BIRD Symposium - 28 September 2019
Raf Bisschops, MD, PhD (University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium)
University Hospitals Leuven
Raf Bisschops obtained his Medical Degree in 1997 ,a PhD degree and certification in gastroenterology in 2005 at the University of Leuven. He is associate head of clinic and associate professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven), faculty of medicine. He is director of endoscopy since 2013. His main interest is advanced endoscopic imaging and therapeutics for premalignant conditions (Barrett, HNPCC, colitis) and quality in endoscopy. He is co-editor of the journal Endoscopy, president of the Belgian society of Gastrointestinal endoscopy, chairman of the quality committee, chairman of the curriculum working group and councilor in the boardof the European Society of Gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Karolien Boeren, MD (AZ Delta, Roeselare, Belgium)
AZ Delta, Roeselare
Dr. Karolien Boeren is currently staff member of the Radiology Department of AZ Delta Hospital in Roeselare, Belgium. She works as a general radiologist with a special focus on abdominal radiology, in particular on imaging in Crohn’s disease – MR enterography. Karolien graduated in medicine from the University of Leuven in 2009. She then underwent specialization in radiology (2014). During her specialization she did an supplementary scholarship in abdominal radiology in the AMC hospital in Amsterdam.

Anneline Cremer, MD, PhD (Hôpital Erasme ULB, Bruxelles, Belgium)
Hôpital Erasme ULB, Bruxelles
Anneline Cremer graduated from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) medical school, Belgium, in 2010. She graduated from the Erasme academic Hospital, ULB, Belgium, in Gastroenterology in 2017 with summa cum laude. Her strong interest for Gastroenterology and more specifically for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has grown over the years.
During her last year in medical school, she spent 6 months in the Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology (LGE), ULB, in Brussels working on a basic immunology project. She started her clinical training in 2010, and started her Gastroenterology training in October 2013 in the Department of Gastroenterology of Tivoli Hospital (La Louvière) for six months followed by one year and a half in the Department of Gastroenterology of ULB-Erasme Hospital. She received a doctoral research fellowship (October 2015-April 2020) from the Fonds Erasme (ULB).
She also participated as co-investigator in clinical trials in the field of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis since November 2015. She is currently working half time in clinic in the Department of Gastroenterology of ULB-Erasme Hospital and half time in the LGE on a translational IBD research project under supervision of Prof Denis Franchimont.

André D'Hoore, MD, PhD (University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium)
University Hospitals Leuven
D’Hoore André graduated as MD at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 1988. He became surgeon in 1994 and joined the staff of Abdominal Surgery at the University Clinic Leuven. He received an international postgraduate training in colorectal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Fort Lauderdale, St. Mark’s Hospital in London and the Hôpital Cantonal in Geneva.
In 2000 he became a European Board Qualified Surgeon in ColoProctology. In 2007 he obtained his PhD and is full professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of Leuven and contributes to graduate an postgraduate teaching of students and trainees in abdominal surgery.
He is the actual chair of the department of abdominal surgery at the University Hospitals Leuven and is the president of the Collegium Chirurgicum Belgicum.
Recently he received the honorary membership of the American and Mexican Society of Colorectal Surgery.
André D’Hoore is a regular invited speaker at international surgical meetings. His scientific work resulted in more than 200 peer-reviewed papers. He is a founding member of the European Section of Coloproctology (ESCP) and is the founder of the surgical branch of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (S-ECCO).

Nicolas De Suray, MD (Grand Hôpital de Charleroi/Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Bruxelles, Belgium)
Grand Hôpital de Charleroi/Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Bruxelles
Nicolas de Suray is gastroenterologist at Saint-Joseph’s Hospital in Charleroi, and consultant in the IBD unit at Saint-Luc University Hospital in Brussels. He obtained his MD in 2003 and a master in gastroenterology in 2009 at UCLouvain. In 2007-2008, he spend one year in France at Claude Huriez Hospital, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire of Lille, in the IBD unit as a fellow of Professor Jean-Frédéric Colombel. Between 2010 and 2012, he was consultant in the IBD unit of Lille. He is a member of ECCO and of the Belgian IBD Research Group. He is actively involved in several clinical trials and clinical researchs in IBD.

