ISDE 2023 Speakers
Meet The Speakers of ISDE 2023
We are proud to present the brilliant assembly of speakers of the 19th ISDE World Congress for Esophageal Diseases.
Please click on the photos below to learn more about each individual speaker.
Amir is a Physician-Researcher working at the Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Amir has been leading the research at the department on cost-effectiveness of screening for and surveillance of Barrett’s esophagus since 2016, and has published several papers in this area.
Dr. Andrea Grin is a GI pathologist, Assistant Professor and Head of Anatomical Pathology at Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Dr. Grin’s clinical and research interests are in early esophageal and gastric neoplasia and colorectal carcinoma.
Professor Andrew Barbour is an Academic General Surgeon and Head of Surgical Oncology Group at the University of Queensland, Australia. Professor Andrew Barbour specializes in the treatment of oesophageal, gastric, and pancreatic diseases, as well as melanoma and soft tissue tumours. He has expertise in minimally invasive treatments these conditions, including robotic surgery, minimally invasive oesophagectomy, laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery (fundoplication), laparoscopic gastrectomy, and laparoscopic pancreatectomy.
Dr. Carmen Mueller is Assistant Professor of Surgery at McGill University, Quebec, Canada. She has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in the fields of surgical education and foregut surgery. Her research interests include curriculum design and assessment, clinical outcomes in upper GI surgery, and the role of motivation in surgical training.
Prof. Dr. Christian Gutschow is the Head of Stomach and Oesophageal Tumor Centre at the Universit Hospital Zurich. He specializes in Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery (UGI) and Endrocrine Surgery.
Daniel Catenacci, MD, is an adult gastrointestinal medical oncologist and past director of the gastrointestinal oncology program at the University of Chicago Medicine in Chicago, IL. He also served as the assistant director of translational research in the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr Catenacci received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI. He completed his internship and residency at the University of California Los Angeles Health in Los Angeles, CA and his fellowship at the University of Chicago Medicine. Dr Catenacci is board certified in medical oncology. He previously received a K23 career development award from the National Cancer Institute and the National Cancer Institute 2021 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award (CCITLA).
Dr Catenacci has experience as an active basic and clinical researcher, focusing on the treatment of gastroesophageal (esophagus, gastroesophageal junction, and stomach) cancers. His bench-to-bedside translational research had overarching goals to validate and improve personalized diagnostics, treatment, immunotherapy, and precision medicine for gastroesophageal cancer and other GI cancers. A major focus of his research was on the use of next-generation sequencing in tumor tissue and blood for the quantification of tumor genetic molecular heterogeneity both between individuals with gastroesophageal cancer, but importantly also within a given individual within one tumor site, and from one tumor site to another, and how this impacts personalized targeted therapeutic approaches. Additionally, Dr Catenacci designed and executed novel clinical trials to implement treatment strategies based on these laboratory and clinical discoveries.
Dr Catenacci served as an associate editor for the Journal of American Medical Association Network Open (JAMA Netw Open) as well as on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Oncology Precision Oncology (J Clin Oncol PO), Cancer, and Cancers.
Dr. Daniela Molena graduated with distinction and received her medical degree from the University of Padova, Italy. She completed General Surgery training at the University of Padova, where she became very passionate about esophageal disorders. This brought her to study in the US, first at the University of California San Francisco where she completed a clinical and research fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery and then at the University of Rochester medical center where she completed her General Surgery training. After completing a Thoracic Surgery Residency at the combined Memorial Sloan Kettering/Weill Cornell Program, she was recruited to Johns Hopkins University to build a minimally invasive esophageal cancer program.
Dr Molena now serves as the Director of the Esophageal Program within the Thoracic Surgery Division at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She is involved in numerous national and international organizations related to esophageal diseases and serves as the President of Women in Thoracic Surgery. She is an Associate Editor for Disease of the Esophagus and an Editorial Board Member of JTCVS.
Her research focuses in identifying and measuring quality indicators to improve clinical and functional outcomes after surgery, designing clinical pathways to decrease costs and improve results, and identifying racial and socioeconomic disparities that limit the access to excellent care. She is also interested in developing and studying new technologies and imaging guided approaches to direct surgical resection to be more precise, effective and less invasive and serves as PI or co-PI for several clinical trials in oncology.
Dr. David A. Katzka is a recognized authority, both in the clinical and research arenas, on eosinophilic esophagitis, esophageal motility disorders, gastroesophageal reflux, Barrett’s esophagus, and unusual esophageal diseases. Dr. Katzka now brings his expertise and 35 years of experience in the treatment and understanding of esophageal diseases to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where he is leading the Esophagology and Swallowing Center.
