Daily Recap: Monday, 22 October

Monday at UEG Week Vienna 2018 included the beginning of the core Scientific Programme, containing a mixture of invited speakers and presentations of the best submitted abstracts to the congress. 

During the Opening Session, a variety of awards were presented, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, the UEG Research Prize and the UEG Journal Best Paper Award.

Catch up on the Opening Session's action on Twitter.

In addition to the Opening Session, today's programme covered a range of different topics, including cutting-edge endoscopy measures, coeliac disease therapies, the management of Barrett's and approaches to the diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease. 

UEG Research Prize 2018: Cisca Wijmenga

Each year, UEG awards €100,000 for excellence in basic science, translational or clinical research. During the Opening Session, Cisca Wijmenga was awarded this year’s UEG Research Prize for her outstanding work ‘A coeliac mucosal barrier-on-chip model to investigate its role in initiation of coeliac disease’. During the past 20 years, Cisca Wijmenga has devoted her career on identifying novel genetic factors that underline coeliac disease and was the first to recognise the power of case-control based genome-wide association studies. 

“Contributing to a better life for coeliac patients was the rationale and reason to begin investigating the genetics of celiac disease” explained Cisca Wijmenga. “I hope that this work can contribute to the pioneering research on building personalised models of coeliac disease, which can be utilised in many different ways.” 

View more on the UEG Research Prize.

UEG Lifetime Achievement Award: Colm O'Morain

Every year, UEG recognises remarkable individuals who have made essential contributions to the world of gastroenterology and hepatology and the UEG community. This year’s UEG Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Colm O’Morain.

Colm O’Morain was a Consultant Gastroenterologist and Professor of Medicine at the Faculty of Health Sciences in Trinity College Dublin and the Adelaide & Meath National Children’s Hospital in Tallaght, Dublin. As Dean of the Faculty and during his academic career, he has been a key opinion leader in multiple major fields of gastroenterology. He was one of the first to establish that eradication of H. pylori could cure peptic ulcers permanently and was globally integral in all aspects of H. pylori research and treatment. He led a laboratory based research programme focusing on fish oils, vitamins and the role of nutrition, as well as the role of heparin for the treatment of IBD. He has also been a major contributor to pan-European consortiums on epidemiology and genetics in IBD studies. Advocacy work by UEG in Brussels was initiated under Colm O’Morain’s chairmanship of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and he was instrumental in advocating for colorectal cancer screening on both a national and pan-European level.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive such a prestigious award and extremely grateful to the Council for bestowing on me this unique Lifetime Achievement Award” explained Colm O’Morain. “It is the pinnacle of my career and I hugely appreciate the nomination by the European Helicobacter pylori Study Group (EHSMG) and the Irish Society of Gastroenterology who put me forward as their candidate. During my tenure as UEG President, besides opening the House of European Gastroenterology and developing the UEG Journal, we rebranded from the UEGF and what I have learnt and appreciated is the need to be united and have one voice. This means we are more likely to be heard by politicians and management and are better placed to represent the needs of patients.”

“There have been great strides in medical care during my lifetime but I expect more from the next generation and hope that UEG continues to flourish and excel.” 

View more on the UEG Lifetime Achievement Award.

UEG Journal Best Paper Award: Joaquín Cubiella

The UEG Journal Best Paper Award recognises the first-named author of the best original scientific research published in the UEG Journal in the past year. This year’s winner is Joaquín Cubiella, the first author of the winning article titled “Correlation between adenoma detection rate in colonoscopy – and fecal immunochemical testing – based colorectal cancer screening programs”.

Within the research which focused on 5722 individuals, Joaquín Cubiella and his colleagues performed a post-hoc analysis within the COLONPREV trial to determine that there was a significant and positive correlation between the adenoma detection rate in primary and work-up colonoscopy of a FITpositive result. 

“This award is a recognition of the effort made by the members of AEG in the last 20 years to develop relevant clinical research projects in which both Spanish academic and non-academic centers can participate” explained Joaquín Cubiella. “It is an award for the COLONPREV project, one of the most outstanding colorectal cancer screening research projects currently performed. This study will complete the follow-up in the next years and will provide relevant information on the effect of the two most accepted screening strategies: colonoscopy and fecal immunochemical test.”         

