ESPGHAN Young Investigator Forum

Application Deadline: 10.07.2018

Registration Fee

Registration Fee (None)

Another YIF meeting is coming up!

The ESPGHAN Young Investigators Forum (YIF) has been an integral part of the society for the last 21 years.  The meeting was established to nurture academic development in the society and foster collaborations amongst the emerging generations of academics and clinicians. Over the years YIF has seen many individuals, their juniors and team members come through to become established academics and clinicians as well as develop friendships and collaborations across Europe.

Young Investigator's Forum (YIF). An intensive 3 day meeting run once a year that includes (i) ice-breaking sessions; (ii) delegate presentations and detailed feedback on generic (abstract, presentation etc) and project specific items; (iii) faculty presentations (abstract writing, presentation and feedback skills, manuscript preparation, preparation for an academic career) and (iv) an interactive social programme. The forum is residential and restricted to 20 delegates chosen following a competitive application and selection process. For the last 5 years the meeting has been held in the Netherlands (Bergen) in late September. Dates for 2018 are 26th-29th September 2018.

Aim of the YIF meeting and social gathering

    To provide young investigators with a friendly and constructive atmosphere in order to present their research and learn from each other.
    To allow the development of key skills in presenting, writing abstracts and papers as well as to gain insight into an academic career.
    To meet and network with other delegates and senior faculty members and to set up research collaborations in Europe.
    To enable young investigators to contribute to the scientific development of ESPGHAN.

Definition of a Young Investigator
Active clinical or laboratory based researcher working in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. Ideally with less than 10 years training experience.

Applications should include:

    Letter of support from an ESPGHAN member
    Short CV (maximum 2 pages A4)
    Abstracts must have title, author(s) and institution(s) where the work was done and be written as per instructions below.
    A completed application form

Please Note: Delegates may not attend for more than one forum
Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by an unrestricted educational grant

Abstract Instructions

    Abstracts must contain data and meet international ethical standards.
    Abbreviations should be defined.
    Trade names cannot be mentioned in the title. However, trade names in brackets will be accepted in the body of the text.
    The abstract cannot contain more than 3,000 characters (approx.450 words) (including blank spaces, punctuation as well as authors affiliation and titles).
    The abstract must be structured into the following sections:
       - Aims and Objectives
       - Methods
       - Results
       - Conclusion
    One table can be included, with the following restrictions:
   - Max number of columns: 10
   - Max number of rows: 10
Please note that tables may significantly reduce the number of available characters.

Cost & Registration

ESPGHAN will cover  for each accepted delegated:
   •    accommodation
   •    three meals per day
   •    course materials
   •    Social programme

We offer for each delegate that was accepted a travel refund up to 400 EUR.


Duinweg 5     
1861 GL Bergen
The Netherlands
 Please find more Information’s on the Hotel Homepage: 

Wednesday 26 September 


12.00 – 14.00 Transport Airport Amsterdam – Blooming Hotel Bergen  

14.00 – 16.00 Faculty members Meeting 



Chairs: Amit Assa, Jernej Dolinsek, Iva Hojsak, Florence Lacaille 

16.00 – 16.05 Welcome by faculty 

16.05 – 17.25 Interactive Introduction with the delegates 

17.25 – 17.50 Faculty lecture: Principles of feedback (Jernej Dolinsek) 

17.50 - 18.00 Break 

18.00 – 19.00 Group Work (Ice breaker) 

19.00 – 19.30 Faculty lecture: Presentation techniques (Iva Hojsak) 

19.30 Break  

19.45 Pre dinner drinks + Dinner at hotel 

Thursday 27 September 


Chair : Florence Lacaille 


09.00 – 09.30 Melinda Moriczi, Predictive factors of response to the exclusive enteral nutrition in newly diagnosed Crohn´s disease children. 