Professor Watson is Professor and Head of Surgery at Flinders University, and an Oesophagogastric Surgeon at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide. His interests include gastro-oesophageal reflux, and oesophagogastric cancer. He has published more than 450 papers and book chapters.
He led the establishment of the Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand Gastric and Oesophageal Surgery Association (AANZGOSA) as its foundation President from 2006-10, has served on Council for the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS), and is a Past-President for the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE).
Donald Low, MD is the Director of the Esophageal Center of Excellence at the Digestive Disease Institute, President of the Ryan Hill Research Foundation, and Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology at Virginia Mason Medical Center.
Dr. Low’s clinical interests include all aspects of general Thoracic Surgery but are focused on the treatment of Esophageal Cancer, Barrett’s esophagus, benign tumors of the esophagus, primary and revisional antireflux surgery, paraesophageal hernia and achalasia.
Dr. Low is a Board Certified General Thoracic Surgeon, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He has received Honorary Fellowships from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His research interests have focused on the improvement in pathways of care associated with esophagectomy and he is responsible for the ERAS Society Guidelines associated with esophagectomy. His other major research interests include assessing the importance of body composition on outcomes in patients with esophageal cancer and in standardizing outcome reporting and definitions associated with the surgical treatment of esophageal cancer. He is responsible for the formation of the Esophageal Complications Consensus Group (ECCG) and the International Online Esodata database and is President of the International Esodata Study Group (IESG).
Dr Elizabeth David received her medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. She completed her general surgery residency at the Georgetown University Hospital and went on to complete her cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. After her training, Dr David served in the United States Air Force as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Shortly after this Dr David completed her Masters of Advanced Studies in the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program at UC David.
Dr David currently holds leadership positions within the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Thoracic Surgery Directors Association and Women in Thoracic Surgery. She is a committed surgical educator and has served as an associate program director here at the University of Colorado as well as the University of Southern California and UC Davis. Dr David was also the Chief of the Thoracic Section of the Los Angeles County Hospital.
Dr David joined the University of Colorado faculty as an Associate Professor in April 2022. Her clinical interest is in lung cancer, and she believes strongly in advocating for patients as well as fighting the stigma of lung cancer. Her additional clinical interests include airway resections, all thoracic malignancies including esophageal, thymic and mesothelioma; infectious lung disease, chest wall surgery and minimally invasive surgery including VATS and robotic procedures. Dr David has additional training in clinical research and has focused her research on health outcomes for lung cancer. Dr David was previously funded by the American Cancer Society and an institutional K12 award. Dr David has a particular interest in health disparities and the influence of the health system on patient outcomes.
Dr. Filippo Pietrantonio is a medical oncologist focused on research and treatment on GI cancers, mainly gastric cancer and colorectal cancer. He leads several translational projects and clinical trials aimed at improving patients’ care and understanding the biology of GI cancers.
Dr Darling is the Dr D. Alec Gillis Professor and Head Department of Surgery Dalhousie University and Chief of Surgery Nova Scotia Health Central Zone. She is the President of the Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons and Editor in Chief for Pearson Textbook of Thoracic Surgery. Dr Darling currently is member of the executive for the Esophageal Disease Oriented Group for the Canadian Clinical Trials Group. Dr Darling was previously the Kress Family Chair in Esophageal Cancer and Professor of Surgery at University Health Network and the University of Toronto.
Geoff Kohn is director of the MUGISG oesophageal physiology laboratory performing pH and impedance studies and high-resolution oesophageal manometry. He obtained his medical degree from Monash University and his Australian qualifications in Surgery in 2007. He then undertook two sub-specialty clinical fellowships in world-leading surgical units in the United States, first in laparoscopy and advanced gastrointestinal surgery at the University of North Carolina, and then in oesophageal surgery at the University of Southern California. As a faculty member of both these universities, he provided advanced management of upper gastrointestinal disease to his patients with an emphasis on minimally-invasive surgery. In 2010, he was awarded a Masters in Surgery qualification from Monash University and in 2014 he was awarded Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons.
Hans Gerdes, M.D is an attending physician on the Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Service, and Director of the Gastrointestinal Endoscopy unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York. He specializes in the precancerous condition Barrett’s esophagus, endoscopic methods of screening for and early detection of cancer, and endoscopic approaches to palliating symptoms of advanced cancer.
