Faculty Speaking at the 10th ESSD Congress

Jodi Allen

irene battel

Jodi Allen

Jodi is a senior Speech and Language Therapist at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. Her clinical specialisms include differential diagnosis and management of complex dysphagia in a neurologicaland neuromuscular population. She has a particular interest in understanding the application of ultrasound in dysphagia assessment and management. Jodi is part-funded by the National Institute of Health Research on a clinical-academic pathway.


Irene Battel has just completed a PhD study, supervised by Dr.Margaret Walshe at the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College Dublin. In 2011, she conducted an internship at “Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory (Christchurch, NZ)” under the supervisor of Dr. Maggie-Lee Huckabee. Since then she has been involved in clinical research projects concerning dysphagia caused by neurological impairments.

rinki varindani desai

pamela dodrill


Rinki Varindani Desai, M.S.,CCC-SLP, CBIS, CDP is an ASHA-certified medical speech-language pathologist,certified brain injury specialist and certified dementia practitioner; specializing in the assessment and treatment of cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders in adults. Rinki is theco-founder of the Swallowing Training and Education Portal, founder of the Medical SLP Forum and co-creator of the Dysphagia Therapy mobile app.

pamela dodrill

Dr Pamela Dodrill has worked with children with feeding difficulties for over 15 years.Before relocating to Boston to work at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital NICU, Pamela worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, Australia for over a decade, during which time she managed both inpatient and outpatient feeding caseloads. Pamela completed her PhD in the area of infant feeding

She currently serves as Associate Coordinator of ASHA’s Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders Special Interest Group (SIG 13) and as Co-Chair of the Dysphagia Research Society's COVID-19 Task Force. She is also a part of the ASHA APM Committee, DRS 2021 Program Planning Committee, MSHA Healthcare Committee and on the Board of Directors for Burgundy and White, a non-profit for patients with head and neck cancer. A recipient of seven ASHA ACE awards, Rinki was one among 30 clinicians in the world selected for ASHA’s Leadership Development Programin 2017 and for ASHA’s Faculty Development Institute in 2019.

difficulties through the Children’s Nutrition Research Centre in Brisbane, and continues to conduct clinical research in the area of childhood feeding difficulties and their management.

rainer dziewas

ulrike frank


Rainer Dziewas is a Professor of Neurology at the university hospital Münster, Germany. Professor Dziewas is Fellow of the European Stroke Organization, board member of the European Society for Swallowing Disorders (ESSD) and vice-chairman of the German Dysphagia Society. His research focusses on both the central organisation of swallowing and modern approaches to the evaluation and management of

Ulrike Frank

Ulrike Frank, Ph.D., Speech Language Therapist and Associate Researcher at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Since 2009, founder and leader of the Swallowing Research Lab at the University of Potsdam. Research interests: development ofrespiratory intervention concepts for multidisciplinary dysphagia and tracheostomy management teams and implementation of principles of motor learning into dysphagia and speech therapy.

dysphagia. Capitalizing on the excellent time resolution of magnetoencephalography his group studied the cortical control of deglutition in health and different neurological diseases. In the clinical context he made use of FEES to systematically study stroke-related dysphagia and to deduce appropriate treatment strategies. His group uses new neurostimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation and pharyngeal electrical stimulation in basic science and clinical trials. Rainer Dziewas significantly contributed to the development of the German FEES-curriculum and the ESSD-FEES accreditation program.

phoebe macrae

jackie mcrae

Phoebe Macrae

After working as a Speech and Language therapist, Dr Macrae completed her PhD at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She then did a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, in the area of swallowing neurophysiology. Since returning to the University of Canterbury in 2015 as a continuing staff member, she has been appointed as the Deputy


Dr Jackie McRae PhD Reg MRCSLT, Consultant Speech and Language Therapist University College London Hospital Trust, London Associate Professor/School Director of Research, School of Allied Health, Midwifery and Social Care, Kingston University and St George’s University of London. Jackie has over 25 years’ experience working in

Director of the Rose Centre for Stroke Recovery and Research. Her research interests are focused on sensory rehabilitation, and cough modulation.

critical care units and has been an integral member of multi-disciplinary tracheostomy teams, aiming to problem-solve complex swallowing and communication impairments to achieve optimal clinical outcomes. Her PhD research (www.daisyproject.info) focussed on the multi-disciplinary management of dysphagia in acute cervical spinal cord injury patients. She continues to support teams in their management of complex dysphagia.

Vincent Vander Poorten

marisa ryan

Vander Poorten Vincent

Prof. Vincent Vander Poorten is Consultant, Full Professor and Clinical Head of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. Section head of the section Head and Neck Oncology of the Department of Oncology of the faculty of Medicine at KU Leuven.

hopkins professional photo

Marisa A. Ryan MD, MPH, FACS is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. She completed medical school at Boston University. She completed her otolaryngology training at Duke University and Johns Hopkins University and her epidemiology training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a particular interest in voice, airway and swallowing.

panayiota senekki-florent

anita simonds


Panayiota Senekki-Florent, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is a Board-Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.  Dr. Senekki-Florent’s passion for serving pediatric patients with dysphagia, propelled her to pursue a PhD from Trinity College, Dublin. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of feeding and swallowing difficulties in preterm infants.


