Grand Plenary Speakers



2017 Grand Plenary Wednesday 8:00 am - 11:30 am

Featuring the following guest lecturers!



Sandra Black







CNS Richardson Lecture - Dr. Sandra Black


“150 Years of Progress in Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease:  Where we have been, where we are going and what about the future?”


Sandra Black, MD, FRCP(C) is an internationally renowned cognitive and stroke neurologist who holds the inaugural Brill Chair in Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. A leading clinical trialist in dementia, she is the Executive Director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, a collaborative network of five institutional UofT memory programs. She is Sunnybrook Site Director of the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery and Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program Director at Sunnybrook Research Institute. She has published over 460 papers (Scopus H index 72; Google 93; >28,000 citations) in a 30-year research career that has bridged dementia and stroke, using neuroimaging to study brain-behavior relationships, with a recent focus on relationships of Alzheimer’s and silent stroke disease. She has earned numerous mentorship and research awards, including election to the Royal Society of Canada (2012), and the UofT Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award (2015). She was named to the Order of Ontario in 2011, cited as an assiduous physician leader and influential architect of the Ontario Stroke System, and in 2015 appointed Officer to the Order of Canada for her contributions to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and vascular dementia.


Nens van Alfen


CSCN Gloor Lecture –  Dr. Nens van Alfen


“What can neuromuscular ultrasound do for you?”


In the 35 minutes allotted I will provide an overview of neuromuscular ultrasound applications in entrapment and inflammatory neuropathies (for adult neurologists), nerve trauma (for neurosurgeons), muscle ultrasound screening for neuromuscular disease (pediatric and adult neurologists) and some other useful applications such as diaphragm ultrasound and ultrasound-guided injection (for clinical neurophysiologists).


Nens van Alfen MD PhD is a neurologist and clinical neurophysiologist from the Radboud university medical center (RUMC) in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. In 1997 she finished her medical training and she has been a board certified neurologist since 2004. In 2006 she obtained her cum laude PhD.  Dr. van Alfen is the medical director of the Clinical Neurophysiology laboratory and coordinator of the clinical neurophysiology residency training program. Her areas of expertise are peripheral nerve pathology, brachial plexus neuropathies, neuromuscular ultrasound, electrodiagnosis of neuromuscular disorders and intraoperative neuromonitoring. At the RUMC she has set up the multidisciplinary Plexus Clinic, an international clinical expertise center for diagnosis and rehabilitation of patients with neuralgic amyotrophy (a.k.a. idiopathic brachial plexus neuritis), which treats about 500 patients yearly since 2009. In addition she has set up the PNS Clinic that offers multidisicplinary consultation and treatment for patients with PNS trauma. Her current focus is on developing a national teaching and quality program for neuromuscular ultrasound in the Netherlands. Nens van Alfen is married and has 2 lively young children.


Darcy L Fehlings





CACN Tibbles Lecture – Dr Darcy L. Fehlings


“Translational Neuroscience for Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy:   From Cell to Person”


Dr. Darcy Fehlings is Head of the Division of Developmental Paediatrics and is a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, at the University of Toronto. She is the inaugural holder of the Bloorview Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Developmental Paediatrics. Dr. Fehlings is a Senior Clinician Scientist in the Bloorview Research Institute. Her research focuses on the innovation and evaluation of interventions for children with cerebral palsy. She is the lead investigator of an Ontario Brain Institute integrated neuroscience network focused on children with cerebral palsy (CP-NET) and leads the CP Discovery Project in the Canadian NeuroDevNet Networks of Centres of Excellence. She is a past president of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM).

John R.W. Kestle


CNSS Penfield Lecture – Dr John R. W. Kestle

John R.W. Kestle



“Multicentre Research Benefits and Challenges: A Pediatric Hydrocephalus Example”


The development and progress of a multicenter network (Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network) will be presented. The benefits and challenges will be illustrated using examples in pediatric hydrocephalus.


Dr. Kestle is a pediatric neurosurgeon and clinical researcher in pediatric hydrocephalus. He was born in Toronto and grew up in London Ontario. After medical school (University of Western Ontario BSc Biology, 1980; MD, 1984) he trained in Neurosurgery in Toronto (1984-1992) and in Clinical Epidemiology at McMaster University (MSc, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 1989). 


He began his career at the University of British Columbia in 1992. In 1998, he joined the faculty at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, where he became Professor of Neurosurgery, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Neurosurgery Residency Program Director. He has served as the Scientific Chair of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery, Chair of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, Treasurer of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery and Chair of the Written Exam Committee of the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery. His clinical practice has focused on craniosynostosis, brain tumors and hydrocephalus. His research is in pediatric hydrocephalus and he founded and Chairs the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (   He is currently Professor of Neurosurgery and Vice Chair, Clinical Research in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Utah.