Keynote Speakers

  • Robin Cotton

  • Christophe Faure

    Christophe Faure, M.D., is Professor of pediatrics in the Department of pediatrics at Université de Montréal. He has completed his training in basic science and in pediatric gastroenterology in Paris, France and in Michael D. Gershon's laboratory at Columbia University, New York City. He has worked as a pediatric gastroenterologist in the academic Robert Debré Hospital in Paris, France and in 2001, moved to Montreal, Canada. He is currently in activity in the division of pediatric gastroenterology at University Hospital Centre Ste-Justine, Université de Montreal and has clinical, academic and research activities. View more...

    He has been involved in the field of pediatric GI motility from the beginning of his career. He has developed research in pediatric motility disorders, visceral sensitivity, gastroesophageal reflux and PPIs and postnatal consequences of congenital GI anomalies (esophageal atresia, imperforate anus). He has his own laboratory in the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center and has developed basic research in enteric nervous system plasticity and postnatal adaptation.

    He serves as Director in the Esophageal Atresia Clinic at Ste-Justine Hospital. He is Director of the Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Program at Sainte-Justine Hospital - Université de Montreal. He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed papers and 30 book chapters. He has served as the leading editor of the first textbook on Pediatric Neurogastroenterology - Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders in Children published in 2013 (2nd edition ongoing in 2016).

  • Frederic Gottrand

    Professor Frédéric GOTTRAND is a pediatrician, staff member of the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition at University Hospital of Lille, France. He is head of the French National Reference Center on congenital and malformative diseases of the esophagus. He is a member of several national and European societies for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (he is a member of the GI committee and Esophageal atresia Working group leader of ESPGHAN), and the actual president of INoEA (International Network on Esophageal Atresia). He published 443 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 32 book chapters, and had more than 100 appearances in international conferences including 45 invited conferences in international congresses or meetings.

  • Tom Kovesi

    Dr. Tom Kovesi is a pediatric respirologist and Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. He is past-Chair of the Pediatric Assembly of the Canadian Thoracic Society, and is currently chair of the Ontario Thoracic Society. Dr. Kovesi is past-Chief Examiner for Pediatric Respirology for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has served as a senior author on the Canadian Asthma Consensus Guidelines Committee. View more...

    Dr. Kovesi has over 40 published articles in the areas of asthma guidelines, exhaled nitric oxide in children with asthma, and his main research interest: indoor air quality and lung disease in indigenous Canadian children. Dr. Kovesi has published the first major review article on the long-term respiratory and gastrointestinal complications of Oesophageal Atresia in 2004, and an update in 2013. He authored the information for families on Oesophageal Atresia on the Federation of Esophageal Atresia and Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula Support Groups E.V. web site.

  • Risto Rintala

    Risto Rintala is the Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Chief of General Pediatric Surgery in Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki. His research interests have for decades been in the long-term outcomes of congenital disorders, especially esophageal atresia, Hirschsprung’s disease and anorectal malformations. Professor Rintala is in the editorial board of the most important pediatric surgical journals. He has published 230 peer reviewed original articles and more than 50 surgical and pediatric surgical textbook chapters.

International Session Speakers

  • Michaela Dellenmark Blom

    Michaela Dellenmark-Blom is a Quality Manager, Member of the board and a Researcher at Department of Pediatric Surgery at the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. She has an extensive training in science theory and methodology, quality improvement and in pediatric nursing. She has a special interest and expertise in children with rare congenital malformations and evaluation of quality of care. She is strongly involved in the development of a regional and Swedish national quality register for children with rare congenital malformations. Her research focuses on patient reported outcome measurements within pediatric surgical care; especially in patients with esophageal atresia. Her research has been honored several times, among others by Her Majesty, the Swedish Queen Silvia. View more.

