John Barks Headshot

John Barks, MD, FRCP(C) (Pediatrics)

Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases,
University of Michigan
Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine,
C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

Dr. Barks earned his M.D. from Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He completed his training in Pediatrics at the I.W. Killam Hospital for Children in Halifax and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He trained in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the University of Michigan. Dr. Barks’ clinical and laboratory research interests are in neonatal neurology, neuroprotection and mechanisms of neonatal brain injury. Special clinical interests include hypothermia treatment of neonatal brain injury, neonatal seizures and imaging of the neonatal brain.


Sonia Bonifacio, MD, FAAP

Associate Medical Director NeuroNICU
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal & Developmental Medicine,
Stanford University School of Medicine
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Dr. Sonia Lomeli Bonifacio, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, joined the Stanford faculty in May of 2015 and is the Associate Medical Director of the NeuroNICU. Sonia is a native San Franciscan and completed all her medical training, medical school through fellowship, at the University of California in San Francisco. She was on the faculty at UCSF from 2009 to 2015 and was the Director of the Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery.
Dr. Bonifacio’s primary research interests are the development and implementation of neonatal neurocritical care, neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm and sick term newborns, and therapeutic interventions for neonatal encephalopathy. During her fellowship, she worked under the mentorship of Mrs. Donna Ferriero, Jim Barkovich, and Steven Miller. She continues to work on the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging as an early predictor of outcomes in these at-risk patient populations. Recent work includes studying the effect of hypothermia therapy on magnetic resonance imaging findings. She is currently planning a trial of Therapeutic Hypothermia for mild HIE.

Geraldine Boylan

Geraldine Boylan, PhD

Director, INFANT Research Centre.
Professor of Neonatal Physiology,
Department of Paediatrics & Child Health,
University College,
Cork, Ireland.

Geraldine Boylan is Professor of Neonatal Physiology, Department of Paediatrics & Child Health, University College Cork, Ireland and Director of the INFANT Research Centre –
She has worked in clinical neurophysiology for many years and since 1996 has worked exclusively in the field of neonatal neurophysiology. She leads the Neonatal Brain Research Group at the INFANT centre – a multidisciplinary research team focused on neuromonitoring for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit, particularly for seizure detection and the early diagnosis of brain injury. Her team have used AI to develop an automated system for newborn seizure detection and have completed a clinical trial evaluating the clinical efficacy of this algorithm in 8 centres across Europe. She is also focused on developing better medicines for newborn infants and is the Irish lead for the conect4children pan European clinical trials network funded by the EU and IMI2


Robert Clancy, MD

Attending Pediatric Neurologist.
Founder, Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program.
Tristram C. Colket, Jr. Endowed Chair,
Pediatric Neurology.
Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Clancy is a native of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and received his medical doctor degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore Maryland. He performed his internship and residency training in general pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and pediatric neurology and clinical neurophysiology fellowships at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto California. He joined the faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and is now Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics. He is the founder and former director of the Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and holder of the Tristram C. Colket, Jr., Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurology. His clinical and research interests include neonatal EEG, neonatal seizures, neuroprotection, pediatric EEG and epilepsy. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and co-author of the three-volume collection: “Atlas of Electroencephalography” and the interactive DVDs “The Normal Neonatal EEG” and “The Abnormal Neonatal EEG and Seizures”.

Linda de Vries

Linda de Vries, MD, PhD

Emeritus Professor in Neonatal Neurology,
Utrecht and Leiden University Medical Center,
The Netherlands
Steering Committee, Newborn Brain Society

Linda de Vries, MD, PhD received her degree from the Medical School in Groningen, completed a Pediatric residency at the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and carried out a research fellowship at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, United Kingdom. Subsequently she trained as a Neonatologist in Utrecht and as a Pediatric Neurologist in Leuven, Belgium. Since 1989, she has worked in the department of Neonatology in Utrecht from 1989-2019, became a Professor in Neonatal Neurology in 2001 and is now an Emeritus Professor at Utrecht and Leiden University. Throughout her career she has published over 400 peer-reviewed publications.
Her research focuses on prediction of neurodevelopmental outcome in high risk preterm and full-term newborns, using neurophysiology and neuro-imaging methods. These at-risk children were also seen by her in the follow-up clinic. She has a special interest in post-hemorrhagic ventricular dilation, neonatal stroke and brain plasticity.

