BIRD Symposium - 19 September 2020
Filip Baert, MD, PhD (AZ Delta, Roeselare, Belgium)
AZ Delta, Roeselare
Dr Filip Baert is currently head of UR-Care (United Registries of Clinical Assessment and Research) at ECCO and former Chief Scientific Officer for the Governing Board of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO). Filip has over 25 years of experience in clinical research and is currently Head of the Department of Gastroenterology of AZ Delta Hospital in Roeselare, Belgium, where he has developed special expertise in IBD, microscopic colitis as well as celiac disease.
Filip graduated in medicine, surgery and obstetrics from the University of Leuven in 1989. He then underwent specialization in internal medicine, gastrointestinal and liver diseases (1994), becoming a Fellow in Gastroenterology of the University of Chicago Hospitals. Next to his clinical practice he continued to be involved in translational research and acquired a PhD from the University of Leuven in 2014 on pharmacokinetics of monoclonal antibodies. He is director of the Fellowship training program in AZ Delta for the Universities of Ghent and Leuven.
He authored and co-authored > 130 peer reviewed publications and several chapters and serves as a reviewer for the key GI Journals, ECCO and UEGW. He is a Board member of BIRD (Belgian IBD Research and Development) and chairing Educom. Among his ongoing important research projects are two European registriesUR-Care (a pan European IBD electronic record/dBase) and of I-Care (Ibd CAncer and seRious infections in Europe) . Finally he serves on the editorial Board of the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis.

Willem Bemelman, MD, PhD (Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands)
Amsterdam UMC
Willem Bemelman is working currently as the lead of the colorectal group in the department of surgery of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (with Prof. P.J. Tanis, Dr. R. Hompes, Dr. C.J. Buskens, Prof. M.I. Boermeester, Dr. J. Tuynman, Dr. M. Kusters).
The colorectal group focusses on the treatment of rectal cancers, colorectal cancer and synchronous metastatic disease, cytoreduction, HIPEC, intestinal failure, inflammatory bowel disease, complication surgery and pelvic sepsis. The group has great experience in minimal invasive surgery and particularly TAMIS.
The research follows the areas of clinical interest, and Bemelman has coached more than 35 PhD students, had over 500 publications and an H-Index of 62.

Pieter Dewint, MD, PhD (AZ Maria Middelares, Gent and UZ Antwerpen, Belgium)
AZ Maria Middelares, Gent and UZ Antwerpen
Pieter Dewint (1977) studied medicine at Ghent University, where he graduated in 2002 with greatest distinction. In 2010 he completed his training in gastroenterology; and defended a doctoral thesis on aspects in basic immunology.
He worked for 6 months atthe “Institut de proctologie Léopold Bellan” in Paris, refining his proctological knowledge. Afterwards, he worked for almost 5 years in Rotterdam (ErasmusMC and maasstadziekenhuis), with focus on IBD, proctology and interventional endoscopy. Since May 2015, he works both in Ghent (AZ Maria-Middelares) and Antwerp (University Hospital). He is actively involved in several national and European scientific organizations. Since 2017 he’s been member of the scientific committee of the BIRD and national representative for BIRD at ECCO. In 2018, he became assistant professor at the University Hospital Antwerp. He’s the happy father of 2 lovely daughters.

Matthias Lannoo, MD, PhD (UZ Leuven, Belgium)
UZ Leuven
Matthias Lannoo has been working at the service of abdominal surgery at the University Hospitals in Leuven under the guidance of Prof. A. D’Hoore. He is responsible for the bariatric surgery unit at the UZ Leuven Obesity Clinic. At this site every year 1200 new patients with morbid obesity are screened and 450 are eventually being treated surgically. Matthias Lannoo obtained his PhD on glucose metabolism after bariatric surgery and contributed to about 100 publications. He was president of the Besoms ( Belgian section of obesity and metabolic surgery) in 2015 and 2016. At this moment his research is focused on glucose metabolism and exercise after bariatric surgery.

Triana Lobaton, MD, PhD (UZ Gent, Belgium)
UZ Gent
Triana Lobatón finished her training as gastroenterologist in Barcelona in 2010 and in 2015 she obtained her PhD on "fecal calprotectin as a surrogate marker of disease activity in IBD patients" at the University of Barcelona. As part of her PhD program, she spent 18 months (2013-2014) at Leuven University Hospital under the supervision of Prof. Séverine Vermeire.
Her clinical activity and research is focused on IBD, in particular clinical projects. She has been coordinator of the young GETECCU (Spanish group of Crohn and Colitis), and is also involved in several ECCO activities.
Since December 2017 Dr. Lobaton is working as a full time staff member at the IBD Unit of the Department of Gastroenterology at Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent). In 2019 she became assistant professor at UZ Gent. Triana Lobatón is currently one of the members of educational comittee (Educom) and national representative for BIRD at ECCO.

Edouard Louis, MD, PhD (CHU Liège, Belgium)
CHU Liège
Edouard LOUIS has been Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of the Gastroenterology department at Liège University hospital since October 2010. His Scientific work contributed to more than 300 papers in international journals (H-Index 2020=70). He has been General Secretary of the Belgian Society of Gastroenterology 2005-2009, President of the Belgian IBD Research group (2008-2011), member of the Scientific Committee of the ECCO (European Crohn and Colitis Organisation) (2010-2013) and Chair of this Scientific Committee (2013-2015). He has been member of the board of the GETAID (groupe d’étude thérapeutique des affections inflammatoires digestives) (2004-ongoing), president of the GETAID (2012-2015) and vice-president of the GETAID (2015-2018), Associate Editor of Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis (2018-ongoing).

