Steering Committee and Faculty

The 3rd European Iron Academy was organised by a Steering Committee of international experts in iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) comprising Dr Satish Keshav, Professor Stefan Anker and Professor Iain MacDougall. The Steering Committee was supported in delivering the 3rd European Iron Academy by an international Faculty of experts.

Dr Satish Keshav

Satish Keshav is Clinical Director for Gastroenterology and Endoscopy at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Oxford, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Oxford. He specialises in inflammatory bowel disease, and conducts research in gastrointestinal immunity and inflammation as well as being active in clinical studies and trials. His main interest is in understanding the mechanisms of organ-specific immunity and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. In particular, Dr Keshav is interested in determining the role of specialised epithelial cells, which maintain host defence and mediate between extrinsic micro-organisms and the innate and adaptive immune systems. He also has an interest in, and has presented widely on, iron deficiency and anaemia in the context of gastrointestinal medicine, and on the potential role of iron in intestinal biology.

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Professor Stefan Anker

Stefan Anker is Professor of Innovative Clinical Trials (Cardiology & Cachexia Research) at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany.

Professor Anker’s research interests include the pathophysiology of acute/chronic heart failure, particularly in the areas of exercise testing, insulin sensitivity assessment, anaemia, iron deficiency and body composition assessment. His research interests also include the pathophysiology of symptom generation and cardiac dysfunction in cancer, biomarker research in acute/chronic heart failure and sarcopenia.

Professor Anker has been Councillor of the Board of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) since 2014, and is a current board member and former president (2012–14) of the ESC Heart Failure Association. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of ESC Heart Failure, the first open-access heart failure journal, as well as serving on the editorial boards of eight scientific journals, including European Heart Journal, European Journal of Heart Failure and the International Journal of Cardiology & Nutrition. He is also the founding president of the International Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders.

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Professor Iain Macdougall

Iain Macdougall is Consultant Nephrologist and Professor of Clinical Nephrology at King’s College London.

His sub-specialty interest is in anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease, having published widely in the field. He is the Research and Development Lead for the Renal Department at King’s, as well as the Chair of the Anaemia Clinical Study Group of the UK Kidney Research Consortium.

With his research team, he has led several pivotal multicentre clinical trials, which have shaped the management of renal anaemia worldwide, including CREATE, TREAT and FIND-CKD. He was selected to be on the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) international work group to create the latest clinical practice guideline for the management of anaemia in chronic kidney disease. Professor Macdougall is a member of the American Society of Nephrology, the European Renal Association, the UK Renal Association and the Royal Society of Medicine.

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Luisa Avedano

Luisa Avedano has been Chief Executive Officer of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA) since 2009.

She is responsible for the strategic, policy and daily management of the EFCCA’s secretariat, as well as for providing assistance and support to the Chairman and the Executive Board members in the fulfilment of their responsibilities and tasks. She is in charge of the EFCCA headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and co-ordinates a team of seven people.

Luisa has extensive experience of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs)and networking, and has been managing multiple and integrated projects, including budgeting and administration, at all levels. She is working on project design and development, advocacy and lobbying at EU level, as well as crowdfunding and fundraising.

Since 1998, she has been an educator and lecturer for many diferent types of organisations – health-sector groups, local authorities, private companies, public bodies, international NGOs and third-sector organisations – as well as for the Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST) at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

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Susanna Burckhardt

Susanna Burckhardt is Senior Scientific Director for Global Medical Affairs at Vifor Pharma.

Dr Burckhardt performed her chemistry undergraduate studies and gained a PhD in 1993 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich. She then went on to work as a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US. In 1996, Dr Burckhardt went back to the ETH where she started her independent career and, in 2002, completed her ‘habilitation’. She stayed at the ETH as a group leader and lecturer until 2006, when she moved to Vifor Pharma to take over the position of Head of Chemical Research. In 2008, she was promoted to Head of Chemical and Preclinical Research and Development. In 2015, she moved to the headquarters and took over her current position. Until 2014, Dr Burckhardt held a lecturer position at the ETH, where she taught Bioinorganic Chemistry and, in particular, iron metabolism.

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Maria Domenica Cappellini

Maria Domenica Cappellini is Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Milan and Chief of the Rare Diseases Centre at the Policlinico Foundation, Milan. She qualified as an MD in 1974 at the University of Milan, Italy.