Mohamed El-Dib

Mohamed El-Dib, MD, FAAP

Director, Neonatal Neurocritical Care
Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Pediatrics,
Harvard Medical School
President, Newborn Brain Society

Mohamed El-Dib, MD is the Director of Neonatal Neurocritical Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He is a neonatologist with additional training in neonatal neurology. The BWH Neonatal Neurocritical program is a multidisciplinary group of specialty trained nurses, neurologists, neuroradiologists and developmental specialists. This group has established guidelines and protocols aimed at providing standardized, focused, and integrated care for babies with or at risk for brain abnormality or injury. The Brigham and Women’s new state-of-the-art NICU provides comprehensive care for neonates with neonatal encephalopathy including therapeutic hypothermia, neuromonitoring and neuroimaging.
Dr. El-Dib has numerous publications in the field of neonatal neurology. His research is focused on neonatal neuromonitoring and neuroprotection. In neuromonitoring, he has been using amplitude integrated EEG (aEEG) to evaluate brain maturation in premature as well as brain injury in neonatal encephalopathy. Dr. El-Dib has also been investigating the use of near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS) to assess cerebral circulation, oxygenation, and oxygen metabolism in these populations. Regarding neuroprotection, he has been a co-investigator in multiple studies on various neuroprotective agents including ascorbic acid, ibuprofen, melatonin and autologous cord blood.
Dr. El-Dib co-founded the Neonatal Neurocritical Care Special Interest Group – NNCC-SIG (, developed an aEEG educational portal (, and has been co-directing workshops teaching the arts of neuromonitoring and neuroimaging (

Hannah Glass

Hannah Glass, MDCM, MAS

Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Director, Neonatal Neurocritical Care Services,
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

Dr. Glass is a neonatal neurologist, founding co-director of the Neurointensive Care Nursery (NICN), and Director of Neonatal Critical Care Services at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. She is also the program director of the Neonatal Neurology Fellowship Program. Dr. Glass joined the Division of Child Neurology at UCSF in 2006. She earned a medical degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and completed pediatrics and child neurology training at the University of Calgary. She trained in Neonatal Neurology and earned a master’s degree in clinical research at UCSF. Dr. Glass specializes in brain focused care for children with neurological conditions diagnosed in the newborn period, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, stroke and seizures, as well as brain injury following preterm birth. Dr. Glass has received funding from the NIH, March of Dimes, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation to conduct research that aims to improve developmental outcomes following newborn brain injury.

Alistair Gunn

Alistair Gunn, MBChB, PhD, FRACP (Pediatrics), FRSNZ

Professor of Physiology and Paediatrics
Departments of Physiology and Paediatrics,
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences,
The University of Auckland
Starship Children’s Hospital,
Auckland, New Zealand

Dr. Gunn has conducted groundbreaking research into the mechanisms and treatment of asphyxial brain injury, identifying compromised fetuses in labor and prevention of life-threatening events in infancy. His research helped to establish mild cooling as the first ever technique to reduce brain injury due to low oxygen levels at birth.  This simple and effective treatment is now standard care around the world.

Lena Hellström-Westas

Lena Hellström-Westas, MD, PhD

Professor of Perinatal Medicine,
Senior Consultant,
Department of Neonatology,
Uppsala University Hospital.
Medical Co-Director,
Karolinska NIDCAP Center
Scientific Advisor in Neonatology,
Swedish National Board of Health & Welfare

Dr. Hellström-Westas is Professor of Perinatal Medicine at Uppsala University, and Senior Consultant in Neonatology at the Department of Neonatology, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden. She is Medical Co-Director at the Karolinska NIDCAP center and Scientific advisor in Neonatology to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. Lena Hellström-Westas received her medical degree at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm but received most of her clinical training at Lund University Hospital, Sweden. It was also in Lund the pioneering research on amplitude-integrated EEG monitoring started with focus on early prediction of outcome in asphyxiated infants and preterm infants, seizure detection, sleep and pain assessments.


