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Invited Faculty


Alexander Gelbard, MD

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery



Ad Verhagen, MD PhD

Radboud University Hospital Nijmegen

The Netherlands

Prof. Verhagen graduated from medical school in 1989 and was board certified as a cardio-thoracic surgeon in 1997. He then spent 8 months at Mass General Hospital in Boston as a research fellow. Since 1998 he has been a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. In addition to cardiac surgery, he has had a special interest in thoracic surgery, including airway surgery. In 2017, he was appointed Professor of Thoracic Surgery at Radboud University Nijmegen. 


Thomas Schweiger, MD PhD

Medical University of Vienna, Department of Thoracic Surgery


Thomas Schweiger is a board-certified thoracic surgeon and staff surgeon at the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Medical University of Vienna. His main research and clinical interests are airway surgery, ECMO and lung transplantation. He published more than 60 Scopus-listed contributions to scientific journals with a cumulative impact factor of >200. Moreover, Dr. Schweiger serves as peer-reviewer for various journals including American Journal of Transplantation, Transplant International and Annals of Surgery.


Cesare Piazza, MD

University of Brescia and ASST Spedali Civili Brescia, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery


Cesare Piazza, MD, born in Cremona, Italy, in 1971, is Full Professor and Chief of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery of the University of Brescia, Italy, since September 2020; he is Research Director of the Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences, and Public Health of the School of Medicine of the University of Brescia, from May 2021. Dr. Piazza is currently serving as President of the European Laryngological Society and as President of Lombard Group of Otolaryngologists. He authored or co-authored 215 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 76 book chapters. He delivered 875 proffered papers and invited lectures in Congresses and Courses.


Paulo F. Guerreiro Cardoso MD, MSc, PhD

University of Sao Paulo, Department of Thoracic Surgery


Attending Thoracic Surgeon, Senior Thoracic Surgery Researcher, and Collaborating Professor at the Division of Thoracic Surgery of the Heart Institute (InCor) of the Hospital das Clinicas and Department of Cardiopneumology of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Expertise in general thoracic surgery, airway surgery, respiratory endoscopy, esophageal surgery and esophageal motility. Research (experimental and clinical) in regenerative medicine applied to the central airways, interventional airway endoscopy with emphasis on endoscopic lung volume reduction for emphysema, esophageal motility and physiology with emphasis on gastroesophageal reflux and respiratory disease.


Alexander Hillel, MD

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery


Dr. Alexander Hillel is a Professor, Vice Director of Education, and Residency Program Director in the Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.  His clinical practice and research centers on the treatment, prevention, and causes of laryngotracheal stenosis. Dr. Hillel holds sponsored grants from the NIH, surgical foundations, and the medical device industry. Dr. Hillel’s laboratory investigates the relationship between the immune system, bacteria, epithelial barrier defects, and scar formation in the airway in an effort to improve treatment. He is beginning the first interventional clinical trial in subglottic stenosis patients testing drugs that prevent scar formation.


Michele Salati, MD PhD

AOU Ospedali Riuniti of Ancona, Department of Thoracic Surgery


Dr. Michele Salati is a Staff Thoracic Surgeon at the Thoracic Surgery Unit of the University United Hospitals of Ancona, IT. Dr. Salati has been a visiting Professor for 6 months in 2016-2017 at the Division of Thoracic Surgery, Hospital das Clinicas, Faculty of Medicine University of São Paulo, Brazil. He is currently external professor for a post-graduation course in Thoracic and Cardiovascular surgery about large database research at the Faculty of Medicine University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Salati is currently member of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database Committee. He is also involved as Chief Data Officer for the development of the ESTS-SBCT Airways International Registry project. Dr. Salati is Author of more than 80 articles published in peer-reviewed impact factored scientific journals.


Imme Roesner, MD

Medical University of Vienna, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Phoniatrics and Speech Language Therapy



Kostas Papagiannopoulos, MD

St. James University Hospital, Department of Thoracic Surgery

United Kingdom

Kostas Papagiannopoulos is a senior consultant thoracic surgeon and lecturer at Leeds Medical School, UK. He performed specialty training and fellowships in RSA, London and Belgium and has been a senior surgeon since 2003. He has also spearheaded the development of several programs including the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery program since 2006 with over 5000 VATS lobectomies. In addition, he is a council member, treasurer, and 25th president of ESTS in 2017-2018. Kostas Papagiannopoulos is a member of several international societies and a reviewer on peer reviewed journals. He has published several papers that have been cited over 2000 times and has lectured at numerous international meetings and educational events. 


Francesco Moscato, PhD

Medical University of Vienna, Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering


Francesco Moscato received his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calabria (Italy). Since 2015, he is Associate Professor at the Medical University of Vienna (Austria). His research focuses on Medical Additive Manufacturing (3d-printing for surgical/interventional procedures, tissue engineering and medical education) and Cardiovascular Bioengineering (methods and devices for diagnostics/therapy). He has been Principal Investigator/Site Coordinator in eight internationally/nationally funded projects (cumulative funding ~4.5 MioEUR). He is author of 69 scientific articles and more than 35 invited talks (twice at a Gordon Research Conference). He was Secretary-General (2013-17) and President (2018-19) of the International Society for Mechanical Circulatory Support.


Catherine Anderson, BA

Expert Patient and Founder of the Living with iSGS Support Community

United Kingdom

Catherine was diagnosed with idiopathic subglottic stenosis (iSGS) in 2004 and has received treatment in both Australia and the UK. Recognising a need for patient support, 13 years ago Catherine founded the group ‘Living with idiopathic subglottic stenosis’, on Facebook ( Today there are in excess of 6,500 members worldwide, making management of this group almost a full-time job! Catherine is professionally trained in market research and marries this expertise with her understanding about airway stenosis and access to patients, working with doctors to conduct studies. She is an author and co-author on more than 10 published papers to date.


