Scientific Advisory Board


Professor Michael Abou-Dakn, MD, is head of the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Department at St. Joseph‘s Hospital Berlin Tempelhof. His specialist areas include special perinatology and obstetrics. In addition to numerous additional qualifications including that of breastfeeding expert, he is past president of the WHO/UNICEF Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative in Germany, and a member of organisations including the National Breastfeeding Committee. 

He was appointed to the chair for medical science of childbirth in the study programme of midwifery at the Evangelical University of Berlin and he is the official speaker for the obstetrics unit of the Consortium for Obstetrics and Perinatal Medicine (AGG) of the German Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (DGGG).

United Kingdom

Professor Fiona Alderdice holds a Chair in Perinatal Health and Well-being in the School of Nursing and Midwifery Queens University Belfast. She leads a strand of research on ‘What works for parents’ as part of a large interdisciplinary research group at Queens in the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation. 

Her long standing research aim is to explore and enhance the health, wellbeing and experience of care of women and children. More specifically the Parent and Baby LAB research programme, which Professor Alderdice co-ordinates, aims to develop innovations that ultimately lead to high quality, low-cost, effective assessment of psychosocial function of women during pregnancy and in the family after birth. Furthermore, the work of the LAB aims to identify and develop simple low cost interventions that enhance family well-being and infant development, particularly with infants who are sick or premature. 

Professor Fiona Alderdice is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, Editor BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth and on the Editorial Board of Texto and Contexto Enfermagem, Brazil.


Mats Blennow is professor of perinatal neurosciences at the Karolinska Institutet and a senior consultant in neonatology at the Karolinska University Hospital. He became a board certified in pediatrics in 1990 and in neonatal medicine in 1995. In 1995 he also defended his PhD thesis on ”Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy”. He was promoted to professor in 2010.

Mats Blennow is the past president of the European Society for Neonatology (ESN). ESN is the official representative for neonatology within the European Commission, and the Union of European Medical Specialities. ESN has the obligation to work for better education of neonatologists in Europé and also to accredit training facilities. One of the initiatives taken in this regard, is the NOTE project (Neonatal Online Training and Education) that ESN runs in partnership with the University of Southampton.

Mats Blennow’s current research is mainly focused on the consequences on the brain of extreme prematurity, birth asphyxia and maternal depression.


Professor Giuseppe Buonocore is professor of pediatrics and Director of the Unit of Neonatology of the University Hospital of Siena, Italy.

He is involved in the coordination of numerous pan-European clinical trials, as for example the European scientific network  EURope Against Infant Brain Injury (EURAIBI). His research interests are in the mechanisms of cell damage in the neonatal brain, with special reference to hypoxia, the role of oxidant radicals in neonatal diseases and in babies with birth asphyxia. Additional research interest fields are ethics in perinatology and fetal and neonatal pain prevention. His research team is funded by several agencies including the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research -cofinance scheme for research projects of high national interest as well as European Community: NEOBRAIN project.

Professor Buonocore is author of more than 100 scientific publications in international journals with IF (“Pediatric Research”, “Biology of Neonate”, “Free Radical Biology and Medicine”,”Acta Pediatrica”, “Archives Diseases in Children”, ” Journal of Pediatrics’ and others).

He is  former President of the European Society for Pediatric Research, as well as of The Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies (UENPS) and currently a member of the Editorial Board of “Biology of Neonate”.


Morten Breindahl is the President of the European Society for Neonatology (ESN) and has been an ESPR Council member for the past years. He holds a PhD in paediatric inflectional deseases. He is the Head of the Patient Flow “very preterm infants”, senior consultant and the Medical Director of the Neonatal and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NeoPETS) organisation at the Karolinska University Hospital in Danderyd, Solna and Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden. In this capacity he has joined a promising and comprehensive reformation of the health care system at Karolinska focusing on value based care and treatment including new organisational structures, leadership and cooperation principles.

Dr Breindahl has recently established the International Federation of Acute Neonatal Transport Services (INFANTS), an internationally based interest group of key opinion leaders within neonatal transport with the mission to establish a world-wide cooperation for all neonatal transport teams. The purpose is to improve quality of care and treatment of severely ill infants in need for interfacility ground or air transfer. He is the Congress President of the 2nd (2016) and 3rd edition of the international congress Transport of High Risk Neonates – When skill, equipment and professionalism make the difference that will take place in Oxford, United Kingdom, from 31 August to 2 September 2017.