    She is developing a condition-specific health-related quality of life questionnaire for children and adolescents together with the Department of Medical Psychology, University Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany and the Centre of Pediatric Surgery Hannover, Hannover Medical School, Germany. The studies are improving the evaluation of pediatric surgical care and advancing knowledge of the EA impact on the child’s life. In the end, also supporting the implementation of patient reported outcomes in follow-up care of patients with esophageal atresia.

  • Paolo de Coppi

    Paolo De Coppi is the NIHR Professor of Paediatric Surgery and Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Head of Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Section, Developmental Biology& Cancer Programme at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK. He has a special interest in congenital malformation and their treatment using minimally invasive techniques. He has focused his research interests on stem cells and tissue engineering, trying to find new modalities for the treatment of complex congenital anomalies. While working with Dr A. Atala at the Childrens’ Hospital in Boston-US, he had the opportunity of identifying a new source of cells for therapeutic applications showing the possibility of using stem cells from amniotic fluid. This finding generated an international patent and garnered the cover story of Nature Biotechnology January 2007. View more...

    He has more recently focused on developing reliable methods for stem cell isolation, expansion and differentiation at a clinical level (GMP-grade). Finally, in 2010 he was part of the team that performed the first successful transplantation of a tissue-engineered trachea on a child at the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

    He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as The Lancet, Nature Biotechnology, PNAS, Blood and Stem Cells; supervised more than 30 research fellow and Ph.D. students; and has been awarded various national and international grants. He is on the editorial boards of Stem Cell Development, Journal of Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Surgery International, and Fetal and Maternal Medicine Review. As of 2011 he has been the senior associate editor for Stem Cell Translational Medicine.

  • Professor Liu-Ming Huang

    Professor LIU-MING HUANG is a pediatric surgeon, head of Department of Pediatric Surgery, Bayi children’s Hospital, General Hospital of Beijing Military Region. He received his Medical Bachelor degree from Peking University Health Science Center in 1995. He obtained his MD and PhD degree from Division of General surgery, Department of General surgery, Peking University First Hospital in 2001. He has a special interest in general pediatric and neonate surgery, especially in microinvasive area. At the area of esophageal atresia clinic, he has performed thoracoscopic procedure for more than 100 cases in 3 years. For long gap esophageal atresia, he performed one stage gastric tube on neonate period for 8 cases uneventfully. He published 15 papers in peer-reviewed journals and got 2 funds up to now, one is National Natural Science Fund of China, and the other is National Science and Technology Infrastructure Program, 11th five-year plan. Now he is the president of neonate surgery, Chinese medical doctor association.

  • Dr Russell Jennings

    The Esophageal and Airway Treatment Center at Boston Childrens Hospital is a world leader in the treatment of complex esophageal and airway problems. A multidisciplinary team finds solutions to the most complex and difficult esophageal and airway problems. We have developed new techniques to treat and prevent the reoccurrence of tracheoesophageal fistulas, treat long-gap esophageal atresia by growth induction and other means, a surgical technique to lessen the occurrence of postoperative strictures, and developed procedures for esophageal replacement in children using vascularized jejunal grafts. We also developed a grading system for tracheomalacia, and a new surgical technique to treat tracheomalacia.

  • Professor Yoshiaki Kinoshita

    Dr. Yoshiaki Kinoshita is a Pediatric Surgeon and Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery at the Kyushu University Hospital (KUH). He is also a subleader of Comprehensive Perinatal and Maternal Care Center Unit at the KUH. His special interests are neonatal surgery, pediatric urology, and pediatric oncology. Concerning neonatal surgery, he has established minimum invasive skin crease incision techniques for the abdominal and thoracic surgery with their colleagues. Especially for esophageal atresia or other pediatric thoracic diseases, he experienced many cases with advantages of cosmetics and functions by these methods.

