Predicting Language Outcome and Recovery after Stroke


The Team

Language Group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging

Professor Cathy Price - Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow & Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience

Cathy is the Principal Investigator for PLORAS.

She is an expert in the neuro-anatomy of language processing in healthy and neurologically impaired patients.

Professor Cathy Price

Professor Alex Leff - Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neurologist 

Alex is the clinical lead for the project and is responsible for the description of individual patient's lesions (stroke site) following their MRI scan.

He works both clinically and in research as a neurologist and neuroscientist, and has a particular interest in language recovery.

Professor Alex Leff

Dr Mohamed Seghier - Senior Research Fellow

Mohamed is head of image processing for the PLORAS team.  He has pioneered new ways to identify and describe lesion sites in the brain images of stroke survivors.  He is also pioneering new ways to understand how the brain re-connects itself after brain damage.

In addition to a background in engineering and image processing,  Mohamed is also an expert in how language processing occurs in the human brain; and how the contribution of the left and right hemispheres varies in different individuals.

Dr Mohammed Seghier

Dr Tom Hope - Research Fellow

Tom is responsible for building and refining the PLORAS prognosis prediction system.  This involves pulling results and insights gained both from his own research and from that of the other group members into a single, coherent, practical framework.  He then validates their impact on the predictions that we can make for individual patients.

Tom has a PhD in Computational Cognitive Neuroscience (number processing in the brain), and a background in Artificial Intelligence, including medical applications.

Dr Tom Hope

Professor David Green - Professorial Research Fellow/Emeritus Professor

David is a world expert in the neural and cognitive processes that support multilingualism.  He has a special interest in how the effects of stroke on language recovery might vary in monolingual and multilingual speakers.

Professor David Green

Rachel Bruce - Research Manager

Rachel is responsible for managing operations with over 60 NHS sites who are working with PLORAS, including managing site inclusion and communications, providing training, and ensuring regulatory requirements for the study are met and relevant approvals obtained.  She manages the Patient Team, and is responsible for administering language assessments and assisting with structural MRI scans.  She is the Chief Editor of the PLORAS website and writes the newsletter, and various other project documentation.

Rachel studied English Language before her MSc in Speech and Language Therapy.  She has worked clinically as a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist in hospital and community settings.

Rachel Bruce

Hayley Tolfrey - Speech and Language Therapist

Hayley is responsible for administering language assessments and assisting with MRI scans for our study participants.  She also assists with administrative duties, including processing participant information and MRI safety checking.

Hayley qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2011.  She has worked clinically in both paediatric and adult services, and has extensive experience working with people with aphasia.

Hayley Tolfrey

Sophie Roberts - Speech and Language Therapist

Sophie is responsible for administering language assessments and assisting with MRI scans for our study participants. She also assists with administrative duties, including processing participant information and MRI safety checking.

Sophie completed a BA in Modern Languages and Linguistics before qualifying as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2014.  She has experience with people with aphasia in hospitals, and in the community. She has also worked as an English a Foreign Language Teacher both in the UK and abroad.

Sophie Roberts

Shamima Khan - Patient Coordinator

Shamima is primarily responsible for administrative duties, including processing participant questionnaires, MRI safety checking, liaising with health professionals/research practitioners, and day-to-day correspondence with our volunteers.  As a qualified user of the MRI scanning facilities at our research centre, she also conducts structural MRI scans with our participants.

Shamima has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a background working within mental health.

Shamima Khan

Previous members 

  • Louise Lim

Louise played a pioneering role in the PLORAS project, masterminding the patient recruitment procedures, testing and PR for the PLORAS team from 2009 to 2015. She started part-time with a few patient leads and built up a powerful system that advertised the PLORAS project throughout the UK; encouraging hundreds of stroke survivors to volunteer their time and brain images to the PLORAS study. Her overwhelming contribution to the project was underpinned by her former PR expertise, speech and language therapy training and experience, team management skills and fun and creative personality.

She created an environment where patients’ needs were at the core of the research, every team member was valued and every problem was successfully and sensitively managed. She passionately conveyed the importance of communicating information about aphasia to health professionals and the wider public; using every media source and event possible ranging from TV, radio, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, newspapers, magazines, scientific journals and talks and speeches at stroke clubs and conferences all over the UK.

  • Lucy Clayton
  • Niamh Devane
  • Julie Guerin
  • Deborah Ezekiel
  • Zula Haigh
  • Emilia Molimpakis
  • Yean-Hoon Ong
  • Dr 'Ōiwi Parker Jones
  • Marion Oberhuber
  • Elnas Patel
  • Hinal Patel
  • Suz Prejawa
  • Johanna Rae
  • Valeria Tretyak
  • Zoe Woodhead

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