GESA AGW 2018 Bushell Lecturer

Professor Séverine Vermeire

Professor Séverine Vermeire obtained her MD degree at the Catholic University of Leuven in 1995 and a PhD at the same University in 2001 on “Genetic Polymorphisms and Serologic Markers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease”. Part of her training was done at the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion, Paraguay (1993), at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford UK and at the Montreal General Hospital (McGill University), Montreal, Canada (2000–2001). Since 2003 she has been a full staff member at the Gastroenterology Department of the University Hospital Leuven and is appointed Professor of Medicine at the Catholic University of Leuven and Head of the Department of Chronic Diseases, Metabolism & Ageing (CHROMETA).

She 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 has focussed on the role of the microbiome and genetic susceptibility in IBD and on identifying predictive signatures of treatment response.

She is Past-President of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) and was awarded an Advanced ERC Grant from the EU in 2016.

GESA AGW 2018  Trans-Tasman Lecturer


New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit
Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand

Dr. Gane is Professor of Medicine at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, Hepatologist and Deputy Director of the New Zealand Liver Unit at Auckland City Hospital.

Dr. Gane trained in hepatology at the Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College School of Medicine, London, where he completed his MD on the pathogenesis of hepatitis C-related liver injury.  In 1998, Dr. Gane was appointed as Chief Physician for the first New Zealand Liver Unit at Auckland City Hospital, which provides a national transplant and HCC programme and regional hepatitis services. Dr Gane chairs the Ministry of Health HepC Implementation committee.

Dr. Gane is an investigator for many international clinical trials with particular interest in early phase development of new direct acting antiviral therapies against chronic hepatitis C and hepatitis B. He has published almost 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals including The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.

In 2011, Dr. Gane was awarded Member of the Order of New Zealand for Services to Medicine and in 2017, was New Zealand Innovator of the Year for his work towards HCV elimination in New Zealand.

Dr. Rupa Banerjee

Dr. Rupa Banerjee is a senior consultant gastroenterologist in the department of Gastroenterology and the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) clinic at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, India. She is also a part of the research faculty with the Asian Institute of Basic sciences, Hyderabad.

Her primary areas of interest are in luminal gastroenterology including IBD (ulcerative colitis & Crohns disease) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Dr Rupa is actively involved in research on inflammatory bowel disease focusing on the epidemiology, microbiota, genetic & enzyme profile of this population for optimizing and individualizing the management of IBD.

Dr Rupa has designed and maintains a 4000- patient database and biorepository for the clinic focussing on the demographic, type and course of disease, diagnostic dilemmas and response to treatment in the Indian subpopulation. She has been the principal investigator for numerous clinical trials in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

She has recently initiated the IBD-EE (IBD –Emerging Economies) group with 16 countries of South Asia and Middle East to promote collaborative work on IBD in this part of the world. She organizes the AIG IBD Summit, an exclusive IBD meeting every alternate year with over 1000 delegates from India and neighbouring countries.

Her areas of interest also include the newer endoscopic techniques & technology including, narrow band imaging, confocal endomicroscopy and endocytoscopy.

Dr. Rupa is the author of numerous papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals including book chapters .She has been a visiting faculty for international workshops and lectured widely at both national and international level. She has published a book on advanced gastrointestinal imaging and has recently edited a book on IBD for clinical practice.

Professor Peter R. Galle, MD, PhD

Chairman - First Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center, Langenbeckstrasse 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany

Dr. Galle majored in internal medicine at the Universities of Berlin and Marburg/Germany, Hammersmith Hospital, London/UK and University of Texas/USA and received his M.D. degree from Marburg University and Ph.D. degree from Heidelberg University.

Initially he held a position as postdoctoral fellow in Molecular Biology at the Centre for Molecular Biology Heidelberg working on the replication of hepatitis B viruses. Afterwards he completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University Hospital of Heidelberg. In 1998 he became Director of the I. Medical Department in Mainz and from 2005 – 2008 he held the CEO position of Mainz University Hospital.