Hitoshi Fujiwara, MD, PhD
Division of Digestive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
Dr. Hitoshi Fujiwara is the associate professor of department of surgery at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine (KPUM), Kyoto, Japan. Dr. Fujiwara graduated from KPUM in 1989 with the degree of MD. After that, he completed education and training program as a residency for general, gastrointestinal and thoracic surgery at university hospital of KPUM. He studied as a research fellow at Sapporo Medical University, Sapporo, Japan, from 1994 to 1996, and acquired the degree of PhD at KPUM with his pioneer research works on experimental cancer gene therapy in 1999. Since 2000, he has been dedicated in surgery for esophageal and gastrointestinal cancers and related research activities as assistant, and then, associate professor at KPUM. He is the chief surgeon of esophageal surgery section at the university hospital. His consistent research focus is on minimally invasive techniques and multimodal approaches for esophageal and esophagogastric junction cancers. Based on his recent pioneer works on transcervical radical esophagectomy, he is frequently invited to speak at national and international meetings. One of his more recent interests is education and instruction of the transcervical procedure for safe introduction and world-wide spread.
Inderpal S. Sarkaria, MD., FACS., is an internationally recognized thoracic surgeon with extensive expertise and experience in minimally invasive and Video Assisted Thoracic Surgical (VATS) approaches including esophagectomy for esophageal cancer, VATS lobectomy for lung cancer, VATS thymectomy for thymoma, laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery for GERD, laparoscopic surgery for achalasia, and laparoscopic repair of giant paraesophageal hernias (GPEH). Dr. Sarkaria is renowned as a leader and innovator in the development of robotic-assisted surgery for thoracic diseases and, prior to coming to UPMC, pioneered efforts to develop these approaches at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Board-certified in general surgery and thoracic surgery, Dr. Sarkaria earned his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark. He completed a residency in general surgery and cardiac surgery fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical Center. He also completed fellowships in thoracic surgical oncology and cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and an additional fellowship in minimally invasive thoracic surgery at UPMC. Dr. Sarkaria currently serves as Associate Professor and Endowed Chair in Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, Vice Chairman of Clinical Affairs, Director of Thoracic Robotic Surgery, and Co-Director of the Esophageal and Lung Surgery Institute and Director of Thoracic Surgery Quality and Outcomes at UPMC, he obtained his MBA in 2019.
Dr. Jeffrey Mosko is a Clinician in Quality and Innovation (CQI) in the Division of Gastroenterology at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Medicine in in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He serves as the gastroenterology divisional director of postgraduate education at St. Michael’s Hospital. He graduated with a BSc and then MD from the University of Western Ontario. He completed his internal medicine and general gastroenterology training at the University of Toronto. He then completed his fellowship training in advanced endoscopy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts and has been on staff at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto since that time. He completed an MSc in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and continues to teach in the MSc program there. He serves as a co-director of the advanced endoscopy fellowship at St. Michael’s Hospital and the International Course on Therapeutic Endoscopy.
Dr. Mosko’s research is in quality improvement in endoscopy. He has led local initiatives to improve sedation for advanced endoscopic procedures, management of acute pancreatitis and the patient experience in endoscopy, among others. He is leading provincial/national initiatives to improve access to endoscopic ultrasound, colonoscopy skills and polypectomy technique. Finally, he is collaborating on an international scale to translate best practices to meaningful quality measures.
Dr. Que is Professor of Medicine and Director of Columbia Center for Human Development, Columbia University. His research is focused on the role of stem/progenitor cells in homeostasis and cancer development in the esophagus and other foregut-derived organs.
Research Scientist, Center for Clinical Management Research, LTC Charles S. Kettles Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Professor and Director, Barrett’s Esophagus Program, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Medical School.
John C. Lipham, M.D. is Chief of the Division of Upper GI and General Surgery and Professor of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He was the Inaugural President of the American Foregut Society and is currently the Chairman of the Board. Dr Lipham also serves as the Foregut Cancer Program Director and Chief of USC Affiliated Academic Programs at Hoag Hospital and is the James & Pamela Muzzy Endowed Chair in GI Cancer.
He focuses on benign and malignant diseases of the esophagus and stomach. His clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of GERD, hiatal hernias, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal motility disorders, achalasia, malignant diseases of the esophagus and stomach. His current research interests include developing minimally invasive methods of diagnosing and treating gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s, esophageal cancer and gastric cancer.
Professor Reynolds is Academic Head of the Department of Clinical Surgery at St. James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin. He is the National Lead in Ireland for Oesophageal and Gastric cancer. He is Cancer Lead at the Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute, and a Principal Investigator in the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute. He is President of the Irish Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (IRSPEN). He is President of the European Society of Diseases of the Oesophagus (ESDE), and a Council Member of the International Society for Diseases of the Oesophagus (ISDE), and of the European Surgical Association (ESA).
