Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Main Speaker: Karen McCullough (USA)

Karen McCulloch, PhD, PT, MS, NCS(E), FAPTA is a Professor in Physical Therapy, Division of PT, Department of Allied Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she has taught entry-level and advanced level students in neurorehabilitation since 1993. She serves as faculty in the PhD Human Movement Science Curriculum.

She has served in multiple roles within the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy of APTA, including the inaugural Director of Education. She co-chaired an APTA task force (TBIEDGE) to recommend TBI outcome measures for moderate to severe TBI, and chaired a clinical practice guideline group for APTA on concussion intervention that is currently under revision.

Karen has cared about individuals with traumatic brain injury since beginning as a PT in clinical practice, starting with moderate to severe TBI in inpatient rehab, then community based and home health care, with more recent work with military and sports mTBI. Her research has focused on developing outcome measures and interventions to improve active movement, balance, and functional mobility, with aims to improve quality of life.

She served as an ORISE Fellow with the Army Office of the Surgeon General, addressing TBI issues that affect individuals in military service, and is active in the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine mTBI Task Force that is revising their definition of mTBI.

Her current research efforts are focused on wounded warriors with mild traumatic brain injury and the development of test batteries that use challenging dual- and multi-task activities as well as intervention to return individuals to duty/sport. Funding support has come from the Foundation for Physical Therapy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defence, and the National Football League.

Moderator: Arielle Resnick

Arielle Resnick PT, DPT, NCS serves as the Program Director of the Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. She is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy and Advanced Clinical Specialist in the Inpatient Brain Injury Unit with 14 years of clinical and teaching experience. Arielle is currently serving a 4-year appointment on the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties’ Neurologic Specialty Council, and is a Development Group Member for the World Health Organization’s Package of Rehabilitation Interventions for Traumatic Brain Injury, which is part of the Rehabilitation 2030 initiative. Arielle’s primary research interests are in outcome measures, knowledge translation, rehabilitation technology, and disorders of consciousness. She is also on faculty at both Rutgers University and Seton Hall University, teaching in their DPT programs.


Libby Anderl (United States)

Elizabeth “Libby” Anderl, PT, DPT is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy and a full-time clinician at TIRR Memorial Hermann, where she specializes in inpatient brain injury and stroke rehabilitation. She graduated from the Krannert School of Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis in 2015 and completed TIRR Memorial Hermann’s Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program in 2016. Libby participates in program development for TIRR’s Disorders of Consciousness (DoC) program, has co-authored a publication on considerations in behavioral assessments for individuals experiencing DoC, and has presented on brain injury rehabilitation at local, national, and international conferences. Her professional service through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) includes serving on the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy (ANPT) Knowledge Translation Task Force for the Core Outcome Measures Clinical Practice Guideline from 2017-2021. She was named a recipient of the Early Career Professional Award by the ANPT in 2020 and named the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Network Employee of the Year for 2021.

Seng Kwee Wee (Singapore)

Associate Professor Seng Kwee Wee is a Senior Principal physiotherapist who has been working in Tan Tock Seng Hospital Rehabilitation Centre, Singapore, for the past 28 years. He graduated from King’s College London with BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy in 1994, and obtained his PhD in neuro rehabilitation from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom in 2015. Currently, he holds the joint appointment as Associate Professor at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), teaching in the undergraduate physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing programme. In addition, he is a Research Scientist at the Rehabilitation Research Institute of Singapore (RRIS). His research interests include neurorehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation and rehabilitation technology. Being a passionate clinical educator, he is an active member of the Education Group of the International Industry Society in Advanced Rehabilitation Technology (IISART); contributing to the cause of creating awareness of clinical application of rehabilitation technology.

He is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and a Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapist who manages patients with acquired brain injury, balance and vestibular dysfunction. He has been sharing his expertise in  neurorehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation and robot-assisted therapy via workshops conducted in Asia-Pacific and Europe since 1999. Seng Kwee has published and presented papers on vestibular rehabilitation, brain injury, stroke and rehabilitation technology in local and international scientific conferences. He serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Neuro-Vestibular Special Interest Group of the Singapore Physiotherapy Association. Assoc Prof Wee has been active in international volunteer work for numerous years since graduation as a physiotherapist. These works include teaching physiotherapy skills and knowledge to Laos physiotherapists, occupational therapists and doctors; training community lay volunteers post Aceh earthquake relief work; working with children with disabilities in orphanages in India and Romania; and working in a lepers’ colony in India.

Birgitta Langhammer (Norway)

Birgitta Langhammer, physiotherapist, researcher, and professor at Oslo Metropolitan University and Sunnaas hospital, HF, a certified specialist in neurological rehabilitation, has a high professional competence with particular focus on research and development in neurological rehabilitation. She has led and participated in national and international projects related to brain injury. Langhammer has been invited speaker in national and international conferences and has herself organized international workshops and conferences. She has had several board positions in both Norway and Sweden and has held leading positions at work both nationally and internationally. Langhammer has also participated in the Norwegian Directorate of Health developmental work with national guidelines for the treatment and rehabilitation of stroke, a plan for persons with neurological injuries and diseases in municipal services, physical activity, and training in nursing homes and WHO Package of Interventions for Rehabilitation among others. Langhammer is editorial board member in two international journals, and an active reviewer of scientific manuscripts. She has also contributed to the work of evaluating research funding, at home and abroad. Langhammer is concerned with development work within his field and works among other things within an EU network focusing on the development of welfare technology for the elderly and in a second network, to improve stroke care and rehabilitation.