Over the last 25 years, Professor Cappellini has been active in research on thalassaemia, haemoglobinopathies, and the haem biosynthetic pathway. She has published more than 400 peer-reviewed original articles on these topics, and is a regular contributor and invited speaker at national and international meetings. She worked on the phenotypic expression of thalassaemia major and intermedia and evaluated the genotype–phenotype relationship, taking into account the co-inheritance of modifier genes. Furthermore, she identified the mechanisms underlying the thrombotic risks in thalassaemia intermedia. She is investigating molecules that are capable of inducing foetal haemoglobin in vitro, for the purpose of potential therapeutic applications. She also studies oxidative stress in thalassaemic erythrocytes, focusing on the role of non-transferrin-bound iron in relation to iron chelation. She is involved in clinical trials for new iron chelators, and has been the coordinator of a project on erythroid proteomics since 2002.

Professor Cappellini is a member of several societies, including the American Society of Hematology (ASH) European Hematology Association (EHA), the Italian Society of Hematology (SIE), the Italian Society of Internal Medicine (SIMI) and the European Iron Club. She is scientific adviser to the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) and contributes to their meetings to establish guidelines for the clinical management of thalassaemia. She is also Past President of the European Federation of Internal Medicine (EFIM), Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and of the American College of Physicians, and Member of the European Network for Rare and Congenital Anaemias (ENERCA).

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Silvio Danese

Silvio Danese is a gastroenterologist at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, Italy and Professor of Gastroenterology at Humanitas University. He is Head of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Centre in the Division of Gastroenterology. Professor Danese trained in Gastroenterology at Policlinico Gemelli, Rome, Italy and as a PhD graduate, working from 2001 to 2004 in Dr Claudio Fiocchi’s laboratory at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

His main research 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-related areas and has published more than 300 journal papers, including articles in Gastroenterology, Gut, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Immunology and Nature.

Professor Danese is a member of many organisations within the field of IBD, including the European Crohn´s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO), in which he served as Secretary (2012–2015) and of which he has been President Elect since March 2016, and the International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IOIBD), for which he is Scientific Secretary. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Gut.

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Carlo Gaillard

Carlo Gaillard is Internist Nephrologist and Professor and Chair of Nephrology at the University Medical Centre, Groningen. Previously he was Internist Nephrologist at the VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, and the Meander Medical Centre, Amersfoort, the Netherlands, where he was also Director of Training in Internal Medicine.

He received his medical degree from the University of Utrecht Medical Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands, and was appointed Professor of Nephrology at the VU University in 2011. Professor Gaillard has a specific interest in renal physiology, and in cardiorenal and cardiometabolic interactions, including anaemia and iron deficiency. Other research interests include blood pressure regulation and renal haemodynamics, fueled by his stay as a visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Physiology (AC Guyton and JE Hall) at the University of Mississippi.

Professor Gaillard is Principal Investigator of the EPOCARES (Erythropoietin in the Cardiorenal Syndrome) study, and has received research funding from the European Renal Association and the American Heart Association. He has co-organised the Dutch Cardiorenal Meeting for many years, and is a member of various national and international advisory boards. He is a past Associate Editor of the Netherlands Journal of Medicine, and has served as an editorial board member or reviewer for a number of journals.

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Stephan von Haehling

Stephan von Haehling is a consultant cardiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany.

Professor von Haehling obtained his MD at the Institute of Immunology at Charité Medical School, Berlin, Germany. His PhD was awarded by Imperial College London, United Kingdom after he completed studies into inflammatory mechanisms of heart failure at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London. His research interests include the pathophysiology of heart failure, sleep apnoea, muscle wasting, biomarkers, iron deficiency, and novel treatments.

Professor von Haehling has authored over250 original research papers, review articles, and editorials and serves on several editorial boards. He is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology.

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Axel Hofmann

Axel Hofmann is a Doctor of Medical Science and holds a Master’s Degree in Economics. He is a visiting Professor at the Institute of Anesthesiology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Western Australia and an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Population Health Research at Curtin University in Western Australia.

With his background in health economics and outcomes research, he has specialised in the field of Patient Blood Management (PBM). His main activity is related to the implementation of PBM programs in the public health sector (Western Australia Department of Health; European Commission, DG Sante) and in large hospital systems. He is also a leader in outcomes research in PBM and related medical disciplines.

Dr Hofmann is well published in international peer-reviewed journals and an invited speaker at numerous universities, medical schools, government agencies and international symposia. He is also a consultant to major pharmaceutical corporations and non-governmental organisations particularly in the field of PBM.

