Digital BIRD Symposium May 20, 2021

Speakers and moderators

Filip Baert, M.D., PhD
AZ Delta campus Rumbeke Roeselare

Dr Filip Baert is currently head of UR-Care (United Registries of Clinical Assessment and Research) at ECCO and former Chief Scientific Officer for the Governing Board of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO). Filip has over 25 years of experience in clinical research and is currently Head of the Department of Gastroenterology of AZ Delta Hospital in Roeselare, Belgium, where he has developed special expertise in IBD, microscopic colitis as well as celiac disease.
Filip graduated in medicine, surgery and obstetrics from the University of Leuven in 1989. He then underwent specialization in internal medicine, gastrointestinal and liver diseases (1994), becoming a Fellow in Gastroenterology of the University of Chicago Hospitals. Next to his clinical practice he continued to be involved in translational research and acquired a PhD from the University of Leuven in 2014 on pharmacokinetics of monoclonal antibodies.
He is director of the Fellowship training program in AZ Delta for the Universities of Ghent and Leuven.
He authored and co-authored > 130 peer reviewed publications and several chapters and serves as a reviewer for the key GI Journals, ECCO and UEGW. He is a President of BIRD (Belgian IBD Research and Development group).
Among his ongoing important research projects are two European registries UR-Care (a pan European IBD electronic record/dBase) and of I-Care (Ibd CAncer and seRious infections in Europe) .
Finally he serves on the editorial Board of the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis.

Dr. Claire Liefferinckx, M.D., PhD
Hôpital Erasme

Claire Liefferinkx obtained her medical degree in 2014 at Université libre de Bruxelles. She worked as a FNRS fellow researcher at the laboratory of experimental gastro-enterology (ULB) and obtained her PhD thesis in 2019. Her main research topics are about the pharmacokinetics of biologics used in Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and the genetics underlying the severity in IBD. During her FNRS post-doctoral fellowship, she worked at GIGA (Liège) with Michel Georges’ team. She is currenlty trainee in gastroenterology at Erasme hospital, mainly involved in the IBD clinic. Also, she is member of Scicom in the BIRD.

Prof. Dr. Shomron Ben-Horin, M.D., PhD, Chief Gastroenterology Department
Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Professor Ben-Horin received his medical and Gastroenterology training in Israel and was a Post-Doc scientist in immunology at Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital in New-York, USA. Prof. Ben-Horin specializes in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). He is the Chief of the Gastroenterology Department at Sheba Medical Center, Israel, a Full Professor of Medicine at the Tel-Aviv University, and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Sun Yat-Sen University Hospital, Guangzhou, China, where he worked as a visiting professor for one year in 2015-2016. He has served as a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Crohn’s & Colitis Organization (ECCO) and is presently the Chair of the Israeli IBD Society.  

Prof. Ben-Horin has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is a member of the Editorial Board of the journals Gut, APT and JCC. Prof. Ben-Horin is also the Director of IBD-passport: A web-based global support program for traveling IBD patients.


Dr. Marie-Angélique De Scheerder, M.D., PhD
UZ Gent

Marie-Angélique De Scheerder graduated as a medical doctor at the Université Catholique de Louvain in 2011. She became a trainee in internal medicine at Ghent University and specialised in General Internal Medicine. In October 2018 she started as a resident in General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Ghent University Hospital. She finished her PhD in HIV reservoir at the HIV Cure Research Centre of Prof Linos Vandekerckhove in 2020.

Her main focus is the clinical management of HIV, clinical trials in HIV and other infectious diseases, including COVID, and vaccination in the immunosuppressed individual. 

Dr. Julien Kirchgesner, M.D., PhD
Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France

Julien Kirchgesner is a gastroenterologist and pharmacoepidemiologist at Saint Antoine hospital and Sorbonne University in Paris, France. His research focuses on the comparative safety and effectiveness of medications based on real-world data in inflammatory bowel disease. Based on the French administrative health databases, he conducted several studies assessing the impact of immunosuppressive treatment on the risk of serious infections, cancer, and cardiovascular events. During his post-doctoral fellowship in the division of pharmacoepidemiology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital - Harvard Medical School in Boston, he developed methodological approaches to gain evidence on the benefit-risk balance of treatment in inflammatory bowel disease by combining multiple sources of real-world data.

He is currently a member of the EpiCom Epidemiology committee of ECCO.

Dr. Romy Ouziel, M.D., PhD
CHU de Charleroi Hôpital Civil Marie Curie

Romy Ouziel (1980) graduated from medical school in 2006 at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Then, she started her training in internal medicine. From 2008 to 2012, she worked as an FNRS fellow researcher at the Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology (ULB). After, she continued her internship in Gastroenterology in Erasme Hospital and finished her research with a part-time doctoral research fund from the Fonds Erasme (ULB). In 2015, Romy obtained her PhD thesis on “Vitamins A and D in alcoholic liver diseases” and her diploma in Gastroenterology (ULB). Her interest and clinical practice in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) developed and grew as she worked in the IBD unit of the Department of Gastroenterology, Erasme Hospital.

In October 2016, Romy started to work in Charleroi, CHU Marie Curie, with her main clinical practice in the field of IBD.