Bas Oldenburg, MD, PhD (UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands)
UMC Utrecht
Bas Oldenburg is professor of inflammatory bowel diseases at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is director of the gastroenterology training program, chairs the national post-graduate teaching program, and is head of the IBD unit of the UMC Utrecht. He is founding member and former chair of the Dutch Initiative on Crohn’s and Colitis, and member of ECCO and the AGA. His research focuses on colitis-associated colorectal cancer, the pathogenesis of IBD, and precision medicine.
Dr. Oldenburg received his medical degree from the university of Utrecht. He subsequently trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the same institution. From 1997 to 2001, he combined a GI fellowship with his doctoral thesis work on the role of iron and homocysteine in IBD in Utrecht and at DNAX laboratories (Palo Alto). His scientific work has resulted in authorship or co-authorship of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers.

Jean-François Rahier, MD, PhD (CHU UCL Namur, Belgium)
Jean-François Rahier was born in Belgium in 1975. He obtained his diploma of medical doctor with cum laude in 2000 from the University of Louvain (UCL) and specialized in Gastroenterology in 2007. He was first trained by Pr O Dewit in Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc in 2005 and then by Pr JF Colombel in Lille in 2006-2007. Besides, he had a part-time research activity in 2008-2013 at the INSERM U995 laboratory of Professor Desreumaux in Lille (France) where he obtained his PhD on “lymphangiogenesis in IBD” in 2014. He is working at the University Hospital CHU UCL Namur in Belgium where his clinical activity is focused on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and also acted between 2014 and 2018 as consultant for phase II-III clinical trials in CHU Liège (Pr E Louis). In 2009 and 2014, he was the leading author for the European consensus on management and prevention of opportunistic infection in IBD. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is part of the scientific and executive committee of I-CARE. He is an active member of the Belgian IBD Group where he acts as President since 2017, of the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation and of the GETAID (France).

Catherine Reenaers, MD, PhD (CHU Liège, Belgium)
CHU Liège
Professor Catherine Reenaers is a gastroenterologist at the University hospital of Liege, Belgium. She completed her specialist training in the University hospital of Liège and was a research assistant and research fellow of the Belgian fund of research (FNRS) from 2004 to 2011. Her PhD studied the impact of osteoprotegerin on T cells/dendritic cells interaction and bone remodeling and the role of fibroblasts’ apoptosis on fibrosis in IBD. After her PhD, Professor Reenaers was a Senior Clinical and Research Fellow of Dr Travis at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. She returned to Liège to take a permanent position as IBD specialist where she works with Professor Edouard Louis. She is associated professor and has a charge of course at the university of Liège. She is part of several scientific associations including the Educationnal committee of BIRD (Belgian Intestinal Research and Developpment group) and the board of the GETAID (groupe d'Etude Thérapeutique des Affections Inflammatoires du Tube Digestif). She was the ECCO (European Crohn and Colitis Organisation) national representative from 2012 till 2020. Dr Reenaers has obtained several scientific awards in Belgian and European conferences and has given many lectures for different scientific societies including outside Belgium. She contributed to more than 50 papers in international reviews including 10 papers as first or last author.

Peter Verhamme, MD, PhD (UZ Leuven, Belgium)
UZ Leuven
Peter Verhamme is a Professor at the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Vascular Medicine and Haemostasis, at the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium. His main clinical interests and clinical research programmes concern the prevention and treatment of venous and arterial thrombosis.
Professor Verhamme obtained his medical degree at the University of Leuven in 1997 and completed a PhD on oxidised low-density lipoprotein and atherothrombosis.
Professor Verhamme coordinates research programmes at the Centre for Molecular and Vascular Biology, University of Leuven, focusing on the development of new fibrinolytic and antithrombotic strategies, and on the interactions between inflammation, infection and coagulation. He is Chair of the Thrombosis Guidelines Group. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 papers published in various peer-reviewed journals.

Veronique Verplancke, MD (UZ Antwerpen, Belgium)
UZ Antwerpen, Belgium
During my whole career, I have lived and worked near my home town Antwerp in Belgium. I completed my medical studies at the University of Antwerp in 2010. Thereafter I specialised in respiratory medicine, which is a trajectory of six years. I started working as a staff member in my training hospital, the University Hospital of Antwerp, in 2016. When my department started a lung transplantation project I participated from the start. To improve my knowledge of lung transplantation I did a fellowship of six months in Toronto General Hospital (Ontario, Canada). The complex mechanism of the immune system and how we try to fool it with our immune suppressive drugs leading us into new challenges, became a major point of interest to me. In the line of my interest in immunology, I became interested in auto-immune disease and interstitial lung disease, the most frequent manifestation of systemic disease in the lung. I am currently working as a junior lung transplant specialist and I am responsible for the interstitial lung disease outpatient clinic. I enjoy working multidisciplinary and I am lucky to have great colleagues across the different disciplines working in our hospital.