Intestinal transplantation remains the most challenging and rarely performed organ transplant. However, over the last two decades outcome has significantly improved. One of the major contributing aspects is the synergy between the referring gastro-enterologist and transplant surgeon which resulted in the foundation of several highly specialized intestinal failure and transplant (IFT) centers worldwide, resulting in a multidisciplinary patient care. This evolution has pushed the field of intestinal failure, rehabilitation and transplantation forward resulting in several novel challenges, requiring original solutions!
Laurens Ceulemans Moderator
Council member IRTA-TTS IRTA Chair, membership and education committee Bio
Laurens Ceulemans (°1985) graduated as medical doctor in 2010 at KU Leuven, Belgium (MD). In 2017 he obtained his PhD with his contributions to the clinical and basic science field of intestinal transplantation and ischemia reperfusion injury. After his specialization in general surgery (2018), he completed a clinical and research fellowship in thoracic surgery and transplantation at the University Hospitals and ETH Zürich in Switzerland. This fellowship was supported by several grants including the prestigious Horlait-Dapsens and ESOT schorlarships. Since 2019 prof Ceulemans works as a thoracic and transplant surgeon at the department of Thoracic Surgery and the Leuven Intestinal Failure and Transplant (LIFT) center at the University Hospitals Leuven. He is appointed as professor in Surgery at KU Leuven and his basic research focuses on both the intestine and the lung. He is the author of more than 75 peer-reviewed papers and actively enrolled in several transplant societies. He is a council member for IRTA since 2018 and chair of the Membership and Education committee since 2021.
George V. Mazariegos Speaker
Past president IRTA-TTS, USA Bio
George V. Mazariegos, MD is the Division Chief of Pediatric Transplantation at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Mazariegos has been involved in the academic field of transplantation surgery for more than 25 years and has served as the past Chair of the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation, the immediate past President of the International Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Association (IRTA), counselor for the International Pediatric Transplant Association (IPTA), and UNOS OPTN Pediatric Committee. Recently, Dr. Mazariegos and colleagues founded the Starzl Network for Excellence in Pediatric Transplantation (www.starzlnetwork.org), a consortium bringing innovation and tech partners together with patients, families and transplant centers to transform outcomes in children undergoing transplantation.
Tim Vanuytsel graduated as medical doctor in 2007 at KU Leuven, Belgium (MD). He obtained a PhD degree in biomedical sciences in 2014 with his thesis on the role and mechanisms of intestinal permeability in functional gastrointestinal disorders. During his PhD he did a research fellowship in Maryland (Baltimore, USA) in the lab of Prof. Shea-Donohue. Prof Vanuytsel is currently a consultant gastro-enterologist at the University Hospitals Leuven with a clinical focus on intestinal failure, clinical nutrition and gastro-intestinal disorders. He is the co-founder and medical director of the Leuven Intestinal Failure and Transplant center (LIFT), which represents the largest intestinal failure and only bowel and multivisceral transplant center in Belgium. He is also appointed assistant professor at the KU Leuven and his research interests include the pathophysiology and treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders and intestinal failure and transplantation. He has published more than 100 original peer-reviewed papers and supervises 15 PhD students. He is the editor in chief of the Acta Gastroenterologica Belgica.
Nathalie Lauwers Speaker
UZ Leuven / ESPEN, Belgium Bio
Nathalie Lauwers graduated as a criminologist in 2008 at KULeuven, Belgium. She worked as a research assistant and phd student at the faculty of Law of the KULeuven. In 2011 she took a new turn in her career and decided to become a nurse to have a direct positive impact on people’s health and quality of life. After graduating in 2014 she started working as a nurse at the abdominal surgery ward in UZ Leuven. In 2016 she became a specialist nurse in fistula and stomacare. As the next step in her career, she joined the multidisciplinary team of the LIFT (Leuven Intestinal Failure and Transplant) –center as a nurse practitioner. She is leading the allied health professional core team of LIFT and coordinates the daily patient care for in- and outpatients.