He is member of several national and international societies such as the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), served as Co-editor for the Journal of Hepatology and is on the Editorial Boards of several other Journals. He served as congress president of the German Society for Digestive Diseases (DGVS) in 2014. He was member of the Executive Board and President of the International Liver Cancer Association (ILCA).

His research has focused on elucidating important aspects of apoptotic cell death in the liver, immune escape of tumour cells and on clinical and molecular aspects of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). He chairs the panel updating the EASL Clinical Practice Guideline on HCC which will appear in 2018. He was awarded several prizes, amongst others the prestigious Tannhauser award, the highest prize of the German Society for Digestive Diseases. He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers.

Google Scholar Citation Report          (FEB 2018)
Sum of the Times Cited:                                 52948
h-index:                                                          103

Dr Charlie Lees

Dr Charlie Lees is a gastroenterologist at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. He trained at University College London and subsequently in Edinburgh, with doctoral studies at the University of Edinburgh. He works as a full-time NHS consultant whilst maintaining a full research programme and a portfolio of local and international speaking activities. He specialises in the management of people with inflammatory bowel disease and is pursuing a range of innovative digital solutions to transform patient care and education.

Following a decade of gene discovery in IBD, Dr Lees’ current research interests focus on the role of environmental factors, including diet, and the microbiota on disease flare and natural history. He is Chief Investigator of the PREdiCCt study, currently recruiting 3000 people with IBD in clinical remission from across the UK. PREdiCCt aims to discover how diet, environmental factors, the gut microbiota and host genetics influence disease flare. He also leads the UK arm of the GEM study, a major international study investigating the underlying cause of Crohn’s disease.

Charlie has been centrally involved with the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation over the last 10 years, and is the Chief Scientist Office Scottish Specialty Lead for Gastroenterology. HE co-chairs the International IBD Genetics Consortium management committee and sits on the British Society of Gastroenterology IBD Research Committee. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious UEG European Rising Star in Gastroenterology Award.

Dr Christopher Schneider (MD, FRCPC – Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology)

Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He completed Medical School at the University of Ottawa, Internal Medicine in Calgary, and Gastroenterology in Montreal. He also completed a year of training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

With the upcoming legalization of Cannabis in Canada, physicians have been left out of the discussion. Dr. Schneider has been one of the major voices advocating for greater physician involvement in the proposed legislation. He has given numerous presentations to health care professionals and completed detailed literature review summaries for physicians. He is also the co-creator of the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation webinar advocating for an evidence based approach to Medicinal Cannabis.

Dr. Schneider is the principal investigator (Manitoba Clinic) of 2 on-going clinical trials looking at the effects of Cannabis therapy in IBD and IBS patients.

Dr. Schneider is also specializes in endoscopic weight loss interventions and fecal transplantation.

Dr Norah Terrault

Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Viral Hepatitis Center at the University of California San Francisco. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her work related to viral hepatitis, especially in the setting of liver transplantation. She has authored more than 275 original articles, reviews and book chapters. She has served as Associate Editor for Hepatology and Deputy Editor for Liver Transplantation in the recent past and is current Associate Editor for Hepatology Communications. She is an investigator on several NIH-funded clinical studies in hepatitis B and NASH and is an investigator on several ongoing clinical trials of therapies for patients with chronic hepatitis B, hepatitis C and NASH.

Dr Shyam Varadarajulu, MD

Dr Varadarajulu is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Central Florida and is the Medical Director of the Florida Hospital Center for Interventional Endoscopy.  He was formerly an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Chief of Endoscopy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He completed his medical school training at Madras Medical College in India, Residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Fellowship at the University of Connecticut Health Center and an Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.  He has published more than 275 peer reviewed manuscripts, 30 textbook chapters and is the Editor of the textbook ENDOSONOGRAPHY. He was past editor of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Digestive Endoscopy. He is a Principal Investigator of more than 14 ongoing randomized trials related to interventional endoscopy.