He has formerly held Fellowship positions at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. He was a Senior Lecturer/Consultant at St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds (1994-6).
Professor Reynolds has obtained numerous research awards and has published widely in cancer research, with over 450 publications, and over €5m research grant income. His research interest includes: (1) pathogenesis of Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal carcinogenesis; (2) prediction of solid tumour response and resistance to chemotherapy and radiation therapy; (3) obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and cancer; (4) malnutrition and peri-operative nutritional support; (5) multimodal study of pre-habilitation, enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS), and cancer survivorship; and (6) Clinical Trials – in this context he is PI for the NeoAEGIS International RCT in oesophageal adenocarcinoma presented in ASCO in 2021.
Dr. Cools-Lartigue is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and attending surgeon at the Montreal General Hospital in the Division of Thoracic Surgery. He is also a Lead Researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (RI-MUHC) in Montreal Quebec Canada.
Dr. Cools-Lartigue his residency in General Surgery as well as his PhD in Experimental Surgery at McGill University in Montreal Quebec Canada. He was Chief Administrative Cardiothoracic Fellow at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in conjunction with the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Thoracic Surgery concentrating on esophageal cancer.
His clinical interests include general thoracic oncology with a focus on the management of esophageal malignancies. From a clinical standpoint, he hopes to push the envelope with regards to the implementation of minimally invasive techniques to esophageal surgery in an attempt to facilitate the enhanced recovery approach developed to a large extent at the Montreal General Hospital
Dr. Jonathan Yeung is Thoracic Surgeon and Associate Professor in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University Health Network. He obtained his MD from the University of Toronto in 2005 and studied gene therapy and ex vivo lung perfusion as part of his PhD in the lab of Dr. Shaf Keshavjee. Following residency in General and Thoracic Surgery in Toronto, he pursued fellowship training in Lung Transplantation in Toronto and Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. His clinical practice covers general thoracic surgery and lung transplantation with an additional focus on foregut surgery. He is an Affiliate Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and his lab focuses on improving the personalized care of his patients using molecular approaches. Projects currently include the development of organoid technology to help predict responses to chemotherapy for patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma and the development of blood tests to anticipate transplanted organ dysfunction before clinically apparent injury.
Karol Nowicki-Osuch is currently a Junior Group Leader at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, and an IICD Affiliate Member. His research focused on the early biology of esophageal and gastric cancers with particular focus on approaches targeting early detection of these diseases.
Previously, Karol was an Associate Research Scientist in IICD. Karol was spearheading IICD’s major experimental focus on the development of experimental and computational methods for the analysis of solid tumors in three dimensions in partnership with the New York Genome Center and Cambridge University. Before joining the Institute, Karol was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Prof Rebecca Fitzgerald’s laboratory at the University of Cambridge UK since 2016. Karol’s experience and interests lie at the interface between wet- and dry-lab cancer biology research. Over recent years, his work has been focused on questions associated with the early stages of oesophageal cancer development including the transition from normal to cancer tissues.
Dr Ken Kato is a medical oncologist. His primary interest is chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy for oesophageal, esophagogastric, and gastric cancer. Chief of Department of Head and Neck, and Esophageal medical oncology, and Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital, 2020-2022. Chief, Biobank Translational Research Support Section, Clinical Research Coordinating Section, Clinical Research Support Office, National Cancer Center Hospital. He is a group coordinator of the Japan Esophageal Oncology Group of JCOG, the biggest clinical trial group for cancer in Japan.
He and his group have conducted clinical trials to develop new chemotherapy for metastatic disease and early oesophageal cancer in multimodality therapy. As a study coordinator, he has conducted the randomized phase III trial, which compared the surgery and chemoradiotherapy for clinical stage I oesophageal squamous carcinoma, named JCOG0502, which reported the non-inferiority of chemoradiotherapy to surgery. He and his group conducted the randomized phase III trial of neoadjuvant therapy for resectable oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, named JCOG1109.
He also committed to the international phase III trial of oesophageal and gastric cancer with an immune-checkpoint inhibitor.
His research interest is to develop a new combination of therapy and translational research to improve the outcomes of oesophageal cancer patients.
