Wednesday, 31 August — Friday, 2 September 2022

Keynote speakers / Invited speakers

Professor Bruce Ovbiagele

Bruce Ovbiagele, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.S., M.B.A., M.L.S., is a vascular neurologist, clinical epidemiologist and health equity scholar, with a focus on reducing the burden of stroke. He is Professor of Neurology and Associate Dean at the University of California, San Francisco, as well as Chief of Staff at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Dr. Ovbiagele leads several United States National Institutes of Health sponsored programs focused on improving stroke outcomes among vulnerable and underserved populations, as well as mentoring early career scholars. So far, his various research activities have contributed substantially to the scientific knowledge base with >550 peer review publications. Dr. Ovbiagele’s work has been recognized with several awards and honors including the American Academy of Neurology Pessin Research Leadership Award, International Stroke Conference Feinberg Excellence in Stroke Award, American Heart Association Haddock International Impact Award, and American Heart Association Scientific Sessions Stroke Council Award.

He was Chair of the International Stroke Conference (2016-2018) and is founding chair of the inaugural African Stroke Organization Conference. He is currently an Associate Editor for the journal, Stroke. Dr. Ovbiagele is an elected fellow of the World Stroke Organization, American Academy of Neurology, and Royal College of Physicians (London) as well as an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine in the United States.

Thank you to Neurological Foundation of New Zealand for assisting with Bruce's travel

SSS Bruce Ovbiagele pic 350 x 350

Associate Professor Sook-Lei Liew

Sook-Lei Liew is an Associate Professor and Director of the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at the University of Southern California. She has joint appointments in the divisions of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Neurology, and is a member of the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute.

She is the Chair of the ENIGMA Stroke Recovery Working Group, which aims to aggregate and analyze high-resolution brain imaging and behavioral outcomes in individuals after stroke from thousands of patients collected across more than 50 research cohorts from 10 countries worldwide. She also is a co-director and co-founder of the USC SMART-VR (SensoriMotor Assessment and Rehabilitation Training) Center ( The overall goal of Dr. Liew’s research is to understand mechanisms of neural plasticity in healthy individuals and individuals after neurological injury that support a person’s ability to learn new skills and recover from brain injury.

Dr Liew has over 40 peer-reviewed publications, given over 120 invited talks and conference presentations, and received over $4.5 million in funding from agencies such as the NIH, National Science Foundation, US Army, and American Heart Association.

SSA Sook Lei Liew photo 350 x 350

Associate Professor Marianne Klinke

Marianne Elisabeth Klinke is an associate professor at the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Iceland and academic chair of research and development in Nursing within Neurology and Neurorehabilitation at Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik. Marianne has worked with acute stroke patients for 24 years. In addition, she has been involved in several clinical research projects. Her academic interests are targeted at acute stroke care, stroke awareness in society, and cognitive neuroscience, emphasizing hemispatial neglect, attention, and motivation.

Marianne is interested in developing methods for assessment and interventions that fit the fast pace of the stroke unit. Moreover, she has developed a phenomenological approach to optimize insight into patients’ experiences of mistaken perceptions, such as seen in patients with hemispatial neglect. Besides using this approach in her research, she also explores how phenomenological thinking can enhance comprehension of “difficult” patients in clinical care.

SSA Marianne Klinke 350 x 350