Speakers 2023

Lars Aabakken
Norway

Anthony de Buck
Canada

Dr. Anthony de Buck MD, MSc, is a colorectal surgeon practicing at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and serving as an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. With a strong background in surgical and colorectal training, Dr. de Buck has made significant contributions to the field of colorectal surgery and clinical outcome research in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Dr. de Buck earned his medical degree at the University of Leuven, where he laid the foundation for his medical career. During his time at the University of Leuven, he completed rigorous surgical and colorectal training, gaining valuable experience and expertise in the field.

To further enhance his knowledge and skills, Dr. de Buck pursued a colorectal fellowship at the University of Toronto in 2013. This fellowship provided him with an opportunity to expand his surgical proficiency and collaborate with renowned experts in the field. Additionally, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto, equipping him with advanced research skills to investigate clinical outcomes in IBD. Dr. de Buck’s scientific work is primarily focused on clinical outcome research in IBD, with a specific emphasis on functional and quality of life outcomes in patients with this chronic condition. His dedication to improving patient outcomes has led him to conduct numerous studies and secure several peer-reviewed grants to support his research endeavors. As a leading researcher, he is actively involved in multi-institutional studies, including randomized controlled trials (RCTs), that aim to advance our understanding of IBD and its impact on patients’ lives.

In addition to his research pursuits, Dr. de Buck is deeply committed to educating the next generation of medical professionals. As an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, he plays an important role in teaching and mentoring students, residents, and fellows, imparting his knowledge and expertise to shape the future of colorectal surgery and IBD research. Dr. Anthony de Buck stands as a respected colorectal surgeon, accomplished researcher, and dedicated educator. His significant contributions to the field of colorectal surgery and his unwavering commitment to improving the lives of IBD patients have established him as a leading figure in the medical community. Through his expertise and dedication, Dr. de Buck continues to advance the field of colorectal surgery and contribute to the overall well-being of individuals living with IBD.

Sine Buhl
Denmark

Christianne Buskens
The Netherlands

Christianne Buskens graduated as a medical doctor 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. To combine clinical work with (translational) research work, she completed a masters program in clinical epidemiology.

In January 2012, she became a staff member of the AMC colorectal surgeons group. Here, her field of interest changed from oncology to IBD. Today, she is a specialized IBD-surgeon treating this fascinating disease in all its complexity, in a multidisciplinary setting. She combines her clinical work with translational research which is funded by an innovative research incentive grant from The Netherlands organisation for health research and development. This grant enables her to spend dedicated research time in the laboratory, and was the basis for some ongoing translational IBD research lines: the role of the mesentery in Crohn’s disease, the role of the appendix in ulcerative colitis, and the fundamental characterization of perianal fistulas in Crohn’s patients.

Geert D’Haens
The Netherlands

Marte Lie Høvik
Norway

Marte Lie Høivik graduated from the University of Southern Denmark in 2002 and received her PhD at the University of Oslo in 2012. She is a gastroenterologist and senior consultant at the Department of Gastroenterology Oslo University Hospital (OUH) and professor II at University of Oslo. She heads the IBD unit and the IBD research group at OUH.

Høivik is PI of the IBSEN III study, project leader for the OUH-IBD research registry and biobank and Norwegian PI in the NORDTREAT consortium. She is involved in a broad range of clinical, epidemiological and translation IBD research projects. She is a member of the Norwegian IBD Study Group, and she has been a National Representative in ECCO.

Marietta Iacucci
Italy

Dr Marietta Iacucci MD, PhD, FASGE, AGAF is a Professor of Gastroenterology at the University College Cork, Ireland.

Dr Iacucci spent two years in London and Cambridge, UK and in Mainz, Germany, Milan, Italy and Tokyo, Japan. During this period, she became very involved with the management of IBD. She is focused on advanced endoscopic imaging, endoscopic molecular labelling, and Artificial Intelligence in diagnosing gastrointestinal disease, advanced polypectomy (EMR, ESD), and managing inflammatory bowel disease.

