ECCO News keeps ECCO Members up-to-date on what is going on within the organisation and reports on IBD activities taking place within Europe. Since Spring 2006, ECCO News has maintained the flow of information between Members of the organisation. 

ECCO News is an important part of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation’s ambition to create a European standard of IBD care and to promote knowledge and research in the field of IBD. ECCO Members automatically receive this publication four times a year. 

Associate Editors

Nuha Yassin

Ignacio Catalán-Serra
© Ignacio Catalán-Serra

Latest ECCO News Content


ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Marieke Barnhoorn

Marieke Barnhoorn, ECCO Grant Awardee

Unraveling the immunoregulatory effects of local mesenchymal stromal cell therapy in patients with IBD

Marieke Barnhoorn
© Marieke Barnhoorn

Aim of research

Local mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy is approved for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease-associated perianal fistulas. However, little is known about the mechanism(s) of action of local MSC therapy. In this project we intend to unravel the engraftment and immunoregulatory effects of local MSC therapy in patients with refractory IBD.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports, Volume 15, Issue 4


16th Congress of ECCO - Preliminary Educational Programme with speaker names

The educational programme of the 16th Congress of ECCO is scheduled prior to the official start of the ECCO Congress and courses take place from July 7-9, 2021. These activities target ECCO’s different interest groups including young gastroenterologists, surgeons, paediatricians, pathologists, IBD Nurses, dietitians, allied health professionals and scientists.

An overview of these activities can be found below. Please note that courses/workshops may run concurrently. As these educational activities have a limited capacity, we encourage you to register at your earliest convenience.

We look forward to seeing you in Copenhagen!

Posted in ECCO News, Congress News, Volume 15, Issue 4, ECCO'21


16th Congress of ECCO, 2021: Overview of the Scientific and Educational Programmes

Nuha Yassin and Ignacio Catalán-Serra, ECCO News Associate Editors

Nuha Yassin 
© Nuha Yassin
Ignacio Catalán Serra 2019
Ignacio Catalán-Serra
© Ignacio Catalán-Serra

Dear IBD colleagues and friends,

Warm greetings from the ECCO News Team as we head towards the end of this challenging year.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in one way or another, we at ECCO have been adapting to the new circumstances.  The ECCO Team has been working hard to continue to provide not only the best standards of care for IBD patients but also high-quality research, education and training opportunities.

ECCO has taken up the challenge of organising yet another top quality meeting, which on this occasion will be held a little later than our usual conference dates. We would like to invite you to the 16th Congress of ECCO in Copenhagen in July of 2021, during the beautiful Danish summer!

Posted in ECCO News, Congress News, Volume 15, Issue 4, ECCO'21


Letter from the ECCO President

Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, ECCO President

Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet


Dear Friends,

I was hoping that the COVID pandemic would be over by the time I came to write this editorial. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The second wave has started, but there is some good news: we have the first vaccines. This means that we should all be able to meet in Copenhagen in July! I am predicting a big celebration there.

Posted in ECCO News, Letters from the ECCO President, Volume 15, Issue 4


In Memoriam - em. Prof. Dr. Paul Rutgeerts

✝ 12 September 2020

Paul Rutgeerts

Dear Friends and Colleagues!

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of em. Prof. Dr. Paul Rutgeerts on September 12, 2020.

Paul Rutgeerts (°1948, Brussels) obtained his medical degree in 1973 at the KU Leuven and specialised in internal medicine at UZ Leuven. He became a member of the medical staff in gastroenterology in 1978. In 1981 he graduated in higher education with a dissertation on ‘Bile acid disorders in Crohn’s disease’. He started lecturing at the KU Leuven in 1981 and became a full professor in 1990.

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 3


Interview with N-ECCO National Representative France

Virginie Cluzeau
© Virginie Cluzeau

N-ECCO National Representative:
Virginie Cluzeau
Job Title: 
Clinical research and patient education IBD Nurse


What influenced your decision to apply for the role of N-ECCO National Representative for your country?

The nurse that I replaced as French representative 4 years ago explained what the position involved. I was really interested to know how it works for nurses in other countries, and I thought that taking up this role could be useful in improving the position of IBD Nurses in France.

