Candidates / Election 2017

From IFESS President Thierry Keller:

Please cast your vote for the positions of three Board members. I know the exercise appears a bit of an overkill, but the principle should be maintained that members exercise their democratic right to vote!


Candidates for the Board (in random order):


Ines Bersch-Porada
Nottwil, Switzerland

In 1990 I graduated from Physiotherapy school in Germany and went to Switzerland to get experience in my profession. After one year at the Canton Hospital Glarus I went to the new opened Swiss Paraplegic Centre of Nottwil, Switzerland. In May 1993 I became the substitute chief of physiotherapy.
Since I started to work at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre my main concern was functional electrical stimulation and its implementation in spinal cord injury rehabilitation.
I started 1992 to teach as an instructor at the Universities of Applied Science at Bern, Zürich (1998-2005) and Basel (2007). My topics are spinal cord injury rehabilitation, treatment of peripheral nerve lesions and functional electrical stimulation.
In 2008 I received my Bachelor of Education Science and in 2012 I completed the Master of Science in Neurorehabilitation Research at the Danube University of Krems (Austria). Since 2015 I am a PhD candidate at the University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Akademin, Sweden. My PhD project investigates the “Role of Functional Electrical Stimulation in Reconstructive Tetraplegia Hand Surgery”. 
From January 2014 – Decembre 2017 I worked at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre as a therapy instructor for physio- and occupational therapists in a team of 120 therapists. I was responsible for the advancement of functional electrical stimulation, robotics and the evidence of therpeutical treatments. In January 2018, the Swiss Paraplegic Centre established the International FES Centre for Treatment and Education. As the leader of this department I will focus my work on the combination of patients’ treatment and research in this field. 
I had presentations and workshops about FES at the IFESS, ISCOS and the International Conference of Surgical Rehabilitation of the Tetraplegic Upper Limb. Furthermore, I organised workshops in Germany, Austria and Switzerland about basics in functional electrical stimulation for patients with upper and lower motor neuron lesions.

In 2014, I started my active participation as a member of the BoD of the IFESS. As a clinician, teacher and researcher, my focus lies on implementing the FES in clinical routine. My intention is to transfer the results from clinical trials and technical research as wells as new technologies into daily rehabilitation.
In August 2018, the 22. Annual IFESS Conference will be held at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre Nottwil, where I am responsible, as the conference chair for the local organization and this year’s conference program. The topic of the conference is “Enhancing quality of life through electrical stimulation technology”. The chosen tittle underlines aspects of the IFESS mission as well as my focus in daily work.

Jonathan Jarvis
Liverpool, UK

Professor Jarvis is a muscle physiologist with long-standing interests in the adaptive response of muscle to voluntary exercise and to applied stimulation. He has BSc (Physics with Physiology) and PhD (Biochemistry) degrees from the University of London and is now Professor in Physical Activity Intervention at Liverpool John Moores University. His own research in experimental stimulation with miniature muscle stimulators is therefore surrounded by projects in whole human physiology and biomechanics.

Current research includes transcriptional analysis of stimulated, inactive and denervated muscles, to try to understand more completely how patterns of activation and loading of muscles are related to immediate and long-term cellular responses.  Jonathan has worked for many years with the Vienna group to refine implantable neuromodulators for use in experimental work and we now have the opportunity to use fully remotely programmable devices that can produce any conceivable pattern of activity. These cellular responses are the determinants of force, speed, power and endurance.

Jonathan is interested in the limits to training: for example the threshold of activity above which slowing of muscle occurs, the internal signals for muscle hypertrophy, and the threshold above which muscle is damaged. These are important in FES to influence breathing and control of the airway (laryngeal pacing) and the use of skeletal muscle to assist the heart or to provide neosphincter function as well as FES for reanimation of limbs.


Glen Davis
Sydney, Australia

Glen Davis received his undergraduate degrees in physical education from the University of Ottawa (1974) and his Doctorate (PhD) in exercise physiology from the University of Toronto in 1986. He was conferred Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine in 1987 and received the prestigious Order of Australia (OAM) for research and service to spinal cord injury in 2014.

Currently, Dr Davis is Professor of Clinical Exercise Sciences at the University of Sydney, where he is also Director of the Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Unit within the Faculty of Health Sciences at Sydney University.

His main research and innovation activities are to deploy novel assistive and surveillance technologies to clinical populations to improve 'dose-potency' of exercise for health, fitness and functional outcomes in these populations. He has a particular focus on the use of FES technologies, including neuroprostheses, for individuals with spinal cord injury, to improve their exercise quality, guide clinical exercise prescription and increase aerobic fitness and muscular strength.

