Meet the SSBP Executive Committee

Professor Patricia Howlin


London, United Kingdom

Patricia Howlin is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Child Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. Current research focuses on the lives of older autistic adults, and also involves trials of home and school based interventions for young children with autism. Patricia is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the international Society for Autism Research. She is President of the Society for the Study of Behavioural Phenotypes and past Chair of the UK Association of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. She is a founding editor of the journal “Autism” and author of over 200 research publications.

Dr Honey Heussler


Brisbane, Australia

Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrician with a dual qualification in Sleep Medicine.


Honey trained initially at University of Queensland, Australia and the Mater Chidlren’s Hospital before spending time in Melbourne at the RWH and RCH ( Murdoch Institute). Her Doctorate in the Behavioural and Attentional consequences of Adenotonsillectomy was completed through the University of Nottingham where she was a Lecturer in Community Paediatrics.


She has a significant role in teaching and assessment in the Paediatrics and Child Health rotation and has a strong interest in medical education. Her clinical work involves children with a variety of Developmental and Behavioural problems as well as a number of clinics that specialise in Sleep disorders for this population. She also runs a specialised clinics for some genetic disorders.


She has a number of research interests that reflect her clinical practice.

Dr Jane Waite


Birmingham, United Kingdom

Dr Jane Waite is a Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist at Aston University. Jane completed her PhD in the behavioural phenotype of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, and then continued her research into rare genetic syndromes including Cornelia de Lange, Williams, Kleefstra, Lowe and Biedl Bardet syndromes.


Jane has also worked extensively on online resources Further Inform Neurogenetic Disorders (FIND) with the aim of improving knowledge exchange between families and professionals. Jane’s current research focuses on factors that influence mental health outcomes across and within genetic disorders, with a specific focus on low mood, anxiety and temper outbursts.

Professor Anna Jansen


Brussells, Belgium

Prof Anna Jansen is a paediatric neurologist at UZ Brussel in Belgium. She is affiliated to the Neurogenetics Research Group and the Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Group at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She has a Senior Clinical Investigator Fellowship from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). Her research focusses on sleep disorders in tuberous sclerosis complex and TSC-associated neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as on elucidating the genetic origins of developmental brain malformations. 

Professor Randi Hagerman


Sacramento, California, USA

Randi Hagerman MD is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at the University of California Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento California. Her work includes targeted treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders including fragile X syndrome, premutation involvement and autism. She has an Endowed Chair in Fragile X Research and she is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics. Her research also includes adults with the Fragile X-associated Tremor Ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) which is a neurodegenerative disorders associated with the premutation. Molecular-clinical correlations, environmental toxicity, quantitative outcome measures and innovative targeted treatments are research areas of interest. She has done extensive international work on fragile X disorders in Colombia, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Canada, Australia and the Philippines.

Dr Kristin Anderson Bakke



Professor Petrus de Vries


Cape Town, South Africa

Petrus de Vries is the Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Founding Director of the Centre for Autism Research in Africa (CARA) at the University of Cape Town. He trained in Medicine at Stellenbosch University in South Africa before moving to the UK where he completed his clinical training in Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and a PhD in Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. He returned to South Africa in 2012. He has a longstanding clinical research programme in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and its associated neuropsychiatric disorders (TAND) and currently co-leads the TANDem project with Prof Anna Jansen from Belgium. He joined the SSBP in 1998 and has been a member of the SSBP Executive Committee since 2003. He was Treasurer from 2007-2008 and Chairman from 2008-2017.

Dr Laura Roche


Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Laura Roche received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She is currently a lecturer in Special and Inclusive Education at the University of Newcastle in Newcastle, NSW Australia. Laura teaches in the areas of neurodevelopment and early childhood education for pre-school aged children with disabilities. Her research focuses on social-communication intervention for individuals with developmental disabilities and for those diagnosed with rare genetic syndromes. Laura has co-authored numerous journal articles and book chapters describing applied behavioural intervention studies for supporting adaptive skills for those with developmental disabilities and rare genetic syndromes.

Dr Kate Woodcock


Birmingham, United Kingdom

I am a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Applied Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham.  My research focuses on young people who face behavoural and emotional difficulties, examining factors that come together to precipitate these.  My team applies this knowledge to the development of intervention strategies.  For example, caregiver led behavioural support, cognitive training, and early intervention. Several lines of our work include a focus on individuals with genetic syndromes ( I gained my PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2008.  Two years of my Postdoctoral Research were at Peking University. I held a lectureship at the School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast until 2017.

Mrs Elizabeth Walmsley


Bourne End, United Kingdom

Miss Becky Windram


United Kingdom

Dr Martin Bax


London, United Kingdom

Committee Members