In an ever-changing world, it is important to keep up with the latest innovations. In the never-ending search for what’s new, what better way to learn about it than to hear from the innovators themselves

CHAIRMAN

Carlos Vara Luiz

Carlos Vara Luiz

MD

Dr Carlos Vara Luiz is the Head of the Neurosurgery Unit and the Coordinator of the Neurosciences Field of CHULC (Central Lisbon Hospital Center). He studied Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon between 1976 and 1982 and completed his Neurosurgery residency training in 1991.

He is also the President of the Portuguese Neurosurgery Specialty College, as well as a member of CHULC’s Medical Council and Ethics Committee and was elected President of the Portuguese Society of Neurosurgery in 2015 and 2016.

Furthermore, he taught at the EANS (European Association of the Neurosurgical Societies) Training Committee between 2010 and 2016. In the associative field, he organised 7 conferences and scientific meetings, 2 of which were at an international level.

Throughout his career, Dr Vara Luiz authored and participated in more than 150 scientific studies, mainly in the field of Neuro-Oncology, having performed more than 4500 brain surgeries.

SPEAKERS

Ludvic Zrinzo

Ludvic Zrinzo

MD, PhD, FRCSEd

Professor Zrinzo completed undergraduate medical studies in Malta, before
moving to London to pursue a career in Neurosurgery. He was awarded an MSc
in Clinical Neuroscience with Distinction from the UCL Institute of Neurology,
London, before embarking on Neurosurgical training in London (Atkinson
Morley Hospital, Royal London Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Oldchurch Hospital).

During his training, he engaged in two Fellowships in Stereotactic and
Functional Neurosurgery, at Queen Square and at UCLA.
Current interests include the surgical management of chronic neurological and
psychiatric disease including advanced Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremor,
chronic pain, headache (trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia), Tourette syndrome
and severe refractory depression. Mr Zrinzo also manages a wide range of
general neurosurgical conditions and has a special interest in complex
intracranial surgery.

Mr Zrinzo’s research interests have been directed towards continued
improvement in the surgical care of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation
with particular emphasis on improving safety, accuracy and efficacy of surgery.
He is the author of over 175 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and several
book chapters and his work has received several international awards.

Renaud Du Pasquier

Professor

Renaud Du Pasquier

MD, PhD

Professor Renaud Du Pasquier is a clinician and researcher, working as an associate professor at the University of Lausanne and as an assistant physician and Head of the Neurology Department of CHUV.
Professor Du Pasquier is a specialist in neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and other neuroimmunological and neurovirological diseases, for which he is a postgraduate from Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
His research focuses on the physio-pathogenesis of demyelinating, viral or inflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. He also set up a joint center clinical study on the new characteristics of cognitive disorders in patients infected with HIV, as part of the “Swiss HIV Cohort Study”. Studying a group of diseases affecting primarily younger people, Prof. Du Pasquier’s research is a very dynamic and constantly evolving field.

Tamir Ben-Hur

Tamir Ben-Hur

MD, PhD

Tamir Ben-Hur is Professor of Neurology and holds the Israel S. Wechsler Chair in Neurology at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School. He earned his MD and PhD degrees (in Virology) from the Hebrew University (1989), and conducted postdoctoral studies at The Pasteur Institute in Paris (1995-97). He was Chairman of the Department of Neurology (2005-2018) and is currently Chairman of the Division for Clinical Neurosciences (“Brain Division”) at Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical Centre. He holds several patents and serves as scientific advisor for several start-up companies in his field of expertise.
Professor Ben-Hur’s research focuses on the therapeutic properties of stem cells, and their bilateral interactions with the nervous system in normal and pathological states. His work identified previously unknown immunomodulatory, neurotrophic and neuroprotective therapeutic properties of neural stem cells, laying the basis for clinical translation of stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis (for which he is developing a functional utilisation method) and other brain diseases. He also studied the effects of various brain environments on several functional properties of transplanted neural stem cells. More recently, he is focusing on the functional properties of resident brain stem cells, and their failure in neurodegenerative diseases, as a novel therapeutic target.

