STARS is fortunate to have the support of leading RAS and Syncope medical experts.
Professor Christopher J Mathias MBBS DPhil DSc FRCP FMedSci
Professor Christopher Mathias is Professor of Neurovascular Medicine in the University of London, with an appointment held jointly between the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London and the Institute of Neurology, University College London. He has been a Consultant Physician at St Mary's Hospital since 1982 and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, since 1985.
He qualified at St John's Medical College, Bangalore University in 1972 where he won 8 College and 7 University Prizes, together with a Government of Mysore State Award for Distinction. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in 1972 where he began his research on the autonomic nervous system with Dr John Spalding in the Department of Neurology. Part of Professor Mathias' clinical research was performed at the National Spinal Injury Unit, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, working closely with Professor Hans Frankel. In 1976, Oxford University awarded him the Doctorate of Philosophy for his research in humans on neurological and neurohormonal control of the cardiovascular system. From 1976-79 his clinical training continued in London at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital and in Portsmouth at St Mary's Hospital and the Southampton University Renal Unit. In 1978, he completed his MRCP (UK) and in 1979 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science to work with Professor Sir Stanley Peart, FRS, at St Mary's Hospital Medical School, University of London. In 1984, He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Lectureship in Medicine, which was held jointly between St Mary's and the Institute of Neurology with Professor Sir Stanley Peart and Sir Roger Bannister. In 1987 he was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians, London (FRCP). In May 1991 the University of London conferred on him the title of Professor of Neurovascular Medicine. In 1995 London University awarded him the Doctorate of Science (DSc) in the Faculty of Science. In 2001 he was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) and in 2007 he was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Lisboa.
Professor Mathias is Clinical Service and Research Director of two leading departments specialising in autonomic and neurovascular disorders, the Neurovascular Medicine Unit at St Mary's Hospital and the Autonomic Unit at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. Both are tertiary referral centres for the entire country, with a number of referrals from Europe and worldwide, which deal with a variety of autonomic disorders that include abnormalities of blood pressure control (especially postural hypotension and syncope) and disorders of temperature regulation (including excessive sweating) in a wide range of neurological and medical diseases. His clinical commitments include responsibility for a Neurovascular/Autonomic Clinic at St Mary's, and an Autonomic Clinic at the National Hospital, with admitting and inpatient facilities in both hospitals.
Professor Mathias' team of scientists and clinicians research the role of the autonomic nervous system in health and disease. A variety of autonomic disorders ranging from neurally-mediated syncope to hyperhidrosis are studied, with particular emphasis on cardiovascular autonomic disorders (in particular postural hypotension), a variety of neurological disorders (such as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) and Parkinson's disease), and medical disorders involving the autonomic nervous system (such as diabetes mellitus and familial amyloidosis). The clinical research output has earned both The Neurovascular Medicine Unit and the Autonomic Unit recognition as unique centres for pioneering work in advancing the field of disorders of the autonomic nervous system. Funding is received from various competitive and charitable sources.
Professor Mathias has written over 350 publications in major specialist journals that focus on the autonomic nervous system in neurology, cardiovascular disorders, basic sciences and internal (general) medicine. In addition, he has contributed numerous invited reviews in major journals, and chapters in international textbooks of neurological and cardiovascular medicine. He was Senior Co-Editor, with Sir Roger Bannister for the 4th Edition of Autonomic Failure: a Textbook of Clinical Disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System by Oxford University Press, published in 1999, and reprinted in 2002. The 5th Edition of the textbook is due to be published shortly.
