Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist (Adult and Pediatrics) in Subang Jaya Medical Center and ReGen Rehabilitation Hospital in Malaysia.He is known as a compassionate, empathetic and dedicated clinician with a little more than 10 years of neuropsychological expertise and competence in the area of neurocognitive and neurobehavioral assessments, presurgical planning, intraoperative brain mapping, advance neuroimaging, multisensory stimulation and neurorehabilitative intervention post neurological surgery (predominantly brain tumors and epilepsy) as well as disorder of consciousness (DoC). He is also the founding past president of the Society of Clinical Neuropsychology Malaysia, with frequent involvement in clinical teaching and training activities of local clinical neuropsychologists, surgical registrars (neurosurgery and maxillofacial) and psychology trainees. Additionally, he is also extensively in various research endeavours, multicentre clinical trials, and collaborations both locally and internationally, focus predominantly in disorder of consciousness, glioma tumors, and brain injuries.

Marek Binder (Poland)

Marek Binder, PhD. is an associate professor at the Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow (PL). His main research topic are neural correlates of consciousness. In his studies, he has been using EEG steady-state responses as a tool to investigate brain responsivity changes to sensory stimulation in global fluctuations of consciousness, both in natural sleep and in prolonged Disorders of Consciousness. He has developed the Polish adaptation of Coma Recovery Scale – Revised.

Kasia Kasica (Poland)

Kasia Kasica, visual artist, film and theatre director and photographer. After philosophy, cultural studies, ancient culture and film and theater directing at the National Film School in Lodz, she worked at the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw from 2008 to 2016 as a director of short visual forms, AD curator of the new exhibition at the Chopin Museum. The award-winning documentary film about Frans Bruggen and the Orchestra of the 18th century "The Breath of the Orchestra",  screenwriter and storyboard author of the award-winning first Polish Full Dome Copernicus Center production "Dream to Fly" shown in 46 countries. Since 2017 she has dedicated her life to Coma and Disorders of Consciousness working at the Ewa Blaszczyk’s Foundation "Akogo?" as manager of scientific and medical projects.

Melanie Boly (USA) Melanie Boly, M.D., Ph.D. is Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public health in the Department of Neurology. She is board certified in Epilepsy and her research aims at combining neuroimaging techniques such as PET, functional MRI, TMS-EEG, and high-density EEG to the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness.
Joe Giacino (USA)

Dr. Joseph T. Giacino is a Neuropsychologist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School in Boston Massachusetts. At Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, he directs the Rehabilitation Neuropsychology Service, Disorders of Consciousness Program and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory. At Harvard Medical School, he teaches neuroethics and serves as a Capstone mentor at the Center for Bioethics. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. His work centers on the development of high-precision assessment methods, practical approaches to longitudinal outcome monitoring and discovery of effective treatment interventions for individuals with severe brain injury. His research is funded by the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Department of Defense, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research and the Epstein Foundation. He has authored over 170 publications and is the recipient of the William Fields Caveness Award, Robert L. Moody Prize and ACRM Brain Injury Special Interest Group Lifetime Achievement Award.

TOPIC 7: Treatment

Nicholas Schiff (USA)

Dr. Nicholas Schiff is a physician-scientist with an internationally recognized expertise in the study of recovery of consciousness. He is The Jerold B. Katz Professor of Neurology and Professor of Neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Schiff’s translational research efforts bridge basic neuroscience and clinical investigative studies of impaired consciousness employing state-of-the art neuroimaging and neurophysiological measurements to focus on novel therapeutic strategies. Dr. Schiff and colleagues have taken core insights into the neurophysiological mechanisms of arousal regulation and of deep brain electrical stimulation techniques to demonstrate evidence that long-lasting, severe cognitive disability may be influenced by electrical stimulation of the central thalamus in both patients with disorders of consciousness and those recovering to higher levels of function but remaining cognitively impaired.

Paola Saccucci (Canada)

Paola completed her Honors Bachelor of Science in Toxicology at the University of Toronto, then she went on to complete her Doctor of Pharmacy from Drake University, Des Moines, IA in 2004.  In 2004-2005 Paola completed her Hospital pharmacy practice residency at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan. She then returned to Toronto to complete her critical care residency at St. Michael's Hospital.  There, she stayed on and joined the Trauma Neurosurgery program as a clinical pharmacist for the ward and subsequently transitioned into the role of a clinical pharmacist in the intensive care unit where she has been practicing ever since.  In addition to her clinical role she also teaches at the University of Toronto Faculty of Pharmacy for their critical care course.


