2019 ASM Speaker Biographies:

Please see below for further information on the faculty who have kindly offered to contribute to our 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Prof. Peter Andrews Consultant and Honorary Professor

Prof Andrews was the Chief Investigator of the “SIGNET Trial” (RCT in Scottish Intensive Care Units). This was the first UK non-commercial multicentre CT-IMP trial in critical care and had funding of over £1.5M (including £1.1M from the MRC, UK). He has an international reputation in Neurological Intensive Care and has sustained an active, externally funded research programme over many years.
Research streams include; “Direct Brain Cooling” studies attracting external funding of over £250K and public recognition of the importance of this work. This work has lead to grant funding to develop non-invasive measurement of regional brain temperature using magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Prof. Andrews is the Chief Investigator of the EUROTHERM3235Trial investigating the use of titrated hypothermia after traumatic brain injury in patients with raised intracranial pressure. This has attracted funding of £900K from the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine for the pilot phase and the National Institute for Health, Health Technology Assessment board recently (September 2012) awarded £2.18Million for main phase of the trial.

Mr Anthony Amato-Watkins

Consultant Neurosurgeon, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow

I completed higher neurosurgical training in Cardiff. After StR training, I went on to a paediatric neurosurgery fellowship in Dallas Texas. With the rise of Trump, we returned to the UK and then I undertook a complex spinal fellowship in Liverpool. Here I was trained by both neurosurgeons and orthopaedic spinal surgeons; developing techniques from the two disciplines. I have a particular spine interest in spinal trauma and pathology of the cranio-cervical junction Fortunately the opportunity arose to return home to Scotland, and I was appointed in 2017 as an adult and paediatric consultant neurosurgeon in Glasgow.. In Glasgow I have been fortunate enough to work closely with spinal injury team as one of the spinal surgeons within the Scottish National Spinal Injuries Unit. I have a particular interest in spinal trauma and the cranio-cervical junction.

Dr Justine Elliott

Consultant in Neuroanesthesia.

I am a consultant neuroanaesthetist and college tutor working in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. My interests within neuroanaesthesia are posterior fossa surgery and awake craniotomies; a service we have introduced to the region over the last 16 months. I have been lucky enough to train and work in London prior to my job here. Outside work I enjoy walking and the outdoors.

Ass. Prof. Geert Meyfroidt


Professor Geert Meyfroidt graduated as a MD in 1996, has a board certification in anaesthesiology (2001) and intensive care medicine (2004), is clinically active as Senior Consultant at the Department of Intensive Care Medicine of the University Hospitals Leuven, and has an academic appointment as Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium.

In 2010, he finished his PhD, entitled, “Computerized data management in the intensive care unit: predictive modeling, time series analysis, and opportunities for support of care”. He is funded by the Flemish Government (Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)), as Senior Clinical Researcher (2012-2017: 1843113N and 2017-2022: 1843118N) and has project funding from the KU Leuven (KU Leuven C2 project (C24/17/072): A Neuromonitor for the 21st century).

Current research projects include: data mining and predictive modeling in neuro-intensive care and acute kidney injury; cerebrovascular autoregulation; brain Injury and ketamine. He is promotor and co-promotor of 5 PhD students, has authored and co-authored more than 80 medical journal articles, and is a regular speaker at national and international conferences. As of 2019, he serves as Associate Editor in the editorial board of Intensive Care Medicine. Professor Meyfroidt was elected country representative for Belgium at the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM)(2012-2015), is now active in the Neuro-Intensive Care section of ESICM, and the Scientific Panel of the European Academy of Neurology. He has served as board member of the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SIZ) since 2013, is currently the president-elect of the SIZ and will start his mandate as SIZ-president in 2019. In 2016, he received the Established Investigator Award from the ESICM (20K €).