In addition to numerous lectures at national and international meetings, and guest lectures to national neurological societies (Scandinavia, Thailand etc), named lectures include the Professor Ruitinga, University of Amsterdam (1988), Dr J Thomas Memorial, St John's Medical College, Bangalore University (1988), Lord Florey Memorial, University of Adelaide (1991), Dorothy Mortlock, University of Adelaide (1991), BP Regional, Royal College of Physicians London, at Leeds (1992), Sir Hugh Cairns Memorial, Adelaide (1996), Nimmo, University of Adelaide (1996), Allan Birch Memorial, London (1997), Abbie Memorial, University of Adelaide (1999), College Day, Royal College of Physicians, London (2001), Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation in Sydney (2001), Dr Paul Wahler Memorial, London Jewish Medical Society, London (2002), Inaugural, Portuguese Autonomic Society, Lisbon (2002), Prof Dr Robert L Muller Memorial, University of Erlangen (2002); 4th Professor Athasit Vejjajiva, Mahidol University, Bangkok (2003), Sir Roger Bannister at the 1st Joint European Federation and American Autonomic Societies Congress, Amsterdam (2004), 3rd Professor Krishnamoorthy Srinivas, Chennai (2005), 7th Valsalva, Bologna (2006), Shri Gopalakrishna, Chennai (2006), Inaugural, Northern Communities Health Foundation, Adelaide (2007), Roche, Adelaide (2007), Chelsea Therapeutics, Vienna (2007), Inaugural, Swiss Autonomic Society, Bern (2008) and Ist Dean Gerry Mascarenhas Memorial Oration, Florida (2009).
He has been Professor Ruitinga Visiting Professor, University of Amsterdam (1988), Nimmo Visiting Professor, University of Adelaide (1996), Visiting Professor, University of Hawaii in Honolulu (1999), Inaugural Northern Communities Health Foundation Visiting Professor in Adelaide, South Australia (2007) and Visiting Professor, TGWH, University of Hong Kong (2008).
Professor Mathias is a member of numerous national and international committees. In addition to being a founding member of the Clinical Autonomic Research Society of Great Britain (as Secretary, 1982-1986 and Chairman, 1987-1990), he served on the Ethics Committees of St Mary's and the National Hospital, and was a member of the North West Thames Regional Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards (1999-2001). In addition, he chaired the Dr P M Shankland (Pushpa Chopra) Charitable Trust Prize Fund (1999-2003), was a member of an international review committee of the Danish National Research Foundation and a joint ESA/NASA Neuroscience Review panel, and was a consultant to the European Space Agency. He has also chaired the Research Group on Autonomic Disorders, World Federation of Neurology and Scientific Panel on the Autonomic Nervous System, European Federation of Neurological Societies, and was on the American Autonomic Society's Board of Directors (1996-2004). Since 1996, he has been a Member of the Scientific Committee of the International Spinal Research Trust and Patron of the Autonomic Disorders Association, Sarah Matheson Trust (since 1996) and also the Syncope and Reflex Anoxic Seizures (STARS) Trust (since 2001).
Professor Mathias was Foundation President of the European Federation of Autonomic Societies (1998-2004), has served on three task forces of the European Federation of Neurological Societies and American Spinal Injuries Association, and on two Consensus Groups, the last organised by the American Academy of Neurology in Boston (2007). He has served as a Governor on the Board of Governors for the National Society for Epilepsy (2004-2008). Since 2004, he has been Chairman of the Special Interest Group on Autonomic Disorders and Neurorehabilitation of the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation, and has been on the Secretary of State for Transport's DVLA Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Disorders of the Nervous System. In February 2008 he was appointed Non-Executive Director, West London Mental Health Trust.
Professor Mathias referees clinical and scientific papers for a wide range of journals, is a scientific referee to major grant-giving bodies in the UK and abroad, and has been, or is, on various editorial boards. He founded the international journal, Clinical Autonomic Research, which is the official journal of the American Autonomic Society, the Clinical Autonomic Research Society of Great Britain and European Federation of Autonomic Societies. From 1991-1995 he was Foundation Editor in Chief of Clinical Autonomic Research and from 1995 he has been Co-editor in Chief.