CHAIRMAN

Luís Novais

Professor

Luís Novais

MD

Professor Luís Novais is a Gastroenterologist and Professor at NOVA Medical School. He was the Director of the Gastroenterology Department of Hospital Fernando da Fonseca from 2001 to 2005 and then part of the Clinical Board of Hospital da Luz from 2005 to 2007. He is responsible for the Neurogastroenterology and Digestive Motility Lab at CEDOC and his work focuses primarily on oesophageal motility and its evaluation through manometry.

He is part of various national and international scientific societies, including ASNM (American Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility) and the American College of Gastroenterology. He’s also a member of the Steering committee of the ESNM (European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility) and was the local chair of the NeuroGASTRO 2019, Lisbon.

SPEAKERS

Antonio Lacy

Professor

Antonio Lacy

MD, PhD, FASCRS

Professor Antonio M. Lacy is the Head of the Gastrointestinal Surgery Department and Co-Coordinator of the Colorectal Cancer Unit at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona. He is a Professor of Surgery at the School of Medicine of the University of Barcelona and the Founder of AIS Channel.

Professor Lacy and his team are global pioneers in the use of innovative minimal invasive technology in gastrointestinal cancer, metabolic syndrome and morbid obesity. In 2002 he published the first randomized study to prove the safety and feasibility of the laparoscopic approach vs the open approach for the treatment of digestive cancer, with excellent oncologic results. Professor Lacy’s team was also the first to perform a Total Mesorectal Excision by Transanal Approach (TaTME) in 2009, and have since improved the technique by using 3D imaging.

Ruairi Robertson

Ruairi Robertson

PhD

Dr. Ruairi Robertson obtained a B.Sc in Human Nutrition from University College
Dublin. He subsequently conducted a Ph.D. in Microbiology within the APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork and as a visiting researcher to
Harvard University Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital where he
examined the role of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on the developing microbiome,
the gut-brain axis and metabolic health outcomes.

Dr. Robertson is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in The Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London where his research examines the influence of the gut microbiome in early life growth within large cohorts of chronic and severe acute malnutrition in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Haruhiro Inoue

Professor

Haruhiro Inoue

MD, PhD, FASGE

Professor Inoue is a world-renowned surgeon and endoscopist. He is a Professor at Showa University School of Medicine and Director of the Digestive Disease Center at Showa University Koto-Toyosu Hospital in Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Inoue’s clinical achievements are numerous. In 1993 he developed a technique (cap-EMR) that simplified the performance of Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) and in 2000 he reported the world’s first EMR for Barrett’s intramucosal cancer.

In 2008 he performed the world’s first clinical case of Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM), and to this date, he has treated more than 1400 achalasia patients with the POEM procedure.
In 2014 he reported the endoscopic removal of a submucosal tumor using a POEM-like procedure. His publications have a combined impact factor of more than 500.

In 2008 he became a Fellow of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and he has twice been honored with the society’s Crystal award for international service (in 2006 and 2013). In 2011 he received the Pioneer in Endoscopy award from the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.

CHAIRMAN

Miguel Castelo Branco

Professor

Miguel Castelo Branco

MD, PhD

Professor Miguel Castelo Branco graduated in Medicine, in 1991, at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra and got his Ph.D. in Max Planck Institute, Germany, where he studied Biomedical Sciences in the Sensory Neurophysiology field.

He joined Maastricht University, The Netherlands, to teach and study neuroimagiology of the brain and a few years later he returned to the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra where he still teaches and investigates to this day.

Throughout his career, Professor Miguel Castelo Branco won, amongst other prizes, the BIAL Merit Award in Medical Sciences and the Pfizer Award.
He is now the coordinator of Instituto Biomédico de Investigação da Luz e Imagem (IBILI) where his main focus of study is both the brain and vision, and he is the director of Instituto de Ciências Nucleares Aplicadas à Saúde (ICNAS).

SPEAKERS

Jamie Ward

Professor

Jamie Ward

PhD

Professor Jamie Ward studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and got his PhD in Psychology at the University of Birmingham. From 1997 to 1999 he did his Research Fellow in the University of Sussex and by 2012 became a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience (Psychology) in the University of Sussex.

He currently is the Director of Sussex Neuroscience (2015-) and the Co-Director of Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme ‘From Sensation and Perception to Awareness’ as well as the President of the British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience, and Founding Editor of ‘Cognitive Neuroscience’.