View more on the UEG Journal Best Paper Award.

Top Abstract Prizes 

Every year, UEG award prizes of € 10,000 to each of the top 5 abstracts submitted to UEG Week. All abstracts are considered for prizes provided that the abstract has not previously been presented at an international meeting.

Prizes are awarded to the first author, who should also be the presenting author, and will be featured in UEG publications.

This year’s awardees were:

Jony van Hilst, The Netherlands

Marinus A. Kempeneers, The Netherlands

Jan Hendrik Niess, Switzerland

Kevin Perez, France

Nicolien Schepers, The Netherlands

UEG Rising Stars 2018

Each year, the UEG Scientific Committee together with the National Societies Committee jointly select 6-8 emerging clinical scientists as Rising Stars. These scientists are selected based on a track record of international quality research and developing scientific independence. The initiative provides these young researchers with an excellent platform to further develop their career and to take their research to the next level. Congratulations to this year’s eight UEG Rising Stars: 

Jesús M. Bañales, Spain 

Adam Donald Farmer, UK 

Ricard Farré, Belgium

Alexander Kleger, Germany 

James C. Lee, UK 

Rodrigo Liberal, Portugal (pictured)

Ilse Rooman, Belgium 

Stan van de Graaf, Netherlands 

Scientific Programme Highlights: Alcoholic Liver Disease

The objectives of this session on alcoholic liver disease were to investigate the changes in liver disease in the 21st century, how we should go about the treatment of alcohol abuse and what to think about in the approach to diagnosis. 

Nicolas Sheron began the session by discussing liver disease epidemiology, explaining that it is about to become the leading cause of years of life lost in England and Wales and that it already is the second leading cause in Europe. 

Chrisophe Moreno continued by exploring the diagnosis of liver disease and listed some key facts relating to denial in both patients and physicians. He stated that alcohol abuse is a major cause of liver disease worldwide, and that the denial of alcohol abuse and under-reporting of alcohol intake is highly common in patients. He also discussed the role of physicians underestimating alcohol-related problems and that both of these issues contribute to alcoholic liver disease often being diagnosed at decompensated state. 

Camille Barrault and Alexandre Louvet both discussed the management and treatment of alcohol related diseases. Barrault presented on anti-abuse treatment and non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies and expressed her opinion that a combination of the two was an optimal treatment method. Following this discussion, Louvet explored management options of alcoholic hepatitis and some of his key points included that prednisolone improves short-term survival, that steroids should be stopped in case of non-response and that infection is a frequent event and of concern to physicians with patients diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis.   

Catch up on the session's action on Twitter.

Scientific Programme Highlights: Coeliac Disease: From Basics to Therapy

The most important feature of UEG Week is science and the programme is constantly looking to attract the best science to the meeting. Abstract-based sessions provide a fantastic opportunity to do so, allowing enthusiastic researchers to present the findings of their latest work.

In this abstract-based session, Laura Kivelä opened discussions on coeliac disease and explained the aetiology of coeliac disease, which included the human leukocyte antigen, non HLA-genetic factors and environmental factors such as gluten exposure and gastrointestinal infections.

Luisa Mearin discussed her study on the need for coeliac disease screening in children that have coeliac disease in their family. Her findings showed that this indeed would be beneficial, with 50% of the children in the study with coeliac disease-related symptoms showing improvement with treatment of a gluten free diet.

Laura Redero explored the diagnosis of individuals already on a gluten free diet and found that gluten exposure also induces the exposure of activated, gut homing CD8 and γδ T-cells in peripheral blood in patients with coeliac disease. She explains that this could be a valid tool to support the diagnosis of individuals who voluntarily adopted a gluten free diet after an uncertain diagnosis and could be used in patients with high, low or non-HLA genetic risk.     

Catch up on this session's action on Twitter.

Daily Recap - Sunday

Catch up on the Postgraduate Teaching Programme! 
Access the Recap

Daily Recap - Tuesday

Catch up on Tuesday's action! 
Access the Recap