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Plenary speakers

The 2019 Congress offered an exciting programme of plenary lectures, debates and panel discussions.

Our plenary speakers included:


Associate Professor Kirsten Black, Academic Gynaecologist, University of Sydney, Australia
A/Prof Kirsten Black is an academic gynaecologist at the University of Sydney who became a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians in 2002. She has a Masters of Medicine in Women’s Health from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. She was awarded a Guy’s and St Thomas Charitable Foundation Research Training Fellowship for her PhD work, which examined access to emergency contraception in South London (PhD awarded mid 2008). She undertook training in sexual and reproductive health and is one of few Australians who hold a Fellowship of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare in the UK. She combines clinical work, research and teaching and is a regional leader in sexual and reproductive health research and capacity building.

Dr Tine Dalsgaard Clausen, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Dr Dalsgaard Clausen has specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology since 2012 and has been a Consultant and Associate Professor in the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Nordsjaellands Hospital, Denmark since 2015. Her clinical expertise includes diabetes, overweight and medical complications/conditions during pregnancy. She is an experienced teacher and supervisor for PhD students, doctors, medical students and other medical staff. Her main research field is perinatal programming of health and disease within the fields 'Long-term offspring consequences of delivery by caesarean section' and 'Offspring from pregnancies with diabetes'. Dr Dalsgaard Clausen is the author of several papers and book chapters, and has given invited talks and presentations at international meetings and conferences as well as acting as a reviewer for international peer-reviewed journals.

Jane Fisher, Director, Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC), UK
Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC) is a UK charity providing non-directive information and support to women and couples through antenatal screening and its consequences. The charity is committed to helping expectant parents make the informed choices that are right for them in their individual circumstances. ARC has always had a close and collaborative relationship with clinicians and runs a well-established training programme for those in the field.

Jane Fisher joined ARC in 2001 as their National Support Co-ordinator. She became Director in 2004. As well as managing the organisation, Jane is also regularly involved in directly supporting parents, training health professionals, research, media and policy work. She is a patient and public voice representative on the UK National Screening Committee and a number of its sub-groups.

Professor John Mattick, Senior Research Fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford, UK
John Mattick is Senior Research Fellow with Visiting University Professorship at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He was previously Chief Executive of Genomics England and Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, where he established one of the world's first clinically accredited genome analysis facilities.

Professor Mattick is known for his work showing that the majority of the human genome is not junk but rather specifies an RNA-based regulatory system that organises the epigenetic trajectories of differentiation and development. He has published over 300 papers, which have been cited over 50,000 times. His honours and awards include the inaugural Gutenberg Professorship of the University of Strasbourg, the Order of Australia, Fellowship of the Australian Academies of Science, Technology & Engineering, and Health & Medical Sciences, Foreign Membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medal, the Human Genome Organisation Chen Award for Distinguished Achievement in Human Genetic & Genomic Research, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Bertner Award for Distinguished Contributions to Cancer Research.

Professor Rachel McKendry, Director, i-sense EPSRC IRC and London Centre for Nanotechnology and Division of Medicine, UCL
Professor Rachel McKendry is Director of i-sense EPSRC IRC and holds a joint position between the London Centre for Nanotechnology and Division of Medicine, UCL.  Her research lies at the cutting edge of nanotechnology, telecommunication, big data, infectious diseases and public health. Recent breakthroughs span from unravelling the nanomechanical molecular workings of antibiotics against MRSA, to research towards developing a mobile phone-connected diagnostic test for HIV. Professor McKendry has won several prestigious awards for her research including the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award, Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award, the Institute of Physics Paterson Medal, and was one of the Grant Thornton 100 Face of a Vibrant Economy. 

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Sally Phillips, Actress, Comedian and Writer, UK
Award winning writer and actor Sally Phillips is well known for her roles in Smack the Pony, Miranda and the Bridget Jones trilogy. Sally also fronted a BBC documentary titled, A World Without Down’s Syndrome?, in which Sally wades into the emotionally charged debate about a new screening test that is said to detect Down’s syndrome in 99% of pregnancies and explores what effect the test could have on our society. A World Without Down’s Syndrome has been screened around the world, sparking debate and similar documentaries in many other countries.

