WSO Young Stroke Professionals


Atte Meretoja, Finland

A/Prof Atte Meretoja, MD, PhD, MSc(StrokeMed), is an Associate Professor in Neurology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, with co-appointments at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Austin Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, Finland.

He was trained by Prof Markku Kaste, University of Helsinki, Finland (2002-2009) and graduated from the first class of the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) sponsored European Master in Stroke Medicine (2009) at the Donau University Krems, Austria, supervised by Prof Michael Brainin. He has medical specialist degrees in Neurology (2009) and Public Health Medicine (2013). He joined the teams of the current and past World Stroke Organisation presidents Prof Stephen Davis and Prof Geoffrey Donnan in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011. 

For his PhD (2011) he set up the Finnish national stroke registry “PERFECT Stroke” with >150,000 patients registered. He was the first to report the effectiveness of Primary and Comprehensive Stroke Centres, suggested the first etiologic classification for ICH, described the world fastest thrombolysis service in Helsinki, and successfully transferred the model to Australia. He is the principal investigator of the STOP-AUST international randomized controlled trial of tranexamic acid in intracerebral haemorrage.



Alexandre Y. Poppe Canada

Alexandre Y. Poppe MD CM, FRCPC, completed his medical school training (2002) and neurology residency (2007) at McGill University in Montréal, Québec. He also completed a Fellowship in Cerebrovascular Disease (2008) under the direction of Dr. Andrew Demchuk at the Foothills Medical Centre, University of Calgary, Alberta. 

He joined the Centre des maladies vasculaires cérébrales of the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) as a stroke neurologist in January 2009 and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Neurosciences of the Université de Montréal. He is also a member of the Centre de recherche du CHUM (CRCHUM) and since 2011, he has been Director of the Université de Montréal Neurology residency training program. 

His clinical and research interests include stroke in young adults, vasculitis, neuroimaging in stroke and transient ischemic attack and acute stroke treatment. He has co-authored several peer-reviewed scientific publications (25), abstracts (20) and book chapters (3) in addition to many presentations and posters at provincial, national and international stroke conferences. He has been involved as a local principal investigator in numerous Canadian-led research projects (INTERSPACE, INTERRSeCT) and Canadian and international multi-centre clinical trials including IMS-3, ESCAPE, TEMPO-1 and SPOTLIGHT. 



Coralie English, Australia

Dr. Coralie English is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia and an NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Florey Institute of Neurosciences and Mental Health. As a clinical trialist, Dr. English’s area of research interest lies in investigating effective models of rehabilitation care to optimize recovery of motor function after stroke. She is the chief investigator for the recently completed CIRCIT trial, which aimed to compare the effectiveness of circuit class therapy and 7-days a week physiotherapy, against usual care for stroke survivors during sub-acute rehabilitation. 

She is particularly interested in the role that physical activity, exercise and sedentary behaviours play in both post-stroke recovery and secondary prevention of stroke. Her more recent post-doctoral work has focused on quantifying and reducing sitting time in stroke survivors to reduce recurrent stroke risk. Her current projects include a phase II trial for an intervention aimed at reducing sitting time in stroke survivors and work around attitudes of physiotherapists to circuit class therapy and 7-day week therapy. 

Dr. English worked as a clinical physiotherapist in stroke rehabilitation for many years before embarking on research. In addition to her role on the WSO YSP committee, Dr. English is active on several national committees dedicated to improving care for people, after stroke.



Monica Acciarresi, Italy

Dr. Monica Acciarresi has been a full time neurologist at the Perugia Stroke Unit since 2009. Currently, her research interests include gender differences in cerebrovascular disease and the management of acute stroke. Her scientific publications over the last decade reflect these interests. As well, she has been actively collaborating in the collection of data for the Perugia Stroke Registry, which has recorded more than 2000 patients to date. Since 2003, she has participated in several international clinical trials on the acute phase and secondary prevention of stroke. Since 2013, she has been a member of the steering committee for the Italian Stroke Guidelines. Her future ambitions include carrying out research with the aim of reducing post-stroke disability on elderly females.

Dr. Acciarresi is happily married to Francesco and they have two young sons named Vittorio and Alberto. They live in a restored farmhouse in the Umbrian countryside. She likes to spend her free time reading and hiking. 



Dar Dowlatshahi, Canada 

Dr. Dowlatshahi obtained his MD and PhD from McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada), and then completed a residency in Neurology at the University of Ottawa, Canada, followed by a Stroke Fellowship at the University of Calgary, Canada. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, a Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the Scientific Director of the Ottawa Stroke Program, and a consultant Neurologist at the Ottawa Hospital.  

Dr. Dowlatshahi’s stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) research is funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. His research centers on acute neuroimaging, early hematoma behaviour, predictors of hematoma expansion, and ICH outcomes. Dr. Dowlatshahi holds a Department of Medicine Clinician-Scientist Chair and a Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada New Investigator Award. 