Dr. Lorenzo Ferri is the David S. Mulder Chair in Surgery, a clinical scientist in the Departments of Surgery and Oncology specializing in the management of complex malignancies of the foregut, and heads the McGill University Program in Upper GI Cancer. Through this, he has spearheaded numerous initiatives designed to improve outcomes in gastric and esophageal surgery through carefully coordinated basic, translational, and clinical scientific research, and patient care. He established the McGill University Foregut Malignancy Research Group, a multidisciplinary collection of researchers and clinicians with the objective of identifying and executing research ideas in the field of gastric and esophageal cancer.
Dr Ferri is an independent investigator with active basic science, translational and clinical research programs, all concentrated primarily on malignancies of the chest and foregut. Dr Ferri has initiated numerous clinical programs and studies for esophageal cancer including: Novel combination chemotherapy regimens for neoadjuvant treatment of adenocarcinoma; Optimizing the palliation of metastatic disease; and extensive work into the investigation and optimization of outcomes after esophageal surgery. He is the first physician in Canada to introduce a novel technique of removing early cancers of the esophagus and stomach through endoscopic means (Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection), and has been invited throughout North America to speak on this method.
Medical education at University of Iceland 1996-2002
Specialist in general surgery 2009 at S:tGörans hospital Stockholm
Fellowship in endoscopic intervention at Karolinska 2013
Consultant surgeon and endoscopist at Karolinska Stockholm 2014-18
Head of endoscopy Landspitali University Hospital 2018
Magnus Nilsson is Professor of Surgery and head of the Division of Surgery and Oncology at CLINTEC, Karolinska Institutet and senior consultant surgeon at the Karolinska University Hospital. His main clinical and scientific interests are gastric and esophageal cancer with particular focus on minimally invasive surgical techniques, tailored lymphadenectomy, adjunct oncological therapies, and management of airway fistulas and other severe surgical complications. Dr Nilsson is the past President of the European Society for Diseases of the Esophagus, the Swedish Society of Upper Abdominal Surgery, currently the Chairman of the Swedish National Registry for Gastric and Esophageal Cancer and co-Editor in Chief of the international peer reviewed journal Diseases of the Esophagus.
Dr Nilsson has a strong focus on multidisciplinary collaboration in cancer care and research and is a faculty member of the upper gastrointestinal group of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and a member of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) gastrointestinal group. Dr Nilsson has led and currently leads several international randomized multicenter trials such as the completed NeoRes I and II trials and the currently ongoing NEEDS trial.
Professor Dr. Mark I. van Berge Henegouwen is chair of the Dutch Upper GI Cancer Audit and chair of the Dutch society of foregut surgeons of the Netherlands. He was appointed professor of Upper GI Surgery in 2017 at the University of Amsterdam at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers.
Mark van Berge Henegouwen, born and raised in the Netherlands, received his MD and PhD at the University of Amsterdam. He performed his fellowship in gastrointestinal, upper GI and minimally invasive surgery at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam where he started as senior consultant in 2006.
Mark van Berge Henegouwen’s clinical practice is dedicated to patients with malignancies of the esophagus and stomach. The Amsterdam UMC is currently the largest center for esophageal and gastric cancer in the Netherlands. The Amsterdam UMC is a tertiary referral center for these patients with around 250 esophago-gastric resections annually.
Mark van Berge Henegouwen is a Principal Investigator in upper GI cancer Surgery and main research activities are focused on improvement of outcomes in upper GI cancer surgery, outcomes and centralization in the Dutch Upper GI Cancer Audit, improvement of (minimally invasive and robotic) techniques, neoadjuvant treatment regimens in esophageal and gastric cancer, imaging techniques and quality of life in upper GI cancer surgery.
Massimiliano Di Pietro is Senior Clinical Investigator Scientist and Consultant Gastroenterologist at Cambridge University Hospitals. His clinical expertise includes reflux disease and diagnosis/treatment of early gastric and oesophageal cancer. His research focuses on Barrett’s oesophagus with particular interest in biomarkers for risk stratification, imaging tools for dysplasia detection and quality standards in endoscopy.
Dr. DeSouza earned her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine where she was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She completed her residency in general surgery at Oregon Health & Science University, then went on to complete a fellowship in complex foregut and minimally invasive surgery at The Oregon Clinic and Providence Portland Medical Center.
Dr. DeSouza is trained in minimally invasive approaches and advanced endoscopic approaches in both Foregut (esophageal and stomach) surgery as well as in Bariatric surgery, which allows her to use a broader multidisciplinary toolset in treating patients with complex esophageal and gastrointestinal histories or who may have esophageal disease but are struggling with weight loss disorders as well.