Dr Duru Shah, Scientific Director of Gynaecworld and the Gynaecworld Assisted Fertility Centre, Mumbai, India
Dr Shah is the Immediate Past President of the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction (ISAR) for 2017-2018 and the Founder President of the “The PCOS Society” (India), a multidisciplinary Society which focuses its attention on the subject of PCOS, and Infertility.
She has also occupied the highest position as the President of FOGSI, (Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India), which is a 32000 strong professional body of Gynaecologists, affiliated to the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics (FIGO) having served as a Member of the Ethics Committee of FIGO for 6 years. She has been involved in the field of Academics and has been the Chair of the Indian College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ICOG) which is the academic arm of FOGSI. Dr Shah has been the proud recipient of many Orations, Awards and Honours, the most prominent being the “FIGO-Distinguished Merit Award” being the first and only Indian Recipient of this Prestigious Award and has been conferred the “Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology”.

Her passion has always been to focus on preventive reproductive and sexual health, especially in young girls and women as they are the mothers of tomorrow. Having been extremely successful with her “Growing up” and “Kishori” Programs for the youth, she is currently focusing her attention on Gender Violence and Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health through her NGO “The Women’s Empowerment Foundation”. She has initiated her own NGO “The Women’s Empowerment Foundation” which works on the empowerment of the youth in Dharavi through the “Lakshya Project and empowering infertility women with fertility through her Center “Gynaecworld”

Dr Neel Shah, Harvard Medical School, USA
Dr Neel Shah, MD, MPP, FACOG, is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Harvard’s Ariadne Labs. As an obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Dr Shah cares for patients at critical life moments that range from childbirth to primary care to surgery. As a scientist and social entrepreneur, he is a globally recognized expert in designing, testing, and spreading solutions that improve healthcare.

Dr Shah is listed among the "40 smartest people in health care" by the Becker's Hospital Review, and has been profiled by the New York Times, CNN, and other outlets. He is senior author of the book Understanding Value-Based Healthcare (McGraw-Hill), which Don Berwick has called "an instant classic" and Atul Gawande called "a masterful primer for all clinicians." Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Dr. Shah founded Costs of Care, a global NGO that curates insights from clinicians to help delivery systems provide better care. In 2017, Dr Shah co-founded the March for Moms Association, a coalition of 20 leading organizations, to increase public and private investment in the wellbeing of mothers.

Professor Tom Shakespeare, Professor of Disability Research, International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
Tom Shakespeare is Professor of Disability Research at the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  He is a social scientist with a particular interest in bioethics.  He has been a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, where he chaired the working group on Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis.  He has been writing about social and ethical aspects of prenatal diagnosis since 1995.

Professor Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry at King’s College, London, UK
Tim Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, Director of the TwinsUK Registry and Head of the Department of Twin Research at Kings College London. His twin Registry of 13,000 twins, is the richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information worldwide. His current work focuses on personalised medicine and the microbiome and directs the crowdfunded British Gut microbiome project. He has published over 900 research articles and is ranked as being in the top 1% of the world’s most cited scientists by Thomson-Reuters. He has been elected Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and is a prolific writer having published three popular science books. His latest book “The Diet Myth” was published in over ten languages. He is a regular blogger, and features regularly in the media.

Professor Basky Thilaganathan, Consultant and Director of Fetal Medicine, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
Basky Thilaganathan was appointed Professor of Fetal Medicine at St George’s, University of London in 2008. Before that, he was appointed Director of Fetal Medicine at St George’s Hospital in 1999. His research interests are focused on Maternal-Fetal medicine, with a particular interest on maternal cardiac function, placental dysfunction and preeclampsia.

He has authored two undergraduate and five postgraduate text books in obstetrics and fetal medicine. He is the lead trainer for the Maternal-Fetal medicine sub-speciality training programme at St George’s Hospital and was Editor-in Chief of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the medical journal affiliated to ISUOG from 2010 to 2018. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed publications in indexed journals. He is a Council Member on the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and represents the RCOG on the UK National Screening Committee. He is also the Clinical Lead for the development of the first dedicated high-throughput cfDNA screening NHS lab to undertake cfDNA aneuploidy screening in pregnancy.


For all enquiries regarding RCOG World Congress 2019 contact Hampton Medical

Tel: + 44 (0)1920 88 5171