Keynote speakers

  Col Prof Dr Eric Vermetten, programme committee chair

Dr. Leo van Bergen is a medical historian with a special interest in the relationship between war and medicine. He for instance wrote a medical history of the First World War and a history of Dutch military medicine. Together with Eric Vermetten he edited the soon to be published book The First World War and Health: Rethinking Resilience.


Dr. Carl Castro is currently Professor and Director of the Military and Veteran Programs at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. Dr. Castro is one of the leading military health theorists in the world today. Dr. Castro received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1989. He began his military career as an infantryman in 1981, and completed two tours in Iraq, as well as serving on peacekeeping missions to Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Kosovo. He conducted the first-ever behavioral health assessment of service members while they were still conducting active combat operations, setting a new standard of care for service members during combat. He retired from the Army at the rank of colonel. Dr. Castro is currently Chair of a NATO research group on Military Veteran Transitions, a Fulbright Scholar and member of several Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs advisory boards. His current research efforts are broad, including understanding and ameliorating the effects of military trauma and stress on service member and their families, unit readiness, the prevention of suicides and sexual assaults, and evaluating the process of transition into the military, as well as from military service back to civilian life.


Jacco Duel is a senior researcher at the Netherlands Veterans Institute. He served in the Royal Netherlands Army from 1981 until 2013 and ended his military career as a lieutenant colonel. During his time at the Behavioural Sciences Research Department of the military, he studied the morale of troops on missions and the effects of deployments on the health and wellbeing of military personnel and their relatives. His current research projects focus on (1) the effects of military service – especially deployments – on the health and wellbeing of veterans in their life course and (2) on perceived barriers to care and help seeking behaviours among Dutch veterans with deployment related needs for care. He obtained his PhD on teamwork in the military from Tilburg University in 2010.


Johannes Paulus Frölke, M.D., Ph.D.
Consultant (orthopedic) trauma surgeon
Department of surgery, Radboudumc Nijmegen, The Netherlands


Dr Laurent Frossard is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Griffith University, University of Sunshine Coast and Queensland University of Technology as well as the Director/Chief Scientist Officer at YourResearchProject Pty Ltd in Australia. As a researcher, educator and entrepreneur, Dr Frossard is passionate about improving life of individuals with limb loss fitted with osseointegrated implant. He is one of the very few independent experts in the clinical benefits of bone-anchored prostheses using osseointegrated implant. He collaborates regularly with international teams developing new treatments after amputation. His academic track record includes over 160 publications multiple grants and several supervisions of postgraduate students (More information:


Professor Neil Greenberg is an academic psychiatrist based at King’s College London UK and is a consultant occupational and forensic psychiatrist. Neil served in the United Kingdom Armed Forces for more than 23 years and has deployed, as a psychiatrist and researcher, to a number of hostile environments including Afghanistan and Iraq. At King’s College London, Neil is one of the senior members of the military mental health research team and is a principal investigator within a nationally funded Health Protection Research unit which researches the psychological impacts of disasters on organisations. Neil also runs March on Stress ( which is a psychological health consultancy. He also is the Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) Special Interest Group in Occupational Psychiatry.


Dr.  Rakesh Jetly is the chief psychiatrist for the Canadian Armed Forces. He occupies various roles such as mental health advisor to the surgeon general and academic appointments at Dalhousie University (Halifax) and the University of  Ottawa. In addition, he has been selected the inaugural chair in military mental health at the IMHR (Institute for Mental Health Research). He began his military career as a general duty medical officer and flight surgeon and deployed to the middle east and Rwanda. After his post graduate training at the University of Toronto in psychiatry her deployed twice to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Col Jetly has an interest in operational mental health with a focus on PTSD and has worked within Canada and with allies (NATO) to advance the field. Research and academic interests are varied and include suicide prevention, Nabilone as a treatment for PTSD related nightmares, Neurofeedback and pharmacogenomics. Current international collaborations include a lecture series on Morality and Mental Health as well as chairing Research Task Groups (RTG) Leveraging Technology in Mental Health and Personalized Medicine. An imminent study is one looking at the safety and efficacy of Cannabis in the treatment of PTSD. 