Professor Olaf Dammann studied medicine in Lübeck and Hamburg, Germany. He was a clinical associate in the Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, from 1991-95. His major interest was in neuropediatrics and neonatology. From 1990 until 1995 he was a collaborator in the Hamburg Very-Low-Birthweight Study, supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. In 1995, he began a research fellowship in neuroepidemiology at Children’s Hospital, Boston, USA, and obtained a master’s degree in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1997. Professor Dammann continues his work at the Neuroepidemiology Unit as an assistant professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School, while serving at MHH as the Wilhelm-Hirte associate professor in perinatal infectious disease epidemiology. 
Together with his team, he tries to identify risk factors for brain damage in newborns. He is particularly interested in the role for a fetal inflammatory response in the setting of an undiagnosed infection of the mother during pregnancy. His longterm goal is to make a contribution towards the prevention of disability.


Current Position:

  • Professor and Chairman,  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology 
  • Director , Centre for Perinatal and Reproductive Medicine
  • Director,  Residency Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

Contribution to the profession:

In 35 years of  professional career in Ob/Gyn, Professor Di Renzo has extensively worked at national and international level with the mission to rise the standards of maternal-fetal care through teaching, setting guidelines and coordinating international and national Societies, and doing upfront research in the most critical areas of the specialty.  For these reasons he has been acknowledged worldwide with several prestigious prizes among which:  Maternity Prize of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine Istanbul (2008); Liley Medal from the “Fetus as a Patient” International Society (Pozna?, 2006); Allan Chang Visiting Professorship (Hong Kong, 2007); Gold Medal of the Bangladesh Society of Ob/Gyn (Dakka, 1998); Maratea Children Prize (1994); the Foundation Corradi Prize for “Scientific Research” (1998), 7 Honorary Professorships from: the State University of Moscow, Russia; the Siberian State University, Tomsk, Russia; the State University of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia; the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; the International University of Dubrovnik, Croatia; the Moldovian University at Chisinau ( 2012) and Full Visiting Professorship, Cornell University of New York, USA, and  4 Doctor Honoris Causa from the Universities of Athens, Greece; Cluj-Napoca, Romania; St Petersburg, Russia and Purkinje University, Prague. Moreover he has been awarded the honorary membership of National Societies of ObGyn  in 17 different countries ( Argentina, Romania, Ecuador, Croatia etc) and he is Academician at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences ( 2011)

He has organized several international congresses and courses among which: 11th European Congress of Perinatal Medicine (Rome 1988), 7th World Congress of Hypertension in Pregnancy (Perugia 1990), 2nd World Congress of Perinatal Medicine (Rome 1993), 12th International Workshop on “Multiple Pregnancy” (Assisi 1999), 16th International Congress ‘The Fetus as a Patient’ (Rome 2000), 78th National Congress of the Italian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Perugia, 2002) International Forum on Birth (Rome, 2005), 8th World Congress of Perinatal Medicine (Florence, 2007). Moreover, he is President of the series of  World Congresses on Twin Pregnancy (1st in Venice 2009, 2nd in Florence 2012), the International Series of Congresses on “Diabetes and Pregnancy” ( 7th Congress, Florence, Italy, 2013), Co-chairman with Roberto Romero of the World Congress series on “Birth” (2nd Congress in Chicago, 2011) and President of the World Congress on Maternal and Infant Health (Rome, 2011).

International activities:

  • Editor in Chief, Journal of Maternal Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 
  • Director, Permanent  International and European School of Perinatal, Neonatal and Reproductive Medicine (PREIS) Firenze, Italy
  • Vice President, the World Association of Perinatal Medicine ( 2005-2013)
  • Secretary General, the New European Surgical Academy (NESA)
  • Board of Directors, Ian Donald School of Ultrasound
  • President, the International Society on Chocolate, Cocoa and Medicine (ISCHOM)
  • European Association of Perinatal Medicine, Secretary, President and Director 1988-2008
  • EAGO-EBCOG (European Board and College of Ob/Gyn) Ex Board member 1989-2005 
  • Fellow, the World Association of Art and Science
  • Fellow ad eundem, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Honorary Fellow, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • He has been invited as speaker/chairman to more than 1300 international and national congresses, meetings and courses in 90 different countries 
  • His scientific production consists of over 1200 papers of which more than 300 in referred international journals and 75 books. 


Mats Eriksson is professor in nursing science, with a special focus on pediatric nursing, at Örebro University, Sweden. He is also a specialist nurse with over 30 years’ experience of neonatal intensive care and he was the first Swedish nurse to bring the NIDCAP concept to Sweden. Mats Eriksson is scientific advisor in neonatology to the National Board of Health and welfare in Sweden. 

His research mainly focuses on pain and stress in newborn infants and older children, but also on breastfeeding and support to parents. He is the leader of the international research group PEARL – Pain in Early Life.

Mats Eriksson is a member of the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care and the Special Interest Group of Pain in Childhood of the International Association for the Study of Pain.


Professor Ursula Felderhoff-Müser is holding the chair of pediatrics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s University Hospital I. 

