We are extremely proud to have with us some very experienced professionals teaching the programme this year and 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 be with us.

Please click the links below for more details about our authors and course mentors.

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

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.

Professor Klepper is on the MF Glut 1 Medical Advisory board and works with Dr. Archana Desurkar in the MF Glut 1 clinic.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Klepper
Chefarzt Kinderklinik, Klinikum Aschaffenburg, Germany.

Dr. Kossoff is a Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics 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 pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He completed a fellowship in child neurology and then pediatric 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 Pediatric Ketogenic Diet Center 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 Pediatric 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
Baltimore, USA

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, roviding 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
Baltimore, USA

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

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

Vanessa is a Senior Specialist Dietitian with over seven years’ experience working with the Ketogenic Team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

She also has several years’ experience working with the Inherited Metabolic Disorders Team. The Birmingham team provides the Classical, Modified Ketogenic Diet and Low Glycaemic Index Diet Treatment to over seventy babies, children and adolescents with complex Epilepsy (including GLUT1 patients).

They also host coffee mornings and cookery days for their families and are currently involved in both the KIWE and EDIBLE trials. Vanessa is also a member of the recently established Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network.

Vanessa Appleyard
Senior Specialist Dietitian
Birmingham Children’s Hospital

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. Helena is also a member of the Matthew’s Friends Medical Board.

Helena Champion
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
Paediatric Dietitian
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.

Before retiring in the latter part of 2017, 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 chaired a group of other Ketogenic Dietitians in Scotland to ensure a seamless service and provided patient information and documentation that was consistent across Scotland, as well as teaching about the Ketogenic Diet whenever the opportunity arose.

Helen works on various projects as part of the Matthew’s Friends Medical board in the mentoring and writing of their courses and training programmes as well as their information for families.

Helen Grossi RD
Matthew’s Friends
Medical Board, Ketocollege
Course Author and Mentor

After graduating from Surrey University with an honours degree in Nutrition, Liz specialised in paediatric dietetics and studied for a Masters degree in Public Health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. From 2001 she worked as ketogenic research dietitian at UCL-Institute of Child Health where she completed her PhD study on traditional ketogenic diet therapies for intractable childhood epilepsy.

She has since contributed to many scientific journal and book publications on the subject. She currently works for Matthew’s Friends ketogenic dietary 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

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.

Sue Wood
Specialist ketogenic dietitian – Adults and Children
Matthew’s Friends Clinics

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 forher services to Children with Epilepsy.

Emma Williams MBE
Founder/CEO – Matthew’s Friends charity
Director – Matthew’s Friends Clinics

Catherine has worked as the Nutrition Advisor at Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre at Charing Cross Hospital since graduating with a degree in Nutritional Therapy in 2008.

She has also gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Nutritional Medicine from Surrey University. Other roles include lecturing on nutrition, working for a District Council running community and schools nutrition programmes and working for ‘The Food Doctor’ as their nutrition and cancer therapist. Her interest in the influence of diet on cancer stems from her son’s diagnosis of leukaemia, and his successful treatment, 15 years ago.

Her ongoing research began to flag up emerging papers on the ketogenic diet and its potential as a cancer therapy and Catherine joined the Matthew’s Friends clinical team working with their dietitian, Sue Wood, in supporting their Brain Tumour patients.

Catherine Zabilowicz
Dietetic Assistant – Oncology
Matthew’s Friends Clinics

Maureen has an extensive background in cooking and hotel catering.

As a keen supporter of Matthew’s Friends 3 years ago she combined her passion for food and her support of the charity, joining Neil (Keto chef)in being a ketocook for theMatthew’s Friends organisation.

Mo is responsible for recipe development and also helps families that are struggling to make tasty meals using their prescriptions. You can see Maureen demonstrating some of her recipes on the Matthew’s Friends website and YouTube ketokitchen channel.
Maureen Benn (Mo)
Ketocook – Matthew’s Friends Charity & Clinics

Neil Palliser-Bosomworth is a consultant chef with 19 years of experience working in various NHS hospitals in the UK, catering for different patient groups and their unique dietary needs.

He has also worked as head chef at the Marie Curie Hospice and St Oswald’s Hospice. About 9 years ago he was introduced to Matthew’s Friends Founder and CEO, Emma Williams. Neil and Emma spent a great deal of time together as she took him through the ketogenic diet and all that it entailed. Neil has since flown with this and ketogenic therapies are now one of his specialities.

