This special course focuses on the instrumental role of neuropathological study in the analysis of human brain disorders, examining prenatal onset, management, cause identification, genetic advice, and research on human neurodevelopment and new therapies.

This course is for candidates interested in fetal medicine and human neurodevelopment, including pathologists, neuropathologists, neuro-radiologists, neurologists, gynaecologist-obstetricians, genetists and neuroscientists.


Thursday, 15 April 2021

08.30           Registration
09.00           Welcome - Professor Marta Cohen & Dr Férechté Encha-Razavi
Theme one: Brain Formation and Organization 
09.05           Brain patterning - Dr Férechté Encha-Razavi, France     
09.50           Anatomy and histology of the fetal brain - Professor Eleanora Aronica, the Netherlands 
10.35           Coffee break         
10.50           Brain Prenatal Imaging: Normal brain development - Dr Elspeth Whitby, Sheffield
11.20           Brain examination - Professor Eleanora Aronica, the Netherlands
12.00           Lunch
Theme two: Neural Tube Defects 
12.45           Neural tube defects: causation, pathogenesis and prevention - Professor Andrew Copp, London
13.30           Chiari malformation - Professor Homa Biassette Adle, France
Theme three: Part 1: Brain maldevelopment
14.15           Brain prenatal imaging: The abnormal brain - Dr Elspeth Whitby
14.45           Diagnosis of brain anomalies: Benefits of an etiopathogenical approach - Dr Férechté Encha-Razavi
15.30           Coffee break
15.45           Spectrum of Midline malformations and cause analysis - Professor Tania Attie Bitach, France
16.30           Brainstem and cerebellum anomalies - Dr Evelina Silvestri, Italy
17.15           Close

Friday, 16 April 2021

08.30           Registration
Theme three: Part II: Cortical malformations

09.00           Cortical malformations: Causes, mechanisms and Nomenclature update - Professor Eleonora Aronica
09.45           Cerebral vascular ontogenesis - Professor Eleonora Aronica
10.30           Coffee break    
10.45           Disruptive lesions, pathogenesis, and consequences - Dr Evelina Silvestri
Theme four: Neuronal survival disorders 
11.30           Neurodegeneration with prenatal onset - Dr Férechté Encha-Razavi
12.15           Lunch
13.00           Biochemical testing for inherited neurometabolic diseases - Dr Amanda Lam, London
Theme Five: Putting the pieces together
13.45           Deciphering the etiopathogenesis of ventricular system dilatation, a common consequence of brain maldevelopment - Professor Homa Biassette Adle
14.30           Strategies for identification of developmental disorders and cause analysis - Professor Tania Attie Bitach
15.15           Conclusions and Farewell
15.45           Close



Registration Fees

Online rates
Members £374.00
Concessional £194.00 - Includes trainees, BMS, non-consultant Clinical Scientists, retired & nurses
Non-members £436.00

Offline rates (payments via cheque/invoice or on the day payments)
Members £409.00
Concessions £227.00 - Includes trainees, BMS, non-consultant Clinical Scientists, retired & nurses
Non-members £467.00

Please note that an administrative charge of £20.00 will be made on all cancellations and the total registration fee is forfeited if cancelled one working week before the event.



To be held at the Royal College of Pathologists, 6 Alie Street, London E1 8QT.


The Beautiful Brain

  • Professor Tania Attie Bitach

    Professor at Paris Descartes University, medical geneticist and responsible for the fetal Pathology Unit in Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Tania Attié-Bitach has been active for many years in the clinical and genetic characterization of fetal syndromic conditions. Overall, the work allowed the identification of genes responsible for ciliopathies (Meckel, Hydrolethalus) and other lethal disorders such as Matthew-Wood or Fowler syndrome. More recently, she has undertaken national and international collaborations to better understand normal and abnormal corpus callosum development in human, with integration of academic research and clinical services, particularly in human genetics and fetal pathology.

  • Professor Andrew Copp

    Andrew Copp qualified at the Universities of Oxford and London, with training in developmental biology and clinical medicine, and a postdoc fellowship at Stanford University, USA. He is now Professor of Developmental Neurobiology at the GOS Institute of Child Health (ICH), UCL. Previously, he was Director of ICH and Non-Executive Director of Great Ormond Street Hospital. His research focuses on the genetics, development and prevention of birth defects, in particular neural tube defects. He directs the Human Developmental Biology Resource (London), which provides human fetal material for a range of research projects in UK and overseas.

  • Dr Elspeth Whitby

    Dr Elspeth Whitby is a senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary consultant at Sheffield teaching hospitals NHS trust. Her areas of interest are based around obstetric imaging with MRI including the fetus, the placenta and post mortem imaging.

    She runs a national service for fetal imaging for all body areas and for assessing for placental invasion.

    Despite having an academic post her work has been driven by local need and requests from the clinicians and is heavily clinically based.

    She is also part of the team that have established the world’s first clinical service for imaging the post mortem fetus and neonate.

    In addition she works as part of a sociology team looking at the impact of MRI as a technology on patient care in the clinical setting both for in utero and post mortem imaging. The aim of this collaboration is to understand the landscape in which she works and how that integrates with society. This has altered her clinical practice in many ways, hopefully for the better.

    Her service is streamlined and designed so appointments are available at short notice but no appointment slots are unfilled. She tries to develop a ‘lean service’ model within the current working environment. Recently she has joined forces with 2 clinical consultants to develop Sheffield’s paediatric neurosciences service.