Working group committees
Learn more about the working group committees involved in Ascona III
Mark Fox is Chair of the International Working Group for GI Motility and Function. He is lead physician at the Digestive Function: Basel, laboratory and clinic for motility disorders and functional GI disease in Klinik Arlesheim and Honorary Professor of Gastroenterology at the University Zürich and University of Nottingham. His research and practice are focused on the development and application of new investigations to describe the structure, function and sensitivity of the digestive tract. How the gastrointestinal tract responds to eating, digestion and toileting and how these responses break down in patients with digestive diseases.
Pharyngeal and Oesophageal Working Groups
John Erik Pandolfino
Dr. Pandolfino is Hans Popper Professor and Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. His career has focused on the biomechanics of bolus transport and gastrointestinal motility as it pertains to gastroesophageal reflux and swallowing disorders and is currently studying GERD and Dysphagia pathogenesis. He is Editor in Chief of Diseases of the Esophagus.
Nathalie Rommel is full professor at the Faculty of Medicine at University of Leuven. She runs the deglutology research program (Neurosciences, ExpORL, Deglutology) focusing on the development of pharyngeal and esophageal motility, the pathophysiology of dysphagia, novel diagnostic methods to assess motility disorders and the evaluation of current treatment modalities for upper GI motility disorders. Publications are listed on https://lirias.kuleuven.be/cv?u=U0050236.
Clinically, she is focused on pharyngeal videomanometry and esophageal manometry at Neurogastroenterology and Motility Clinic of the Gastroenterology Department, University Hospitals Leuven, offering a diagnostic service to neonatal, pediatric, adult and geriatric patients with motility disorders such dysphagia, rumination and globus.
Within the Faculty of Medicine of the KU Leuven, N Rommel is the program director of the Advanced Master in Deglutology at KULeuven, a one year EU-accredited Master Degree program training students in the clinical care and science of deglutition and its disorders (deglutology.com).
In February 2020, Nathalie Rommel was elected President of ESSD. Since then, she leads this European society in close collaboration with the ESSD Board, ESSD working groups and new ESSD Secretariat (myessd.org).
Peter J Kahrilas
Dr Peter J Kahrilas is the Gilbert H. Marquardt Professor in Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago where he has been faculty since 1986. Dr Kahrilas' research is on esophageal and oropharyngeal physiology and pathophysiology, on which he has published about 300 original papers.
Taher Omari is Professor of Human Physiology, Medical Science and Technology, at the College of Medicine and Public Health Flinders University, Australia. He has devoted the last 25 years to advancing understanding of swallowing disorders and gastroesophageal reflux. He is developed techniques that can measure gut function and has used these methods extensively for translational research targeted at pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of motility disorders using a philosophy of inclusive, multi-disciplinary collaboration. He has deployed these methods globally through development of the Swallow Gateway™, a web-based application for analysis and communication in relation to swallowing disorders (www.swallowgateway.com).
Rena Yadlapati is Associate Professor of Gastroenterology and Director of the Esophageal Motility and Disorders Program at the University of California, San Diego. Her clinical practice focuses on GERD, esophageal motility disorders, and eosinophilic esophagitis. She is an actively funded health services and patient centered outcomes researcher. Dr. Yadlapati’s career focus is to translate physiologic discoveries and advancement to the development of novel care paradigms for esophageal disorders.
Albis Hani is a Titular Professor of Medicine, gastroenterology and digestive endoscopy at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá- Colombia. She directs the Gastrointestinal motility Lab at Hospital Universitario San Ignacio. Her interest include gastrointestinal motility disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disease, anorectal disorders. She is involved in motility testing using high resolution manometry (esophageal and anorectal), esophageal ambulatory esophageal pH and impedance monitoring, smart pill.
Ashli O’Rourke attended Florida State University where she received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Speech – Language Pathology & Audiology. She practiced clinical speech-language pathology for over seven years at Emory University Hospitals in the Atlanta area, specializing in dysphagia evaluation and management.
