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The Robin Tavistock Award 2016

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The Trustees are delighted to announce that Professor Marian Brady is the 2016 recipient of The Robin Tavistock Award.

This award is named after Robin Tavistock, the 14th Duke of Bedford who founded The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia. It is presented annually to a person, or group, who is inspirational and has made a significant contribution to the field of aphasia.

Professor Brady’s work covers a wide range of post stroke rehabilitation issues but it is aphasia, with its devastating consequences, that has been an important driving force behind her work. This Award is specifically to recognise all that Marian has achieved, and is still achieving, in the field of aphasia.

For a long time The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia has been aware of the importance of continually advancing standards of research within the aphasia world. It is difficult to overestimate the contribution Professor Brady has made to this. Not least by ensuring greater collaboration, promoting the adoption of robust methodologies and, most importantly, high quality evidence based research syntheses that will be recognised by all.

Through her persistent, patient and diligent pursuance in establishing a rigorous and strong evidence base with the Cochrane collaboration, she has influenced the provision of speech and language therapy services locally, nationally and internationally. This work has influenced the Royal College of Physicians Stroke Guidelines and has had an ongoing ripple effect in developing and improving aphasia research standards and priorities across the board.

There is not space to list here all that Marian has contributed to aphasia. However a recurring theme that sets her apart is her exceptional leadership. In particular her her ability to draw people together and to provide a framework for collating, synthesising and disseminating research evidence, along with secondary data that can then be used to answer bigger questions.

As Chair of The Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists she established and supports a network of leading European multidisciplinary aphasia investigators. This has ensured that links between those working in rehabilitation, neurology, social science, linguistics and speech and language research have been forged, providing an opportunity for sharing ideas, information and establishing protocols for research. Without doubt the work Professor Brady is doing will continue to have a positive impact for decades to come.

Since university, Marian’s passion for aphasia has been a central motivation. It has, to a large extent, meant that whatever aspect of stroke is being researched, one of her priorities has always been to ensure that the person with aphasia is included and represented, when they are so often marginalised by the very nature of being aphasic.

When talking to people, both in this country and abroad, it is clear the deep respect with which Marian is held, and yet how self-effacing and gracious she is, generously mentoring and praising others – ensuring that everyone is valued. Throughout all her work, integrity and humanity is evident.

It is for her outstanding contribution to the world of aphasia that Professor Marian Brady is being honoured with The Robin Tavistock Award 2016.