DSUK appoints three new experts to its Medical Advisory Board

Posted 22nd February 2021 in News

Epileptologist Professor Mike Kerr, neurologist Dr Julia Aram and Epilepsy Nurse Specialist Amanda Tomalin join the charity’s panel of Dravet Syndrome experts, chaired by Professor Helen Cross, OBE. 

New MAB members

Monday 22nd February, 2021. Dravet Syndrome UK (DSUK), the charity dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by Dravet Syndrome, is expanding its board of Medical Advisors. The new appointments follow the recent launch of an ambitious new five-year strategy, with the aims of reaching more families, delivering patient-centred research, improving awareness and understanding amongst professionals, and championing equity in care for children and adults.

The new advisors will join DSUK’s existing team of Medical Advisors, which chaired by Professor Helen Cross OBE (and current President of the ILAE) and comprises the UK's leading authorities on Dravet Syndrome. 

Galia Wilson, Chair and Trustee of DSUK said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Professor Mike Kerr, Dr Julia Aram and Amanda Tomalin to our Medical Advisory Board. We work very closely with our Medical Advisors - their guidance and knowledge informs and underpins everything we do so as we move forward with implementing our new strategy”.

Professor Mike Kerr, Clinical Professor Emeritus at Cardiff University's department of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences. 

Professor Kerr specialises in managing epilepsy in adults with intellectual disabilities (ID), as well as the assessment and treatment of epilepsy and psychiatric disorder. He was closely associated with initiatives in improving the public health of people with an intellectual disability, including developing the Cardiff/Welsh Health Check, which is now used across England and Wales. 

“I am very committed to ensuring people with an intellectual disability and/or epilepsy get equitable access to the highest standard of health care”, said Professor Kerr. “I’m looking forward to working with DSUK to help make a difference to families affected by Dravet Syndrome, especially in terms of improving awareness, understanding and support for adults living with intellectual disability”.

Dr Julia Aram, Consultant Neurologist and Epilepsy Lead at Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. 

As an adult neurologist, Dr Aram is particularly interested in identifying adult patients with undiagnosed Dravet Syndrome. “Supporting colleagues to recognise those adult patients with complex epilepsies who could have Dravet Syndrome is one area that I’m particularly passionate about”, she said, commenting on the appointment. “I have seen the enormous benefit to patients that has followed confirmation of Dravet Syndrome, even later in life”.

Amanda Tomalin, Paediatric Epilepsy Clinical Nurse Specialist at Evelina Children's Hospital

Amanda Tomalin brings invaluable nursing expertise to DSUK’s Medical Advisory Board (following Neil Williamson's transition last year to our Board of Trustees). She works closely with fellow DSUK Medical Advisory Board member, Dr Elaine Hughes, also based at ELCH - together they set up Dravet Syndrome clinics to provide regular specialist support for families. These continue to run on a monthly basis. 

“I feel privileged to have learnt so much from many of the children with Dravet Syndrome and their families that I have met,” said Amanda. “I’m delighted to bring an Epilepsy Nurse Specialist perspective to DSUK’s Medical Advisory Board and to opportunity to work with the broader Dravet Syndrome community in the UK”.

The DSUK Medical Advisory Board now comprises eight leading experts in Dravet Syndrome:

Find out more about our Medical Advisors here.