Prof. Rafi Avitsian

Rafi Avitsian M.D. is the Vice Chair for Professional Development in the Department of General Anesthesiology in Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He is also the Section Head for the Neurosurgical Anesthesiology as well as the program director of Neuroanesthesia fellowship program. In addition to his clinical practice in the department as a staff anesthesiologist he is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology in Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. He is of Armenian origin. Born in Iran, he immigrated to Canada later in life before coming to Cleveland Clinic, where he completed his internship, residency and fellowship, with a focus on neurosurgical anesthesiology. After graduation, he joined the staff in the Department of General Anesthesiology at Cleveland Clinic. He is board-certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

His clinical interests include neurosurgical anesthesia, particularly anesthesia for intracranial vascular surgeries. His clinical studies are directed mostly towards finding the optimal anesthetic methods to decrease post-operative complications after neurosurgery. He is also interested in airway management, especially for patients with difficult airway issues, and he has an active role in teaching as well as innovating in the area of airway management. Dr. Avitsian also has special passion for resident education and was awarded various teaching awards including: Best Teacher of the Year, the Arthur Barnes Distinguished Teacher Award and the Distinguished Educator Award.

Prof Martin Smith

Martin Smith is Honorary Consultant and Professor and in Neuroanaesthesia and Neurocritical Care at University College London Hospitals. Martin is Past President of the Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care and the Neuroanaesthesia and Critical Care Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He is the current Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology.

Dr Christopher Hawthorne

Dr Hawthorne is a Consultant in Head and Neck Anaesthesia and Neurocritical Care at the Institute of Neurological Sciences in Glasgow. He graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Neuroscience and subsequently completed his MBBS at University College London. His clinical work is focused on the care of patients with brain and spinal injuries. His current research reflects this clinical interest and belief that the innovative use of technology can lead to advances in patient care. He holds funding from the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia and Innovate UK. Ongoing projects involve the use of informatics based techniques to interpret monitoring data from neurological intensive care patients and the application of pharmacokinetic pharmacodynamic modelling in anaesthesia.

Mr Ian Piper

Dr Ian Piper is a Principal Health Care Scientist in the Department of Clinical Physics and Bioengineering at NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde responsible for intensive care monitoring services. His undergraduate training is in Physiology and Electronics with postgraduate training in Clinical Neuroscience. Dr Piper’s principal research focus is on the development and validation of clinical monitoring methods useful in the study and treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury. He is co-founder and coordinator of the BrainIT Group (www.brainit.org), a European, multi-centre collaborative network for research into the development of new monitoring and management technology for tracking and improving patient care.

Mr Roddy O’Kane

Roddy completed undergraduate medical training at University of Glasgow. He undertook basic surgical training in the West of Scotland. He completed his higher Neurosurgical training at Leeds General Infirmary. He has completed a fellowship in Paediatric Neurosurgery at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

His major interests are in paediatric neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, awake craniotomy, hydrocephalus & neuroendoscopy, neuro-traumatology and epilepsy surgery.

He has published, lectured and presented both nationally and internationally in his fields of interest.

In 2014 he made it to the semi final of the best looking neurosurgeon in the world. At the age of 16 he signed for Arsenal youth team but gave this up to pursue a career in Medicine, a decision he thoroughly regrets to this date. Outside of work he is a keen ballet dancer, loves to drive his submarine and makes a mean Victoria sponge.
Dr Margaret Purcell

Dr Mariel Purcell graduated from University College Dublin in 1997, her postgraduate training was in Aberdeen and Inverness and she took up post as Consultant in Spinal Injuries at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow in February 2007.  She is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Director of the Scottish Centre for Innovation in Spinal Cord Injury and NRS Senior Research Fellow.

Dr Simon Young

Simon has been a consultant neuroanaesthetist in Glasgow for 10 years. His weekly committments include sessions in paediatric neurosurgery and paediatric craniofacial surgery.

Dr Paul Vulliamy

Paul is a specialist registrar and NIHR clinical lecturer in general surgery with a special interest in trauma. He is currently undertaking his higher surgical training at the Royal London Hospital. He completed his PhD at Queen Mary University of London under the supervision of Professor Karim Brohi in 2018. His primary research interest is acute traumatic coagulopathy with a particular focus on changes in platelet biology after injury.

