Professor of Medicine, Dept of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
University of Leuven, Belgium
Chief, Division of Hepato-Gastroenterology, University Hospitals, Leuven
Clinical Adjunct, Dept of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gert Van Assche, MD, PhD, AGAF, FACG, is Professor of Medicine in the Dept of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Dr Van Assche’s research focuses on novel therapies in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), fibrogenesis, and mucosal immunology in IBD. Dr Van Assche is Chief of the Division of Hepato-Gastroenterology at the University Hospitals of Leuven, where he also serves as Clinical Operational Officer on the Board of Directors.
Dr Van Assche received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a medical degree from the University of Leuven. He subsequently trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology in Leuven. From 1994 to 1998, Dr Van Assche combined his clinical training with a doctoral program on regulatory peptides in motility and inflammation in the GI Hormones Lab in Leuven and the Intestinal Diseases Research Program at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In 2012 and 2013, he was affiliated with Mt Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto, Ontario, where he is currently Clinical Adjunct. For his research, Dr Van Assche received grants and awards from the Flemish Foundation for Scientific Research (FWO Vlaanderen), the Désiré Collen Research Foundation, the Royal Society of Medicine, and the Inbev-Baillet Latour Foundation.
Dr Van Assche’s scientific work has resulted in authorship or co-authorship of more than 200 peer-reviewed papers. He holds a senior clinical research position at FWO Vlaanderen.
Director, Dept of Medicine | Agaplesion Markus Hospital
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Axel Dignass, MD, PhD, is Director of the Dept of Medicine I, and Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at the Agaplesion Markus Hospital, Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Prof Dr Dignass was trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Essen, Germany, and at the Gastrointestinal Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He is a specialist in internal medicine, gastroenterology, nutrition medicine, medical oncology, and proctology.
Prof Dr Dignass’ research interests focus on IBD, anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and biologic therapy, anemia in IBD, small-bowel transplantation, molecular mechanisms of intestinal wound healing and cell migration, medical guidelines, and medical education.
Prof Dr Dignass has authored more than 175 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, more than 750 abstracts, and numerous books and book chapters. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis and Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and acts as reviewer for several scientific journals and societies. Prof Dr Dignass has been Education Officer and a Governing Board member of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO), and Treasurer and a Governing Board member of the German Society for Digestive Diseases and Metabolism. He also serves on the National Societies Committee of United European Gastroenterology. Prof Dr Dignass is an Honorary Member of ECCO and a member of the International Organisation of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Director, Dept of Gastroenterology,
Infectious Diseases, and Rheumatology
Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
Britta Siegmund, MD, is Director of the Dept of Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, and Rheumatology at Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin in Germany. Prof Dr Siegmund received her MD from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Prof Dr Siegmund has served as Scientific Secretary for the German Society of Gastroenterology congress and is on the organizing committee of the National IBD Certificate Course. In addition, she is part of the task force of the German Society for Internal Medicine and the German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, which is charged with establishing a structured transition for children with IBD to be treated by “adult” gastroenterologists. Prof Dr Siegmund is a founder and current Spokesperson of the German IBD Study Group. She serves as a reviewer and editorial board member for several national and international journals, as well as funding agencies. Prof Dr Siegmund’s major research interest is to translate clinical findings of patients with IBD to the bench and vice versa, with the ultimate goal of furthering our understanding of disease pathways, as well as identifying potential novel therapeutic targets.
Chief, Division of Gastroenterology
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, USA
William Sandborn, MD, completed medical school and an internal medicine residency at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, USA. Dr Sandborn then completed a gastroenterology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, in 1993. From 1993 to 2010, he was on the faculty of the Mayo Clinic, rising to Professor of Medicine, Vice Chairman of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Associate Dean of Research for Intellectual Property and Industry Relations. In 2011, Dr Sandborn became Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, and Director of the IBD Center and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology for the UC San Diego Health System.
Dr Sandborn has published over 539 peer-reviewed articles in such journals as The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, The Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Gastroenterology. His h-index is 102. Dr Sandborn’s research interests are clinical trials and clinical pharmacology related to IBD.