Christianne Buskens
The Netherlands
Christianne Buskens graduated at the Medical School at the University of Utrecht in 1999. From 2000 until 2003 she worked as a research fellow at the department of surgery, and the department of experimental oncology at the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) in Amsterdam. This resulted in her PhD thesis ´The development of new treatment strategies for oesophageal cancer’, which she defended with distinction in 2004. She was trained as a surgeon from 2003 until 2009 at the AMC, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (Amsterdam), and Gelre Hospitals (Apeldoorn). After completion of her surgical training, she was granted a fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Organization (KWF) at the department of colorectal surgery in Oxford, United Kingdom. Here, she specialized in proctology and minimally invasive surgery. In January 2012, she became a staff member of the AMC colorectal surgeons group. Nowadays, she combines her clinical work as an IBD surgeon with translational research which is funded by an innovative research incentive grant from The Netherlands organisation for health research and development. Her research lines focus on the role of the appendix in ulcerative colitis, and the the effector functions of (myeloid) immune cells. She also has a masters in clinical epidemiology.

Johan Burisch
Johan Burisch, MD, Ph.D. is a gastroenterologist in training at Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. He is also a senior researcher at the Danish Center for eHealth & Epidemiology at North Zealand University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark. He received his medical degree from Copenhagen University in 2010 and his Ph.D. degree in 2013, his thesis dealing with the epidemiology and disease course of IBD in Europe under the supervision of prof. Pia Munkholm. During his postdoctoral fellowship, Johan Burisch worked at the Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA with prof. Jean-Frederic Colombel. He’s specialized in epidemiological studies on the natural disease course and pattern recognition as well as eHealth solutions for patients with IBD. He has authored >60 peer-reviewed papers on IBD epidemiology as well as several book chapters. He served as the head of the young talent group in European United Gastroenterology (UEG) as well as in the national societies committee and scientific committee of UEG. He has also served in the European Crohn’s & colitis organizations epidemiological committee and is currently part of their young gastroenterologist section.

Mauro D’Amato
Mauro D’Amato is IKERBASQUE Research Professor and Head of the Gastrointestinal Genetics Unit at the BioDonostia Health Research Institute in San Sebastian Spain, and Visiting Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics at the Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm Sweden. He formed in Rome at the University “La Sapienza” and the National Research Council, obtaining a PhD in Molecular Pathology with a thesis on the genetic predisposition to ankylosing spondylitis in 1998. As a postdoctoral fellow he worked on asthma genetics with Prof Bill Cookson at the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics in Oxford UK until 2001, and later as Group Leader and Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics between 2002-2015 at the Karolinska Instituet, focusing primarily on IBD. Mauro now investigates how human genetic variations predispose to a broad array of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases including functional (IBS, functional dyspepsia and heartburn) and inflammatory (IBD, microscopic colitis) conditions through genetic and computational approaches. His team also study how host genes influence gut microbiota composition, and its dysregulation in human disease. Mauro has published more than 130 studies in the area, and edited a Springer book on “Molecular Genetics of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases” in 2013. He promoted and coordinates the largest international IBS genetics project (, is member of several GI-focused consortia and management committees, and performs reviewer work for leading international journals and independent research funding agencies.

Silvio Danese
Silvio Danese is a Gastroenterologist at Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, and Professor in gastroenterology at Humanitas University, Italy. He is Head of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center in the Division of Gastroenterology. Silvio Danese trained in Gastroenterology at Policlinico Gemelli, Rome and graduated as a PhD, working from 2001 to 2004 in Dr. Claudio Fiocchi’s laboratory at the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
His main research area of interest is the investigation of the fundamental mechanisms underlying IBD pathogenesis, while his daily clinical activity is related to IBD service. He is actively involved in many international clinical trials in IBD and has published more than 300 papers in several journals, including New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Gastroenterology, Gut, Journal of Clinical Investigation.
He is a member of many organizations related to the IBD field, including the European Crohn´s and Colitis Organization (ECCO), where from March 2016 is President elect. He is also associate editor of Gut.