Neil regularly travels abroad to demonstrate Keto cooking and can be found at Matthew’s Friends meetings and on their ketocooking channel. Neil now works as a medical chef for Nutritional Company, Vitaflo, who make prescription products for Ketogenic Therapies as well as devoting charitable time for Matthew’s Friends with their Ketocook Mo, in their recipe development kitchen.

Neil Palliser-Bosomworth
Keto Chef – Vitaflo and Matthew’s Friends

Dr Syed obtained her PhD from Imperial College in Molecular Immunology and joined the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research (LICR) in London as a Junior Post-Doctoral Research Scientist to pursue her interests in cancer biology. This was followed by a CRUK Senior Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) to carry out translational studies.

Whilst at ICR, Dr Syed played a key role in identifying a gene (TIP60) having a critical involvement in breast cancer development. She returned to Imperial College at the end of 2008 to set up the John Fulcher Molecular Neuro-oncology Laboratory with Dr Roncaroli and Mr Kevin O’Neill funded by the Brain Tumour Research Campaign and became principle investigator in 2011.

Her ultimate goal is to translate laboratory-based findings and hypothesis into molecularly based treatments for patients with CNS tumours with a
view to improving clinical outcome.

Dr. Nelofer Syed
Senior Research Fellow Division of Brain
Sciences, Department of Medicine
Imperial College London,
Hammersmith Hospital Campus

Victoria has worked as a paediatric dietitian for 14 years, specialising in ketogenic diet therapy for the last 7 years. In 2012 she joined the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital and established the ketogenic diet service by creating a business case and securing permanent funding.

Since then the service has grown to one of the largest centres within the UK and covers neurology and metabolic conditions. She has a particular interest in research and sits as co-chair on the Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network.

Victoria Whiteley RD
Paediatric Dietitian, specialising
in ketogenic diet therapy
Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital, UK

Lucy has been qualified as a paediatric nurse for 15 years, in which 13 of those have been working within paediatric neurology.

Over the past 6 years she has worked part-time as a nurse specialist within paediatric neurology and is the lead nurse within the ketogenic team. Lucy and the other members of the ketogenic team have worked hard to develop a regional service in the North-east.

They are all immensely proud of what they have achieved and continually strive to develop and improve the knowledge and care offer.

Lucy Bellis
Paediatric Neurology Nurse Specialist
The Great North Children’s Hospital. Royal
Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle

Val’s experience in nursing began in 1980 through roles in dental and auxiliary nursing. She qualified as an enrolled nurse in 1984, then as a registered nurse in 1990, quickly specialising in coronary care. She has 2 children Robyn and Greg. Greg’s seizures started when he was 4 and that is also when his behaviour changed. After 4 very difficult years, Val met Emma and learnt about the ketogenic diet. She also met Professor Cross on a surgical referral and when surgery was not an option, Greg was started on the MCT Ketogenic diet as part of the GOSH trial and it changed not only Greg’s life but the whole families, such was the improvement in Greg’s quality of life and seizure management.

Soon after this time, Emma contacted Val and asked if she would like to be involved with a charity she was thinking of starting up and Val readily agreed. Val is still a Trustee for the charity and now works very closely with the clinical team in the support of ketogenic patients in the MF Clinic. She is involved in training patients, carers and families in the implementation and management of ketogenic therapy.

She has gained a wealth of experience in implementing dietary therapies both personally with Greg and through supporting families from around the UK. She has also gained a vocational certificate in epilepsy care via distance learning to gain a broader knowledge of epilepsy.

Val Aldridge
Ketogenic Dietetic Assistant,
Matthew’s Friends Clinic’s and Charity

Bruce Carroll has worked with the NHS and dietitians developing specialist nutritional analytical software for over 30 years.

He began developing EKM back in 2004 to assist with the GOSH trial of the Ketogenic Diet. EKM is now sponsored by Matthews Friends and is availalbe on PC’s, Mac’s, iPhone, Android and tablets.

Bruce Carroll
Senior Software Engineer
MicroMan2000 Ltd

Derek qualified in 1992 from Rank Hovis as master baker. After leaving college he started working in London in a top hotel producing wedding cakes and sugar confectionery. After this, he then started working for himself in private dining and wedding functions.

“My godson, Tylan, was born in 2011 with PKU and this is where my passion and drive has come from to develop and create new recipes, not only for PKU but also other genetic conditions.”

Derek also works with Matthew’s Friends and is now a regular face on their KetoCooking YouTube channel.

Derek Clarke
Keto Chef – Nutricia