 She is a fellow of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. American Gastroenterological Association Fellow, the member of EduCom and e-Learning Taskforce of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO), member of the Global interventional Inflammatory Bowel Disease Group, member of the British Society of Gastroenterology clinical research group for endoscopy, sits on the ESGE advanced imaging in colorectal neoplasia guidelines committee and IBD quality improvement committee working group.

She has published many papers and invited reviews on advanced endoscopic imaging and has been invited to deliver keynote lectures and participate in live endoscopy at many international and national conferences.

Johan Ilvemark
Denmark

Johan Ilvemark, MD, PhD, is currently working as a physician at the Gastrounit, Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark. Dr. Ilvemark received his medical degree from the University of Southern Denmark in 2016 and his PhD degree in 2023, his thesis focusing on the ability of transabdominal intestinal ultrasound to assess and predict treatment response and remission in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. 

Kristin Kaasen Jørgensen
Norway

Kristin Kaasen Jørgensen is a senior consultant at the Dept. of Gastroenterology, Akershus University Hospital, Norway. After completing her specialist training in gastroenterology at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet she received her PhD in 2013 focusing on IBD in PSC patients. She has a long research experience in IBD and hepatology and is involved in a broad range of investigator and industry-initiated studies as local or national PI. She was a member of the steering-committee of the NOR-SWITCH (switching patients from originator to biosimilar infliximab) and the NOR-DRUM study (evaluating proactive therapeutic drug monitoring in the induction and maintenance phase of infliximab treatment), two well-recognized Norwegian RCTs. She is currently the project leader of the gastroenterology part of the Nor-vaC study (The Norwegian study of vaccine response to COVID-19). She has been a member of the Norwegian IBD Study Group, and a National Representative in ECCO.

Kaija-Leena Kolho
Finland

Professor Kaija-Leena Kolho is a pediatric gastroenterologist currently appointed as a pediatric professor at University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland since 2019. 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. Her main research interest is in inflammatory bowel disease, especially in the monitoring of disease activity and assessment of therapeutic responses and gut microbiota in disease and during infancy. She has authored more than 250 original peer-reviewed articles, several other articles and book chapters and supervised several PhD studies. She has acted as the chair of the Educational Committee of the Finnish Society of Gastroenterology and the Society of Digestive Surgery and served as a member of the pediatric committee of ECCO (P-ECCO) and as the representative of ESPGHAN in the Scientific committee of UEG (United European Gastroenterology). Currently, she is a member of the IBD study group Porto group of ESPGHAN (European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition).

Christian Maaser
Germany

Prof. Christian Maaser leads the IBD center, is acting chair of the Internal Medicine Department Hospital Luenburg and head of the Department of Geriatrics in Germany. He received his medical education at the University Marburg and Hamburg as well as in New York and Johannesburg. He went on to complete his Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training at the University of Muenster and spent 2 years as post-doc in the Laboratory for Mucosal Immunology at the University of California, San Diego. He is one of the founding members and the current chair of the International Bowel Ultrasound (IBUS) group, is a current member of the ECCO educational committee and of the ECCO congress 2022 organizing committee. He has been member of various national and international IBD guideline committees. One of his major research focuses is to explore the role of intestinal ultrasound in monitoring IBD.

Fernando Magro
Portugal

Miles Parkes
United Kingdom

Miles Parkes is Director of the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, with its 15 research themes and £110M budget focused on early translational research. He is an NHS consultant gastroenterologist in Cambridge and chief investigator for two major UK studies in inflammatory bowel disease:

  1. The MRC- and NIHR-funded IBD BioResource which has recruited 40,000 patients with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis in 100 hospitals UK-wide. All have detailed clinical and genetic (GWAS + exome sequencing) data and all can be recalled by genotype or phenotype for downstream studies. It is designed to expedite translation of IBD genetic advances into the clinic; and
  2. The £4.5 million Wellcome-funded Profile trial, testing a Cambridge-designed molecular biomarker. Recruited to target – 400 patients with new-diagnosis Crohn’s disease in 40 UK hospitals. Results will be discussed at the meeting

Mattias Soop
Sweden

I am head of the Department of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Intestinal Failure Surgery at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. I trained at the Karolinska Institute and Mayo Clinic Rochester where I completed a clinical fellowship in colorectal surgery 2006-2008. I worked a total of 10 years at Salford Royal Hospital, Manchester, where I was consultant surgeon and reader at the Irving National Intestinal Failure Unit. In 2019, I returned to Stockholm to develop surgical services for inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal failure services. I supervise several PhD students and have national and international roles in intestinal failure.