Dr. O’Rourke attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia, graduating in 2005. She completed both her general surgery internship and her otolaryngology – head and neck surgery residency at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. She went on to complete a fellowship in Laryngology – Voice and Swallowing Disorders at the Medical College of Georgia. She is board certified through the American Board of Otolaryngology since 2012. Her career interests include swallowing disorders (dysphagia), voice disturbances, and airway concerns. She specializes in many in-office procedures including KTP laser treatment of oral and laryngeal lesions, vocal fold injection medialization, Botox injections for laryngeal spasm/spasmodic dysphonia, laryngeal biopsy, pharyngoesophageal manometry and transnasal esophagoscopy. Her research interests center on the evolving clinical application of pharyngeal high resolution manometry.
Dr. Shaker is an internationally recognized investigator of esophageal and aerodigestive tract physiology and pathophysiology at the basic and clinical level with special emphasis on sensory motor integration and cerebral cortical control. He has been continuously funded for the past 25 years by NIH and currently serves as the Principle Investigator of a Program Project Grant, a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and a T32 training grant.
His laboratory has developed a number of innovative techniques and devices that have helped open new fields of investigation. Dr. Shaker’s work has resulted in identification of several stimulatory and inhibitory reflexes between the aerodigestive tract, the esophagus and stomach and led to the development of therapeutic modalities such as the “UES Assist Device” for prevention of esophago-pharyngeal reflux and a rehabilitative exercise, “The Shaker Exercises” for alleviating upper esophageal sphincter opening abnormalities in dysphagic patients.
Dr. Shaker is Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Director of the Digestive Disease Center and he also serves as the Associate Provost and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational research at the MCW – School of Medicine. He has served on various NIH/NIDDK study sections including GMA-2, CIGP, SBIR and DSMB. He has also served on the VA Merit Review Board. He is the founder of the Dysphagia Research Society (DRS) and has served as the society’s president for two terms. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dysphagia. He is the recipient of the AGA Masters Award in Gastroenterology for Basic or Clinical Research, in Digestive Disease, and is a Masters of the American College of Physicians.
Rami Sweis acquired his Bachelor’s degree in 1994 from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his medical degree in 1999 from University of Edinburgh. He trained in gastroenterology at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals, Kings College Hospital and South East Thames and completed his PhD from Kings College London in 2012. He was appointed as Consultant in Upper GI Medicine and Physiology at UCLH in 2014 and is the Upper GI Physiology Lead. He also holds an Honorary Associate Professor position at University College London.
He is an active member of the international High Resolution Manometry Working Group, which is responsible for classifying esophageal disorders including the Chicago Classification. He is also President of the Association of GI Physiologists (AGIP), a member of the Neurogastroenterology & Motility and of the Oesophageal section of the British Society of Gastroenterology. He regularly organises and chairs Upper GI Symposia and Hands-on Training in Upper GI physiology in the UK (through AGIP, NGM and at UCLH) and through other societies abroad.
Rami Sweis’ research is primarily focused on trying to advance the methodology and utility of the technology used to investigate reflux and swallowing disorders, including catheter/wireless (Bravo) pH-monitoring, High Resolution Manometry, Endoscopy and Barium swallow. He continues to publish and collaborate with fellow experts and esophageal units nationally and internationally. He is currently PI in the UK (central site Leuven) of a multi-centre randomised trial comparing POEM with pneumatic dilatation.
As a member of the Upper GI Endoscopy team at UCLH, Rami Sweis has a particular interest in investigating and managing complex benign as well as malignant/pre-malignant upper GI disorders such as Achalasia (sequential pneumatic dilatation and per-oral endoscopic myotomy; POEM), Barrett’s esophagus (radio-frequency ablation and endoscopic mucosal resection), Gastric dysplasia (submucosal dissection) and upper GI cancer (dilatation, stent and laser).
Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Working Group
Sabine Roman, MD, PhD, is Professor of Digestive Physiology in Lyon University and Hospices Civils de Lyon. She is currently the ESNM representative in the UEG scientific committee. Her main research interest is focused on clinical application of esophageal functional testing including high resolution manometry and pH-impedance monitoring, motility disorders and gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
Arjan Bredenoord is consultant gastroenterologist at the AMC Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His interest lies in esophageal physiology and clinical esophagology with a focus on achalasia, reflux disease and eosinophilic esophagitis.