Prof. Denny Levett


Denny is the Professor of Perioperative Medicine and Critical Care at the University of Southampton and a Consultant in Perioperative Medicine at Southampton University Hospital NHS Foundation trust.

She is the Perioperative Medicine Lead in Southampton and leads the post operative surgical high dependency unit and the pre-operative cardiopulmonary exercise testing service.  Her research interests include the use of CPET for risk prediction and to guide perioperative management, prehabilitation prior to surgery and oxygen utilisation in hypoxia.  She is the clinical CI of the INSPIRE trial evaluating pre-operative inspiratory muscle training as a means of reducing post operative pulmonary complications and is part of the Fit 4 Surgery research group.  She is president of the newly established Perioperative Exercise Testing and Training Society (POETTS) and she established and has chairs the National Perioperative Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing course in the UK.

Denny was the Association of Anaesthetists Research Fellow and her PhD thesis involved evaluating exercise capacity at up to 8000m on Mount Everest as a member of the climbing team on the Caudwell Xtreme Everest Expedition.  She was the Deputy Research Leader for this altitude field study of hypoxia adaptation and the follow up expedition Xtreme Everest 2, investigating exercise efficiency in Sherpas (www.xtreme-everest.co.uk)  

Prof Keith Muir
SINAPSE Professor of Clinical Imaging & Consultant Neurologist
Institute of Neuroscience & Psychology
University of Glasgow
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Stroke neurologist and SINAPSE Chair of Clinical Imaging at University of Glasgow, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, and Clinical Director for Stroke, Greater Glasgow & Clyde South Sector. Main scientific interests include the application of advanced brain imaging to clinical trials as a tool for translational research. Has been Chief Investigator for trials of thrombolysis (ATTEST, ATTEST-2), thrombectomy (PISTE), advanced imaging selection in thrombolysis (PRACTISE), MRI-selection in stroke of unknown onset time (WAKE-UP), and minor stroke or TIA (TEMPO-2). Has also led trials of physiological management (SELESTIAL), stem cell therapy (PISCES 1 and 2) and combined novel imaging and therapeutic methods (POST-IT).

Prof. Celia Kitzinger

Celia Kitzinger is Honorary Professor in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University, where she co-directs the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre (cdoc.org.uk).  She has family experience of catastrophic brain injury and disorders of consciousness and will draw on this in her talk,  as well as on interview-based research with 85 family members of people in long term vegetative and minimally conscious states and some in-depth case studies. She has published widely on medical decision-making for patients in prolonged disorders of consciousness, especially in relation to family experience and clinically assisted nutrition and hydration.  She serves on relevant groups with the British Medical Association and Royal College of Physicians creating professional guidance and is currently working on e-learning for health professionals.  She has also produced an award-winning online resource for families (at healthtalk.org) .

Twitter: @kitzingercelia

Dr Phil Docherty

Dr Phil Docherty is a Consultant Anaesthetist at The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Dr Oliver Daly

Dr Oliver Daly is a Consultant Anaesthetist working at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh with interests in Obstetric, Emergency and Trauma Anaesthesia. He currently holds an NHS Research for Scotland Clinical Fellowship and is undertaking research focussing on the development of chronic pain after surgery. His non-academic interests lie in the behavioural sciences and how these fields relate to our day to day practice and the management of crises.

Dr Michael Murray

I am currently a consultant in neuroanaesthesia and neurointensive care at the Institute for Neurological Sciences in Glasgow.

I qualified in  Dundee  and  trained in medicine and infecitous diseases in  Scotland , England and New Zealand before moving to  anaesthetics and intensive care medicine. I am a clinical supervisor and a honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Glasgow medical school. I am currently the chairperson of the charity Medics Against Violence.

My interests are in teaching, education and learning about improving the work place environment. There is an increasing body of work on the impact of interpersonal relationships an  language with the subsequent impact ultimately on patient and staff  safety and well being.

In my spare time I enjoy photography, charity challenges and trying to stay upright on a bike.