EU Falls Fest

Speakers

Speakers

Prof. Jesper Ryg

Jesper Ryg is a Professor, PhD, and Consultant in Geriatric Medicine at Odense University Hospital, Denmark and University of Southern Denmark. He has authored >125 peer reviewed publications through clinical- and epidemiological studies within important Geriatric topics like falls and fractures, osteoporosis, deprescribing, frailty, cancer, polypharmacy, and end-of-life. He was a steering committee member of the recent World Falls Guidelines and currently a General assembly member of European Geriatric Medicine Society, co-founder and board member of Odense Deprescribing Initiative, board member of Academy of Geriatric Cancer Research, and working group member of the Danish Health Authority national deprescribing list”

Prof. Wilco P. Achterberg

MD, PhD, Professor of Institutional Care and Elderly Care Medicine at Leiden University Medical Center, visiting professor at Nottingham University (UK) and an elderly care physician at Topaz, an elderly care organisation in The Netherlands. His research focuses on dementia, pain, geriatric rehabilitation and Huntington disease. He is chairman of the network of elderly care organisations in the region of South Holland in the Netherlands (unc-zh).  Also, he is a co-chair of the Special Interest Group Geriatric Rehabilitation of the EUGMS.

Prof. Chris Todd

Chris is Director of the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Policy Research Unit Older People and Frailty, and Lead for Healthy Ageing, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration-Greater Manchester. Chris is NIHR Senior Investigator (2019-2023; 2023-2027) and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Chris leads the Dunhill Medical Trust/NIHR/University of Manchester Healthy Ageing Research PhD programme. During the 2020-2022 COVID-19 pandemic Chris sat on the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) Social Care Working Group. Chris led the – Prevention of Falls Network Europe (ProFaNE) team that developed the Falls Efficacy Scale-International FES-I fear of falling measure, and was part of the World Falls Prevention Guidelines Working Party focusing on concerns-about-falling.

Prof. Tahir Masud

Professor Masud is a consultant physician in Internal and Geriatric medicine who practices in Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, UK. He studied Medicine at Oxford University and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.  His clinical and research interests are: Ageing, Geriatric Medicine,  Musculoskeletal disorders including Osteoporosis, Sarcopenia, Malnutrition, Frailty, Protein, Falls, Fractures, Syncope, Polypharmacy and Medical Education. He has published over 180 peer reviewed research papers and has lectured extensively around the world. He has held prestigious National and International positions including President of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS), President of the Geriatric Medicine Section of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), Member of the Executive Council of the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS), and Secretary of the Clinical Section of the European Region of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG). He was also a Co-Lead of the World Falls Guidelines (published in 2022) and is currently the President-Elect of the EuGMS.    

Prof. Lorenzo Chiari

Is a Professor of Aging and Rehabilitation Engineering at the University of Bologna. After a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, he became passionate about researching human balance and movement control and analysis and their failure: falls. In this field, he was the scientific coordinator of the seminal FARSEEING project (FP7, 2012-14) and a co-founder of the European Falls Festival. Furthermore, within the European Innovation Partnership for Active and Healthy Aging, he coordinated the “Prevention of falls” team of the Regione Emilia Romagna reference site. He was the co-chair of the Italy-United States bilateral working group on “Innovative Technologies for Healthy Aging”. Since December 2022, he is the President of the Board of the “DARE – Digital Lifelong Prevention” Foundation and the PI of the research project of the same name. DARE (2022-2026) is a flagship initiative funded by the Italian Ministry for University & Research to create and develop a connected and distributed knowledge community for digital preventive healthcare through research, innovation, and participation of multiple stakeholders. The initiative includes fall prevention among its assets and will produce, collect, and systematize multidisciplinary knowledge and solutions (technical, ethical-legal, and organizational) to affirm Italy as a leading country in digital prevention.

Prof. Nathalie van der Velde

Nathalie Van Der Velde is a consultant and full professor at the Geriatrics Department of the Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands. Since 2022 she is a member of the Academic Board of the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) and has been appointed as Academic Director 2024-2025.

With regard to editorial tasks she serves as Deputy Editor-in-Chief for Age & Ageing and as Associate Editor for Annals of Medicine. 