Dr. Yahagi is a professor of medicine and a director, division of research and development for minimally invasive treatment at cancer center, Keio university school of medicine in Tokyo. He is one of the pioneers of ESD technique and inventor of many devices for ESD including flex knife and dual knife and also developer of new techniques such as the water pressure method and the string clip suturing method.
Dr. Gupta currently serves as the Regional Vice President for Ambulatory Operations and the Regional Director for the Digestive Health Program at Loyola University Health System. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine. During this time, he also obtained a Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago in public health informatics. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center and his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He then pursued additional training in advanced interventional endoscopy at Washington University in St. Louis.
Dr. Gupta has clinical and research interests in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, malignant and pre-malignant conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, and improving the quality of endoscopy. He has published over 100 papers in peer reviewed medical journals, presented over 200 abstracts at national medical conferences, and written chapters for several medical textbooks. He is currently the co-Editor in Chief of Diseases of the Esophagus. Dr. Gupta is very active in multiple gastroenterology medical societies and currently serves on committees for the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).
Nicholas J. Shaheen, MD, MPH is the Bozymski-Heizer Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UNC. He is the co-PI of UNC’s Clinical and Translational Science Award, and co-director of NC TraCS, the clinical research center which is the home of UNC’s CTSA. Dr. Shaheen’s research interests center on gastroesophageal reflux disease, and pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions of the esophagus, including endoscopic treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. He has authored greater than 400 publications in these areas.
Dr. Shaheen is currently principal investigator on multiple NIH grants investigating aspects of esophageal disease.
Prof. Dr. med. Peter Grimminger, FACS, FEBS (hon.)
Senior consultant Head Upper GI Surgery
Minimalinvasive Surgery and Robotics
Case Observation Center for Robotic Esophageal Surgery
Dept. of General-, Visceral- and Transplant Surgery
UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER MAINZ
Prasad Iyer, M.D is Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, United States. His research is focused on identifying the most acceptable noninvasive and accurate techniques for the early detection of esophageal neoplasia (precancerous conditions and early cancer) arising in Barrett’s esophagus, which is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux, in the population.
Dr. Iyer and his team are studying biomarkers that can help in the early detection and risk assessment of subjects with Barrett’s esophagus. His research program is also studying the role of obesity in the development and progression of neoplasia in subjects with Barrett’s esophagus.
Dr. Nguyen is Professor of Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas. She is involved in particle therapy research reporting the long term outcomes for patients treated with proton therapy for thoracic and base of skull tumors. Her goal is to continue opening prospective clinical trials involving advanced technology to effectively improve patient outcomes.
Richard van Hillegersberg attended medical school in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 1993 he received his PhD with honor at the Department of Surgery, Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. From 1994-2000, he was trained in General Surgery in Rotterdam. From 2001-2002 he was fellow of Surgical Oncology in the Academic Medical Center and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Netherlands Cancer Center Amsterdam. Since 2003 he is appointed as staff surgeon at the University Medical Center Utrecht. From 2009 he is a full professor of gastrointestinal oncology.
Research is focused on Upper GI minimally invasive and robotic surgery, surgical imaging and genetic profiling. He has authored over 15 chapters in textbooks concerning robotic forgut surgery and over 500 articles in international peer-reviewed journals. From 2018 he is chairman of the Educational committee of the European Society for Diseases for the Esophagus (ESDE) and member of the education committee of ISDE, he is associate editor of Diseases of the Esophagus and Digestive Surgery, founder and chairman of the Upper GI International Robotic Association (UGIRA).
Ronnie Fass, MD, is the Medical Director of the Digestive Health Center, Chairman of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and head of the Esophageal and Swallowing Program at the MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland Ohio. He is also a tenured professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Fass did his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, where he later became a Chief Resident. He then completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of California in Los Angeles where he focused on GI motility and disorders of gut-brain interaction.
Dr. Fass has served in leadership positions in many societies. He is the former treasurer of the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society as well as the chair of the education committee. The former member of the Nominating Committees of the Upper GI Section and Neurogastroenterology and Motility of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). He has served as the chair of the Functional Esophageal Disorders committee for Rome IV, Membership committee of the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society, Practice Parameter Committee and Audio Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and the Publication Committee of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). He has also served as a member of the management committee of the journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility. Moreover, Dr. Fass has served as a member of many committees in different GI societies. Currently Dr. Fass serves as a member of the World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) Guidelines and Publications committee, member of the ACG Digital communications and publications committee, member of The American Forgut Society (AFS) research committee, member of the International Society of Diseases of the esophagus (ISDE), education committee and the ACG GI on demand task force steering committee. In addition, Dr. Fass has served on the ANMS/EMS consensus group for Refractory GERD and as a core team member of Chicago Classification 4.0. He is currently a member of the EndoFlip experts panel working group, Rome V for functional esophageal disorders, Lyon 2.0 for GERD metrics (core member) and the multi-society guidelines for endoscopy credentialing. (Representative of the AFS). Currently, he is leading the AFS consensus group for Nonerosive reflux disease (NERD).