Xuehai Wu (China)

Professor of Neurosurgical Department, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University
Major in TBI, Neurointensive Care, Disorders of Consciousness

Brain Imformatics : Associate Editor
Winner of "Major Progress in Chinese Neuroscience" of Chinese Society of Neuroscience in 2020 Deputy head of the 5th craniocerebral trauma committee of Shanghai Medical Association Committee Member of Disorders of Consciousness Branch of Chinese Neuroscience SocietyOne of the writers for the Chinese experts consensus on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic consciousness disorder
Member and Secretary of Neurocritical Care Committee of Chinese Medical Association

Guoyi Gao

Junfeng Feng



Guoyi Gao MD, PhD: 
Professor and Executive Chair of Department of Neurosurgery, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine
Vice director of Shanghai Institute of Head Trauma
Member of National Traumatology Committee
Vice chairman of National Neurotrauma Committee
Member of Neurotrauma Committee, CCNS
Member of Neurotrauma Committee, WFNS
Member of Scientific Committee of INTS

Junfeng Feng:
M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Neurosurgeon Brain Injury Center, Director,
Neurosurgery Department, Vice Director
Shanghai Institute of Head Trauma, Vice Director
Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

TOPIC 8: Rehabilitation

Janet Sutherland (USA)

Janet Sutherland is a former Chicago radio reporter. In 2004 Sutherland had been taking four aspirin four months straight in, while working at a Columbus, Ohio radio station as an advertising sales rep. Sutherland left work early to walk her dog Bogie after a grueling day knocking door to door selling radio ads and was struck with the worst headache of her life. Sutherland suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. One in 50 people currently have a brain aneurysm and do not know it. Sutherland miraculously recovered and felt her story would save lives and provide hope to survivors. She wrote NOSE OVER TOES, which tells the story of her recovery and includes research from The Brain Aneurysm Foundation.

That day, March 22, 2004, friends and family sat at Janet’s bedside, she was given 3 percent chance to live. For weeks her co-workers raised money for her family, joined her battle, and prayed she would survive. After spending years in rehabilitation, Sutherland wrote two bills to promote the disease around the Midwest, she now speaks regularly on Chicago radio stations and on TV about her brain aneurysm experience.

Brooke Murtaugh (USA)

Dr. Brooke Murtaugh is a graduate of Wayne State College in Wayne, NE where she received her bachelor’s in Health Science. She then received her Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University in 2004. She began working as an occupational therapist at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in 2006. She has practiced in brain injury rehabilitation for fifteen years. Brooke serves as Madonna’s brain injury and disorders of consciousness program manager and continues to practice as a clinician, primarily consulting on and treating the DOC population. She received her national certification as a Brain Injury Specialist in 2009 and Brain Injury National Specialist Trainer from the Brain Injury Association of America in 2016. Brooke is responsible for coordinating the care and rehabilitation programs serving Madonna’s brain injury population across the continuum of care at both the Lincoln and Omaha Nebraska campuses. Dr. Murtaugh is a member of the Disorders of Consciousness Task Force and Brain Injury Special Interest Group through the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the International Brain Injury Association DoC Special Interest Group. She is also the co-chair of the International Campaign to Cure Coma Care of the Coma Patient Work Group and sits on the Coma Campaigns Scientific Advisory Committee. She has presented numerous presentations on brain injury rehabilitation and DoC care throughout the Midwest region and nationally.

Jayanthi Srinath (USA)

Dr. Srinath, PT, DPT is a physical therapist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She has over 20 years of experience as a physical therapist in the treatment of orthopedic and neurological conditions. She is Neuro-Development Treatment (NDT) certified with over 10 years of experience treating patients with strokes, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and other neurological conditions.

 She is certified in Pelvic Floor Level 1 and 2A CE Courses through the Hermann & Wallace Pelvic Rehab Institute.  She is specialized in spine therapy, kinesiotaping, and foot & ankle orthotics casting. 

Dr. Srinath is certified in dry needling with ability to focus on patients with migraines in the acute care setting.  

Dr. Srinath has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Shenandoah University, and a Bachelors in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University.

Neha Dangayach (USA)  

Neha S. Dangayach MD, MSCR, FNCS, FAAN, DCE'21 is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Dr. Dangayach serves as the Research Director for Neurocritical care and Recovery; Systems Director for Neuroemergencies Management and Transfers (NEMAT) for the Mount Sinai Health System. She is also a Co-Director of the Mount Sinai Hospital’s busy NSICU and collaborates with a compassionate team to provide world-class patient-centered Neurocritical Care. As a health services and outcomes researcher, she focuses on systems of care for hemorrhagic stroke, understanding the roles of resilience and spirituality in critical care recovery and social media in medicine. At Mount Sinai, both programs she established seek to advance knowledge about the continuum of critical care: the NEMAT and the Mount Sinai Critical Care Recovery Program (MSCCRP) with a multidisciplinary team from several ICUs, critical care pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, spiritual care, nursing to humanize the ICU and run a telehealth critical care recovery clinic. The NEMAT lab focuses on developing innovative solutions for preventing fragmentation of care for neuroemergencies, leveraging clinical data science and improving patient centered outcomes. She serves as the Co-Chair for the Community of Collaborators for the Curing Coma Campaign. 

