Professor J. Helen Cross OBE


The Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric UCL- Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children & Young Epilepsy

Chair of Matthew’s Friends Medical Board UK

Professor Helen Cross is  clinical advisor to the national Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service and was recently clinical advisor to the update of the NICE guidelines on epilepsy. She is currently also Chair of the BPNA research Committee, and Chair of the CRN (paediatrics) neurosciences CSG. She started her four year term as Secretary General of the ILAE in June 2013 and was recently awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Tartu, Estonia, and University of Gothenburg for her ongoing teaching and collaboration. She is on the Editorial Board of Epilepsy Research. In 2007 she was awarded an Ambassador for Epilepsy Award by the ILAE.

Her research interests are directed at improving outcomes in early onset epilepsy, which includes the role of  early surgical intervention and the ketogenic diet.

In 2015 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her services to Children with Epilepsy.

It has been a great honour to be involved with Matthews Friends from its inception. As Chair of the Medical Board I have seen the organisation grow over time, and their contribution to availability of information and services provided has been invaluable. The professionals involved are all dedicated to furthering availability of the diet where appropriate.  More recently I have been supporting the Matthews Friends Clinics now running at Young Epilepsy, increasing the availability of the diet to children and adults where supported by their medical team. We however are only too aware of the many questions that remain unanswered with regard to its application and the team continues to support research and education globally, including the organisation of the Global Conference on Dietary Therapies for Neurological Disease held every two years.

Matthews Friends continues to support individuals at all levels, families and professional alike, and I remain privileged to support them

Professor J. Helen Cross OBE


Epilepsy Specialists

Dr. Anita DevlinDr. Anita Devlin

Consultant Paediatric Neurologist

Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle.

Anita Devlin has been a Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS FT since 2002. She graduated from University College London Medical School in 1988 and has trained in Oxford, Southampton, Aberdeen, London and Newcastle gaining a higher doctorate (MD) for research in 2001.

Anita specialises in the diagnosis and management of epilepsy in childhood and is the departmental and regional lead for epilepsy in children and young people. She successfully obtained funding for and set-up a regional Ketogenic Therapy service for children in the North-East and Cumbria and set up the regional paediatric epilepsy network in the North East and Cumbria. Anita was a member of the award winning team, which produced national training courses in paediatric epilepsy (PET courses) and has published in peer review journals as well as reviewing manuscripts and guidelines for publication.

Anita graduated from the London Business School Executive MBA programme in 2009 and uses these skills along with her knowledge about epilepsy to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of Young Epilepsy.

Dr. Sunny PhilipDr. Sunny Philip

Paediatric Neurologist

Birmingham Children’s Hospital, UK  (Currently on sabbatical working in Qatar)

He qualified as a Paediatrician from JLN Medical College, Ajmer and  SMS Medical School ,Jaipur  in India and trained as a Paediatric Neurologist in Manchester, UK and Children’s Hospital Michigan ,USA  where he did a fellowship and gained expertise in Paediatric EEG and Complex Epilepsy and Epilepsy surgery. He has been working as Consultant Paediatric Neurologist in UK for the 14 years . He was appointed as Consultant Paediatric Neurologist and Head of Neurology Department at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2002 and Leads the Complex Epilepsy program and Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service which is one of the four national centres in UK. As an epileptologist he not only established the largest ketogenic diet programs in UK in Birmingham ,but set up the complex epilepsy service which provides state of the art diagnostic facilities and all aspects of management of children with complex epilepsy . He teaches widely, nationally and internationally and is passionate about improving knowledge and practise of Paediatric Epilepsy and Neurological Disorders. He is widely published and his main research interest is in clinical epilepsy. He is a keen sportsman and is an avid fundraiser for Children’s Charities.

GLUT 1 Deficiency Specialists:

Professor Joerg KlepperProfessor Joerg Klepper

Children’s Hospital, Aschaffenburg, Germany

Matthew’s Friends Clinics, UK

Professor Klepper is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities in the area of Glut 1 Deficiency and speaks at many international conferences.  His main field of work are disorders of brain energy metabolism such as GLUT1 deficiency syndrome or pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. Both disorders are associated with intractable epilepsy and respond to the ketogenic diet. Research interests are mechanisms and adverse effects of the diet, as well as establishing international protocols for the use of the diet in epilepsy and metabolic disorders.

1984 – 1992: Medical student in Frankfurt/M and Würzburg

1985 – 1986: Community Service, Dreieich Hospital, Langen

2/93 – 1/97:  Intern, Universitätskinderklinik Würzburg

1997 – 1999: Postdoctoral position (2 years) funded by the German Research Society (DFG) at the Colleen Giblin Research Laboratories, Prof. D.C. De Vivo, Columbia University New York

3/99 – 6/00: Scientific Research Fellow, University Children’s Hospital, Essen

06/00 –12/07: Consultant for Paediatrics and Paediatric Neurology, University Children’s Hospital, Essen

Since 01/07: Medical Director of Aschaffenburg Childrens Hospital

Dr. Archana DesurkarDr. Archana Desurkar

Paediatric Neurologist

Sheffield Children’s Hospital

& Matthew’s Friends Glut1D Clinics, UK

Dr Archana Desurkar has been an NHS Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at SCH since Dec 2010. Her specialist area of interest and expertise is children’s epilepsies, especially complex cases, ketogenic diet treatment for medication resistant epilepsies in children and evaluating children for potential epilepsy surgery. She is the lead clinician for the ketogenic diet service provided at the trust and works in the team with a specialist nurse and specialist dietician and a co-lead for children’s epilepsy surgery program.

