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Meet the 2023 Scientific Committee

Alberto Alonso Babarro, MD, PhD is Chair Palliative Care Unit. Hospital Universitario La Paz. Madrid. Spain. He first trained in Family Medicine and then in Palliative Care and has been working in Palliative Care since 1997.
Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Co-Chair Master Palliative Care at the Autonomous University of Madrid.
Chair of the Scientific Committee of the 9th Congress of the Spanish Society of Palliative Care, Badajoz, May 9-11, 2012. Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Madrid, May 18-20th, 2017.
Deputy director of the Medicina Paliativa Journal (Journal of the Spanish Society of Palliative Care). More than 30 papers published in peer-reviewed international journals.

Augusto Caraceni, is Director of Palliative Care, Pain Therapy and Rehabilitation Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale deiTumori in Milan, Chair of the European Association for Palliative Care Research Network and was recently appointed Professor of Palliative Medicine at the Università degli Studi di Milano. He graduated from medical school at the Università degli Studi di Milano in 1985 and was board certified in Clinical Neurophysiology (1988) and in Neurology (1993) at the Università di Pavia. Clinical Fellow at the Palliative care service at the Neurology department of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 1994. In 1986 he participated with the supervision of Vittorio Ventafridda in the WHO program to test and disseminate the WHO ladder for cancer pain relief. His clinical and research experience include the palliative treatment of advanced cancer, neurological complications of cancer, symptom control with a special interest in cancer pain classification assessment and treatment, and particular focus on opioid analgesics. He was the leader of the expert board of the European Association for Palliative Care Guidelines for the use of opioids for cancer pain. He is the author and co-author of 228 articles in indexed journals on cancer pain and palliative care. 

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Dr. Csikós Ágnes is Director of Institute of Primary Health Care at University of Pecs Medical School. She was trained and worked internationally. Spent more time in the US, England and Spain. Presently lives and works in Hungary. Established the first Department of Palliative Care in the country. Associate professor at the University of Pecs Medical School, teaching medical, nursing and pharmacy students, residents, CME participants and Ph.D. students. She is committed to introduce palliative care education as an obligatory part of the medical and nursing training programs. Agnes initiated the establishment Pecs-Baranya Hospice Program in 2004 providing home hospice care regionally. Pioneers to introduce new forms of palliative care services in Hungary. Leads national and participates in international research programs, speaks at conferences. Agnes is passionate about developing and improving palliative care locally and globally through clinical care, education and research.

Jeroen Hasselaar (PhD) studies health sciences (Rotterdam) and ethics (Utrecht). He works as an associate professor for integrated palliative care at Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Also he is heading the department of primary care research at Nivel, Utrecht. As a senior researcher, Jeroen has coordinated several large palliative care research projects across Europe. Besides being a board member of the national palliative care association, he is also vice-president of the European Association for Palliative Care.

He is looking forward to an inspiring palliative care congress in the Netherlands. 

Dr Martin Loučka is a board member of the EAPC and Director of the Center for Palliative Care, research and education focused NGO in Prague. He studied psychology and social work and gained his PhD from Lancaster University in 2014. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and currently works as Assistant Professor at Charles University. In 2015, he won the Early Researcher Award and over the last 8 years he raised more than 1 mil EUR in research and philanthropic funds to support innovative projects developing palliative care infrastructure and evidence base in the Czech Republic. He works also clinically as psychologist on a paediatric palliative care service in University Hospital Motol in Prague.  

Prof. Dr. Sandra Martins Pereira is a Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) Principal Investigator at CEGE, Research Centre in Management and Economics, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), where she is Co-PI of the area of Sustainability and Ethics. She is also the Director of the Institute of Bioethics at UCP. Sandra teaches and coordinates academic activities on ethics in palliative and end-of-life care, biomedical ethics, bioethics, research ethics and responsible conduct of research, and empirical research methods. Her research combines the areas of palliative and end of life care, bioethics empirical research, clinical ethics, and health services research; using qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Since 2016, Sandra is screening editor and editorial board member of Palliative Medicine (SAGE). Sandra is Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC). Through her work, she pursues high-quality research and outputs that positively influence healthcare practices and policies with a meaningful societal impact.  