Michael Mildner, PhD

Medical University of Vienna, Department of Dermatology



Kaid Darwiche, MD

Ruhrlandklinik Essen, Department of Pulmonary Medicine


Prof. Dr. Kaid Darwiche, born in Bochum, Germany is a board-certified Pulmonologist at the Ruhrlandklinik – University Medicine Essen. He specialized in Internal Medicine in 2004 and in Respiratory Medicine in 2006 and since 2009 he works at the Ruhrlandklinik in Essen, first as a senior consultant of the Department of Interventional Pneumology, a reference and training center for Interventional Pulmonology under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Lutz Freitag and since 2015 as head of the department. His main clinical and research interests are interventional bronchoscopic procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of Central Airway Obstruction, Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction, and navigational bronchoscopy. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and lectures internationally on adult and pediatric airway disease. He was appointed as Associate Professor in Pulmonology in 2021 and elected as Vice-President of the West-German Lung Cancer Center in the same year. In 2018 he was elected as Head of the Endoscopy Section of the German Pneumology Society.


Berit Schneider-Stickler, MD

Medical University of Vienna, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Phoniatrics and Speech Language Therapy



Elie Fadel, MD

Marie Lannelongue Hospital Paris, Department of Thoracic Surgery


Dr. Elie Fadel obtained his Medical Degree and completed his Surgical Residency in Paris, France. He obtained his Masters of Science and PhD Degree in 2000.  In 2005, He complemented his training by obtaining a Fellowship in Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplantation at the Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada. In 2000, he joined the Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery and Heart-Lung Transplantation at Marie Lannelongue Hospital as a staff surgeon and Assistant Professor at the Paris-Sud University.  In 2007, he was appointed Professor of Thoracic and Cardio-Vascular Surgery based on his research and clinical work at Paris-Sud University. Since November 2013, Dr Fadel is the Head of the Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery and Heart-Lung Transplantation at Marie Lannelongue Hospital. Dr. Fadel is member of professional societies such as The French Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, The International Society of Heart-Lung Transplantation, The International CTEPH Association and The American Association for Thoracic Surgery.


Walter Klepetko, MD

Medical University of Vienna, Department of Thoracic Surgery



Helmut Prosch, MD

Medical University of Vienna,Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-Guided Therapy


Helmut Prosch, MD, is an Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy at the Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, where he serves as the deputy head of the division of general and paediatric radiology and is the section chief of thoracic imaging. His research focuses on the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer and deep learning for the diagnosis of diffuse parenchymal lung diseases. He has published more than 200 articles, reviews or book chapters.


Antonio D’Andrilli, MD

Sapienza University Rome, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Department of Thoracic Surgery



Paolo De Coppi, MD PhD 

Great Ormond Street Hospital, Department of Paediatric Surgery

United Kingdom


Daniela Gompelmann, MD

Medical University of Vienna, Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Pulmonology



Konrad Hoetzenecker, MD PhD

Course Director

Medical University of Vienna, Department of Thoracic Surgery


Konrad Hoetzenecker is the Head of the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Medical University of Vienna. As an appointed Professor for Lung Transplantation he is also the Director of the Vienna Lung Transplant Program. Besides lung transplantation he is specialized in airway surgery and extended thoracic procedures. Dr Hoetzenecker has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and is an editorial board member of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. He has been awarded several prizes and grants including the Graham Memorial Traveling Fellowship from the American Association of Thoracic Surgery.


Nuria María Novoa, MD PhD

Organising Committee

University Hospital of Salamanca, Department of Thoracic Surgery


Current consultant thoracic surgeon at the Thoracic Surgery department of the University Hospital of Salamanca, current researcher at the Salamanca Institute for Biomedical Research (IBSAL) and working as part time professor at the University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain. PhD at the University of Salamanca in 2002. EBTS certified. Member of the ESTS since 2000. Since 2017, ESTS director and member of the Learning Affairs Committee in charge of coordinating the ESTS annual Knowledge Track course. Later, in June 2021, appointed ESTS Director of Education and therefore involved in a great project to develop all the educational possibilities of the ESTS.


Isabelle Opitz, MD

Organising Committee

University Hospital Zurich, Department of Thoracic Surgery


Professor Isabelle Opitz is Director of the Department of Thoracic Surgery and Chair of the Lung Cancer Center at University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, she is Professor/Ordinaria for Thoracic Surgery at University of Zurich. Her clinical areas of expertise are surgical treatment of lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma, pulmonary endarterectomy and lung transplantation. She has received national and international awards for her research and has acquired more than 11 million Euro for her own research. She is the author of more than 180 articles, including 125 original articles, reviews, and book chapters. She is president of ESTS and International Director of AATS. 



Doris-Maria Denk-Linnert, MD

Organising Committee

Medical University of Vienna, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Phoniatrics and Speech Language Therapy


Doris-Maria Denk-Linnert is a specialist in ear, nose and throat diseases with additional specialist training in voice and speech disorders. She is head of the Clinical Department of Phoniatrics and Speech Language Therapy at the University Department of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital. Her main areas of expertise are the diagnosis and therapy of swallowing disorders, rehabilitation after tumour operations in the head/neck area with particular emphasis on oropharyngeal dysphagia, the diagnosis and therapy of voice disorders, phonosurgery and the diagnosis and therapy of early childhood laryngeal breathing disorders.