Dr Desurkar has trained in the UK in a variety of specialist settings across the UK, and her specialist neurology training was initially in the ‘Institute of Neurosciences’ in Edinburgh and subsequently at St George’s Hospital, London, Evelina Children’s Hospital (Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust) in London and Kings College Hospital, London. She also has gone on to complete a senior fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Kings College Hospital focussing on expanding her experience in reporting children’s EEGs. She has worked as a consultant in Complex Epilepsy Services in a specialist children’s hospital in London and also in a residential setting ‘Young Epilepsy’, formerly National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy and has been part of the Ketogenic Clinic team for the Matthew’s Friends Ketogenic clinics from 2011.  Dr. Desurker now works alongside Professor Klepper at the MF Glut 1 Clinics and is part of the medical board for Matthew’s Friends Glut 1 UK.

Oncology (Brain Tumour) Specialists:

Adrienne C. Scheck PhDAdrienne C. Scheck PhD

Associate Professor

Brain Tumor Research Center

Barrow Neurological Institute

Phoenix, AZ, USA

Adrienne C. Scheck, PhD, is a research scientist at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix Arizona.  Work in her laboratory has 2 major goals.  The first is to devise novel therapeutic regimens to improve survival and minimize side effects for patients with malignant brain tumors. To this end, her laboratory has been studying the use of the ketogenic diet for the treatment of malignant brain tumors. Their work has shown that the KD potentiates the effect of radiation and temozolomide chemotherapy. These preclinical studies have led to a clinical trial for patients with glioblastoma multiforme. The second main goal of her laboratory is to identify markers that improve on the current methods of diagnosis and prognosis for this devastating disease.

Dr. Matthew WilliamsDr. Matthew Williams

Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer

Charing Cross Hospital

Imperial College, London UK.

Matt Williams is a consultant clinical oncologist at Imperial, with a clinical and research interest in brain/ CNS tumours. Clinically, he delivers radiotherapy and chemotherapy to patients with brain and spinal tumours, including IMRT and stereotactic radiotherapy.

He also has an interest in the use of cancer data, and have several local & national positions working with cancer data to understand and improve cancer care in the UK and beyond. He is the clinical lead for QA at the National Cancer Registration Service, a Macmillan Advisor, and member of the NCIN Brain/CNS and Scientific Advisory Groups.

He carries out clinical research into patterns of care and outcomes in patients with a wide range of tumours, and developing better ways of assessing patient outcomes. This is increasingly focussed around brain tumours, and he is the PI on a national patterns of care study in high-grade glioma.

From a scientific perspective, He is interested in the application of novel scientific and computational techniques to clinical problems. These include a diverse range of areas, including novel techniques for systemic reviews and evidence aggregation and mathematical modelling of prognosis in patients receiving palliative chemotherapy.

He works mainly at Charing Cross hospital, as part of an excellent multi-disciplinary team.  The most recent NCIN data shows that we have the best brain-tumour survival in the country.

Ketogenic Dietitians

Helen Grossi RDHelen Grossi RD

Ketogenic Diet Coordinator for the North East of Scotland

Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital UK.

Helen is a Paediatric Dietitian with 20 years of experience working within Paediatric Neurology. For the last 4 years she has been employed as the Ketogenic Diet Coordinator for the North of Scotland, based in Aberdeen.

She works as part of the North-east Scotland Child and Adolescent Neurology Network (NeSCANN). This is a Managed Clinical Network which aims to provide the highest quality of care and treatment in the North of Scotland as close to the patient’s home as it safe and appropriate to do so.

It is her responsibility to coordinate the Ketogenic Diet Service across Tayside, Grampian, Highland, Orkney and Shetland working closely with colleagues in these areas to provide an appropriate Ketogenic Diet Service. This includes training of staff in health and other settings, working with families in each area and working with other Dietetic colleagues in Scotland. This work is aimed at developing the Ketogenic Diet service across Scotland in an effort to provide a seamless service.

I am delighted to have been asked to join the Medical Board of Matthews Friends and hope to carry on the great work already achieved by previous members
Helen Grossi RD

Dr. Elizabeth Neal RDDr. Elizabeth Neal RD

Matthew’s Friends Clinics

Lingfield, Surrey

Liz Neal graduated from Surrey University in 1988, with a BSc honours degree in Nutrition. This was followed by a number of years working as a dietitian specialising in paediatrics, and a Masters degree in Public health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Liz started working as a ketogenic diet research dietitian at UCL-Institute of Child Health in 2001, and has completed her PhD and written scientific publications on the subject. She currently works for Matthews Friends ketogenic therapy clinics and continues research links with the Institute of Child Health where she holds an honorary post.

Sue Wood BCs, RDSue Wood BCs, RD

Paediatrics & Adult Ketogenic Dietitian

Matthew’s Friends Clinics

Lingfield, Surrey.

Susan Wood has worked as a UK registered dietitian for 32 years, predominantly in the NHS, treating a wide range of paediatric and adult conditions.  In 2008, the referral of one young adult for the dietary management of drug resistant epilepsy sparked her interest in ketogenic therapy and since then, she has been pursuing the development of adult treatment protocols in the UK and raising the awareness of dietitians and neurologists to the life changing potential that ketogenic therapy can offer adults. In 2009 she started to work alongside the Matthews Friends Charity, offering support to adults and their neurology teams seeking treatment and in 2011 she joined the newly formed clinical team at the Matthews Friends Centre for Ketogenic Dietary Therapies. She continues to lead on the treatment of adults with difficult epilepsy and also supports adults with brain tumours keen to trial this novel approach to manage symptoms.