Dr. Bram Verstockt, M.D., PhD
UZ Leuven Gasthuisberg

Bram Verstockt (°1988), MD PhD, graduated medical school at the KU Leuven, Belgium, in 2013. In 2015, he partially interrupted his residency in Gastroenterology and Hepatology to start his PhD ‘Predicting outcome in inflammatory bowel diseases, a multi-omics approach – Creating opportunities for personalised medicine’, which he successfully defended in 2019. During the first year of his PhD, he worked at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

His translational research mainly focusses on the development of predictive and prognostic markers for a more personalised medicine in IBD, as well as on unravelling IBD disease heterogeneity. Additionally, Bram does clinical research on monitoring tools (including intestinal ultrasound and therapeutic drug monitoring), real-life data and is involved in various (inter)national studies. Bram is current board member of the Y-ECCO committee, co-founder of the COLLIBRI proteomics consortium in IBD and works at the University Hospitals Leuven.

Prof. Dr. Edouard Louis, M.D., PhD
CHU de Liège site Sart-Tilman

Edouard LOUIS has been Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of the Gastroenterology department at Liège University hospital since October 2010. His Scientific work contributed to more than 300 papers in international journals (H-Index 2020=70). He has been General Secretary of the Belgian Society of Gastroenterology 2005-2009, President of the Belgian IBD Research group (2008-2011), member of the Scientific Committee of the ECCO (European Crohn and Colitis Organisation) (2010-2013) and Chair of this Scientific Committee (2013-2015). He has been member of the board of the GETAID (groupe d’étude thérapeutique des affections inflammatoires digestives) (2004-ongoing), president of the GETAID (2012-2015) and vice-president of the GETAID (2015-2018), Associate Editor of Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis (2018-ongoing).

Prof. Dr. Jean-François Rahier, M.D., PhD
CHU UCL Namur site Godinne

Jean-François Rahier was born in Belgium in 1975. He obtained his diploma of medical doctor with cum laude in 2000 from the University of Louvain (UCL) and specialized in Gastroenterology in 2007. He was first trained by Pr O Dewit in Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc in 2005 and then by Pr JF Colombel in Lille in 2006-2007. On the side, he had a part-time research activity in 2008-2013 at the INSERM U995 laboratory of Professor Desreumaux in Lille (France) where he obtained his PhD on “lymphangiogenesis in IBD” in 2014.

He is working at the University Hospital CHU UCL Namur in Belgium where his clinical activity is focused on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and also acted between 2014 and 2018 as consultant for phase II-III clinical trials in CHU Liège (Pr E Louis). In 2009 and 2014, he was the leading author for the European consensus on management and prevention of opportunistic infection in IBD. He has authored and co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is part of the scientific and executive committee of I-CARE. He is an active member of the Belgian IBD Group where he acted as President from 2017 until 2020, of the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation and of the GETAID (France). 

Prof. Dr. Triana Lobaton, M.D., PhD
UZ Gent

Triana Lobatón finished her training as gastroenterologist in Barcelona in 2010 and in 2015 she obtained her PhD on "fecal calprotectin as a surrogate marker of disease activity in IBD patients" at the University of Barcelona. As part of her PhD program, she spent 18 months (2013-2014) at Leuven University Hospital under the supervision of Prof. Séverine Vermeire.  

Her clinical activity and research is focused on IBD, in particular clinical projects. She has been coordinator of the young GETECCU (Spanish group of Crohn and Colitis), and is also involved in several ECCO activities. 

Since December 2017 Dr.Lobaton is working as a full time staff member at the IBD Unit of the Department of Gastroenterology at Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent). In 2019 she became assistant professor at UZ Gent. Triana Lobatón is currently one of the members of educational comittee (Educom) and national representative for BIRD at ECCO. 


Dr. Anneline Cremer, M.D., PhD
Hôpital Erasme

Anneline Cremer (1985) graduated in medicine from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium) in 2010 with summa cum laude. She completed her training in Gastroenterology in 2017. Her strong interest for Gastroenterology and more specifically for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has grown over the years. During her last year in medical school, she spent 6 months in the Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology (LGE), ULB, in Brussels working on a basic immunology project. She started her clinical training in 2010, and started her Gastroenterology training in October 2013 in the Department of Gastroenterology of Tivoli Hospital (La Louvière) for six months followed by one year and a half in the Department of Gastroenterology of ULB-Erasme Hospital. She received a doctoral research fellowship  (October 2015-April 2020) from the Fonds Erasme (ULB) and she is still working on translational IBD research projects under supervision of Prof Denis Franchimont. She also participated as co- or principal investigator in clinical trials in the field of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis since November 2015. She is currently working in the IBD clinic of the Department of Gastroenterology of ULB-Erasme Hospital.

Anneline is actively involved in several national scientific organizations. She is a Board member of BIRD (Belgian IBD Research and Development) and chairs Scicom. She is also a Board member of the SRBGE (Société Royale Belge de Gastroentérologie).



Dr. Michael Somers, M.D.
UZ Antwerpen

Michaël Somers graduated in 2011 as a medical doctor at the University of Antwerp. After completing his training in gastroenterology in 2017, he started working as a gastroenterologist in the University Hospital of Antwerp (UZA). In 2018, he worked as a fellow at the gastroenterology department of the University Hospital of Leuven for six months, extending his clinical experience in the management and treatment of IBD patients. He is currently working at the IBD clinic of the department of gastroenterology and hepatology of University Hospital of Antwerp. Michaël Somers is member of EduCom in the Belgian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research and Development (BIRD) group.