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 3, ECCO Country Member Profiles, N-ECCO


Interview with ECCO's new Education Officer

Ignacio Catalán-Serra, ECCO News Associate Editor

Ignacio Catalán-Serra

Fernando Magro is Consultant in Gastroenterology and Director of Pharmacology at the University Hospital São João Porto, Portugal. In addition Fernando is also Associate Editor of the UEG Journal and founder of the Portuguese IBD Group. As he started his term as new Education Officer at ECCO'20 we wanted to provide the ECCO News readers with an exclusive interview with him.

Once more, the interview was recorded and can be listened to by clicking on the button below. We hope you will enjoy the introduction to ECCO's Education Officer.

Ignacio Catalán-Serra, ECCO News Associate Editor

Posted in ECCO News, Governing Board, Committee News, Volume 15, Issue 3


ECCO Country Member Profiles: Lithuania


Name of group: IBD Group of Lithuanian Society of Gastroenterology

Number of active members: 28

Number of meetings per year: 4–5

President and Secretary:

Gediminas Kiudelis: President

Juozas Kupčinskas: Secretary General

National Representatives: 

Limas Kupčinskas

Gediminas Kiudelis

Joined ECCO in:

The IBD Group of Lithuanian Society of Gastroenterology joined ECCO in 2002.

Incidence of IBD in the country: 11.6/100,000

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 3, ECCO Country Member Profiles


ECCO Country Member Profiles: Czech Republic

  Czech Republic

Name of group: The Czech IBD Working Group

Number of active members: The Czech IBD Working Group has no official membership, but there are approximately 30 active participants who attend the meetings and participate in group activities.

Number of meetings per year: The group organises three or four meetings per year.

President and Secretary: There is no official president and secretary, but the coordinator of the group is Martin Bortlik.

National Representatives:  Pavel Drastich and Dana Duricova

Joined ECCO in:

The Czech IBD Working Group became a member of ECCO in 2002.

Incidence of IBD in the country: According to an international epidemiological study – the ECCO-EpiCom study – the incidence of IBD in 2010 was 12.7/100,000 inhabitants (5.6 for CD and 5.8 for UC).

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 3, ECCO Country Member Profiles


ECCO Country Member Profiles: Switzerland


Emanuel Burri 
© Emanuel Burri
Michel Maillard
© Michel Maillard

Name of group: IBDnet (

The IBDnet is a Swiss interest group of medical doctors and scientists specialising in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The aim is the promotion of research and communication on aetiology, diagnosis and therapy in order to improve patient outcomes.

Number of active members: 137

Switzerland has roughly 475 gastroenterologists and hepatologists, 350 of whom are located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and 125 in the French- and Italian-speaking part.

The IBDnet has 122 members, with a steering committee of 15 IBD specialists.

Number of meetings per year: 

  • Steering committee meetings: four per year; one General Assembly per year.
  • Education:
    • Educational meetings with credits for HCPs: One or two major (2- or 3-day meetings, postgraduate course) and 10–12 minor (half-day meetings or webinars)
    • Educational meetings for IBD Nurses: Two 1-day meetings
  • Expert meetings: The IBDnet holds one or two expert meetings per year to develop Swiss expert opinions for peer-reviewed publication.
  • Patient Relations: The IBDnet broadly supports and organises four to six patient events or webinars per year in collaboration with the patient association CCS (Crohn Colitis Switzerland). Most speakers at these patient information events are IBDnet steering committee members. Furthermore, in collaboration with the patient association, IBDnet develops and releases patient information guidebooks.


Meetings in 2020: 17 accredited educational activities (11 webinars for HCPs, three webinars for patients, two 1-day nurse workshops, one 3-day postgraduate course)

President and Secretary: President: Stephan Vavricka, Zurich, Secretary: Nadine Zahnd-Straumann, Zurich

National Representatives: Emanuel Burri, Liestal and Michel H. Maillard, Lausanne

Joined ECCO in: Switzerland was among the founding members of ECCO.

Incidence of IBD in the country: No exact number available. IBD incidence is estimated to be 2 per 1000 persons per year.

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 3, ECCO Country Member Profiles


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