Prof Anita Simonds MD, FRCP, FERS is President of European Respiratory Society (ERS) 2020-2021 and Professor of Respiratory & Sleep Medicine at Imperial College, London UK. She has a long term clinical and research interest in ventilatory support in adults and children, weaning, sleep disorders, neuromuscular disease, and acute and chronic non-invasive ventilation. She worked managing step down patients from

Critical Care in the first covid wave, and is ERS Cov-19 work group lead. She is past editor of ERS Open Research Journal and editor of ERS Practlcal Handbook of Non-Invasive Respiratory support.

Peter Spronk

Miroslav Tedla


Dr Peter E. Spronk is internist-intensivist in Gelre hospitals Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. He leads a research group focussed on long-term outcomes and optimalization of patient engagement in the recovery of critical illness. He is particularly interested in perceived quality of life during and after surviving the ICU. He is involved in the development of interactive games, including a game with swallowing exercises. He is leading the international Dysphagia in Intensive Care


Miroslav Tedla is an ENT/Head and Neck Surgeon and the Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. His clinical and research interests are head and neck cancer, thyroid and parathyroid surgeries, vocal cord surgeries and  swallowing disorders. Dr. Tedla has been dealing with dysphagia all his professional life,

Evaluation (DICE) study that evaluated awareness, assessment and perceived best practice in 27 countries on 4 continents. During the COVID-19 pandemic he switched his primary attention and work to the clinical setting in the ICU as well as the organisation of the logistics.

having spent 9 months as a visiting fellow at the Swallowing Centre of the UPMC Pittsburgh. In 2009 he published successfull textbook "Swallowing disorders“ in Czech and Slovak languages. Currently he serves as Treasurer on the Presicential Council of the CEORL-HNS.

Catriona Steele

Sarah Wallace

CatrionaSteele photo

Catriona M. Steele, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, S-LP(C), Reg. CASLPO, ASHA Fellow. Professor Catriona M. Steele is a clinician scientist working in the area of swallowing and swallowing disorders. She has a background as a medical speech-language pathologist, and is Director of the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory (www.steeleswallowinglab.ca) at the KITE Research Institute, the research arm of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute –University Health Network. Dr. Steele is a Professor in the

Sarah Wallace

Sarah is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist, specialising in critical care at Wythenshawe hospital in Manchester, where she has worked for 18 years. She holds national leadership roles for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, including chair of the Tracheostomy Clinical Excellence Network and member of the UKSRG committee and COVID-19 Advisory group. She regularly

Department of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto.

advises on national policy and guidelines in critical care, rehabilitation and FEES, and is SLT lead for both the National Tracheostomy Safety Project and Intensive Care Society (ICS) council. Sarah's research in dysphagia from laryngeal complications in critical care has led to numerous publications and presentations at international conferences where she is passionate about promoting the role of SLT. She has also worked in Singapore, Melbourne and Grenada (West Indies) and volunteers in Cambodia establishing SLT in public hospitals. For relaxation Sarah enjoys cycling and yoga.

margaret walshe

Kelly weir


Mararet Walshe PhD is Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin. Dr. Walshe is a speech and language therapist with over 30 years clinical experience in dysphagia and related disorders. She was instrumental in establishing the dysphagia specialization course - M.Sc Clinical Speech and Language Studies  -  at Trinity College Dublin  over a decade and half ago. To date, she has supervised over 80


Dr Kelly Weir is a Conjoint Principal Research Fellow (Allied Health) at Griffith University & Gold Coast Health, Queensland Australia. She is a certified practicing speech pathologist with over 30 years clinical experience, predominantly in tertiary state-wide paediatric hospitals in Queensland,

postgraduate research projects in dysphagia and evidence-based practice research studies. Her current research is focused on the amalgamation of evidence for intervention approaches in dysphagia associated with acquired neurodegenerative disease. She is past Board member of the European Society for Swallowing Disorders. She is involved in a number of international projects in dysphagia  and is currently part of the REH-COVER group of the Cochrane Rehabilitation field amalgamating evidence monthly on rehabilitation approaches for COVID-19.

Australia. She researches in the area of paediatric dysphagia (assessment, treatment); speech pathology management of medically fragile neonates, infants and children in acute care settings, and children with disability. Kelly lectures in paediatric dysphagia at Griffith University, and has over 68 peer reviewed journal publications. She is involved in a number of projects including investigating the aspiration risk of oral feeding infants on high flow nasal cannula oxygen support, instrumental evaluation of paediatric dysphagia, use of telehealth to support speech pathologists training in paediatric videofluoroscopy, use of cervical auscultation to detect aspiration in children, and investigation of oropharyngeal dysphagia in children with cerebral palsy and disability. Currently Kelly is also part of an allied health research team investigating the impact of research fellows and use of knowledge brokering to increase research capacity in allied health professionals across Gold Coast Health. She particularly supports allied health practitioners conduct clinical research in the hospital and community settings.

Charissa J. Zaga

Charissa J Zaga

Charissa Zaga is a Senior Speech Pathologist and Stream Leader of the Critical Care and Respiratory Units within the Department of Speech Pathology at Austin Health. Charissa has been a member of the Tracheostomy Review and Management Service since 2012. Charissa is the co-chair of the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative Database Committee and the co-convenor for the Victorian Critical Care

and Tracheostomy Interest Group. Charissa has clinical expertise in tracheostomy, ventilation and dysphagia and has a keen interest in research and quality improvement. Charissa is undertaking her PhD with a focus on communication interventions with mechanically ventilated patients in the Intensive Care Unit.


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