He is a founding member of the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management where he served on the Board of Directors from 2001–2004, and a co-founder of the Medical Society for Blood Management where he serves as a board member. He is also a member of the Austrian Society for Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Reanimation.

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Jolanta Małyszko

Jolanta Małyszko is Head of the 2nd Department of Nephrology and Hypertension with Dialysis Unit, at the Medical University of Białystok, Poland, where she has been Professor since 2002.

She obtained her medical degree with distinction from the Medical University of Białystok, before completing a PhD on haemostasis in chronic renal failure. She is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine (1995), nephrology (1998), clinical transplantation (2004), hypertension (2006) and diabetology (2010), in Poland. She has completed clinical training at several institutions throughout the world, including Rouen, France (1992), Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany, King’s College, London, United Kingdom (2010), and Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv, Israel (2011).

Her research focus throughout her clinical and scientific career has been on nephrology and transplantation, and her main research interests are in iron metabolism and anaemia in chronic kidney disease (CKD), and cardiovascular complications in CKD. She is also a European Specialist in Clinical Hypertension. In addition to being a member of numerous professional societies, she is a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology (FASN) and, in 2013, was awarded the title Distinguished Fellow of the European Renal Association (FERA).

Professor Małyszko has authored or co-authored more than 350 original articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as over 100 review papers and 32 book chapters, and has served as a reviewer for several nephrological peer-reviewed journals.

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Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet

Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) unit (Inserm U954) at the Nancy University Hospital in France. After receiving his medical degree and PhD, he undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at the IBD Centre in Lille, France, in 2007, before taking a research position at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA (2008–2009).

Professor Peyrin-Biroulet received a Rising Star award in 2008 from the United European Gastroenterology Federation (UEGF). He is President of Groupe d’Étude Thérapeutique (GETAID) and President of the SciCom of the French association of IBD patients (AFA). He is Chair of the IBD Committee of the French Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SFED) and Chair of the Clinical Trials Task Force at IOIBD. He was member of the UEGF Scientific Committee (2011–2014) and is the current General Secretary of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO).

Professor Peyrin-Biroulet was the coordinator for the development of the first Disability Index for IBD and he proposed the first definitions of early Crohn’s disease and of disease severity for IBD. He also contributed to the ECCO workshops on mucosal healing and as a member of its working group, and he participated in the development of ECCO consensus guidelines on imaging and Crohn’s disease.

He is the author of more than 350 peer-reviewed articles (including publications in Gastroenterology, Gut, The Lancet and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and more than 200 non-peer-reviewed articles. He is an associate editor of Digestive Liver Diseases, and a member of the editorial board of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Gut and Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. He also serves as a reviewer for several international journals (including Gastroenterology, Gut and The Lancet) and is a staff contributor of the Selected Summary section of Gastroenterology. He joined the editorial team of the Cochrane Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Functional Bowel Disorders (IBD/FBD) Review Group in 2014. Professor Peyrin-Biroule serves as Councillor to the Immunology, Microbiology and IBD section of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute Council (2014–2016).

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Piotr Ponikowski

Piotr Ponikowski is Professor of Cardiology and Head of the Department of Heart Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University and Head of the Cardiology Department at the Centre for Heart Diseases at the 4th Military Hospital, Wroclaw, Poland.

Professor Ponikowski is a past president of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and a member of the ESC Board. He has been involved in the development of several ESC guidelines, and was Chair of the 2016 ESC group that developed Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute and Chronic Heart Failure.

His principal research interests include heart failure (HF), coronary artery disease and cardiac arrhythmias, and he has participated in numerous research projects, including studies on the benefits of physical rehabilitation in patients with chronic HF; the assessment of metabolic derangements in HF (with special interest in iron deficiency); and the evaluation of reflex control in the cardiorespiratory system in order to optimise the assessment and management of patients with HF. He has been the principal investigator in numerous clinical trials, and has served on several international steering committees, endpoint committees and advisory boards.

Professor Ponikowski acts as a reviewer for several journals and is a member of numerous editorial boards. He has co-authored over 500 publications, and more than 30,000 citations of his work have appeared in the international literature.

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Simon Roger

Simon Roger is a Consultant Nephrologist at the Renal Unit, Gosford Hospital, Gosford, Australia. Professor Roger trained initially at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, researched at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, and subsequently received his Doctorate of Medicine degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

He now has over 25 years’ experience researching anaemia and the role of iron in patients with chronic kidney disease. He lectures widely in this field and has been an invited lecturer at numerous national and international congresses and meetings. He has also participated in a number of advisory boards, where he has shared his expertise in the management of anaemia and iron therapy.