Dr. Fass is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and he is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. Dr. Fass is a frequent lecturer and presenter and is a reviewer for more than 70 journals. He is and has served on the editorial board of 27 journals.
Dr. Fass is the recipient of the American Gastroenterological Association Award for Digestive Sciences in Clinical Research, the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Investigator of the Year Award, and the International Foundation of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Senior Clinical Investigator Award. He has received the University of Arizona Dean’s Research Award, the Glaxo Institute of Digestive Health Clinical Research Award twice, the American College of Gastroenterology Research Award three times, the American Medical Association Resident-Mentor Award twice, and the American Journal of Gastroenterology Outstanding Reviewer Award. Dr. Fass has been selected as one of the Best Doctors in Arizona between 2004 and 2011, Best Doctor in Northern Ohio between 2012 and 2016, Castle Connolly Top Doctor from 2015-2023 and America’s Top Doctor in 2021-2023. Dr. Fass was named World’s Leading Expert in the research and treatment of GERD (press release 11/2013) and World’s expert in esophageal motility disorders (Press release 7/2019) by Expertscape.com. He is one of the 5 recipients of Mastership in Gastroenterology (MACG) for 2021 by the American College of Gastroenterology. Dr. Fass is also the recipient of the 2023 Aldo Torsoli joint Award of the Rome Foundation with the Aldo Torsoli Foundation for research, education and patient care in the area of disorders of gut-brain interactions (DGBIs).
Dr. Fass has published more than 450 articles, editorials, and commentaries in journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Gastroenterology, Gut, American Family Physician, American Journal of Gastroenterology, Archives of Internal Medicine, Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Nature reviews Primer. He has published three books and has written 62 book chapters, including 2 chapters in UpToDate.
Dr. Roos Pouw is a gastroenterologist working in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with a clinical and scientific interest in endoscopic detection and treatment of early upper GI neoplasia, and endoscopic vacuumtherapy.
Shanda H. Blackmon, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., is a minimally invasive thoracic surgeon. She completed Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas. She was awarded the Clinical Instructorship position in thoracic surgical oncology at MDACC, until she was recruited to build and lead the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital. Dr. Blackmon was Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital for eight years, serving as the Director of the Thoracic Tumor Board and Director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program.
She has led esophageal support groups for 17 years. She is now a Professor of Thoracic Surgery within the Department of Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She holds patents, including a novel esophageal anastomotic device, minimally invasive surgical tools, and the concept of 5-D printing. She also leads the Mayo Clinic Esophageal Tumor Board, started the Lung Ablation Tumor Board and is the current lead for the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Enterprise Practice Committee.
She also has led a team to develop Mayo Clinic’s first decentralized world clinical trial, utilizing the Upper Digestive Disease (UDD) App, which is a virtual patient management platform for foregut surgery and integrated within Mayo Clinic’s digital longitudinal care program, called “DELiVeR Clinic”. She has developed a specialized team for complex esophageal reconstruction. She is the Thoracic Surgery Champion for 3D anatomic modeling for complex thoracic resections.
She served as the Medical Director of Mayo Clinic Consumer Digital Platforms, working to advance the overall digital strategies across the flagship properties that are part of Mayo Clinic’s digital ecosystem, including the public website (with 1.8 billion followers), the employee platform and the patient portal. She currently is the Medical Director of User Experience (UX)/Design(D) (together, referred to as XD), and partners with her Vice Chair Dyad partner Mark Schumacher in this role. She is dual board-certified by ABS & ABTS.
Dr. Blackmon has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, given over 400 oral presentations, is an internationally recognized surgeon and has published more than 100 instructional videos. She is a former Deputy Editor for The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. She is the Past-President of Women in Thoracic Surgery, former Secretary/Treasurer of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF), current Secretary/Treasurer of Southern Thoracic Surgical Association (STSA), serves as a Council Chair for the Board of Directors for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and serves on the Membership Committee for Association of American Thoracic Surgeons (AATS). Currently, she is focusing on Survivorship Care, creating Mayo Clinic’s first completely virtual longitudinal disease-specific digitally-guided integrated survivorship program, for which she is launching a book in the fall.