She studied medicine in Homburg, Vienna and finally Heidelberg, where she received her Ph.D in 1993. Until 2000, various scientific activities led her to the university pediatric clinics of Heidelberg, Berlin and London. Being a specialist in pediatrics with focus on neonatal medicine, she spent eight years as senior physician at the Neonatology Department of the Charité Berlin. Professor Felderhoff-Müser was appointed professor in 2003 with a thesis on the significance of specific cell biological processes that lead to brain damage in children. In spring 2008, she was appointed extraordinary professor at the Charité Berlin. 

Professor Felderhoff-Müser addresses the specific problems and treatment of preterm and newborn infants with illnesses. She focuses on clinical diagnosis and therapy of neuropediatric and neonatal diseases as well as on emergency and intensive care in children. Scientific priorities within the Pediatrics Department at the Children’s University Hospital I are the protection of nerve cells of very small preterm infants and the clinical and molecular genetic characterization of neuromuscular diseases. Besides, she is working on projects like the critical care diagnostics and treatment of seriously ill children and adolescents.

The Netherlands

Odile Frauenfelder started her nursing career in 1982 and after graduation as a general nurse she specialised in the field of maternity and child’s care.

Her first experience in neonatal care was in 1989 at the level 3 NICU of the Academic VU Hospital in Amsterdam. She worked there from 1989 till the end of 1992 as a neonatal nurse.

In 1993, she started working  as a senior nurse at the NICU of the Sophia Childrens Hospital in Rotterdam. This NICU is the largest level 3+ NICU in the Netherlands and also a NIDCAP certificated unit. In 2001, Odile Frauenfelder started working as a neonatal nurse practioner on the same unit. In 2003, she received her Master Degree in Advanced Nursing Practice and has been working as a neonatal nurse-practitioner since then.

Her interests as a neonatal nurse practioner lie primarily in the care of extreme preterm infants, not restricted to the medical and nursing care but also to the care of the parents during their stay at the NICU.

Beside her clinical work Odile is the Vice president of the registration committee for Dutch nurse practitioners (verpleegkundig specialisten, RSV), past president (2006-2015) of the Dutch association for nurse practitioners (V&VN VS), and past nursing president of the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC). For ESPNIC she was a member of the organising and scientific committees of the congresses in Nice, Verona and Copenhagen. 

Apart from that, Odile is an editorial board member of the online magazine Treatment In Paediatrics. She has an extensive network amongst professionals involved in the care of the extreme preterm infants.

The Netherlands

Hans van Goudoever is professor of paediatrics at the University of Amsterdam and chairman of the Department of Paediatrics of the Emma’s Children’s Hospital/AMC and VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He received his medical education and paediatric training at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. From 1998 until 2000 he held a post-doctorate position at the laboratory of the late Peter Reeds, Baylor College of Medicine, Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Houston, Texas. He is a board member of the International Paediatric Research Foundation and chairman of the ESPHGAN Committee on Nutrition.

He has a particular interest in neonatal nutrition, gastro-enterology, and metabolism. He published over 150 peer reviewed papers and received many grants, both national and international (including FP-7 EU funding). In 2011, he founded the Dutch Human Milk Bank.


Gorm Greisen is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Institute of Clinical Medicine Copenhagen University and consultant neonatologist at the Department of Neonatology at The Juliane Marie Centre, Rigshospitalet. 

Dr Greisen’s program of research focuses on causes of brain injury in preterm infants, cerebral blood flow and cerebral oxygenation, systematic follow-up studies to evaluate outcomes later in life, growth before and after birth and the consequences of growth in the perinatal period for later health, interventions in the newborn period to improve health later in life, and the ethics of medical research. He is currently engaged in an attempt to test the clinical value of monitoring cerebral oxygenation by near-infrared spectroscopy in extremely preterm infants the SafeBoosC project with a group of neonatologists in 17 European countries. 


Professor Pierre Gressens received his medical degree in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989 and his Ph.D. at the University of Louvain Medical School, Brussels in 1995. He specialized further in Child Neurology and carried out his post-doctoral research training with the renowned scientist Professor Phil G. Nelson at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. He has been working at Robert Debré Hospital, Paris, both as researcher and child neurologist since 1995. Currently, he is the Director of the INSERM U676 – Diderot University research laboratory and Consultant for the Department of Child Neurology at Robert Debré Hospital at Paris, France. Professor Gressens’ laboratory has been involved with the basic and applied aspects of research in the area of diseases of the developing brain. He has put forward various novel concepts towards understanding the pathophysiology of neonatal brain damage and his current interests are aimed at improving the therapeutic strategies to treat these brain damages. 

Professor Gressens has published more than 135 original research papers and more than 110 review papers and book chapters. More than 180 invited conferences and seminars are at his credit. In his laboratory in Paris, he has trained several young medical and non-medical scientists from various countries.