Bénédicte De Vroey, MD (CH Jolimont, Haine-Saint-Paul, Belgium)
CH Jolimont, Haine-Saint-Paul
Bénédicte De Vroey is Gastroenterologist at the CH Jolimont, Haine-Saint-Paul, Belgium, with particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She is also IBD-consultant at Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium. She graduated in Medicine from the Université Catholique of Louvain, Belgium, in 2006, and completed her Masters degree in Gastroenterology in the same institutions. She also made a one-year IBD fellowship in the Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire of Lille, France, in 2010, under the supervision of Professor Jean-Frédéric Colombel. She is author or co-author of several publications in the fields of general gastroenterology and IBD, co-investigator in clinical research, and co-investigator of ongoing international collaborative research projects looking at the epidemiology of IBD.

Stefan Delen, MD (Ziekenhuis Maas en Kempen, Maaseik, Belgium)
Ziekenhuis Maas en Kempen, Maaseik
Stefan Delen (1974) graduated at KU Leuven as Medical Doctor in 1999 and as gastroenterologist in 2005. He is head of the department of Gastroenterology of Ziekenhuis Maas en Kempen in Maaseik where he is working since 2005. In this hospital he is also head of the internal day care clinic and vice –president of the medical council. He focuses mainly on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and digestive oncology. Since 2010 until today he is also consultant at the IBD outpatient clinic of the university hospital of Leuven.

Olivier Dewit, MD, PhD (Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Bruxelles, Belgium)
Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Bruxelles
Specialist in Gastroenterology since September 2000. Head of the IBD clinic and Deputy Chief of the gastroenterology unit at Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, Brussels. Thesis in biomedical sciences in 2012. In charge of the Gastroenterology cursus in Master 1 of Medicine at UCL Louvain.Scientific advisor for colorectal diseases and member of the board of the "Royal Belgian Society of Gastroenterology". President of the medical and scientific committee of the Belgian French-speaking IBD patients association. BIRD Member since 1999 and actual member of EDUCOM. Member of GETAID (Groupe d’étude thérapeutique des affections Inflammatoires du tube digestif) since 2006. Author or co-author of over 70 articles or book chapters.

Peter Irving, MA MD FRCP (Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom)
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London
Peter Irving is lead for IBD at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Foundation Trust in London and is an Honorary Reader at King’s College London funded by an MRC Clinical Academic Research Partenship award. Dr Irving trained in medicine at Cambridge University and The London Hospital Medical College, UK. He trained in gastroenterology in London before undertaking an IBD fellowship in Melbourne, Australia. He has a large IBD practice and a number of active research interests in clinical IBD and trials. He has published widely in IBD including several books, book chapters and over 130 peer-reviewed articles. He was the Chair of the Education Committee of ECCO from 2016-2018 and is now the ECCO e-learning ambassador.

Triana Lobaton, MD, PhD (UZ Gent, Belgium)
UZ Gent
Triana Lobatón finished her training as gastroenterologist at Bellvitge University Hospital (Barcelona, Spain) in 2010. During her training, she spent 2 moths at Mount Sinai University Hospital in NY (US). She obtained her PhD on "fecal calprotectin as a surrogate marker of disease activity in IBD patients" at the University of Barcelona in 2015.
As part of her PhD program, she spent 18 months (2013-2014) at Leuven University Hospital (Belgium)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 such as the e-courses or editor for the ECCO 2019 Medicom Conference Report. 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). The IBD unit at UZ Gent is a tertiary referral center involved in many RCTs, being Dr. Lobaton PI of many of them.

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 280 papers in international journals (H-Index 2018=63). 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 and vice-president of the GETAID (2012-2015 and 2015-2018). He is Associate Editor of Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis (2018-ongoing).

Harald Peeters, MD, PhD (AZ Sint-Lucas, Gent, Belgium)
AZ Sint-Lucas, Gent
Harald Peeters is a gastroenterologist in the hospital AZ Sint-Lucas in Gent and part-time associate professor at Ghent University. His main interests are IBD and therapeutic endoscopy. He is a member of BIRD (Educom) and ECCO. In the Sint-Lucas IBD clinic he is involved in national and international clinical trials in IBD. He is reviewer for several international peer-reviewed journals as well as for ECCO and UEGW abstracts.

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 around 50 peer-reviewed manuscript 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).

Gerhard Rogler, MD, PhD (University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland)
University Hospital Zürich, Switserland
Professor Gerhard Rogler, MD, is Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Head of the Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Zürich University Hospital, Switzerland.​​
The main research interest of Professor Rogler is translational research to better understand the unmet needs in the IBD field, especially in terms of intestinal stricture and fistula formation. His research group has developed new models for intestinal fibrosis and achieved a novel understanding of fistula pathophysiology. He is PI of the Swiss IBD Cohort Study, member of the ECCO governing board and member of the IOIBD. Professor Rogler has authored over 500 peer-reviewed articles.