Professor John B.P. Stephenson BM BCh MA DM Oxford, DCH England, FRCP London & Glasgow, Hon FRCPCH
Educated Balliol College, Oxford, and St Thomas’s Hospital, London. Honorary Resident in Neurosurgery and Fellow in Neurology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, 1969-70. First Consultant in Paediatric Neurology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children [RHSC], Yorkhill, Glasgow, 1971-2000. Physician with responsibility for EEG Department 1972-2000. First Director of Fraser of Allander Neurosciences Unit 1973. Honorary Professor in Paediatric Neurology, University of Glasgow, 1994; also honorary Senior Research Fellow, Division of Developmental Medicine, University of Glasgow. Co-author of Handbook of Neurological Investigations in Children (John BP Stephenson and Mary D King) 1989, 1991 and author of Fits and Faints, MacKeith Press 1990. Founding Patron of STARS 1993. Co-author of A Handbook of Neurological Investigations (Mary D King and John BP Stephenson) Mac Keith Press 2009. Author of chapters ‘Fainting and syncope’ in ed. Bernard Maria Current Management in Child Neurology BC Decker 2009, and ‘Paediatric aspects of neurally-mediated syncope (including Reflex Anoxic Seizures)” in Autonomic Failure 5th edition, edited by Christopher Mathias and Sir Roger Bannister, Oxford University Press (in press). Over 130 peer reviewed articles.
Retired from UK NHS in 2000, but not retired from RAS, syncopes in general, anoxic-epileptic seizures and neurological investigations in children.
Professor Rose Anne Kenny
Trinity College Department of Medical Gerontology & Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
In 2005 Professor Rose Anne Kenny was appointed to Trinity College and St. James's Hospital as Head of the academic Department of Medical Gerontology, Director of the new Falls and Blackout Unit and Director of the new Centre for Successful Ageing at St. James's Hospital.
She is visiting Professor of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Appointed in 1994 as Professor of Cardiovascular Research at the Institute for Ageing & Health, Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, Director of the Falls & Syncope Service, Newcastle Hospitals Trusts and Deputy Director of the Institute for Ageing and Health, University of Newcastle upon Tyne (1990 to 2005).
Professor Rose Anne Kenny's research interests are in neurocardiovascular function in ageing. The overarching aims of the research programmes are to understand the mechanisms for cardiovascular and cerebral dysfunction in the context of falls, blackouts, cognitive impairment and dementia. The research involves collaborative partnership with disciplines from basic science (developing animal modules of cardiovascular and cerebral dysfunction) through to health service development and implementation. She has conducted longitudinal cohort studies of vascular factors in cognitive impairment and stroke and is now lead PI for the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA - €29 million). Other major extant research programs include assistive technologies in ageing (TRIL) in collaboration with INTEL and IDA (€30 million); HRB (€1.5 million) translational program of cardiovascular risk factors for conversion of cognitive impairment to dementia and new treatment strategies for dementia sub types (€800K).
She has published in excess of 200 papers, 40 book chapters and 3 text books She has represented her field on international groups for heart failure, syncope and falls.
Professor Rose Anne Kenny became Patron of STARS in 2005.
Professor Wouter Wieling
Professor Wouter Wieling has been the Head of the Syncope Unit at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam since 1999.
He has had a long and distinguished career in medicine with specific research interest in Autonomic control of the cardiovascular system in health and disease; Physiological strategies to improve orthostatic tolerance and Evaluation and management of syncope.
While not working, he enjoys gardening, back-country skiing, long distance running, tennis, sailing and bridge.
William P Whitehouse, BSc, MB BS, DCH, FRCP, FRCPCH
Clinical Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Neurology
Dr Whitehouse trained at the London Hospital Medical College, where he gained a 1st class honours BSc in Basic Medical Science and Pharmacology and qualified in Medicine, MB BS in 1981. His postgraduate training in Paediatrics and Paediatric Neurology included 3 years as a research fellow studying the molecular biology of epilepsies.
William was appointed as a consultant paediatric neurologist to Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 1993 and took up his clinical senior lecturer post in paediatric neurology, at the University of Nottingham, based at the Queen’s Medical Centre, in 2001.
He is widely published, particularly in paediatric neurology and epilepsy and has developed clinical and research interests in childhood epilepsies, syncope, headache and clinical trials. He became a medical patron of STARS in 2000.
Dr Whitehouse lives with his wife and 4 children near Nottingham and enjoys running and playing in a folk band.