Prof. Dr. Sheila Krishnadath works as a gastroenterologist at the University Hospital of Antwerp and is a principal investigator at the University of Antwerp. She has a long-standing track record on translational research on esophageal diseases. Her work mainly focuses on Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma for which she has published in highly ranked journals and for which she was rewarded with several grants, including prestigious Awards of the EU. Her ambition is to support international research activities and to increase diversity in the broadest sense of the word.
Professor Simon Law is Chair and Chief of Esophageal and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery at The University of Hong Kong. Professor Law has concentrated his clinical experience and research in both benign and malignant disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract, with special emphasis on esophageal and gastric cancers, motility disorders and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. In particular, he focuses on various endoscopic diagnostic and treatment techniques on foregut diseases, surgical methods including minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery, and multimodality treatments of esophageal and gastric cancers.
Professor Law has played an active role in many international societies; such as Consultant to the International Society of Digestive Surgery (ISDS), Asia Representative of the Member Services Committee of the Society for Surgeons of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), and Secretary of the Hong Kong China Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. Notably, for international collaborations, he is a member of the Worldwide Esophageal Cancer Collaboration, the Esophagectomy Complications Consensus Group, and a member drafting the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Society recommendations for esophagectomy. He was co-chairman of the Education Committee of the International Society of Diseases of the Esophagus and the current President-Elect of the society. He is an honorary fellow of the American Surgical Association as well as the European Surgical Association. He is associate editor of Diseases of the Esophagus and has published over 300 articles and 40 book chapters.
Dr. Siva Raja, MD, PhD, is Surgical Director of the Center for Esophageal Diseases and a staff thoracic surgeon in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic.
Suzanne Gisbertz finished medical school at the AMC, University of Amsterdam in 2002. She did her surgical training at UMCU, Utrecht University and St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein until 2010 and her advanced gastro-intestinal and minimally invasive surgical training at VUmc, Amsterdam until 2012. She got her doctorate (PhD) in 2009. She is currently a consultant upper-GI surgeon and principal investigator at the Amsterdam UMC location University of Amsterdam in Amsterdam.
She has been proctoring minimally invasive esophagectomies and gastrectomies at different centers in the Netherlands and abroad. Her main research topics are lymph node metastases and extent of lymphadenectomy in esophageal and gastric cancer, minimally invasive upper GI surgery and postoperative outcome, quality of life following upper GI surgery and surgical techniques (e.g. omentectomy vs omentumpreservation in gastrectomy, transhiatal versus transthoracic esophagectomy).
She is board member of the Dutch Society for Gastro-Intestinal Surgery (NVGIC) and of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE) and European Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ESDE). She is also a member of several other committees (e.g. EAES research committee) and guideline committees, both nationally and internationally.
Dr Vivek Kaul is the Segal-Watson Professor of Medicine (and former Division Chief) in the Gastroenterology & Hepatology Division at the University of Rochester Medical Center. After attending medical school at Delhi University, he completed Internal Medicine residency at SUNY-Downstate Medical University in NYC and Gastroenterology Fellowship at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. He also completed an additional year of fellowship in Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy (EUS & ERCP) at St. Luke’s Pancreaticobiliary Center in Milwaukee.
Dr Kaul’s clinical, research and medical education efforts are focused in Therapeutic Endoscopy/Endosurgery, Interventional Endoscopic Ultrasound and advanced ERCP. He also specializes in esophageal endotherapy for Barrett’s & Esophageal Cancer. He has specific expertise in complex interventional endoscopy, especially in the patient with GI-cancer. He is a PI and/or co-investigator on several national and international trials in endoscopy, pancreatic and esophageal disease.
Dr Kaul serves on several national committees with the ASGE and the ACG and is a past Governor of the ACG for Northern NY. He is chair of the ACG Innovation & Technology Committee and the EUS special interest group (SIG) for the ASGE. He is also Chair of the World Gastroenterology Organization’s Endoscopy Committee and serves on the WGO Governing council. In addition, he is Co-Chair of the AGA national GI division Chief’s consortium. Dr Kaul also serves as the alternate ASGE RUC advisor to the AMA and serves on several national and international task forces such as the ACG GI-On Demand task force and the WGO Global Climate Change (Green Endoscopy) Working Group.
Dr Kaul is a reviewer for several journals, is a sought after speaker and has published extensively in the field of interventional endoscopy and several other aspects of Gastroenterology. Dr Kaul regularly lectures and shares his endoscopy expertise at centers in the USA and around the world.
Wladyslaw Januszewicz is Research Clinical Fellow at the MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge, and a Honorary Clinical Fellow at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.