Edoardo Vincenzo Savarino
Edoardo Savarino received his Medical and Ph.D. degrees from University of Genoa in 2004 and 2009, respectively. From 2004 to 2011, he completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in Gastroenterology at the Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria San Martino of Genoa. Currently, he is a Professor of Gastroenterology, at University of Padua. His research is focused on gastrointestinal motility, acid-related disorders, Helicobacter Pylori, eosinophilic esophagitis, H2-breath tests, inflammatory bowel diseases and functional disorders (functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome). He received various prizes for his work from United European Gastroenterology Federation, OESO foundation, Italian Society of Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine. He is also prominently involved in education of students, residents, fellows and peers at all levels.
Prakash Gyawali is a Professor of Medicine, Director of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and Program Director of Gastroenterology Fellowship Training at the Division of Gastroenterology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA. Dr. Gyawali's academic interests include gastrointestinal motility, acid peptic disorders including gastroesophageal reflux disease, and functional bowel disorders. He directs gastrointestinal motility centers affiliated with Washington University, and is involved in motility testing using high resolution manometry (esophageal and anorectal), esophageal ambulatory esophageal pH and impedance monitoring, and wireless pH monitoring.
Professor Xiao MD PhD is from the department of gastroenterology in the first affiliated hospital of Sun Yat-sen university in China. She has been trained in Northwestern University in the USA. She is currently the vice president of the Youth committee of Chinese society of gastroenterology, and also the vice president of Chinese society of neurogastroenterology and motility. Her research interest is neurogastroenterology and motility, as well as functional gastrointestinal disease, especially gastroesophageal reflux disease and esophageal motility disorders.
Reuben Kong Min Wong
Reuben Wong is Associate Professor of Medicine, and adjunct faculty at the National University of Singapore. In his 18 years of public service, he introduced High Resolution Esophageal Manometry to and grew the utility of pH-Impedence testing in Singapore. He is also actively involved in drafting the new language for both upper and lower gut motility testing, and sits on both the International Anorectal Physiology Working Group, as well as Esophageal Chicago Classification Revision Committee.
With his passion for education, Reuben is actively involved in post-graduate teaching, and leads GI Motility, an internationally renowned upper and lower motility hands-on teaching course. Reuben has key publications in the field of IBS, chronic constipation and gut motility, as well as being recognised for his work on quality improvement in colon cancer screening. He also lectures actively in the realm of gut microbiota, and was part of the team that introduced Fecal Transplantation to Singapore.
Gastrointestinal Working Group
Jutta Keller is consultant gastroenterologist at the Israelitic Hospital in Hamburg, Academic Hospital University of Hamburg, Germany. Her academic and clinical interests include motor disorders throughout the gastrointestinal tract, pancreatic exocrine insufficiency and carbohydrate intolerance. She is former president of the German Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society. Currently, she leads the steering committee Gastric and Digestive Function of the International Working Group for GI Motility and Function, and she chairs the Neurogastroenterology and Motility Certificate Course of the German Gastroenterology Society.
Daniel Pohl is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist and head of the Functional Diagnostics Center in the Department of Gastroenterology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. He started his career as a fellow of the GI Functional Diagnostic Center in 2005, emphasizing clinics and research on upper gut motility and more lately, disorders of brain-gut interaction. Daniel is the Past-President of the Swiss Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and member of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility.
Heinz Hammer is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria and heads the intestinal function group in this university. He trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Graz, at Baylor University Medical Center Dallas, USA and Mayo Medical School Rochester, USA. He has been and remains board member of national and international professional societies including Chair of the Austrian Working Group on Functional GI Disorders, secretary of EAGEN, UEMS-EBGH and was chair of UEG education committee.