  • Professor Anastassios Koumbourlis

  • Professor Hayat Mousa

    Hayat Mousa, MD; Professor of Pediatrics at The University of California in San Diego (UCSD) and the Clinical Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Director of the NeuroGastroenterology and Motility Center (NGMC) at Rady Children’s Hospital / UCSD. Known internationally as a leading expert in pediatric motility disorders, Dr. Mousa’s key interests include swallowing disorders, gastroparesis, gastric electric stimulation, rumination, gastroesophageal reflux in addition to gastrointestinal motility and functional disorders. Dr. Mousa received an NIH funds and established the normal values for non-acid gastroesophageal reflux in children. She is widely published on numerous research studies and clinical trials. View more

    Some notable studies include:

    • Esophageal dispensability as a predictor of fibrotic remodeling and clinical phenotype in pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis
    • The predictive value of methane profiles in pediatric patients with slow transit constipation in determining response to probiotics or antibiotics
    • Defining Abnormalities in the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) of Children with Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders (GMD).
    • 2’-Fucosyllactose and Gut Motility in Human Subjects
    • Electrophysiology of the Gut and the Microbiome in High-Risk Neonates
    • Gastric pacemaker therapy for gastroparesis
    • Health consequences of sleep disorders in obese children and its association with Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    • Acid and non-acid gastroesophageal reflux in children
    • Effect of fundoplication on gastric sensory and motor functions
    • Value of colonic motility in predicting the outcome of cecostomy placement in patients with severe constipation
  • Dr Reza Rahbar

    Dr. Rahbar has practiced pediatric otolaryngology at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), Harvard Medical School since 1998. His clinical expertise in pediatric airway disorders and head and neck tumors is recognized nationally and internationally. He co-directs two multidisciplinary programs in this regard: The Center for Airway Disorders and the Program for Head, Neck and Skull Base Surgery. As Associate Chief of the Department of Otolaryngology, he is the Chair of the Education Committee, as well as Director of the Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship Program.

  • Dr Maria Ramsay

    Maria Ramsay is a clinical psychologist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology (professional) at McGill University. For several decades, her research interest focused on the causes of feeding problems in very young children. In 1988 she established the Feeding Disorders Clinic at the hospital, which in 2008 became the Pediatric Feeding Program with a multidisciplinary team under her directorship. In 2011 she joined the Esophageal Atresia team, where she gained further understanding of the complexities of feeding problems and parental concerns. In addition to her clinical and research work, she has given numerous international presentations and published several original articles.

  • Nathalie Rommel

    Nathalie Rommel is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Leuven (Exp ORL), Belgium. She runs an Advanced Master of Science in Deglutology at the Faculty of Medicine and heads a deglutology research program focusing on the pathophysiology of dysphagia, novel diagnostic methods and evaluation of current treatments for upper gastrointestinal motility disorders. Her clinical work (Gastroenterology, Neurogastroenterology & Motility Unit, University Hospitals Leuven) consists of the diagnostic work-up of patients with upper gastrointestinal motility disorders, dysphagia, rumination and globus across the lifespan.

  • Dr Mike Rutter

    Michael J. Rutter, FRACS, Pediatric Otolaryngologist and Director of Clinical Research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Rutter is internationally known for his expertise in the management of pediatric aspiration, management of congenital tracheal stenosis, management of pediatric sleep apnea, management of adult airway disease and continued progress in management of complex airway disease. He has presented extensively, authored over 80 peer reviewed articles, and over 30 book chapters, and holds 4 patents.

  • Rajendra Saoji

    He is a consultant pediatric surgeon & associate professor of pediatric surgery in Nagpur, central India. His special interest is in Pediatric Oesophageal & Airway reconstructive surgery & Thoracoscopy, with over 20 years of experience in the same. He has been invited as a lead faculty for lectures & live demonstrations of Oesophageal replacement surgery at Glasgow, Colombo & Muscat. He is also a regular faculty at National CME’s. He is founder director at non-profit enterprise, Balmitra Foundation (www.bmfindia.org) – which provides high quality pediatric surgical services to underprivileged children.