Col Gerald Kerr joined the Defence Forces in 1986. He was appointed as Captain Medical Officer to 28th Infantry Battalion. Following promotion to Commandant, he was transferred to Collins Barracks, Cork as OC 1st Field Medical Company in 1996. Col Kerr holds the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as the Higher Diploma in Occupational Medicine. He is a Licentiate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI). Currently he is Chairman of the Board of the Faculty of Military Medicine of Ireland and is entered on the Specialist Divisions of General Practice, Occupational Medicine, Sports and Exercise Medicine, and Military Medicine. Col Kerr retired from the Defence Forces on 28th September 2019.


Dr. Geoffrey Ling is a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, an attending neuro-critical care physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the acting Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Inova Fairfax Hospital, co-leader of The BrainHealth Project at the University of Texas at Dallas, CEO of NED Biosystems, CEO of Ling and Associates, and CEO of REBL Innovations LLC. He was the Founding Director of the Biological Technologies Office at DARPA and served as the Assistant Director for Medical Innovation in President Obama’s White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy. While serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Dr. Ling was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 and Iraq in 2005 and had four in-theater missions between 2009-2011 for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to assess TBI care in the combat theater. The 10th Combat Support Hospital named him their first “Physician of the Month”. He consulted with Congresswoman Gabby Gifford’s trauma team following her tragic attack. Dr. Ling has a medical degree from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from Cornell University. He is board certified in both neurology and neuro-critical care. He has published 200+ peer-reviewed articles and chapters.


Hendrik van de Meent (1962) is member of the Medical staff of the dept. of Rehabilitation of the Radboudumc in Nijmegen the Netherlands. His clinical and scientific focus is acute phase management of traumatic spinal cord injury and bone anchored (osseo-integration) prostheses for amputees. After he graduated from medical university in Utrecht in 1990, he served as resident neurology for the Dutch army in 1990 and 1991. In 1992 and 1993 he was resident neurosurgery at Erasmus MC Rotterdam and AMC in Amsterdam. In 1995 he completed his PhD, “pharmacological strategies in the treatment of experimental spinal cord injury”, at the Rudolf Magnus Institute in Utrecht. In 1995 he worked as post-doc in the Spinal Cord Regeneration Research Group at the ETH in Zürich (CH). In 1998 he moved to Germany to start his neurosurgical training at the University Clinic Greifswald (D) and in 2003 he completed his training as rehabilitation physician at the Maartenskliniek in Nijmegen. In 2009 he introduced osseointegration prostheses for amputees in the Netherlands and is chair of the Amputee Osseointegration Foundation Europe (AOFE).


Tine Molendijk is a cultural anthropologist specialized in the topics of violence, military culture and mental health.

In 2020 she obtained her PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Her PhD research focused on 'moral injury' and the role of political practices and public perceptions in 'moral injury'.  'Moral injury' refers to the profound feelings of guilt, shame and/or betrayal that people may develop when their moral expectations and beliefs are violated by their own or other people's actions.


Skip Rizzo is the Director of MedVR at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. Over the last 25 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of VR systems across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in healthy and clinical populations. In spite of the diversity of these clinical R&D areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how Virtual Reality simulations can be usefully applied to human healthcare beyond what is possible with traditional 20th Century methods. To view videos of this work, go to:


