The Matthew’s Friends Ketocollege training programme has been designed and written by a board of very distinguished and experienced medical experts who specialise in ketogenic therapy. This training programme is suitable for those new to ketogenic therapy as well as those who may wish to attend a refresher course and update their skill set. The information provided is reviewed and updated each year by our programme authors so that we can ensure the latest information and research is available to all those who attend.
Training Programme – Authors
We would like to thank all their respective hospitals and centres who have allowed them to take time away from their busy clinics in order to write and provide this specialised training programme for ketogenic therapies.
Please click the links below for more details about our authors.
The Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric UCL- Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children & Young Epilepsy. Chair of Matthew’s Friends Medical Advisory Board
Professor Helen Cross is clinical advisor to the national Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service and was recently clinical advisor to the update of the NICE guidelines on epilepsy. She is currently also Chair of the BPNA research Committee, and Chair of the CRN (paediatrics) neurosciences CSG. She started her four year term as Secretary General of the ILAE in June 2013 and was recently awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Tartu, Estonia, and University of Gothenburg for her ongoing teaching and collaboration. She is on the Editorial Board of Epilepsy Research. In 2007 she was awarded an Ambassador for Epilepsy Award by the ILAE. Her research interests are directed at improving outcomes in early onset epilepsy, which includes the role of early surgical intervention and the ketogenic diet.
In 2015 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her services to Children with Epilepsy.
Chair & Course Leader: Professor J. Helen Cross OBE
MB, ChB, PhD, FRCP, FRCPCH
Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO FAA is a paediatric neurologist and professor at the University of Melbourne and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Professor Scheffer is helping to transform the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, a brain disorder characterized by seizures and other symptoms that can be extremely disruptive to the lives of the 50 million people affected by it. She has described several new forms of epilepsy and her research group was the first to uncover a gene for epilepsy and subsequently, many of the genes now known to be implicated. These revolutionary findings, which have already improved diagnosis and treatments for many patients and may lead to the development of new therapies, can also be used for genetic counselling. Professor Scheffer’s goal is to ‘make a major difference to patients and families through science’.
PROFESSOR INGRID SCHEFFER MBBS PhD
Professor of Paediatric Research
Repatriation Hospital Campus,
University Hospital, Melbourne
Dr. Kossoff is a Professor of Neurology and Paediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He received his medical degree from SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine in New York, followed by a residency in paediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He completed a fellowship in child neurology and then paediatric epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has been at Johns Hopkins since 1998.
His research and clinical practice focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of childhood seizures and epilepsy, particularly treatments other than medications such as diet, neurostimulation and surgery. Currently the Medical Director of the Paediatric Ketogenic Diet Centre at Johns Hopkins, he is a world expert on the ketogenic diet and created the modified Atkins diet for children and adults in 2003. He is dedicated to bringing the use of diet therapies for neurologic disorders to the entire world and was the head of a Task Force within the International League Against Epilepsy to help achieve this goal. He is a coauthor of The Ketogenic and Modified Atkins Diets: Treatments for Epilepsy and Other Disorders, now in its 6th edition, and helped organize the 2009 expert consensus statement on ketogenic diet management. Dr. Kossoff is also published in the fields of Sturge-Weber syndrome, migraine and epilepsy, infantile spasms, Doose syndrome, and benign rolandic epilepsy.
Dr. Kossoff is also very involved in teaching and mentorship and is the Director of the Paediatric Neurology Residency Program at Johns Hopkins.
Professor Eric Kossoff
Neurology and Paediatrics
Director, Paediatric Neurology Residency Program,
Medical Director, Ketogenic Diet Centre
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Professor Klepper is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities in the area of Glut 1 Deficiency and speaks at many international conferences. His main field of work are disorders of brain energy metabolism such as GLUT1 deficiency syndrome or pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. Both disorders are associated with intractable epilepsy and respond to the ketogenic diet. Research interests are mechanisms and adverse effects of the diet, as well as establishing international protocols for the use of the diet in epilepsy and metabolic disorders.
Since 01/07: Medical Director of Aschaffenburg Children’s Hospital.
Profressor Klepper is on the MF Glut 1 Medical Advisory board and works with Dr. Archana Desurkar in the MF Glut 1 clinics.
Prof. Dr. Jörg Klepper
Chefarzt Kinderklinik, Klinikum Aschaffenburg, Germany.
Dr. Mackenzie Cervenka is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and received her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She then completed her internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Cervenka completed a fellowship in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at Johns Hopkins and has stayed there on faculty in the Epilepsy Division since 2010. She is Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Adult Epilepsy Diet Center and the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. The Adult Epilepsy Diet Center is the first of its kind, providing ketogenic diet therapies to adults with intractable epilepsy and smoothly transitioning children from a paediatric to a comprehensive adult diet center.
Dr. Cervenka’s research focuses the efficacy of ketogenic diets in the treatment of adults with epilepsy and refractory status epilepticus.
Dr. Mackenzie Cervenka
Associate Professor of Neurology
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Anita Devlin has been a Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS FT since 2002. She graduated from University College London Medical School in 1988 and has trained in Oxford, Southampton, Aberdeen, London and Newcastle gaining a higher doctorate (MD) for research in 2001.