An Massaro, MD

Professor of Pediatrics,
George Washington University School of Medicine
Children’s National Hospital
Office of Pediatric Therapeutics,
Food and Drug Administration

An N. Massaro is a Professor of Pediatrics at The George Washington University School of Medicine and a neonatologist at Children’s National Hospital (CNH). She is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Translational Science and the Center for Neuroscience in the Children’s Research Institute at CNH. Her research broadly centers on neonatal neurology and neuroprotection. More specifically, she investigates neuroimaging, biochemical and physiological biomarkers of brain injury for the assessment and treatment of perinatal brain injury in high-risk newborns. Dr. Massaro served as the co-Director of Research for the Division of Neonatology, Director of Residency Research for the Pediatric Residency Program, Neonatology Program Director for the Prenatal Pediatrics Institute (formerly known as the Fetal Medicine Institute), and the Co-Director of the KL2 Program for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National, before recently transitioning to the Office of Pediatric Therapeutics at the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Massaro’s involvement in the NBS is based on her professional expertise and represents her own opinions and is not an official representation of the U.S. Government, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Food and Drug Administration.


Laura Ment, MD

Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology),
Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid,
Director, START Program,
Yale School of Medicine, CT

Laura R Ment, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology and Associate Dean, Yale School of Medicine. A graduate of Brown University and Tufts University School of Medicine, Dr. Ment received her training in both pediatrics and pediatric neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
A former member of the NANDS Council of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke at NIH and Chair of its Clinical Trial Subcommittee, Dr. Ment’s research interests include adaptive mechanisms of developing brain. She was the principal investigator of two multicenter clinical studies exploring prevention of injury in preterm neonates, the long-term neurodevelopmental and neuroimaging sequelae of preterm birth and the genetic mechanisms responsible for these changes. Her magnetic resonance studies investigate neural connectivity in the preterm brain and both typically developing and at-risk fetuses across the third trimester of gestation, and her most recent work employs state of the art MR imaging and emerging molecular technologies to identify sensitive, reliable and actionable biomarkers of growth and maturation of the developing brain.

Khorshid Mohammad

Khorshid Mohammad, MD, MSc (pediatrics), FABP, FRCP (Edin), FRCPC (Neonatology)

NICU lead, Neuro-Critical Care Program,
Alberta Children Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI)
Chair, Neonatal Brain health working group,
Canadian Preterm Birth Network (CPTBN)
Chair, Newborn Brain Society Education Committee

Dr. Mohammad is a Staff Neonatologist at Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone, and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Mohammad graduated in 2006 from the University of Damascus and Arab League with master’s degree in Pediatrics. He completed neonatal fellowship training at the University of Calgary in 2010, Neonatal Neurology training at the University of British Columbia, and Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography at Universities of British Columbia and Calgary in 2013. In 2014, Dr. Mohammad established the Neonatal Neuro-Critical Care program in Calgary in collaboration with Pediatric Neurology. Dr. Mohammad is a founding member of the Sonographic Clinical Assessment of the Newborn (SCAN) program. Dr. Mohammad main areas of interest are innovation in education and quality improvement. Dr. Mohammad established Innovation in neonatal neuro-critical care education lab including cranial ultrasonography phantoms and simulators, Neonatal EEG simulator, Neonatal neurological exam using Virtual reality and Mannequins, online teaching modules in neonatal neurology and smart phones applications. He organized and led several conferences, workshops, and courses in Neonatal neuro-monitoring locally and around the world. He is a founding member of the Newborn Brain Society, Chair of the Society Educational Committee and member of Board of Directors. Dr. Mohammad quality improvement work led to significant reduction in mortality and brain injury in extremely premature infants and term infants suffered from asphyxia and seizure. Dr. Mohammad received the Canadian Pediatric Society emerging leader in neonatology award in 2020. Dr. Mohammad’s areas of research interest are education, brain perfusion, monitoring, and quality Improvement neuroprotection strategies. He published many studies in those areas and holds several research grants.