His research group examines the mechanisms of integration of different sensory inputs using methods of (human) cognitive neuroscience including fMRI, EEG and brain stimulation. Professor Ward demonstrates how stimulation of only one sense can modulate activity in different brain regions, supporting other senses, which in some people, results in perceptual experiences in that other sense (e.g. seeing sounds) – a phenomenon termed synaesthesia!

Anthony Khawaja

Mr

Anthony Khawaja

MD, PhD, FRCOphth

Dr. Anthony Khawaja is a consultant ophthalmologist currently working in the glaucoma service at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. He completed his medical training at the University of Cambridge and University College London.
His research training included a Masters in Epidemiology for which he won the Nick Day Prize. Additionally, he was awarded the Berkeley Fellowship which supported a research period at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Khawaja’s research interests concern the genetic and environmental epidemiology of glaucoma.
Dr. Anthony also established the Young Ophthalmologists section of the European Society of Ophthalmology and is the director of the European Leadership Development Programme. He was recently ranked 8th in the world of Rising Stars in ophthalmology by his peers for The Ophthalmologist publication.

Robert Vincent

Mr

Robert Vincent

MD, FRCS

Dr. Robert Vincent studied medicine at Montpellier University, France, and completed his internship and residency training program on ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgery at the University Hospital in Nancy (France).
He joined the Otology group of the Causse Ear Clinic in Colombiers, France and since then he developed a special interest in stapes surgery and ossicular reconstruction of the middle ear.
Dr. Vincent became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (UK) on September 2005 and Honorary Member of the Indian Society of Otology on November 2006 and is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), the European Academy of Otology & Neuro-Otology (EAONO), and the Politzer Society.
Since 2005 he has been the General Secretary and co-founder of the Live International Otolaryngology Network.
He is on the editorial board of several scientific journals such as the Otology & Neurotology Journal, the Journal of the Mediterranean Society of Otology.
He designed several middle ear prostheses and published new techniques in ossicular reconstruction.

CHAIRMAN

Fátima Serrano

Professor

Fátima Serrano

MD, PhD, MSc

Professor Fátima Serrano studied Medicine at Nova Medical School and later got her PhD in Obstetrics followed by a Master in Science in Sexology.
Dr Serrano has contributed immensely to the field of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Portugal, being part of the Direction Board of the Portuguese Society of Feto-Maternal Medicine Society until 2016. In addition, she is now the Head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Nova Medical School and a Consultant of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Coordinator of the Recurrent Miscarriage and Autoimmune Diseases Clinic at Maternity Dr Alfredo da Costa.
Amongst her accomplishments, she is a Board Member of the Federation of the Portuguese Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the President of the Subspeciality on Feto-Maternal Medicine of the Portuguese Medical Board. Besides her contribution to many scientific productions, Professor Serrano is also an Associate Editor of Acta Obstetrica e Ginecológica Portuguesa.
Her main scientific areas of research are autoimmune diseases and pregnancy, recurrent miscarriage, thrombosis and pregnancy and uterine electromyography.

SPEAKERS

Mary Herbert

Professor

Mary Herbert

MD, FRCP

Professor Mary Herbert is currently a Professor of Reproductive Biology at Newcastle University with an Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist post at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Scientific Director at Newcastle Fertility Centre. She is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and a member of the scientific advisory board for the Association of Clinical Embryologists in the UK.

Professor Mary’s research focuses on mitochondrial disease, the underlying causes of infertility, miscarriage and birth defects in older women.
After seeing how mitochondrial disease was devastating to numerous families, Professor Herbert developed a groundbreaking technique to transfer healthy mitochondria to fertilized embryos in hopes of removing the risk of the disease for generations to come.

Jan Deprest

Professor

Jan Deprest

MD, PhD, FRCOG

Dr Jan Deprest is a leading international Fetal Surgeon at University College London Hospital as a Consultant and University College London as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He also works at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and its University Hospitals Leuven as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Consultant in Obstetrics, Director of its Fetal Therapy Program and Co-Director of the Urogynecology Program. Professor Deprest is also the academic Head of the Department of Development and Regeneration and Director of the Centre for Surgical Technologies.