Anita specialises in the diagnosis and management of epilepsy in childhood and is the departmental and regional lead for epilepsy in children and young people. She successfully obtained funding for and set-up a regional Ketogenic Therapy service for children in the North-East and Cumbria and set up the regional paediatric epilepsy network in the North East and Cumbria. Anita was a member of the award winning team, which produced national training courses in paediatric epilepsy (PET courses) and has published in peer review journals as well as reviewing manuscripts and guidelines for publication.
Anita graduated from the London Business School Executive MBA programme in 2009 and uses these skills along with her knowledge about epilepsy to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of Young Epilepsy. She is also a member of the Matthew’s Friends Medical Advisory Board.
Dr. Anita Devlin
Consultant Paediatric Neurologist, Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS
Dr Archana Desurkar has been an NHS Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at SCH since Dec 2010. Her specialist area of interest and expertise is children’s epilepsies, especially complex cases, ketogenic diet treatment for medication resistant epilepsies in children and evaluating children for potential epilepsy surgery. She is the lead clinician for the ketogenic diet service provided at the trust and works in the team with a specialist nurse and specialist dietician and a co-lead for children’s epilepsy surgery program.
Dr Desurkar has trained in the UK in a variety of specialist settings across the UK, and her specialist neurology training was initially in the ‘Institute of Neurosciences’ in Edinburgh and subsequently at St George’s Hospital, London, Evelina Children’s Hospital (Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust) in London and Kings College Hospital, London. She also has gone on to complete a senior fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Kings College Hospital focussing on expanding her experience in reporting children’s EEGs. She has worked as a consultant in Complex Epilepsy Services in a specialist children’s hospital in London and also in a residential setting ‘Young Epilepsy’, formerly National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy and is part of the clinical team working at Matthew’s Friends. Dr. Desurker also works alongside Professor Klepper at the MF Glut 1 Clinics.
Dr. Archana Desurkar
Consultant Paediatric Neurologist, Sheffield Children’s Hospital
& Matthew’s Friends Clinics
He qualified as a Paediatrician from JLN Medical College, Ajmer and SMS Medical School ,Jaipur in India and trained as a Paediatric Neurologist in Manchester, UK and Children’s Hospital Michigan ,USA where he did a fellowship and gained expertise in Paediatric EEG and Complex Epilepsy and Epilepsy surgery. He has been working as Consultant Paediatric Neurologist in UK for the 14 years. He was appointed as Consultant Paediatric Neurologist and Head of Neurology Department at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2002 and Leads the Complex Epilepsy program and Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service which is one of the four national centres in UK. As an epileptologist he not only established one of the largest ketogenic diet programs in UK in Birmingham, but set up the complex epilepsy service which provides state of the art diagnostic facilities and all aspects of management of children with complex epilepsy. He teaches widely, nationally and internationally and is passionate about improving knowledge and practise of Paediatric Epilepsy and Neurological Disorders. He is widely published and his main research interest is in clinical epilepsy and he serves on the Medical Board of Matthew’s Friends Ketogenic Dietary Therapies Charity.
DR. SUNNY PHILIP MD
Birmingham Children’s Hospital, UK
Matt Williams is a consultant clinical oncologist at Imperial, with a clinical and research interest in brain/ CNS tumours. Clinically, he delivers radiotherapy and chemotherapy to patients with brain and spinal tumours, including IMRT and stereotactic radiotherapy. He is the clinical lead for QA at the National Cancer Registration Service, a Macmillan Advisor, and member of the NCIN Brain/CNS and Scientific Advisory Groups.
He has an interest in the clinical applications of metabolic approaches to treating brain tumours, including the ketogenic diet, and is currently developing a multi-disciplinary research project into the impact of the KD in patients with primary brain tumours.
Dr. Matthew Williams
Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, Charing Cross Hospital
Imperial College, London UK & Member of the Matthew’s Friends Medical Board for Oncology.
Dr. Susan Bruce is a Clinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist at The Royal Victoria Infirmary Newcastle Upon Tyne. She has worked in Paediatric Neurology for 10 years and has an interest in quality of life in epilepsy. She has recently been the principle investigator for the Newcastle site on a collaborative NIHR project looking at Quality of Life in teenagers with epilepsy. Dr Bruce lectures at Newcastle University and University College London
Dr Susan Frances Bruce
Clinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist
Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle
Linda has worked for over 30 years as a registered dietitian for the NHS in teaching and general hospitals and the community. She has extensive experience of dietetics including neurology, oncology and neuro-oncology with children and adults.
In 2012, as part of a multi-disciplinary team (including Paediatric Neurology
Consultant, Paediatric Nurse Specialist and Clinical Psychologist), Linda set up the Regional Ketogenic Therapy Service for children in the North East of England and Cumbria. She developed a Ketogenic Care Pathway to provide a structured assessment, implementation and monitoring process for children and carers.