Deirdre Murray

Deirdre Murray, MB BAO BcH, FRCPI, FPAEDs, PhD

Consultant Paediatrician,
Professor of Paediatrics,
University College,
Cork, Ireland

Dr. Murray graduated from UCC in 1995 and trained in Paediatrics in Dublin, before specialising Paediatric Intensive Care in leading International Paediatric Hospitals: The Royal Bristol Children’s Hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Her PhD thesis focused on the use of early EEG to predict outcome following neonatal HIE. She took up her post as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2008 and has developed her research interest into early brain injury and neurodevelopmental outcome since that time. Her aim is to improve long term neurological outcome through improved detection, prediction and early intervention following neonatal brain injury. Prof Murray is the Principal investigator of the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort Study and through this study, funded by the National Children’s Research Centre has established a large extremely well phenotyped birth cohort with the first neonatal biobank in Ireland. In 2012 she was the first Irish Paediatrician to be awarded the prestigious HRB Clinician Scientist Award to develop her research in the field of novel biomarkers in Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy through the BiHiVE study. She is one of the founding Investigators in the INFANT research centre ( ). Her research group was the first to describe the miRNA changes which occur following neonatal HIE, and the metabolomic profile which can aid in the prediction of HIE. She is currently researching novel methods for the computerised assessment of outcome in young children, and utilising machine learning to improve our ability to predict cognitive outcome. In 2021 she was appointed Chair of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork.

Betsy Pilon

Betsy Pilon

Executive Director,
Hope for HIE
Chair, Communications & Networking Committee,
Newborn Brain Society

Betsy Pilon is the Executive Director of Hope for HIE, a global nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and families through awareness, education and support for neonatal and pediatric acquired hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Hope for HIE serves over 6,000 families worldwide, through a comprehensive network. After her own son, Max, was born in 2012 with HIE, she could not find any parent-focused resources on HIE. Eventually, she found a small group of families gathering on social media. Working with the existing group, she led the efforts to start the grassroots nonprofit foundation in 2013 to ensure no family faces HIE alone. As a result, Facebook recognized her in 2019 for building community with Hope for HIE. She is passionate about neurodevelopment, early intervention, parent education, and building patient and family-centered care and partnerships. She advocates for improving communication among providers, patients, and families, positively impacting outcomes in healthcare and education. With a career in marketing and communication spanning automotive, healthcare and education, she brings her community building skills to help grow the Newborn Brain Society serving on the Board of Directors and leading the Communication and Networking Committee.


Nicola J. Robertson, MB ChB, FRCPCH, PhD

Professor of Perinatal Neuroscience
University College London
University of Edinburgh
Chair, NBS Membership Committee

Dr. Nikki Robertson is a Professor of Perinatal Neuroscience at UCL and University of Edinburgh, currently leading 2 preclinical large animal neonatal neuroprotection labs focused on therapies to improve outcomes in neonatal encephalopathy.  As a consultant neonatologist, she has practiced for 25 years in the UK.

Dr. Robertson aims over the next 5-10 years to move therapies along the translational pipeline, by assessing promising therapies in Phase I-III clinical trials in both High Income Countries and LMIC.


Renée Shellhaas, MD, MS

Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Career Development,
Department of Pediatrics
Director of Research,
Division of Pediatric Neurology,
CS Mott Children’s Hospital

Renée Shellhaas, MD, MS is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology Division) at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, MI. She is a board-certified child neurologist and clinical neurophysiologist. Her neonatal brain research focus is neonatal neuromonitoring and she has conducted studies which evaluate the roles of conventional EEG, amplitude-integrated EEG, near-infrared spectroscopy, and polysomnography for infants in the NICU. She currently leads collaborative multicenter studies regarding neonatal seizures and early-life epilepsy, as well as sleep in infants with myelomeningocele. Her clinical practice is centered around seizures and epilepsy in infants and children.

Christopher Smyser

Christopher Smyser, M.D., M.S.C.I.

Director, Neonatal Neurology Clinical Program
Head of Pediatric Neurocritical Care Section,
Division of Pediatric and Developmental Neurology
Associate Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics & Radiology,
Washington University/St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Dr. Smyser co-directs the Baker Family Fellowship in Neonatal Neurology and Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up Program. He is a pediatric neurologist with additional training in neonatal neurology. With a background in biomedical engineering, Dr. Smyser’s research focuses on the use of advanced neuroimaging techniques to provide greater understanding of early brain development and the pathway to neurodevelopmental disabilities. He is co-director of the Washington University Neonatal Developmental Research (WUNDER) Laboratory. Dr. Smyser’s recent research efforts have centered upon the use of resting state-functional connectivity MRI and diffusion MRI to investigate functional and structural brain development in high-risk pediatric populations from infancy through adolescence. He is currently the principal investigator for multiple NIH-funded longitudinal studies focused upon defining the deleterious effects of prematurity, brain injury and environmental exposures on neurodevelopmental and psychiatric outcomes through development and application of state-of-the-art neuroimaging approaches.