Jonas Halfvarsson
Jonas Halfvarsson is a Consultant Gastroenterologist specialising in IBD at Örebro University Hospital, Sweden. He graduated as MD at Uppsala University, Sweden, before training in gastroenterology at Örebro University Hospital. He undertook research with Professor Gunnar Järnerot and obtained his PhD, entitled ‘Inflammatory bowel disease in twins; Studies of genetics and environmental factors’ in 2004. Part of his PhD was done at the University of Oxford, UK with Professor Derek Jewell. Today his research focuses on biomarkers in IBD, both from a clinical and from a mechanistic perspective. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed full papers, as well as contributed to several books on IBD. He has served as vice director for the Swedish national PhD and Postdoctoral program for translational gastroenterology and heads the taskforce for genetics and pathophysiology at the Swedish Organisation for the Study of IBD. Today he is appointed Associate Professor at Örebro University and combines his time in clinical practice with his positions at the University. Dr Halfvarson was named a Rising Star in Gastroenterology at the United European Gastroenterology (UEGWeek) in 2011 and is a member of the International Organization for the study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOIBD) since 2014.

Åsa Hallqvist Everhov
Åsa Hallqvist Everhov, MD PhD from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, works as a consultant colorectal surgeon at Stockholm South General Hospital. Her research is mainly conducted at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet, focusing on register-based studies of inflammatory bowel disease.

Ailsa Hart
Professor Ailsa Hart, BA (Hons), BMBCh, FRCP, PhD
Consultant Gastroenterologist, Sub-Dean (St Mark's Academic Institute)
Professor Ailsa Hart is Director of St Mark’s Hospital Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research and Consultant Gastroenterologist. She is Sub-Dean of St Mark’s Hospital Academic Institute. In 2016, she achieved academic promotion with Imperial College and is now Professor of Practice.
Ailsa Hart studied medicine at Oxford University and was awarded a First Class Honours Degree in 1992, together with the George Pickering Prize for Medicine and Surgery proxime accessit in 1995 and additional prizes for outstanding achievements. She achieved Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 1998 and subsequently Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. She trained in Gastroenterology and General Internal Medicine in London and also received training at the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam. She achieved her PhD with Imperial College in 2005, funded by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship.
She was appointed to the consultant staff of St Mark’s Hospital in 2008 and became a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London..
She has supervised/ co-supervised over 20 higher degree students and lectures widely nationally and internationally and has published 130 papers and book chapters.
She is currently on the Governing Board of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation.

Peter Irving
Peter Irving is lead for IBD at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Foundation Trust in London and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College London. 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 100 peer- reviewed articles. He was the Chair of the Education Committee of ECCO from 2016-2018 and is now the ECCO elearning ambassador.

Karen Kemp
Dr Kemp is a clinical academic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Consultant Nurse. She is currently the Consultant Nurse IBD at Manchester Royal Infirmary, leading a team of 4 IBD Nurse Specialists, a Specialist Pharmacist, IBD Co-coordinator, and Health Psychologist and is also an Honorary Lecturer (Research and teaching) at the University of Manchester. Dr Kemp’s Health Service Research PhD explored models of follow-up care for patients with IBD in both Primary and Secondary Care, and she was one of the first nurses in England to be awarded a Clinical Academic National Institute for Health Research Doctoral Fellowship. Dr Kemp was also part of a research team who developed the Crohn’s Life Index Questionnaire PROM, she has published in high impact journals and peer reviews for the Journal of Crohns and Colitis and The Lancet. Karen’s interests are patient reported outcomes, follow up care and the impact of the IBD nurse on patient care.

Nationally Dr Kemp was the nurse lead on the implementation group for the UK IBD Audit and National Clinical Audit of Biological Therapies and transition to the UK IBD Registry, and is Chair of the Crohns and Colitis Living with IBD research awards panel. She now sits on the Research Committee of the BSG. Internationally, she is the past Chair of the Nurse European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation Committee (N-ECCO 2016-2017). Her role continues within NECCO specifically to address IBD nurse education across Europe, developing the first Nurse Education Programme within ECCO to take place in Italy in 2018, and provide a collaborative platform for nurses undertaking research across Europe, having established the N-ECCO Research Forum within ECCO.

Kaija-Leena Kolho
Professor Kaija-Leena Kolho is a pediatric gastroenterologist currently appointed as a pediatric professor at Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital, Finland starting in Jan 2018. She carried out her PhD studies in basic science in Turku University, Finland, after graduating as MD at Helsinki University. She was trained in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology at Helsinki University Hospital. She acted as the Head of Pediatric Gastroenterology in Children´s Hospital, Helsinki University between 2008-2018. She served as a pediatric professor at Helsinki University during 2015-2016. Her main research interest is in inflammatory bowel disease, especially in the monitoring of disease activity and assessment of therapeutic responses. She has authored more than 180 original peer-reviewed articles, several other articles and book chapters and supervised several PhD studies. She has served as a member of the pediatric committee of ECCO (P-ECCO) and acted as the chair of the Educational committee of the Finnish Society of Gastroenterology and the Society of Digestive Surgery. Currently, she is a member of the IBD study group Porto group of ESPGHAN (European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) and serves as the representative of ESPGHAN in the Scientific committee of UEG (United European Gastroenterology).