COL Gary H. Wynn, MD, DFAPA Dr. Wynn is Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Assistant Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Senior Sci­entist at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and on the editorial board of the Journal of Neuroscience Research. Dr. Wynn received his education at the United States Military Academy at West Point and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He completed a dual residency in psychiatry and internal medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. During his military career Dr. Wynn has served as a Division Psychiatrist (2nd Infantry Division, Korea), Assistant Chief of Inpatient Psychiatry Services (Walter Reed), and as a Research Psychiatrist (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research) prior to transitioning to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Dr. Wynn has served as a frequent member of DoD level committees and working groups on the topics of trauma, PTSD, and suicide. Dr. Wynn has served as a member of various boards and committees for the VA and NIMH as well as being US Repre­sentative and Chair for NATO Human Factors in Medicine pan­els on Leveraging Technology in Military Mental Health and Precision Medicine in Human Performance and Mental Health. He is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit and recipient of the AMEDD “A” Proficiency Designator, the Rundell Award, the Artiss Award, and three Meritorious Service Medals. Dr. Wynn is a Past President of the Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists and has over 90 publications including three books.


Angelien Eijsink, MSc, is a former Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands.


Tom van ’t Hek a former top hockey player, a well-known sports reporter, General Practitioner and moderator.


Air Commodore (Professor) Rich Withnall (chair of the Warrior Care in the 21st Century Foundation)
Air Commodore Rich Withnall joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a Medical Cadet in 1990 and qualified from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London in 1992. He undertook General Practice Vocational Training at Princess Mary’s RAF Hospital, Halton and Peterborough Hospitals National Health Service Trust. His UK postings have included Senior Medical Officer appointments on fast jet, multi-engine and rotary flying stations, and the RAF’s recruit Phase 1 training unit. He has undertaken Command & Staff appointments at HQ Personnel and Training Command, HQ AIR Command, HQ Surgeon General and the Ministry of Defence.  His overseas experience includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Denmark, the Falkland Islands, Ghana, Iraq, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Norway, Romania and the United Arab Emirates. He was appointed as Advisor in General Practice (RAF) in 2005, then undertook the Advanced Command & Staff Course in 2007-8, winning both the Brooke-Popham Prize for the Best Defence Research Paper and the Sir Michael Howard Prize for the Best MA student. After a tour as SO1 Med Pol in the Ministry of Defence, Rich returned to HQ AIR Command as Deputy Director Health Services (RAF) in 2010. He was selected as the first RAF Defence Professor of General Practice & Primary Care in 2013. In 2017, he became the first primary care clinician to be appointed as the Defence Medical Services’ Head of Research & Clincal Innovation.


Gp Capt Alex Bennett PhD FRCP (Work group Rehabilitation/ Recovery)
Gp Capt Alexander Bennett joined the RAF in August 2000. He has been a Consultant in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court and Stanford Hall since October 2008, the Head of the Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation since June 2011 and is the RAF Consultant Advisor in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation. He was appointed Defence Professor of Rheumatology & Rehabilitation in March 2017 and Honorary Clinical Professor at the University of Loughborough in May 2018. He is a clinical academic and has published widely in the fields of Rheumatology, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine in particular in the fields of early diagnosis and prognosis in seronegative inflammatory arthritis/spondylitis and in musculoskeletal injury. He has lectured on many occasions at national, European and American conferences. He is a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and a member of the British Society for Rheumatology, the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine and the International Society of Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS) and is the secretary to the British Society of Spondyloarthritis (BRITSpA). Gp Capt Bennett oversees all research at the Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation, which focuses on trauma rehabilitation and outcome, musculoskeletal injury and disease. He is the Chief investigator of the ADVANCE Study, a 20yr cohort study investigating medical and psycho-social outcomes of combat casualties with multimillion pound funding and is also principal investigator to another 3 large randomized controlled trials investigating interventions for musculoskeletal injury and supervising multiple PhD studies. He has successfully raised over £7million in grant funding for research for the benefit of military personnel.

Warrior Care in the 21st Century Foundation Chair and work group leads   Air Commodore (Professor) Rich Withnall (chair)
David Morton (work group lead Resilience)
Tata Oniani (work group lead Reintegration)
Gp Capt Alex Bennett PhD FRCP (Work group Rehabilitation/ Recovery)