His main research interests are carbohydrate malabsorption and related diseases, hydrogen breath test, intestinal perception and symptom assessment, and diarrhea. He is currently chairing an international group for the creation of a UEG-sponsored guideline for breath tests in adult and pediatric patients.
leads the GI Motility Service and she is the referral consultant for functional disorders of upper and lower GI tract at the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre. She obtained her Specialization (2000) and PhD (2004) in Italy, where she worked for eight years as referral consultant for functional bowel disorders and lead of the Motility Unit of one of the most important university hospital in Milan, the San Raffaele University Hospital. She then moved to Belgium, where she spent also part of her PhD, to work in the lab of Prof Jan Tack as Senior Research Supervisor (2012-2016). She dedicated her professional carrier to the study of role of gut motility to the pathophysiology of symptoms of functional disorder. She is one of the Editor of the journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility and she leads the working group on food and drug interaction in the COST Action CA16205 (European Network on Understanding Gastrointestinal Absorption-related Processes).
Anorectal Working Group
Henriette Heinrich has persued her medical education at LMU München, Germany and has been engaged in clinical research based at the GI physiology lab of the University Hospital Zuerich since 2008 her clinical training as an internal medicine and gastroenterology specialist. Her main focus is anorectal physiology and high resolution anorectal manometry.
Charles Knowles is Professor of Surgical Research at Queen Mary University of London and Consultant Colorectal surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust. He is Director of the NIHR Enteric Healthcare Technology Cooperative, Co-director of the National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation. His main interests are the surgical management of benign coloproctological conditions, including the evaluation of neuromodulation and other technologies for the treatment of GI diseases, advanced in-vivo and in-vitro diagnostics for treatment stratification; and the patho-aetiology and management of GI neuromuscular diseases.
Emma Carrington is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation in London, UK. Her research is focussed on the development and standardisation of physiological tests of rectoanal function, particularly High Resolution Anorectal Manometry. She is co-organiser of the International Anorectal Physiology Working Group.
Dr Mark Scott, PhD is a Principal Investigator within the Blizard Institute at Queen Mary University of London, and is Director and one of the founders of the internationally-renowned GI (Colorectal) Physiology Unit at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry / Barts Health NHS Trust. He has over 25 years’ experience, both clinical and academic, and has authored 161 original articles and 12 book chapters. Mark is one of the Leads of the International Anorectal Physiology Working Group into standardisation of diagnostic testing. His research interests are focused on pathophysiology and treatment of functional colorectal disorders (primarily constipation and faecal incontinence), including: visceral hyposensitivity; assessment of colonic motor function; diagnostic device development; and evaluation of novel therapies.
Satish Rao is Professor of Medicine, Section Chief and Founding Director of the Digestive Health Center at the Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA. His research interests focus on IBS, food intolerance, constipation, fecal incontinence and visceral pain. He has pioneered new techniques of evaluating digestive function and the brain-gut axis and is currently investigating the neurobiologic mechanisms of biofeedback therapy. He has received numerous international awards and is Past President of the American Neurogastroenterology & Motility Society.
Jose M Remes-Troche
Jose M Remes-Troche is a Full Time Researcher and Associate Professor of Gastroenterology, and since 2019 is the Director of the Medical Biological Research Institute at the Universidad Veracruzana, in Veracruz, Mexico. He is a Level II National Researcher in Mexico and member of the International Anorectal Working Groupm. Also, he is member of multiple national and international professional associations and currently serves on several Editorial Boards and national professional committees. Dr. Remes-Troche is committed to patient-care, research and education. He has written numerous articles and book chapters, and his clinical and research interests include functional gastrointestinal disorders, functional constipation and anorectal disorders.
Dr Giuseppe Chiarioni is senior staff at the Gastroenterology Division of the University of Verona, Verona, Italy and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. He is member of: the Anorectal Committee of the Rome Foundation, the Committee for Assessment and Conservative Management of Faecal Incontinence and Quality of Life in Adults of the International Consultation on Continence, and the International Anorectal Physiology Working Party Group (IAPWG). He trained at Johns Hopkins University on GI Motility and Rehabilitation with Prof MM Schuster and Prof WE Whitehead on 1987. Since then he developed a number of cooperative research projects focused on diagnosis and treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders which have been mostly published on leading Gastroenterology Journals as Gastroenterology, Gut and The American Journal of Gastroenterology. His major includes biofeedback therapy for defecation disorders and hypnotherapy for functional gastrointestinal disorders.