The MDT produced and uses a Quality of Life tool as an outcome measure. This enables Linda to plan and deliver a patient centred and responsive quality ketogenic therapy service. Although the main aim is seizure control, offering practical and emotional support is essential. Her role includes the education and training of health and social care professionals along with staff in mainstream and special schools.
An important development was establishing a Parent Support Group with regular meetings including cookery demonstrations and outings for families to share their experiences of living with a ketogenic diet.
Linda Air BSc RD
Lead Paediatric Dietitian for North East and Cumbria, Ketogenic Therapy Service, Great North Children’s Hospital. The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Helena graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BSc in Biochemistry before qualifying as a Dietitian after further post graduate study. She has worked at Cambridge University Hospital for the past 14 years, and is currently the dietetic lead for the provision of the ketogenic diet for children with epilepsy with in the East of England; a service she helped establish in 2009. She has worked with the inherited disease metabolic service; both for children and adults as well as in gastroenterology and paediatric cystic fibrosis.
Helena has contributed to a weaning booklet for infants on a ketogenic diet released in 2015 and has published an observational case study of an infant who was breast fed while following a ketogenic diet.
Paediatric Dietitian, specialising in
Ketogenic Diet Therapy, Cambridge University Hospital
Jennifer Fabe is the registered dietitian for the Division of Neurology at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Jennifer has improved timely access through her development of the ‘Low and Slow’ outpatient ketogenic diet initiation method. She has trained other Canadian epilepsy centres on this method because of its benefit to patients and reduced health care spending. She is involved with provincial guideline initiatives, research and supporting the McMaster ketogenic diet program to become the largest in the country. Jennifer is the recent recipient of the prestigious Alumni of Influence Award from the University of Saskatchewan and is the President of Matthew’s Friends Canada.
Jennifer FABE RD
McMaster Children’s Hospital
Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA
Helen qualified as a Dietitian in 1983 and has worked for the past 22 years as a Paediatric Dietitian. For the last 6 years Helen has worked as the Ketogenic Diet Coordinator for the North of Scotland as part of NeSCANN, which is the North Scotland Child and Adolescent Neurology Network. This service covers Tayside, Grampian, Highland and the Northern Isles (Orkney and Shetland) Health Boards. As part of her role she also chairs a group of other Ketogenic Dietitians in Scotland to ensure a seamless service and to provide patient information and documentation that is consistent across Scotland, as well as teaching about the Ketogenic Diet whenever the opportunity arises.
Helen Grossi RD
Ketogenic Diet Coordinator for the North East of Scotland
Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital UK
Liz Neal graduated from Surrey University in 1988, with a BSc honours degree in Nutrition. This was followed by a number of years working as a dietitian specialising in paediatrics, and a Masters degree in Public health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Liz started working as a ketogenic diet research dietitian at UCL-Institute of Child Health in 2001, and has completed her PhD and written scientific publications on the subject. She currently works for Matthews Friends ketogenic therapy clinics and continues research links with the Institute of Child Health where she holds an honorary post.
Elizabeth Neal RD MSc PhD
Ketogenic dietitian, Matthews Friends Clinics, Lingfield, UK
Honorary Research Associate, Department of Neuroscience, UCL-Institute of Child Health, London, UK
Emma set up the Matthew’s Friends Charity in 2004 after her son Matthew responded so positively to the ketogenic diet. She is now one of the world’s leading advocates for ketogenic therapies and has worked full time in this field for over 14 years, as well as being a single mum to her 2 children. Not only does she have over 6 year’s personal experience of managing her own son with these diets, she has supported thousands of other families through the charity. She has written numerous magazine articles, featured in many television/radio interviews and co-authored several papers on the Ketogenic therapies with some of the leading Ketogenic medical experts from around the globe. Emma is invited to speak at a considerable number of International meetings and was the pioneer behind Nutricia’s global ‘Cooking with Ketocal’ Campaign.
With branches of Matthew’s Friends now registered in New Zealand and Canada, she works with her Country CEO’s to make sure that the mission of Matthew’s Friends is continued so that ketogenic therapies are available to all those who may need them and could benefit from them. 2013 saw her awarded an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for her services to Children with Epilepsy.
Emma Williams MBE
Founder/CEO – Charity, Director – Clinics
Matthew’s Friends – Ketogenic Dietary Therapies
Susan Wood has worked as a UK registered dietitian for 32 years, predominantly in the NHS, treating a wide range of paediatric and adult conditions. In 2008, the referral of one young adult for the dietary management of drug resistant epilepsy sparked her interest in ketogenic therapy and since then, she has been pursuing the development of adult treatment protocols in the UK and raising the awareness of dietitians and neurologists to the life changing potential that ketogenic therapy can offer adults. In 2009 she started to work alongside the Matthews Friends Charity, offering support to adults and their neurology teams seeking treatment and in 2011 she joined the newly formed clinical team at the Matthews Friends Centre for Ketogenic Dietary Therapies. She continues to lead on the treatment of adults with difficult epilepsy and also supports adults with brain tumours keen to trial this novel approach to manage symptoms.
Specialist ketogenic dietitian – Adults and Children
Matthew’s Friends Clinics