Gillian Townend, B.Med.Sci.(Speech)(Hons), M.Phil., CertMRCSLT
Gill Townend is a researcher at the Rett Expertise Centre Netherlands in Maastricht which is recognised as the national reference centre for Rett syndrome for the Netherlands. Prior to this she worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the UK, specialising in augmentative and alternative communication and speech generating devices. In October 2013, she organised the communication track of the 3rd European Rett Syndrome Conference Maastricht and is currently joint lead with prof. dr. Leopold Curfs of an international project funded by Rettsyndrome.org to develop clinical guidelines for the management of communication in individuals with Rett syndrome (RTT). Her research interests include: early (pre-diagnosis) communication development in typical and atypical RTT (in collaboration with Dr. Peter Marschik, MU Graz, Austria and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden); eye tracking and the functional use of eye gaze for communication; European policy in relation to rare diseases and its implications for RTT; and the establishment of clinical and research-based networks and collaborations both within and outside of Europe.