Arie Levine
Arie Levine is the director of the pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition unit at the Wolfson Medical Center and associate professor at Tel Aviv University, Israel. His clinical and research interests are focused primarily on IBD. Dr. Levine has chaired the ESPGHAN Porto group, the paediatric committee of PECCO, and is a founding member of the dietary committee of ECCO. He was instrumental in the classification schemes and diagnostic criteria for pediatric IBD, leading the Paris Classification and Revised Porto criteria for IBD. In recent years he has pioneered novel research concepts including early clinical prognostication of IBD, treatment strategies targeting the microbiota in IBD, as well as the role of dietary factors in pathogenesis and treatment of IBD. He is currently running several multicenter multinational randomized controlled trials targeting the microbiota with antibiotics, diet or fecal transplantation.

Bente Mertz Nørgård
Bente Mertz Nørgård, M.D., Ph.D., DMSc
Dr. Nørgård is professor in clinical epidemiology at the University of Southern Denmark, and Head of Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Odense University Hospital, Denmark. She is also Visiting Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Visiting Scientist, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.
She graduated from Aarhus University School of Medicine, Denmark, 1989, and has a clinical background in internal medicine and gastroenterology. For the last 20 years she has worked with research within clinical epidemiology. The main scientific area has been an overlap between gastroenterology, pharmacoepidemiology, and obstetric/perinatology/pediatrics. The main focus of interest have been on reproductive issues in men and women with chronic diseases including for a vast majority studies on patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, the safety of medications in men and women with chronic diseases, and the impact of parental chronic disease on child health.
She has a Doctoral dissertation from 2011, titled “Birth outcome in women with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and pharmacoepidemiological aspects of anti-inflammatory drug therapy”, and a Ph.D. dissertation from 2002, titled “Ulcerative colitis, coeliac disease and pregnancy; an overview with special reference to the safety of medical treatment during pregnancy.” Her publications can be found on

Randi Opheim
Randi Opheim is senior researcher and advanced nurse specialist at Department of Gastroenterology, Oslo University Hospital and Associate professor at Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Norway. She has a PhD from 2014 in clinical epidemiology, including use of complementary therapies in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Today her research is focusing on clinical epidemiology, psychosocial health, symptom burden, and health- care research. She is member of the steering committee in the IBSEN III study - a large population based prospective study of newly diagnosed patients with inflammatory bowel disease. She combines clinical work and academic profession, lecturing and supervision.

Eduard Stange
1992-2000: Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Lübeck.
2000-2016: Chief, Department of Internal Medicine I (Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology), Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus (RBK), Stuttgart.
10.2016 to date: Senior Professor at the Medical Clinic I, University of Tübingen.

Memberships and functions
Past President of the German Society of Coloproctology and Vice President of the German Society of Mucosal Immunology and Microbiome. Member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Verdauungs- und Stoffwechselkrankheiten and of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin. Former secretary of the International Organisation for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Member of Faculty of 1000. Organiser of German and European (ECCO) guidelines in IBD.

Special interests
Pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (innate immunity, microbiome defense and barrier defects). Therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases with small molecules and antibodies, involved in phase 2 and 3 studies. Identification of novel targets for treatment.

Member of several pharmaceutical industry advisory boards. Actively involved in trial and drug design.

342 peer reviewed publications including original papers and reviews.
Pernilla Stenström

Phil Tozer
Phil Tozer is a consultant colorectal surgeon at St Mark’s Hospital in London. He has a special interest in anal and rectovaginal fistula and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, particularly perianal Crohn’s disease.
His clinical practice reflects his research interest in these areas. He has authored multiple original and review articles and book chapters on these subjects including the ACPGBI Anal Fistula guidelines.
He leads the Fistula Research Unit at St Mark’s including ongoing work on aetiology, advanced imaging and treatment for anal and rectovaginal fistula, especially in Crohn’s disease, and collaborates on projects with groups in Europe and the USA.