Janet Soul

Janet Soul, MDCM, FRCPC

Associate Professor of Neurology,
Harvard Medical School
Director, Fetal-Neonatal Neurology Program,
Boston Children’s Hospital

Janet Soul is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Fetal-Neonatal Neurology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Soul obtained her medical degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, then moved to Boston to complete her pediatric residency, Child Neurology training in the Harvard Longwood Neurology Program, and a Neonatal Neurology Fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Volpe. Dr. Soul provides care to fetuses, newborns and children whose neurologic disorders begin in utero or during the newborn period. The multidisciplinary clinical program she directs also provides specialized training for neurology, neonatology and pediatric fellows, residents and medical students.

Dr. Soul’s clinical research is focused on improving the management and outcome of neonatal seizures and brain injury, particularly hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. She was the Principal Investigator of a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of bumetanide to treat neonatal seizures (NCT00830531), the first neonatal seizure trial to employ a standard therapy control group with an add-on therapy design to test a novel drug whose anticonvulsant mechanism was specific to the newborn brain. She co-chaired the Seizure Workgroup of the International Neonatal Consortium (Critical Path Institute) to develop consensus recommendations for the design of neonatal seizure treatment trials. She has been funded by the NIH, March of Dimes, Hood Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and others, and has served on DSMBs for NIH-funded multicenter trials in Neonatal Neurology.

Frank van Bel

Frank van Bel, MD, PhD

Professor of Neonatology EM,
Former Chairman of the Perinatal Center,
University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU),
The Netherlands

Dr van Bel is full professor of Neonatology EM. He was chairman of the Perinatal Center of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), The Netherlands (Depts of Obstetrics and Neonatology), member of the Management Team of the Division of Woman & Baby and had various teaching tasks. In 2015 he is retired but was “ad interim” director of the Department of Neonatology, Free University Medical Center (VUmc) Amsterdam. He is continuing his research and teaching activities as a research Professor at the UMCU. His research activities were and are concentrated on experimental and clinical research of the perinatal brain and focusses on cerebral oxygenation/perfusion, and neuroprotection and repair. He is currently involved in 2 large (European) research projects on Pharmacologic Neuroprotection and Cell Therapy. He is a member of the European and American Societies of Pediatric Research, European Neonatal Brain Club and has various professional connections with other European and American research groups.


Robert D. White, MD

Director, Regional Newborn Program
Beacon Children’s Hospital
South Bend, IN

Robert White grew up in Michigan, attended the University of Notre Dame, and received his medical training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Since 1981, he has been Director of the Regional Newborn Program at Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Indiana. Dr. White has had a long-standing interest in the effect of the NICU environment on babies, families, and caregivers with many publications on that topic. He is chairman of the Consensus Committee that develops Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design, co-chair of the annual Gravens Conference on the Physical and Developmental Environment of the High-Risk Newborn, and chairman of the International Conference on Brain Monitoring and Neuroprotection in the Newborn. He has appointments at the University of Notre Dame and the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Dr. White is the American Academy of Pediatrics representative to and co-chair of the AAMI Committee on Incubators, the US representative to the International Electrotechnical Equipment Working Group for Paediatric Equipment, and a member of the Healthcare Guidelines Revision Committee.

diane wilson

Diane Wilson, RN (EC), MN, NP-Paeds, NNP-BC

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner,
NICU, Hospital for Sick Children,
Toronto, CA

Diane is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, with over 30 years of experience in Neonatology and over the last 10 years in Neonatal Neurology. Her primary role is in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, where she specializes in the care of babies with brain injury. She has been instrumental in the development of the Neonatal Neurocritical Care Unit (NNCU) at SickKids, a specialized area within the NICU for newborns with a primary diagnosis of brain injury. Diane works closely with the Neonatology and Neurology Teams providing a liaison and point of contact for both. Diane follows patients in the neonatal neurology clinic and combined neurology/developmental follow up clinic. She has been an invited speaker at several national and international forums regarding work that she has led to advance neonatal neurocritical care. She has co-authored several papers focused on the care of babies with brain injury and is actively involved in ongoing research. She is also a clinical consultant for Aspect Imaging.