Professor Davis has been Chief Investigator on numerous national and international projects with research income exceeding AUD12M.  These have included projects funded in Australia and Malaysia into FES-cycling exercise in persons with spinal cord injury, the use of body-worn sensors as feedback arrays to FES systems, FES robotic systems for walking, exercise prescription for chronic stroke patients, exercise for breast cancer survivors, and increasing physical activity in community-embedded individuals with intellectual disability. On these topics, Dr Davis has published 19 book chapters and over 109 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Professor Davis is currently life member of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society (IFESS), where he has served as its Vice President deon 2010-2014. He is now seeking a new term on the Board of Directors for 2018-2020.

Statement of Candidacy

My real interest in becoming a member of the IFESS Board is to expand the membership of IFESS into several growth fields. In particular, my interest is to expand the number of student members, and recruit new members from the life sciences and fields of human physiology into exploring human-machine issues that implantable FES systems afford. I am primarily a clinical researcher, and I believe that IFESS must have a strong voice to attract other researchers to our organization


Milos R. Popovic
Toronto, Canada

Milos R. Popovic received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1996, and the Dipl. Electrical Engineer degree from the University of Belgrade, Serbia in 1990. 

Dr. Popovic is the Institute Director, Research at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - University Health Network.  He is also a Professor (Tenured) in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Popovic is the co-founder and director of (i) MyndTec; (ii) the CentRe for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA) at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto; (iii) the Neuromodulation Institute at the University of Toronto; and (iv) the Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Association.  He is also the founder of the Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - University Health Network.  Dr. Popovic held the Toronto Rehab Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research appointment from 2007 until 2017.

Dr. Popovic’s fields of expertise are functional electrical stimulation, neuroprostheses, neuro-rehabilitation, neuromodulation, brain machine interfaces, physiological control systems, assistive technology, modeling and control of linear and non-linear dynamic systems, robotics, and signal processing.

In 1997, together with Dr. Keller, he received the Swiss National Science Foundation Technology Transfer Award - 1st place.  In 2008, Dr. Popovic was awarded the Engineering Medal for Research and Development from the Professional Engineers of Ontario, and Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.  In 2011, he was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.  In 2012, company MyndTec Inc., which Dr. Popovic co-founded in 2008, won the 1st Prize and the Best Intellectual Property Award at the annual TiEQuest Business Venture Competition.  In 2013, he received the Morris (Mickey) Milner Award for outstanding contributions in the area of Assistive Technologies from the Health Technology Exchange.  Also, in 2013, together with Drs. Prodic, Lehn, and Huerta-Olivares, and Mr. Tarulli, Dr. Popovic received the University of Toronto Inventor of the Year Award.  In 2015, Dr. Popovic received the 2014 University Health Network’s Inventor of the Year Award.  In 2017, he received the Accessibility Innovation Showcase and Tech Pitch Competition Award at the Ontario Centers of Excellence Discovery 2017 Conference.



Nur Azah Hamzaid
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I graduated from my bachelor in Mechatronics Engineering (Hons) in 2006 and obtained my PhD in Rehabilitation Engineering from The University of Sydney, Australia in 2010. I am now part of the Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Malaya, pioneering the FES research group in Malaysia. I am currently Head of the Biomechatronics and Neuroprosthetics Lab, which research focus are on FES, intelligent prosthetics, orthotics and neuroprosthetics device development, testing and patient trials. My main interest have always been in developing technical solutions for people with disabilities. I hold a number of intellectual properties and some of my research and development work has received industry collaboration and interest. I work closely with individuals with spinal cord injury and FES users as a result of my close collaboration with the Rehabilitation Medicine department at our University Malaya Medical Centre. We have conducted research, development and clinical applications of FES, which resulted in at least 30 indexed publications on FES alone since 2006, as well as a spot in the finals during Cybathlon 2016 FES-cycling race in Zurich. 

My heavy involvement in curriculum restructuring, stakeholder analysis, students' clinical placement and patients' care as a teacher, researcher and program coordinator got me involved closely with national and international education bodies, and I see it as a way to nurture the talent and interest in FES and Neuroprosthetics in younger generations. I am actively pursuing new FES technology for the benefits of the patients and I am keen on establishing research and collaboration on FES cutting edge technology while translating it into clinical application. As an active member of Rehabilitation Engineering field I am the President of IFESS Malaysia Chapter since 2014. I see my role as a catalyst that mediates different parties to bridge the technology provider and its users, including clinicians and service providers.