Comment: Ibrahim Shamasneh; Kriszta Boros; Iva Hojsak 

09.30 – 10.00 Neil McConnell, Medical and surgical therapies for the treatment of gastrointestinal dystonia in children with severe neurodisability - A systematic review 

Comment: Naire Sansotta; Lucile Espeso; Jernej Dolinsek 

10.00 – 10.30 Faculty lecture: How to be an efficient researcher - Developing proposals and writing grant applications (Amit Assa) 

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break / Photo 

11.00 – 11.30 Laura Kivela, Associated factors and long-term significance of the severity of histological damage in coeliac disease 

Comment: Manar Matar; Ilektra Athiana; Amit Assa 

11.30 – 12.00 Naire Sansotta, Subclinical biliary strictures revealed by mild ductular proliferation in grafts of paediatric liver transplant recipients 

Comment: Laura Draijer ;  Laura Kivela ; Florence Lacaille 

12.00 – 12.30 Ilektra Athiana, Safety of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose in treatment of iron deficiency in children under two years with intestinal failure 

Comment: Jan Melek; Assylzhan Messova; Iva Hojsak 

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch Break 


Chair: Jernej Dolinsek 


13.30 – 14.00 Gauthier Foulon, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and school absenteeism 

Comment: Jan Melek; Melinda Moriczi; Iva Hojsak 

14.00 – 14.30 Laura Draijer, Screening for Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency: a retrospective data mining study and evaluation of screening criteria 

Comment: Petra Riznik; Naire Sansotta; Florence Lacaille 

14.30 – 15.00 Manar Matar, Endoscopic Finding in Children with Isolated Rectal Bleeding 

Comment:  Petra Riznik; Neil McConnell; Iva Hojsak 

15.00 – 15.30 Coffee/tea break 

15.30 – 16.00 Sophie Courbage, Intestinal transplantation: what can we expect? 

Comment: Surya Thapa; Lev Dorfman; Jernej Dolinsek 

16.00 – 16.30 Kriszta Boros, Characteristics and follow-up on body composition, physical activity and quality of life in paediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease 

Comment: Zuzana Londt ; Gauthier Foulon ; Amit Assa 

16.30 – 17:00 Ivana Trivic, Lack of benefit of addition of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 in the treatment of functional constipation in children 

Comment : Assylzhan Messova; Mana Vriesman; Florence Lacaille 

17.30 Depart from the hotel for evening event and dinner 

Friday 28 September 


Chair: Iva Hojsak 


09.00 – 09.30 Assylzhan Messova, Renal function in children on long-term home parenteral nutrition 

Comment: Sophie Courbage ; Ilektra Athiana ; Iva Hojsak 

09.30 – 10.00 Lucile Espeso, Quality of life in children with hirschsprung’s disease 

Comment: Manar Matar; Laura Draijer; Jernej Dolinsek 

10.00 – 10.30 Zuzana Londt, Targeting Biological treatment in children using drug levels improves patient outcomes 

Comment : Melinda Moriczi ; Gauthier Foulon ; Amit Assa 

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break 

11.00 – 11.30 Lev Dorfmann, EBV serology pattern in pediatric liver transplant recipients 

Comment : Surya Thapa ; Sophie Courbage ; Florence Lacaille 

11.30 – 12.00 Petra Riznik, Clinical presentation and diagnostic delays in children with coeliac disease in the central european region in 2016 

Comment: Mana Vriesman; Laura Kivela; Amit Assa 

12.00 – 12.30 Ibrahim Shamasneh, Upper gastrointestinal involvement is not predictive of disease course in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease of colitis phenotype 

Comment: Ivana Trivic; Zuzana Londt; Jernej Dolinsek 

12.30 – 13.00 Faculty lecture: Writing a scientific publication (Florence Lacaille) 

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch Break 


Chair: Amit Assa 


14.00 – 14.30 Mana Vriesman, Sacral Nerve Stimulation versus Antegrade Continence Enema Treatment for Children with Intractable Constipation and Fecal Incontinence 

Comment: Ivana Trivic; Neil McConnell; Amit Assa 

14.30 – 15.00 Surya Thapa, Targeted approach to diarrhoea after liver transplantation, using Film Array Gastrointestinal Panel  

Comment: Lev Dorfman ; Lucile Espeso ; Florence Lacaille 

15.00 – 15.30 Jan Melek, Is the combination therapy (infliximab+azathioprine) more effective than azathioprine alone in achieving of the mucosal healing in pediatric patients with Crohn´s disease? 