Bruce Campbell, Australia 

Dr Bruce Campbell MBBS(Hons) BMedSc PhD FRACP is a consultant neurologist and head of hyperacute stroke in the Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital. He completed a PhD investigating the role of advanced imaging in the selection of patients for acute stroke therapies with Prof Stephen Davis and is now a post-doctoral research fellow in the Melbourne Brain Centre @ RMH, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne. His research interests are focused on the imaging and treatment of acute stroke and he is co-principle investigator and medical co-ordinator of the EXTEND-IA multi-centre randomised trial of mechanical clot retrieval following standard intravenous thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke. He has also been an inaugural member of the Victorian stroke telemedicine project and is the co-ordinator of the National Brainschool training program for neurologists in training. In addition to his role on the World Stroke Organization Young Stroke Professionals Committee, Bruce is also a member of the National Stroke Foundation of Australia Clinical Council.



Nils Henninger, USA

Dr. Henninger received his M.D. degree from the University of Mainz, Germany. Following residency training in Neurology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA he completed a fellowship in Cerebrovascular Diseases at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Since 2012 he is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

As a clinician and researcher, Dr. Henninger focuses on innovation in the fields of stroke and traumatic brain injury. His lab is investigating the mechanisms of cerebral dysfunction in acute brain injury to develop new treatment strategies using animal models. In particular, his group’s research is aimed at elucidating the contribution of cerebral axonal injury and degeneration to functional outcome, which is a common feature of many acute and chronic neurological disorders. Specifically, he is interested in the molecular mechanisms that actively drive axon degeneration in any context and particularly following cerebral ischemia and traumatic brain injury. 

His laboratory major lines of investigation include: 

(1) modeling acute ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury in rodents; 

(2) evaluating neuroprotective strategies in these disease models; 

(3) serial assessment of functional-cognitive recovery following brain injury; 

(4) identifying molecular pathways related to the pathology of axonal injury and degeneration.



Shoichiro Sato, Japan

Dr Shoichiro Sato is a stroke neurologist with the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center (NCVC), the leading institute in Japan specializing in stroke research and treatment.  Dr Sato received his stroke medicine and research training under the supervision of Dr Kazuo Minematsu and Dr Kazunori Toyoda, NCVC.  He has specialist qualifications in neurology and stroke medicine and a PhD in medicine from Fukushima Medical University.  He has published many research articles on the clinical aspects of stroke and cerebrovascular disease in peer reviewed international journals such as Neurology, Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. He has also participated in intramural, domestic, and international trials for stroke treatments such as thrombolysis and intensive blood pressure lowering. 

Dr Sato’s research interests include acute management of stroke patients and stroke outcome prediction models. Currently he is staying in Australia as a clinical research fellow under the guidance of Professor Craig Anderson with the Neurological and Mental Health Division, the George Institute for Global Health (affiliated with the University of Sydney) where many high impact, large-scale international clinical trials on stroke have been conducted.  He hopes to continue pursuing research involving international investigator-initiated clinical trials on stroke treatment. 



Jukka Putaala, Finland 

Dr Jukka Putaala is 39 and married with two children and lives in Helsinki, Finland.

He is a stroke physician at Helsinki University Hospital completing his MD in 2002, at the University of Oulu, Finland.

He is a specialist in Neurology, University of Helsinki, Finland, completing his PhD 2010, University of Helsinki, Finland and became an Associate Prof. in 2012, again at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has completed the MSc(Stroke Med) 2013, at the University of Krems in Austria, with Professor Michael Brainin. 

Publications: >90 original articles, reviews, book chapters, and articles to lay people

Specific scientific interests: young-onset stroke, acute treatment of stroke, cerebral venous thrombosis.

Memberships: WSO, ESO, Finnish Neurological Society, Finnish Medical Society

Editorial board membership: Finnish Medical Journal


Monica Saini India

Dr Monica Saini did her graduation and post-graduation (MD, Internal Medicine) from Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi. Her fascination for the brain took her to PGIMER, Chandigarh, where she did her Senior Residency in the Department of Neurology. She followed this up by a Fellowship (Neurology/Stroke) from the University of Alberta. Her special interests include headache disorders, stroke, dementia and epilepsy. She is academically oriented, and has more than 30 international papers and posters. She is also a reviewer for international journals including Journal of Neurology, Stroke and Neuro-critical Care.



Bo Wu China

Dr Bo Wu is based at the Stroke Clinical Research Unit, Department of Neurology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China

He has many interests within the field of stroke, particularly in hemorrhage and has published on Meta-Analysis of Traditional Chinese Patent Medicine for Ischemic Stroke

An accomplished presenter, Dr. Wu Bo gave given many presentations including an oral presentation on “Tirilazad for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage” in the Evidence-based Neurology session in 2005 prior to the foundation of the World Stroke organization.


Rufus Olusola Akinyemi Nigeria

Dr Rufus Olusola Akinyemi is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He had his basic medical education and neurology training at the University of Ibadan and University College Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria. As an International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Research Fellow, he had further ‘bench’ training in neurovascular and dementia research at the prestigious Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, UK. 

His current work in stroke care, research and advocacy includes developing an hospital-based multidisciplinary stroke team, clinical and laboratory studies of cognition after stroke, influence of genes on stroke in black people, a randomized controlled trial on secondary prevention, stroke education for non - neurologists and development of an indigenous stroke documentary film.  He currently leads the Abeokuta Stroke Network (ASN) and serves on the Young Stroke Professionals (YSPC) and World Stroke Campaign (WSC) Committees of the World Stroke Organization (WSO) as a representative for Africa.