Dirk Staessen, MD (GZA Ziekenhuizen, Antwerpen, Belgium)
GZA Ziekenhuizen, Antwerpen
Dirk Staessen graduated as MD in 1981 at KU Leuven and completed his training in internal medicine and gastroenterology in 1987 at UZ Gasthuisberg in Leuven. Since 1987 he started working as gastroenterologist in AZ Monica , Antwerpen, and joined the gastroenterology department of the GZA Ziekenhuizen , Antwerpen, in 2011. As member of BIRD and ECCO he developed a special interest in IBD and is actively involved in IBD clinical trials.

Catherine Van Kemseke, MD, PhD (CHU Liège, Belgium)
CHU Liège
Catherine Van Kemseke is Professor of Clinic and Head of Clinic in the Gastroenterology Department in the University Hospital of Liège.
She completed her medical doctorate and her specialist training in the University of Liège till 1998. She obtained a Ph.D. in medical sciences in 2002 with a thesis on serologic markers in Crohn’s disease.
She is part of several scientific associations including the SRBGE (Société Royale Belge de Gastroentérologie), the BIRD (Belgian Intestinal Research and Development group) and the SNFCP (Société Nationale Française de Coloproctologie).
She is for the third year the General Secretary of SRBGE and she occupies the position of President of French Gastroenterology Commission Agreement.
Her main centres of interest are proctology and inflammatory bowel diseases. For this part, she is working in the IMID Centre with Professor Edouard Louis.

Stijn Vanden Branden, MD (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwziekenhuis Aalst, Belgium)
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwziekenhuis Aalst
Dr. Stijn Vanden Branden graduated as MD at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2002. He qualified as a gastroenterologist in 2008. Since 2009 he serves as a full staff member at the OLV Hospital in Aalst.
His interest is in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and esophageal and anal manometry. He spent 6 months as a consultant in the IBD outpatient clinic at the University Hospital Gasthuisberg UZ Leuven to obtain additional expertise in this specific field of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
He is member of BIRD, ECCO and VVGE.

Stephanie Verschuere, MD, PhD (AZ Delta, Roeselare, Belgium)
AZ Delta, Roeselare
Stephanie Verschuere graduated as a medical doctor in 2005 at Ghent University. In 2012, she obtained a PhD on the subject of the effect of cigarette smoke on mucosal immunity of the terminal ileum. She graduated in 2014 as a pathologist after an internship in UZ Gent and AZ Sint Jan Brugge.
After a residency in AZ sint Jan Brugge, she started working as pathologist in AZ Delta and Sint Andries Tielt in 2016, with special interest in the pathology of the gastrointestinal tract and in urological pathology. She is an active member of several national pathology working groups. Since 2017, she participates in the multidisciplinary team meetings IBD at AZ Delta.

Bram Verstockt, MD, PhD (University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium)
University Hospitals Leuven
Bram Verstockt (° 09/01/1988), MD, PhD, graduated medical school at the KU Leuven, Belgium, in 2013. During his medical training, he performed an internship at the Mater Dei Hospital, Malta. Under the supervision of prof. W. Peetermans, he started his specialist training in Internal Medicine in 2013. In 2015, he partially interrupted his residency in Gastroenterology and Hepatology to start his PhD ‘Predicting outcome in inflammatory bowel diseases, a multi-omics approach – Creating opportunities for personalised medicine’, which he successfully defended in September 2019. During the first year of his PhD he worked at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom in the lab of Ken smith.
His research mainly focusses on the development of predictive and prognostic markers for a more personalised medicine in IBD. He held a PhD fellowship at the Flemish Foundation for Scientific Research (FWO Vlaanderen) and received research grants from the European Crohn’s and Colitis organisation (ECCO), the Helmsley foundation, the Belgian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research and Development Group (BIRD), the Belgian Week of Gastroenterology (BWGE) and the Flemish Association for Crohn and Colitis patients (CCV VZW). Currently he finishes his residency in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University Hospitals Leuven.

Barbara Willandt, MD (AZ Sint-Jan, Brugge, Belgium)
AZ Sint-Jan, Brugge
Willandt Barbara graduated as medical doctor at theuniversity of Leuven in 2009 and subsequently completed her master in gastroenterology in 2015. Because of a specific interest in the multidisciplinary IBD care she completed an additional fellowship in inflammatoy bowel disease at the University Hospital of UZ Leuven in 2016. She is currently working as a staff member in AZ Sint Jan Brugge since August 2016 where she mainly focuses on IBD-care and also continues to work as a consultant at the IBD outpatient clinic of the university hospital of Leuven. She is a member of several scientific associations such as BIRD, ECCO, ESGE and VVGE.