Morten Vatn
Norway

Morten H. Vatn started as a fellow of gastroenterology in 1975, upon discertation at Ullevål university hospital, on the thesis:”Mechanisms of the gastric intrinsic factor secretion”. Since 1979, he has been working at Rikshospitalet university hospital, and after 1980 as a specialist in gastroenterology and internal medicine, and from 1988 as a consultant at the department of gastroenterology and hepathology until clinical retirement in 2012, whereafter he has been a professor emeritus at the Institute of Clinical Medicine, the university of Oslo(UiO). Major areas of research have been gastrointestinal pathophysiology, intestinal neoplasia, including endocrine tumours and especially colorectal polyps, clinical nutrition and gastrointestinal inflammation. He was appointed professor of gastroenterology first time in 1985, and later of clinical nutrition, and full professor of clinical epidemiology, advising a large number of phD candidates, master students and student fellows. His international collaboration includes several EU-projects, editorial work, opponent at discertations, international prizes, invited member of the New York academy of Science, Fellow of the American gastroenterological association, honorary member of the Norwegian Gastroenterology association, appointed visiting professor at the university of Lanzhou, China, and in 1989, founder of the IBSEN study group. Since 1995, membership of the International study of inflammatory bowel diseases, the IOIBD. The publication list counts close to 500 articles in addition toa large number of conference presentations. Still he has advisory tasks in his major fields, partly on behalf of the university.

Séverine Vermeire
Belgium

Séverine Vermeire obtained her MD degree at the KU Leuven in 1995 and a PhD at the same University in 2001. She further trained at the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion, Paraguay (1993), at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics , University of Oxford (1997-1998) UK and at the Montreal General Hospital (McGill University) in Canada (2000–2001). Since 2003 she is a staff member at the Gastroenterology Department of the University Hospitals Leuven and is appointed Full Professor of Medicine at the KU Leuven.

She was Head of the Department of Chronic Diseases & Metabolism (CHROMETA) at the KU Leuven from 2016-2021. In 2021 she was appointed Research Coordinator for the Group Biomedical Sciences at the KU Leuven. Dr Vermeire is actively involved as principle investigator in RCTs with new therapeutic compounds and has been lead investigator on several of these programs. Her scientific work resulted in more than 600 peer-reviewed articles and focusses on the role of the microbiome and genetic susceptibility in IBD and on identifying prognostic and predictive signatures of treatment response. Dr Vermeire participated in the International iCHOM consortium on development of Patient-Centered Outcomes for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

She was awarded several grants including an Advanced H2020-European Research Council (ERC) Grant (2016-2022). Séverine Vermeire was President of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) from 2014-2016 and of the Belgian IBD Research & Development (BIRD) Group from 2011-2013.

Alissa Walsh
United Kingdom

Alissa Walsh is a Consultant Gastroenterologist and the Deputy Clinical Director of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. After completing her formal gastroenterology training in Australia, Dr Walsh undertook a Clinical Fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases within the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (2007-2008) and thereafter a National Health Medical Research Council fellowship in Australia (2009-2011). Dr Walsh spent six years as a Consultant Gastroenterologist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney before returning to Oxford where she has completed a DPhil in clinical medicine from the University of Oxford. Dr Walsh’s research interests include IBD activity indices, prevention of opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients, the role of faecal transplantation in ulcerative colitis and remote digital monitoring and for patients with IBD. Dr Walsh is a founder and director of Crohn’s Colitis Cure, an Australian charity supporting IBD medical research.