  • Nikhil Thapar

    Dr Thapar is a Senior Lecturer (University College London’s Institute of Child Health) and honorary consultant (Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children) in Paediatric Gastroenterology. He runs a specialist multidisciplinary clinical service for children with gastrointestinal motility and functional disorders including a national service for children with intestinal pseudo-obstruction. Dr Thapar’s research programme focuses on the pathogenesis and treatment of gut motility disorders including molecular mechanisms and regenerative medicine. He sits on council of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) and chairs its gastroenterology committee. View more...

    He also chairs BSPGHAN’s gut motility disorders working group and is a member of the steering group of the European-wide Paediatric Digestive Diseases Research Network (PEDDCReN). Dr Thapar is co-editor of the textbook of Paediatric Neurogastroenterology. Dr Thapar has a keen interest in teaching and is director of the Academy of Paediatric Gastroenterology as well as faculty for ESPGHAN.

  • David van der Zee

    David C. van der Zee MD., PhD., has been a pediatric surgeon since 1991. He has been involved in minimal invasive surgery in children and neonates as of the late 1980-ies and has published over 150 peer reviewed papers, many of them on endoscopic surgery. Education in endoscopic surgery has always been an important issue in his career. He is involved in education and training in IPEG, EAES, the Dutch Society of Endoscopic Surgery and his University Hospital. He has been Chief of the Department of Pediatric Surgery in Utrecht since 2006 and has been appointed Professor in Pediatric Surgery in 2009. The Department is a national recognized Centre of Expertise for esophageal atresia. He gave Keynote Lectures at JSES in Japan, at ELSA in Taiwan, in Buenos Aires in Argentina. He gave lectures and hand-on courses all around the world including Hawaii, Bali, Singapore, and Beijing. He currently is editor in several international journals and is incoming-president of IPEG.

  • Dr Ting Wen

    Ting Wen, PhD, has characterized the unique, tissue-specific transcriptome of purified murine eosinophils under homeostasis and allergic conditions and demonstrated the expression and function of a couple of unexpected molecules, CD22 and CAR4, on gastrointestinal and lung eosinophils, respectively (Wen et al., 2012 and 2014, Journal of Immunology). Dr. Wen also developed a murine eosinophil transfer model system that has proven to be useful in assessing the function of a gene of interest that is expressed on eosinophils or target tissue (Wen et al., 2013, PNAS). View more

    Dr. Wen is a co-inventor of the EoE Diagnostic Panel (EDP), created in part due to his expertise in molecular biopsy and bioinformatics. The Cincinnati Children's-owned patent is now licensed to the diagnostic company Diagnovus, LLC, as Engauge GI-EoE test and is in use in clinical practice (Wen et al., 2013, Gastroenterology).

    In the past three years, Dr. Wen won the following awards for his eosinophil-related studies:

    - 2011, Fellow-In-Training Travel Award, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI)
    - 2013 Outstanding Poster Presentation, 2nd Place, Imaging and Cytometry Research Symposium, Ohio River Valley Cytometry Association (ORVCA)
    - 2014 Outstanding Poster Presentation, 1st Place, Imaging and Cytometry Research Symposium, Ohio River Valley Cytometry Association (ORVCA

    Dr. Wen has also been an invited speaker on several national and international meetings related to eosinophilic disorders and co-authored to two book chapters.

  • Professor Rene Wijnen

    Rene Wijnen trained in medicine, surgery and pediatric surgery, is head of the department of pediatric surgery at the Sophia Childrens Hospital Erasmus MC since 2010. Before 2010 he was consultant pediatric surgeon at the Radboud University Nijmegen where he focused on thoracic surgery and abdominal wall malformations. His special interests in that period were Minimal Acces Surgery (MAS), which he introduced at his department. Research interest is regenerative medicine which was supported by a 6th FP EU grant focused on CDH, esophageal atresia, abdominal wall defects and bladder exthrophy. He is author of more then 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, wrote 12 book chapters and is member of the editorial board of 2 international journals of pediatric surgery. He was president of the Dutch pediatric surgery society and member of the general board of the Dutch Society of Surgery.