Professor Roger has contributed to a number of clinical trials assessing new anaemia treatments and the role of iron in patients with chronic kidney disease, both through his role as principle investigator and as an active steering committee member. He is also a member of several medical associations, including the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology, the International Society of Nephrology, and was the Foundation Member of the Westmead Association.

He has authored or co-authored over 85 journal articles, including papers in The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Kidney International, Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation and American Journal of Kidney Diseases and has contributed to the development of national and international guidelines including Caring for Australians with Renal Insufficiency (CARI Guidelines; haemoglobin and iron targets) and the 2008 Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guideline.

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Austin Stack

Austin Stack is Foundation Chair of Medicine at the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS), University of Limerick and Consultant Nephrologist at University Hospital Limerick, Ireland. He is the Director of the Health Research Institute (HRI) at the University of Limerick. His research focuses on the complications and treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and on acute kidney injury (AKI); cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk assessment; iron deficiency and anaemia in CKD and links with cardiovascular disease, gout and hyperuricaemia; risk-prediction models, and the application of IT systems in clinical and epidemiological research.

Professor Stack is leading several large-scale observational studies to explore the burden and progression of CKD and AKI in the Irish health system. He is a co-investigator in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded CKD surveillance programme in the USA. His research has explored the interaction between cardiovascular disease and kidney disease in CKD and ESRD populations using registry-based data and national surveillance systems. He has also evaluated the utility of transferrin saturation (TSAT) as a mortality risk marker and the shape of the association. His research has been supported by the American Heart Association (AHA), Health Research Board (HRB), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Kidney Foundation (NKF), and by industry.

He sits on several national and international steering committees, advisory groups, and editorial boards and is a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology and a member of the European Renal Association and of the AHA. In Ireland, Professor Stack is the Clinical Director of the National Renal IT Project, which aims to establish a state-wide renal information network for patients with kidney disease in Ireland and to support a renal registry.

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Donat R Spahn

Donat Spahn is Professor and Chairman at the Institute of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland.

He was awarded his medical degree and MD at the University of Zurich. This was followed by several clinical and research posts within Switzerland and the USA. For 6 years prior to his current position he was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anaesthesiology at the University and University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Professor Spahn’s primary research areas include concepts to minimise the use of perioperative blood products, and the management of massive bleeding. Professor Spahn is one of the founders of Patient Blood Management. He has published over 300 scientific articles, 13 books and over 40 chapters including numerous original papers and review articles regarding the transfusion of blood products, including the European guidelines for the management of bleeding following major trauma. He served in the editorial board for various anaesthesia journals, and has participated in numerous committees and scientific advisory boards.

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Ali Taher

Ali Taher is a Professor of Medicine at the Division of Hematology & Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) in, Beirut, Lebanon. He is also the Vice Chair for Research at the Department and the Director of the Fellowship Resident Research Program (FRRP) at the AUBMC and Deputy Director of the Naef K Basile Cancer Institute at the AUBMC. In addition, Dr Taher has contributed to state of the art prevention and management programs for thalassemia patients at the Thalassemia Department of the Chronic Care Center in Hazmieh, Lebanon. Dr Taher is an adjunct Professor of Hematology & Medical Oncology at Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA and a Member of the ‘Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society’. Achieving better patient outcomes and quality of life remains at the heart of his work.

Dr Taher has been invited to over 100 conferences both regionally and internationally as a keynote speaker, chairperson and moderator. He has received numerous awards for his contribution in research and in benign haematology. Most recently, Dr Taher was recognised with the ‘International Leader in Thalassemia’ award. Dr Taher is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and holds a PhD from Leiden University Medical Center.

Dr Taher has over 450 articles published in leading peer-reviewed international journals. He is the principal investigator on key clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of iron chelation therapy in regularly transfused and non-transfusion dependent thalassemias alond with new modalities of treatment. He is also a reviewer to several international prestigious journals along with being a member of the editorial board of top haematology journals.

Dr Taher continues to evaluate new treatment strategies and chelators to help achieve optimal control of iron overload in these patient populations. In recognition of the quality of his research and his dedication to find new treatments to improve the thalassemic patients’ quality of life, Dr Taher’s research has received numerous grants. He has also shown leadership in creating local, regional, and international scientific interest groups and associations that promote partnerships in science and dissemination of knowledge to both physicians and the community. Dr Taher’s ultimate passion is mentoring and sharing his knowledge with the young generation of physician scientists.

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