Wendy H Oldenmenger RN MSc PhD, is a registered nurse and health scientist. Currently she works as an assistant professor pain and palliative care at the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, where she is also the coordinator of (hemato-) oncology nursing research. Her research focuses on symptom management and patient empowerment. In addition, she works as a senior lecturer at the University of Applied Science Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Currently she is Board Member of the European Oncology Nursing Society (treasurer) and Member of Board of Board of Directors of the European Cancer Organisation. She is also the co-founder of the Cancer Nursing Fund.   

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ostgathe was as trained as an anaesthesiologist, pain and palliative care specialist in Bonn, Germany.  2004 -2010 he worked as a Consultant and Associate Director at the Centre for Palliative Medicine at the University of Cologne. In April 2010 he was appointed University Professor for Palliative Medicine at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg. His research is mainly dedicated to issues of Screening for Palliative Care Needs, Outcome Assessment and Health Services Research, currently focusing e.g. on sedation in palliative care. Additionally he is working on integrating medical technology into palliative care. Since 2019 the President of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC).

Danai Papadatou is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the School of Health Sciences, Dept of Nursing, of the National and Kapodistrian University in Athens, Greece. Her clinical experience, research interests, and publications focus on issues related to pediatric palliative care, childhood and family bereavement, community trauma, and issues related to the impact of caring for dying and bereaved people upon professionals. She is also the founder and president of “Merimna”, a Greek non-governmental association for the care of children and families facing illness and death. This association is the only that provides specialized pediatric palliative home care services and bereavement support for children, adolescents, families, schools and communities in Greece. Since 2016, Danai has been involved in the training and supervision of field workers who support unaccompanied refugee children and has been conducting extensive research with her team. She has received several international awards for her teaching, research, publications and community service in pediatric palliative care, death education, and childhood bereavement support. She is a member of several international organizations, among them the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement, and has served as chair of its board of directors.  

Professor Nancy Preston is the Co-Director of the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University,. She completed her degree in Nursing at King’s College London and worked as a cancer nurse including time as a research nurse on clinical trials. She completed her PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research. Her research focusses on palliative care and how best to integrate palliative care into general healthcare systems. She has a strong interest in how people make decisions about their future care including advance care planning and experiences around assisted dying. She has been involved in four European projects including two projects on advance care planning for people with advanced dementia and a second on the use of palliative sedation.

Dr Audrey Roulston is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Queen’s University, Belfast. She qualified as a professional social worker in 1996 and has worked with people with life-limiting illness and their families since 1998 in community and hospice settings. She has conducted a number of research studies involving different aspects of palliative care, with service users, family carers and professionals in the United Kingdom and internationally. Audrey’s PhD focused on end of life care decision making by patients diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and their professional caregivers. She is currently leading an international research study exploring the impact of COVID-19 on palliative care social work services, a UK-based study exploring the experiences of key professional stakeholders involved in palliative care services to prisoners, and exploring deaths in prison custody across Northern Ireland.  Audrey is currently developing a Post Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care Social Work, which will be delivered online from September 2023. She is co-Chair of the European Association of Palliative Care Social Work Task Force, and co-Chair of the The World Hospice and Palliative Care Social Work Network Research Committee. 

Rainer Simader is a trained physiotherapist and he has been working in different palliative care settings (amongst others as senior physiotherapist at St. Christopher’s Hospice in London). One of his interests is rehabilitative palliative care and the role of the multiprofessional team in enabling and empowering patients and their carers. His current role is education director at Hospice Austria. He is lecturer at different universities and member of the steering committee of a masters program in palliative care.