Suparna Gangopadhyay (India)

See above

TOPIC 9: Coma Memories
Chris Pelton (UK)

Chris Pelton is a retired family practitioner living in Shropshire, England. As a young medical student in 1975, he barely survived meningococcal meningitis during which he had the experiences recounted in the video testimony. He scraped through the final examinations to qualify as a doctor, working initially in Anaesthesia, then as a General Practitioner. This illness sustained a life-long interest in consciousness, which he has been able to indulge in retirement, supported by his wife Jane. A chance encounter in an independent book shop led to Sam Harris, and it was a result of listening to the podcast interview with Dr Steven Laureys that he offered his story for Charlotte Martial’s research.

Charlotte Martial (Belgium)

Charlotte Martial is a neuropsychologist and post-doctoral researcher at the Coma Science Group (GIGA-Consciousness; University of Liège). She heads the projects on the phenomenon of near-death experiences (NDEs). More generally, Charlotte’s work aims to investigate various states of disconnected consciousness (being conscious without experiencing the external world). She studies conditions in which people are outwardly unresponsive such as during coma or general anesthesia, but ‘disconnected’ and/or ‘connected’, testified by the detailed subjective reports upon awakening. She also explores the neural correlates of other altered or modified states of consciousness such as disorder of consciousness or hypnosis.

Daniel Kondziella (Denmark)

Consultant neurologist at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, and Associate Professor at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Fellow of the European Board of Neurology (FEBN). Associate Editor for Acta Neurologica Scandinavica. PI for CONNECT-ME: Consciousness in neurocritical care cohort study using fMRI and EEG (NCT02644265). Chairman and initiator for the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) task force group that produced the EAN guideline on the Diagnosis of Coma and Disorders of Consciousness. Co-chair for the EAN Scientific Panel Coma and Disorders of Consciousness. Author of "Neurology at the Bedside ", Denmark's first international textbook on clinical neurology, highly commended by the British Medical Association (2013; 2nd edition in 2017). Associate professor at Institute of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway (2014-2019). Board-certified physician in Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Graduated in Germany, neurology residency at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, and Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark; PhD at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. One-hundred forty scientific publications in PubMed. Main research topics include coma and disorders of consciousness, acute and critical care neurology, and the history of neurosciences.

LIVE Discussion
Geraldine Mariano (Philippines)

Fellowship Training Program 

Neurocritical Care, Department of Neurology and Neuroscience

Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, USA


Fellow of the Neurocritical Care Society (FNCS),   United States of America

Fellow of the Philippine Society of Critical Care Medicine (FPSCCM)

Fellow of the Philippine Neurological Association (FPNA)                

Fellow of the Philippine College of Physicians (FPCP)                     

Academic Position Rank: 

 Associate Professor III, St. Luke’s College of Medicine William H. Quasha Memorial       

Societies (present position)

President, Philippine Neurocritical Care Society                             

2nd Vice President and Board Member, Stroke Society of the Philippines (SSP)

Constitutional Review Board Member, Philippine Neurological Association (PNA)

 St.  Luke’ s Medical Center

Chief, Neurocritical Care Unit; St. Luke’s Medical Center

Stephanie D'Souza (Australia)

Stephanie is currently a Registrar working at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. Born in the UK and educated at Imperial College London, qualifying with an MBBS and BSc in Respiratory Science. She has worked for two years in the NHS including a period of time in an Acute Stroke Unit, before moving to Australia and training in Intensive Care. Her current experience includes working in a busy adult neurocritical care unit, and recently at the Royal Prince Alfred and Sydney Children's Hospital - both with a significant proportion of neurosurgical admissions. She has an interest in Medical Education and teaches undergraduate  students at the University of Sydney. She is also interested in the study of communication within the ICU with patients and their families, both at the bedside and around end of life care.