He dedicated his work to develop instruments and techniques for minimally invasive fetal and placental surgery and created a percutaneous method for fetoscopic placement of a balloon into the fetal trachea (“FETO”).
Professor Deprest’s current research interests are fetal congenital diaphragmatic hernia and spina bifida repair, in utero fetal gene & stem cell therapy, sealing of fetal membranes, and reconstructive surgery of the pelvic floor.

Basky Thilaganathan

Professor

Basky Thilaganathan

MD, PhD, FRCOG

Professor Basky Thilaganathan was appointed Director of Fetal Medicine at St George’s Hospital in 1999. His research interests are focused on Maternal-Fetal medicine, with a particular interest in placental dysfunction and preeclampsia.
Professor Thilaganathan was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG) and an Honorary Doctorate (PhD) from Uppsala University in 2007.
He is the Clinical Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement and is Editor Emeritus of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
He is also a Council Member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and represents the RCOG on the UK National Screening Committee and the DH Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle oversight committee. Within his multiple accomplishments, Professor Thilaganathan is also the Clinical Lead for the development of the first dedicated high-throughput cfDNA screening NHS lab to undertake cfDNA aneuploidy screening in pregnancy!

Laureates of the most important distinctions in the Life Sciences’ field, eminent researchers and remarkable doctors will give us a rare glimpse into the hard work behind some of the major discoveries of our time. Listen to their story of what it took to get there.

KEYNOTE LECTURES

George P. Smith

Professor

George P. Smith

PhD

Born in Norwalk, Connecticut in the United States, Professor Smith studied at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and then at Harvard University, where he obtained a doctorate in bacteriology and immunology in 1970. After a stay at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, he moved to the University of Missouri in Columbia where he spent the rest of his career.
Additionally, he spent the sabbatical year of 1983-1984 at Duke University where he developed a technique known as Phage Display. This allowed for the surface expression of proteins encoded by genes inserted into a bacteriophage’s genome. His discovery was later used by Sir Gregory Winter to develop Adalimumab, the first human monoclonal antibody targeting TNF-alpha.
For his innovative and ground-breaking work on the Phage Display technique, Professor George Smith and his colleagues Professor Sir Gregory Winter and Professor Frances Arnold were awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Michael H. Shepard

Doctor

Michael H. Shepard

PhD

After completing a Ph.D. in Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington, and then a successful Walter Winchell-Damon Runyon postdoctoral fellowship, also in the Biology Department at IU, Doctor Shepard joined Genentech.
Doctor Shepard collaborated with Professor Sir Marc Feldmann on TNF blockers such as Remicade which are now widely used on multiple autoimmune diseases. Additionally, he was responsible for developing the first biomarker-driven drug used to treat solid tumours, Herceptin/Transtuzumab. A monoclonal antibody targeting breast cancer cells overexpressing the HER2 receptor which has helped to treat more than 2.3 million breast cancer patients.
For his extraordinary and life-changing work on Herceptin, he was awarded the 2019 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. Doctor Michael Shepard currently consults with several pharmaceutical companies, focusing primarily on cancer therapeutic discovery and early clinical development

After completing a PhD in Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington, and then a successful Walter Winchell-Damon Runyon postdoctoral fellowship, also in the Biology Department at IU, Doctor Shepard joined Genentech.

Doctor Shepard collaborated with Professor Sir Marc Feldmann on TNF blockers such as Remicade which are now widely used on multiple autoimmune diseases. Additionally, he was responsible for developing the first biomarker-driven drug used to treat solid tumours, Herceptin/Transtuzumab. A monoclonal antibody targeting breast cancer cells overexpressing the HER2 receptor which has helped to treat more than 2.3 million breast cancer patients. 

For his extraordinary and life-changing work on Herceptin, he was awarded the 2019 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. Doctor Michael Shepard currently consults with several pharmaceutical companies, focusing primarily on cancer therapeutic discovery and early clinical development.

As we say in Portuguese, “The doctor who only knows about Medicine, doesn’t know it at all” (Professor Abel Salazar 1889 – 1946). The iMed Sessions are a set of lectures meant to connect the world of medicine and the world beyond it, thus fulfilling the main goal of the iMed Conference® – to INSPIRE.

iMed SESSIONS

Keith Grimes

Keith Grimes

MD

Dr Keith Grimes is the Clinical Innovation and Artificial Intelligence Director at Babylon Health. He is an NHS with nearly 20 years of experience on the front line of Primary Care and the founder of VR Doctors, an online forum supporting the Immersive Healthtech community. A keen advocate of the power of technology to provide quality improvement globally, he has developed award-winning Digital Medicine projects, as well as pioneering work in Clinical VR and Artificial Intelligence. He was an expert panellist on the Topol Review, an independent report on preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future, and leads the Babylon Clinical AI Fellow Programme.

