Dr Ava Easton is Chief Executive of The Encephalitis Society, a researcher and global expert on encephalitis patient outcomes and quality of life.

Ava has produced and published many papers, book chapters, and a book (Life After Encephalitis) on various aspects of encephalitis and its after-effects; she also speaks at conferences and lectures around the world on the condition and its impact for patients and their families.

Her expertise also extends to neuro-narratives, narrative medicine, and patient and public engagement.

Ava is involved in a number of research studies looking into the processes and outcomes of encephalitis and is an Honorary Fellow in the Dept. of Clinical Infection, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Liverpool; Member, World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 Neuro Research Coalition:  Member, Steering Committee, COVID_CNS [The COVID-Clinical Neuroscience Study]; and Patient and Public Engagement Lead; Member, Steering Committee, Coronerve; Co-Investigator and Chair of the Patient and Public Involvement Panel – GECO/COVIDNeuro Global Study; Chair, Patient and Public Involvement Panel; and Steering Committee Member - The Global Health Research Group on Brain Infections Member of the Expert Working Group on the Clinical Management of Human Rabies, Public Health England; Ambassador for the European Brain Injury Council

Ava also acts as a consultant to various Media (Radio and Television) on encephalitis and acquired brain injury.  Most recently with ITN Productions and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene on a Global Health documentary with Natasha Kaplinsky;  Hollyoaks, a UK TV show, for a long-running storyline on encephalitis; Consultancy on three episodes of UK drama Doctors; and on the documentaries The Kids with no memory (UK) and Wiped Clean (Australia).  Theatre consultancy has included Off The Wall Theatre Company; and Derby Live Productions.

Specialties: encephalitis; charity management; health sciences; neuro-narratives; narrative medicine, patient and public engagement. 


  • Charity Leader of the Year – Finalist 2020
  • Inspiring Communicator of the Year 2019, Charity Comms - Winner
  • Top UK Social CEO – 2014, 2017, 2019 - Winner
  • Communications Campaign of the Year Third Sector Awards 2019 – Winner
  • CEO of the Year – Third Sector Awards 2018 – Finalist
  • Fundraising Technology Award – Charity Times Awards 2018 – Winner
  • Best Use of Digital by a Charity – Digital Impact Awards 2018 – Winner
  • Better Society Award 2018 – Finalist
  • Charity of the Year – The Charity Times Awards 2017 – Winner
  • Rising Star CEO - Charity Times Awards 2014 – Finalist

Ava was invited by The Queen to her Diamond Jubilee Garden Party at Buckingham Palace (2012) in recognition of her work in encephalitis and also received an award in 2018 from the Queen’s High Sheriff of North Yorkshire for her work on encephalitis.