Enrique Noe (Spain)

Enrique Noé serves as Medical Director of the Vithas Hospitals Neurorehabilitation Network (NeuroRHB), which includes different facilities located in Spain. He also leads the research unit of this Institution, focusing on cognitive, genetic and neuroimaging predictors of functional outcomes after brain injury. He received his medical degree from the University of Pamplona, Navarra, Spain and completed a residency in Neurology at the Clínica Universitaria de Navarra in Pamplona (Spain). He performed his PhD at the same university in the fields of neuropsychology and functional neuroimaging in movement disorders. He expanded his interest and knowledge in neuropsychology at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York. He has served in the Board of Governors of the Spanish Neurorehabilitation Society, International Brain Injury Association and also has been involved in several committees focusing on acquired brain injury of the Spanish Neurological Society. Finally, he is currently involved as Research Coordinator in the DOCMA project (Disorders of Consciousness: enhancing the transfer of knowledge and professional skills on evidence-based interventions and validated technology for a better management of patients), an European initiative to enhance international research on disorders of consciousness by strengthen the collaboration among ten partners from different countries in Europe, to leverage the shared scientific and expert know-how in the field.

Karin Diseren (Switzerland)
Rennan M. Ribeiro (Brazil)
Gisele Silva (Brazil)

Graduation in Medicine at the Federal University of Ceará, residency in Neurology at the Federal University of São Paulo, doctorate in Neurology at the Federal University of São Paulo, Clinical and research fellowship in Cerebrovascular Diseases and Neurocritical Care the University Harvard / Massachusetts General Hospital and Master's degree in public health from Harvard School of Public Health. She is currently professor of Neurology at the Federal University of São Paulo and clinical trialist at Albert Einstein Hospital. 

TOPIC 10: Pediatric
Varina Boerwinkle (USA) See above
Beth Slomine (USA)

Dr. Beth Slomine is a Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is a licensed psychologist, board certified clinical neuropsychologist, and board certified subspecialist in pediatric neuropsychology.  She is currently the co-director of the Center for Brain Injury Recovery and the director of training and rehabilitation neuropsychology within the Department of Neuropsychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute.


Dr. Slomine’s primary research interests include measurement of outcome following brain injury as well as exploring factors that influence outcome following neurological injury.  She has developed and validated innovative measurement tools, examined neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric outcomes following brain injury, and explored the efficacy of medical and psychological intervention for treatment of brain injury.

TOPIC 11: Ethics in coma and DoC
Michele Farisco (Sweden)

Michele Farisco is postdoc researcher at the Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics (CRB) at Uppsala University. He is currently working on ConsciousnessArtificial Intelligence, and Neuroethics within the Human Brain Project. He is also the head of the "Science and society" research unit of Biogem, Biology and Molecular Genetic Research Centre in Ariano Irpino (Italy). He is the author of four books and several articles about posthuman philosophy, philosophical, ethical and legal implications (ELSI) of genetics and neuroscience, consciousness (with a particular focus on disorders of consciousness), addiction, Artificial Intelligence, and neuroethics. He was awarded the title of Associate Professor of Moral Philosophy in Italy in 2015. 

LIVE Discussion
Sally Rothemeyer (South Africa)
Kathinka Evers (Sweden)

Kathinka Evers is Professor of philosophy at the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB) at Uppsala University, Sweden, and Professor ad honoram at the Universidad Central de Chile, Santiago. She has been Invited Professor on the Chair Condorcet at École Normale Supérieure, Paris (2002) and at Collège de France, Paris (2006 -7). 2013-2022 she was member of the Science and Infrastructure Board of the European Flagship, the Human Brain Project (HBP), where she directed the Ethics and Society Subproject. Kathinka Evers presently leads the Philosophy and Neuroethics research in the HBP.

Her research focuses on philosophy of mind and brain, bioethics and neuroethics. She directs the teaching and research on neuroethics at Uppsala University, where she started the first courses in the subject.

Erika Molteni (UK)

Dr Molteni is Medical Research Council Fellow at the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences (BMEIS), King’s College London (UK). She received a M.Sc. with honors and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering ‘cum laude’, both from Politecnico di Milano (Italy), with theses on biomedical signal processing and photonics respectively. Since then, she has been working in the pediatric neurorehabilitation field, focusing on the development of methods for the employment of polysomnography and neuroimaging in monitoring the restructuring of consciousness, sleep and circadian rhythms at the exit from coma after pediatric ABI, and on statistical and artificial intelligence methods for the prediction of outcome.

She is winner of the ISABEL Young Investigator Award (Rome, Italy, 2010). Since 2016, she serves as expert member of the Special Interest Group on Disorders of Consciousness (DOC-SIG) Diagnosis and Prognosis Subgroup of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA). She served in Global Health programs in Chile (NICE, 2010-11) and Somaliland (KSP, 2018-2021) as trainer for higher education staff, medicine students and physiotherapists.

Varina Boerwinkle (USA) See above
Matt Kirschten (USA)
Closing remarks