Nathalie is both nationally and internationally involved in activities to improve falls and fracture prevention. Among others she chairs the EuGMS SIG Falls and Fractures and its Task and Finish Group on fall-risk-increasing drugs and as of this year she is the EuGMS representative at the board of the Fragility Fracture Network. She is also a co-chair of the steering group of the World Falls Guideline initiative and a member of the organizing committee of the World Congress on Falls and Postural Stability and the executive council of the World Falls Society. 

She has (co-)authored various book chapters on falls prevention, syncope/TLOC and pharmacology/deprescribing and has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles. 

Prof. Kristin Taraldsen

Kristin Taraldsen is a Physiotherapist and Professor in Physiotherapy for older adults, who is part of the Research group on Ageing, Health and Welfare (AHW) at the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Health Technology, OsloMet. She serves as the project leader of the FALLPREVENT project. Together with her team, she has developed an implementation intervention through user involvement in a co-creation process, and the results from a feasibility trial are now informing their work. Currently, the team is conducting a cluster randomised trial involving 25 city districts/municipalities in four regions of Norway, with a focus on assessing the effectiveness of this implementation intervention for falls prevention. 

Prof. Clemens Becker

Clemens Becker is a Professor in Geriatric Medicine.  He is the lead of the Digital Geriatric Medicine Unit at the University Clinic of Heidelberg.  He teaches at the University of Heidelberg Digital Medicine.  Prof. Becker has been involved in various research grants.  Presently he is working with the Mobilise-D consortium, where he is the Lead of the Clinical Validation Study and Hip Fracture cohort.  He is also working with another research grant SmartAge consortium, which is a multicenter trial lead by NAR Heidelberg.  He has been involved with more than 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has also contributed to several books, one of them the Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine.  He is a frequent contributor to scientific meetings and is one of the experts involved with setting up the EUFF group.

Prof. Vasiliki Sakellari

Vasiliki is a Professor at the Department of Physiotherapy of the University of West Attica (UniWA), Athens, Greece and Director of the Postgraduate Program “New Methods of Physiotherapy”, UniWA.

She is a physiotherapist, holds a master’s degree in Ergonomics (University College London) and a doctorate from University of London, Institute of Neurology.

Vasiliki is an Executive Committee Member of IFPOHE (International Federation of Physiotherapy in Occupational Health and Ergonomics) and ENPHE UniWA Representative.

Vasiliki has participated in a number of European Supported Programs. Her main interests are in Physiotherapy in Geriatrics; Human Factors and Ergonomics and consulting in physiotherapy; and clinical education in Neurological Physiotherapy.

Prof. Stephen Lord

Stephen Lord is a Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales and a Senior Principal Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia. His research interests include instability, falls and fractures in older people and clinical groups with balance impairment. His research follows two main themes: the identification of neuropsychological, sensorimotor and balance risk factors for falls and the development and evaluation of fall prevention strategies. His current projects include the development of digital gait biomarkers, reactive step training and cognitive-motor interventions to prevent falls and studies addressing fall risk in people with diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and cognitive impairment. He is also actively engaged in initiatives aimed at implementing falls prevention evidence into policy and practice.

Prof. Pip Logan

Pip Logan is a Professor of Rehabilitation Research at the University of Nottingham, School of Medicine, UK and holds the highest research award from the National Institute for Health Research. She works clinically as an occupational therapist in Nottingham City area with people who have long term health conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, frailty, musculoskeletal disorders and dementia.  She is the academic lead for the new UK National Rehabilitation Centre which is co located with the military rehabilitation centre.

Her research interests are in line with her clinical role, she has developed rehabilitation interventions for example to prevent falls in older people, address knee pain in under 40-year-olds and help people who have suffered major trauma return to work. She publishes in a broad range of journals presents her work internationally is a member of a number of international research groups in, The Netherlands, Spain and Australia. In her studies she includes people with lived experiences of rehabilitation and supervises under graduate and PhD students.

