Dear colleagues,

Dear ESSR members,

It is my great honor and pleasure to introduce the new board of the ESSR, voted in at our last meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. 

  • Prof. Wolfgang Jungraithmayr, treasurer, has taken over from Prof. René Tolba. Professor Jungraithmayr is based in Rostock, Germany and is the head of the department of Thoracic surgery and an esteemed researcher specialized in lung cancer and organ transplantation. 
  • Dr. Mikael Chetboun, secretary general, has taken over from Dr. Thomas Hubert. Dr. Chetboun is a General and Endocrine surgeon from Lille, France specialized in islet of Langerhans and pancreas transplantation surgery. 
  • Dr Lisa Rancan, a biomolecular researcher in surgical research, based in Madrid, Spain and past congress president of the ESSR 2018.
  • Dr. Jaroslav Chlupac, a Vascular and Transplantation Surgeon from Prague, Czech Republic who is active in the field of surgical research with interests in vascular tissue engineering and transplantation. 
  • Dr. Thomas Theologou, a Cardiovascular surgeon based in Lugano, Switzerland and Liverpool, United Kingdom, and past ESSR congress president in 2015.
  • Dr. Manuel Maglione, associate professor of the General and Transplantation surgery department in Innsbruck, Austria, and congress president of the ESSR 2020.
  • And myself, Dr. Konstantinos Vakalopoulos, president, has taken over from Prof. Jiri Froněk.

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Konstantinos Vakalopoulos. I am a hand surgeon in Geneva, Switzerland and have obtained a PhD in surgical research on the subject of tissue adhesives in 2016. I am still active in surgical research, and also in the creation of a national registry for hand surgery. I am half-Dutch, half-Greek and have lived in various places in Europe and the USA. I have been an active member of the ESSR since 2011 at the Aachen meeting, and have been serving the board for the last years. After presiding a successful ESSR 2019 conference, with many long-time ESSR participants as well as many new faces, I am pleased to announce that I have been given the opportunity to take the ESSR forward in the next years, as the new president of our great society. 

I would like to take an opportunity to thank the exiting board members, Jiri Froněk, René Tolba and Thomas Hubert for their hard work and dedication. They led our society through some difficult times and were able to keep the focus on the future, as well as extending their mandates to help the ESSR the best way they could: on behalf of the new board members of the ESSR, thank you! We hope to profit from your experiences and hope that you will stay close during the coming years. 

The ESSR is going into a new phase. This year’s meeting has proven that there is a great interest in bringing like-minded researchers and surgeons together in a single broad conference. We have found our niche: We are the bridge between super-specialized international surgical conferences and national meetings, and give the opportunity to young surgeons to present their research and to benefit from experiences from a large forum of researchers, surgeons and engineers. We have had a lot of positive feedback after this year’s meeting, during which several new initiatives were introduced: we opted for a two-day conference with a closing ceremony on Friday night, with more than 100 people staying for the closing drinks after the awards ceremony. Furthermore, we grouped the parallel sessions by surgical specialization, so that participants may choose to follow a more tailor made program adapted to their research interests. Of course, the plenary sessions hosted all participants and stimulated interesting debates and new ideas. 

The new board is full of ideas to take the ESSR forward, we vow to be transparent and actively communicate with our members. We are now in the handover phase of our mandate, so it is a perfect time to ask our members if they have any feedback or ideas for the future. Please do not hesitate to contact our board or myself directly. 

I would like to ask you to please register as a member of the ESSR. We need more paying members to increase our power and visibility. Please note that the annual fee is deducted from the congress registration fee, and that we now have a new web-based registration system!

Lastly, please save the date for the ESSR 2020 congress, which will take place in the beautiful town of Innsbruck, Austria from 13-15 May, 2020. 

On behalf of the ESSR board, 

Surgically yours, 

Dr Konstantinos Vakalopoulos


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