Virginia Wotring

Professor

Virginia Wotring

PhD

Dr Wotring studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University (USA) and completed her Ph.D. on Pharmacological and Physiological Science at Saint Louis University (USA). Her postgraduate research, conducted at the University of Alabama (USA), was centred on structure, function and pharmacology of the ligand-gated ion channels of the nervous system.

Since then, Dr Wotring occupied several relevant positions: Discipline Lead of Pharmacology at NASA Johnson Space Center (Houston TX USA); Science and Technology Integration Manager at the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (Houston TX USA); Deputy Director and Chief Scientist at the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TX USA); as well as Associate Professor at the Center for Space Medicine and Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston TX USA).

Dr. Virginia Wotring is currently working at the International Space University, researching human performance in space, examining the changes in physiology and pharmacology that occur in the confined, closed, microgravity, elevated radiation environment of a space mission – an example of an extreme environment.

Simon Carley

Professor

Simon Carley

MB ChB, PGDip, DipIMC (RCS Ed), FRCS (Ed)(1998), FHEA, FAcadMed, FRCEM, MPhil, MD, PhD

Professor Simon Carley MB ChB, PGDip, DipIMC (RCS Ed), FRCS (Ed)(1998), FHEA, FAcadMed, FRCEM, MPhil, MD, PhD is Creator, Webmaster, owner and Editor in Chief of the St Emlyn’s blog and podcast.

He is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at Manchester Metropolitan University and a
Consultant in adult and paediatric Emergency Medicine at Manchester Foundation Trust. He is co-founder of the BestBets website, St.Emlyn’s social media learning platforms and the MSc in emergency medicine at Manchester Metropolitan University.

He is an Education Associate with the General Medical Council and is an Associate Editor for the Emergency Medicine Journal. He is the lead for CPD at the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. His research interests include diagnostics, Medical Education, Major incident management & Evidence based Emergency Medicine.

For these lectures we choose speakers who have devoted their lives to humanitarian Medicine – our aim is to motivate students to be connected with the world beyond their hospitals and take action. In today’s global world, where problems have no borders anymore, what role will you play?

HUMANITARIAN LECTURES

Essam Daod

Essam Daod

MD

Dr Essam Daod is a psychiatrist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist who grew up in Israel in a small Arab Palestinian village in the Galilee. He specialized in child and adolescent psychiatry and graduated from psychoanalytic school. In 2015, he flew to Greece for a humanitarian rescue mission where he co-founded Humanity Crew and has been working with refugees ever since. Humanity Crew specializes in the provision of psychological aid to refugees and people in crises, working to deploy mental health and psycho-social support to displaced populations to improve their wellbeing, to restore order in their lives, and to prevent further psychological escalation.
Currently, he is an avid refugee mental health activist and researcher who has spoken in countless conferences all over the world advocating for the importance of mental health support for refugees. In 2016 Essam and Humanity Crew were awarded “The Defenders of Refugee Rights Award" at the 4th Edition of Cities Defending Human Rights in Barcelona and in 2018 he became a WHO mental health expert team member.

Iris Van Slooten

Iris Van Slooten

Iris van Slooten is an advisor on the Hogeweyk® Care Concept at Be Advice & Support, the first and original dementia village.
While studying, Iris had a part-time job in a nursing home and discovered how much she loved this group of people within our society. And so, after ten years working in the hotel industry, she came across The Hogeweyk, where a real difference is made in people’s personal lives every day.
Van Slooten was inspired to think outside the box and decided to help healthcare organizations, entrepreneurs and policymakers with the Hogeweyk vision; a normal life for people living with (severe) dementia. Iris fully embraces that vision and believes that it’s very important to promote it, now and in the future, to inspire and support new initiatives and transformations in normal living, care providing and wellbeing for people living with dementia worldwide. The further development of the results of this vision and the translation of the concept to other countries, cultures and context motivates her every day.