Gavin Williams (Australia)

Prof Gavin Williams PhD FACP has worked in neurological rehabilitation for 30 years. He is the Professor of Physiotherapy Rehabilitation, a joint position appointed between Epworth Healthcare and The University of Melbourne. In this role, Gavin works clinically in the neurological rehabilitation unit at 0.5EFT and in a research role at 0.5EFT. Since he began working at the Epworth Hospital 26 years ago, he has developed a program to teach advanced gait and running skills to people with neurological injuries.  This program led to his doctoral studies titled ‘The development of a high-level mobility assessment tool (HiMAT) for people with traumatic brain injury’. Since that time he has become a world leader in the assessment, classification and treatment of mobility limitations following traumatic brain injury. Gavin was awarded Fellowship to the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2011. He has over 140 peer-reviewed journal publications and over 200 international and national conference presentations. He was also involved in the development of a new classification system for Paralympic athletics which was implemented at the London Paralympics.


Steve Ashford (United Kingdom)

Dr Ashford has incorporated clinical practice with research and implementation science over the past 13 years.  Dr Ashford has developed with local, national and international colleagues a programme of research, which builds strongly on his clinical expertise in management of spasticity and the physical aspects of neurological rehabilitation.  The programme has incorporated development of outcome measurement using Goal Attainment Scaling in conjunction with measures such as the Arm Activity measure. During an NIHR lectureship Dr Ashford developed the Leg Activity measure, Leg Therapy recording Schedule and Goal Attainment Scale Legs, which are now being used in practice nationally and internationally. During his involvement in the NWL CLAHRC fellowship programme Dr Ashford developed implementation approaches for some of these tools to achieve better measurement and improved outcomes for people with stroke and brain injury. Dr Ashford edited the national guidelines on spasticity management published in 2018 by the Royal College of Physicians. He was awarded a Fellowship of ACPIN in 2016 and of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in 2018. He became Senior Clinical Lecturer and Hon. Associate Professor (University College London) in June 2019 at the Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied health led Research, University College London Hospitals.

Sergio Nogeira Nemer (Brazil)

Physiotherapist, graduated in 1992. PhD in Pulmonology by São Paulo University in 2007. Specialist in Neurophysiology by Brazilian Institute of Medicine and Rehabilitation. Specialist in Neurological physiotherapy by Brazilian Federal Council of Physiotherapy. Specialist in Respiratory Physiotherapy by Brazilian Federal Council of Physiotherapy. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (advanced level) by International Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Association (IPNFA). Osteopathy by Madrid University. Maitland Concept by Georgia University. Professor of Postgraduate Program at Interfisio and Rede D’or University. Physiotherapist in charge of ICU at Central Hospital of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro. Author of several manuscripts about Physiotherapy and Mechanical Ventilation.

Jackie Reznik (Australia)

Dr Jacqueline (Jackie) Reznik has a long clinical history in neurological, geriatric and paediatric physiotherapy in addition to undergraduate and post-graduate teaching in neurosciences and neurological physiotherapy at universities in Australia, Israel, and the UK. She now holds adjunct positions as a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Research Fellow at Curtin University, Western Australia and as a Research Associate at the Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street /University College London, UK. She is primary supervisor to two PhD students at JCU and secondary supervisor to one student at Curtin University. Jackie also mentors physiotherapists at NeuroMoves, Australia.

Her PhD focussed on the use of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for neurological heterotopic ossification in traumatic brain-injured and traumatic spinal cord injured patients and she has published several papers on this topic. Her main clinical and research interests today lie in the investigation and treatment of the control of movement and function following neurological insult, both traumatic and non-traumatic and she has published numerous papers in these areas. She is the co-editor of two physiotherapy textbooks, “Pharmacology Handbook for Physiotherapists” and “Rehabilitation in Spinal Cord Injuries”, both published by Elsevier.

Maria Elisa Rivas (Argentina)

María Elisa Rivas is a senior physiotherapist, head of the Adult Kinesiology Unit at the Fleni Institute, Argentina. She works in the Brain Injury Program, evaluating and treating patients with moderate to severe traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries, including multisensorial stimulation in people with disorders of consciousness.

María Elisa graduated in Physiotherapy from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in 2002. She completed a physiotherapy residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of the City of Buenos Aires (IReP). She is now director of the Fleni headquarters of the Specialty in Neurological Kinesiology at the University of Buenos Aires. She is also a faculty professor, teaching scientific research methodology. She has completed postgraduate studies in statistics and has collaborated on research teams with scientific publications on brain injury and other neurological diagnoses.