Comment: Ibrahim Shamasneh; Kriszta Boros; Jernej Dolinsek 

15.30 – 16.15 Tea / Break (Faculty collation of scores) 


Chairs: Amit Assa, Jernej Dolinsek, Iva Hojsak, Florence Lacaille 


16.15 – 16.45 Closing evaluation 

17.00 Depart from the hotel for evening event and farewell dinner 


Saturday 29 September 


Breakfast and check out Transfer back to Amsterdam Airport 

Florence Lacaille
AFFILIATION: Hepatogastroenterology-Nutrition Unit,
Hôpital Necker-Enfants malades, Paris

Florence Lacaille is pediatric hepatologist, also responsible for intestinal transplantation in Necker-Enfants malades (second largest hepatology unit in France and first intestinal transplantation unit in Europe).

Member of ESPGHAN since the last century, previous member of the ESPGHAN Council and the Hepatology Committee. Doing her best to help young active enthousiastic doctors to feel attracted to ESPGHAN, because of all the opportunities (clinical
work, research, networking, education...) the Society offers.

Iva Hojsak
AFFILIATION: Referral Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Children’s Hospital Zagreb
COUNTRY: Croatia

Iva Hojsak, MD, PhD is pediatric gastroenterologist and head of the Referral Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Children’s Hospital Zagreb, Croatia. She graduated on Medical School of Zagreb, where she also received her PhD degree. She has published more
than 90 scientific and clinical papers and has been a coworker in more than 15 international and Croatian scientific projects. She is a head of Scientific Committee of the Children’s Hospital Zagreb, secretary of the ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition and associate editor of Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Her main clinical/research interests include probiotics, intestinal failure and parenteral
nutrition and inflammatory bowel disease.

Jernej Dolinsek
AFFILIATION: University Medical Centre Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
COUNTRY: Slovenia

Jernej Dolinšek works at the Gastroenterology Unit of Paediatric Department University Medical Centre Maribor, Slovenia, where he started to work in 1996. He serves as a head of the unit since 2012. He served as a head of the Department of Paediatrics in 2010-2012.
During his training, he has spent valuable time in Tampere, Finland with the research group of Prof. Markku Mäki. Based on this work he has finished his PhD aimed at the study of apoptotic processes in celiac disease.
He has been actively collaborating in several national and international study groups and projects in the field of paediatric gastroenterology mainly focusing on celiac disease. Currently he is actively involved in Focus-In-CD, Medicel, ProCeDE, EuroPaedHP projects and initiatives.
He has been invited as a guest speaker to many international events, especially in Eastern European countries. He has been president of Slovene Celiac Disease Society for one mandate and is still a member of Executive board. He is a member of Slovene Medical Chamber Council, Slovene Paediatric Association Executive Board.
In 1997, he was a chair of International Celiac Disease Symposium in Maribor.
At the time, he serves in ESPGHAN Council as ESPGHAN International Affairs Representative (2014-2017); he is a member of UEG Council, and member of ESPGHAN YIF faculty. Within ESPGHAN, he is a member of coeliac disease Special Interest Group.
He is happily married and has two wonderful children.

Amit Assa

AFFILIATION: Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases, Schneider Children's Hospital of Israel.


Amit Assa, M.D, M.H.A 

Professor of Pediatrics and Head of IBD program. The Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases, Schneider Children's Hospital of Israel. Member of the ESPGHAN Porto IBD working group. 

Fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at the Department for Gastroenterology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. 

Master in Health Administration, Beer Sheva University. 

Professor of Pediatrics, The Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University 

Published over 60 papers in peer-review journals. Main research focus is on IBD epidemiology, long-term outcomes and specifically on pharmacokinetics of biologic agents including leading several interventional RCTs currently active.