Dr Sibylle Thies

Dr Thies (Senior Research Fellow) is a biomedical engineer working in the area of biomechanics and measurement of human movement. The motivation for her research lies in unintentional injuries that lead to disability and reduced independence, which cost the UK millions of pounds every year. Dr Thies uses her expertise in biomechanics to contribute to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms that lead to unintentional injuries, and to aid their prevention through biomechanics-informed measurements. She worked on the EPSRC-funded IDGO TOO project concerned with Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, for which she led the evaluation of older adults when crossing the road and investigated the effect of tactile pavement on their gait. Since then she has been working on a range of projects concerned with stability and falls of older adults, with a special interest in walking aid ambulation that has led to the design of a novel walking frame with a company partner. She has authored and co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications to date, has given talks at international and national conferences and is a very active reviewer for several journals.

Local Organising

Committee

Dr Mark Anthony Vassallo

Is a Consultant Geriatrician at Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital, Malta.  He is also the Chairperson of the Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta and member of the General Assembly of the EuGMS.  He has been the secretary of the Geriatric Medicine Section of the UEMS since 2022.  His interests are orthogeriatrics and end-of-life care amongst others.  He is a member of the core group of experts working on a project ‘Transforming Together-Developing a Sustainable Strategy for Care of Older Person in Malta’.  He was also part of the National Dementia Strategy Group, which has worked on a revised National Dementia Strategy.  He has co-authored several papers with international colleagues.

Dr John Cordina

Is a Consultant Geriatrician based in Karin Grech Hospital and Mater Dei Hospital, Malta.  He underwent post graduate specialist training in general internal medicine and geriatric medicine in the South East of Scotland in the UK.  After a brief spell working as a consultant geriatrician in Fife, Scotland he took up a consultant post in Malta.  He has an interest in Parkinson’s disease and forms part of the orthogeriatric team at MDH.  He is the registrar of the Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta.

Dr Mohamed Salem

Mohamed is a consultant Geriatrician and board member of the Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta since 2019. Mohamed has a special interest in Intermediate care and Frailty. He is currently running the first clinic for detection and management of frailty in Malta.

Mohamed was an active member and representative of Malta in The Advantage joint action and co-authored several publications related to Frailty and Intermediate Care. He is currently a management committee member of the COST action CA2122;  PROmoting GeRiAtric Medicine IN countries where it is still eMerGing (PROGRAMMING) and  the lead of the Frailty SIG at the International Foundation for Integrated Care – IFIC Scotland.  In the past, Mohamed had worked with a number of European and international organisations, such as the European Platform of Rehabilitation and the United Nations Industrial development organization (UNIDO)

Dr Maria Bonnici

Maria is a specialist in Geriatric Medicine in Malta. She pursued a clinical fellowship in Orthogeriatrics and Fragility Fracture Prevention Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (United Kingdom). She holds the position of Secretary at the Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta and a co-chairs two groups, namely the Reporters and CGA Quiz, within the Early-Career Geriatricians Initiative of the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS). She actively participates in the COST Action 21122-PROmoting GeRiAtric Medicine in countries where it is still eMergING (PROGRAMMING) and is a member of EuGMS SIG on Falls and Fracture. 

Dr Francesca Farrugia

Is a specialist in Geriatric Medicine. She holds the position of Treasurer of the Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta. Her academic interests are palliative care in old age and cognitive impairment. She is an active member of the Advance Care Planning Working Group within the Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta.

International Scientific

Committee

Chris Todd

Professor of Primary Care and Community Health, University of Manchester, UK

Lorenzo Chiari

Professor of Ageing and Rehabilitation Engineering, University of Bologna, Italy

Clemens Becker

Professor, Head of Department Digital Medicines and Older People, Heidelberg University, Germany

Ellen Vlaeyen

Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Life Sciences, University of Hasselt, Belgium

Jane McDermott

Head of Operations, Collaboration & Impact, NIHR Healthy Ageing Policy Research Unit, University of Manchester, UK

Mark Anthony Vassallo

Consultant Geriatrician and Chairperson of the Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta,  Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital, G’Mangia, Malta

John Cordina

Consultant Geriatrician, Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital, G’Mangia, Malta

Nathalie van der Velde

Professor in the Geriatrics Department of the Amsterdam UMC. Academic Director EuGMS 2024-2025 and chair of the EuGMS Falls and Fractures SIG.

EU Falls Festival 25th & 26th April, 2024