Dr. Gregersen is President and professor at the California Medical Innovations Institute in San Diego, California.
He served as the Chief Executive of the Sino-Danish University in Beijing from 2010-2013 where he also served as Vice-Dean at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Gregersen established the GIOME network in 2008 that has facilities in USA, Denmark, Ireland, China, and Hong Kong. Dr. Gregersen is the recipient of the AGA Masters Award in Gastroenterology for Basic Research and the Irish Walton Award named after Nobel Laureate ETS Walton. He is also recipient of the Chinese National Friendship Award
Dr. Gregersen is an internationally recognized investigator of gastrointestinal mechanics and mechanosensation. He has applied engineering and mechanical principles in gastroenterology and developed several bioengineering models for predicting behavior of gastrointestinal function. Professor Gregersen is the author of the books Gastrointestinal Biomechanics (2002) and An Introduction to Gastrointestinal Mechanics (2016). He authored a large number of original research papers and reviews
Professor Gregersen’ team has developed a number of innovative techniques and devices. He developed impedance planimetry and co-invented the multimodal probe and the Functional Luminal Imaging probe (FLIP). The latter was commercialized in 2009. A new invention named Fecobionics, a simulated stool, that integrates several technologies used in clinical laboratories, is currently being explored for its clinical potential.
Kee Wook Jung
Kee Wook Jung is a Clinical Professor of Gastroenterology at Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. He performed his GI fellow training at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He serves as the director of education of Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and editorial committee of Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. His research interest is functional gastrointestinal disorder. He has written numerous articles and book chapters including novel parameters in high-resolution manometry in anorectum and esophagus, behavioral therapy in functional GI disorders, achalasia and eosinophilic esophagitis.
Anne-Marie Leroi is full Professor of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine of Rouen Normandy since 2000. She holds an Habilitation for research direction, a PhD in Physiology and a MD in Neurology from Rouen University. She is currently head of the clinical research center and biological resources center at Rouen University Hospital. She is the coordinator of a french medical network about faecal incontinence which will allows better opportunities for recruiting patients suffering from faecal incontinence.
Professor Leroi research interests include the evaluation of new technologies for the treatment of chronic bowel diseases (especially neuromodulation and cell therapies) and she has a track record of trial delivery in the field of faecal incontinence as chief Investigator to 4 major trials in France: (i) Efficacy of sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence (published Ann Surg 2015); (ii) Outcome and cost analysis of modulation for treating urinary and faecal incontinence (published Ann Surg 2011); (iv) Transcutaneous electrical tibial nerve stimulation in the treatment of faecal incontinence; a randomized trial (Consort 1a) (published Am J Gastroenterol 2012); (v) Effect and tolerance of botulinum toxin rectal injections on faecal incontinence: a randomized double-blind controlled study (ongoing).
Professor Leroi has authored over 130 peer reviewed publications including 24 scientific publications in top-ranked journal about faecal incontinence during the last ten years.
François Mion was born in Montpellier, France in 1962. He graduated from the Medical School of Medicine Alexis Carrel in Lyon in 1991, with a specialization in Hepatology and Gastroenterology. After 2 years of research on the physiology of prostaglandins production by the liver at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, USA, he was recruited as Professor of Physiology at the Medical School of Medicine Lyon-Nord (Université Lyon 1) in 1999, and developed an activity of clinical research on the use of stable isotopes and high resolution manometry in the field of functional digestive diseases diagnostic at Hôpital E. Herriot, Lyon, France. He was involved during 8 years (2008-2016) in the administrative management of this hospital. He is now professor of physiology at Lyon-Sud Medical University, head of the functional digestive diseases lab of Hospices Civils de Lyon, with a specific interest in the field of esophageal and anorectal disorders. He is a member of the International Working group of GI motility and function, member of the board of the Groupe Français de Neuro-Gastroentérologie, and of the French association of medical education in gastroenterology (FMC-HGE). He is also a member of the scientific committee of the French Association of patients suffering of IBS (APSSII).