Professor Gressens has received several awards including the Jean Hamburger’s award from Paris City. He was also given research grant awards from the French National Agency for Research, from the French Ministry for Research and Technology, the European Union and from NATO. In recent years, his laboratory has engaged in a vigorous collaborative study on the therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cells with the National Brain Research Centre (Professor Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath and Dr Shyamala Mani), Manesar, Haryana.


Professor Boubou Hallberg (MD, PhD) is the Head of Neonatology at the Neonatal Department at the Karolinska Institute and Karolinska University Hospital. Previously, he held the position of Clinical Director and senior consultant at Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge.

He wrote his PhD at the Institution of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Department of Pediatrics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm on neonatal brain injury, hypothermia treatment and outcome following birth asphyxia. His research focuses on new strategies for preventing neonatal brain injury. He is PI/clinical lead for EU-funded projects PreventROP, NEMO, NeoOpioid and BIHIVE.

Additionally he is involved in family-centered and couplet care in neonatology and also directs his attention towards staff and parental interaction and the process of designing an optimal neonatal intensive care unit to support this process for the past several years. He is also a member at the Swedish Neonatal Society, European neonatal brain club and director of the working group for centralization and transport. He holds several commission of trust and has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles in leading international journals and several book chapters in textbooks of neonatology.


Dominique Haumont is Professor and Chairman of the Neonatal Unit at Saint-Pierre University Hospital in Brussels, Belgium since 1985. Her scientific interests are neonatal nutrition and intravenous lipid emulsions, oxidative stress and DNA damage. Besides the medical aspects of neonatology Professor Haumont focused her efforts in the transformation of traditional neonatal units towards developmentally oriented family centered care units. Pain and stress management, protection of sleep, monitoring light and noise, careful handling and positioning, skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, and most importantly restauration of the mother- infant dyad are essential elements of neonatal care and markers of respect for the baby. She pioneered this evolution by implementing a NIDCAP training center in Brussels.

As a member and president of the “College of Physicians for Neonatology” and of the “Belgian Society of Neonatology” she obtained support from the Federal Ministery of Health in Belgium. National programs and incentives to move towards family friendly hospitals are on the way. Professor Haumont is also involved in international platforms for ethical issues in neonatal intensive care, webbased quality control and benchmarking in neonatal networks and developmental care. She is a collaborator of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine (EAPM),  EuroNeoNet, the European Society of Pediatric research (ESPR), European Association of Developmental Care (EADCare), the NIDCAP Federation International (NFI) and the European Chinese Perinatal Network (ECPN).

The Netherlands

Dr Onno Helder is a nurse scientist at the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands and lecturer at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. 
Onno Helder has worked as a neonatal intensive care nurse since 1993. He completed his Master in Nursing Science in 2002. He successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled Prevention of nosocomial bloodstream infections in preterm infants at the Medical Faculty of the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2013. Currently, he works as a neonatal intensive care nurse one day per week. 

His interests of research are the prevention of infections, the implementation of strategies, systematic literature studies, and return transportation. He has contributed to improvements in the BSc nursing program at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, and initiated several multi institutional research projects (institute Health Policy & Management-Erasmus University and Rotterdam University of Applied Science). Since 2015, Dr Onno Helder is vice chair of the Patient Safety and Hygiene group of the Standards of Care for Newborn Health project initiated by the European Foundation for the care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI).


Professor Ann Hellström received her MD in 1986 and her PhD in 1997; she became a specialist in ophthalmology in 2004. Since 2004, she is a full Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Professor Hellström is a leading researcher within the field of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and her scientific achievements have attracted worldwide attention. For example, she pioneered the concept that low levels of the growth factor IGF-I can cause blindness in preterm infants. Furthermore, her research group has developed a web based screening tool for the prediction of retinopathy, resulting in less stressful examinations for these patients. This tool is now being used routinely in clinical practice worldwide. Professor Hellström is the recipient of several national and international prizes and awards: In 1997, she received an award from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for promising female researcher, and in 2012, she was awarded the Athena Prize – Sweden’s most prestigious prize for clinical research.

In her clinical role, Professor Hellström is a consultant physician in pediatric ophthalmology at the Sahlgrenska University hospital. She also heads the Sahlgrenska Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology Research at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Gothenburg, which is a strategic research centre focused on vascular and neural development research. Under Professor Hellström’s leadership, the centre has integrated basic research with clinical research and is today a translational centre in which clinical issues and biomedical expertise meet and create new ways of studying the mechanisms behind the neuro-vascular disease ROP, which may lead to new treatments. 


Lena Hellström-Westas, MD, PhD, is Professor of Perinatal Medicine at Uppsala University, and Senior Consultant in Neonatology at the Department of Neonatology at the Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden. She is medical Co-Director at the Karolinska NIDCAP center and scientific advisor in neonatology to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare.
Lena Hellström-Westas received her medical degree at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and absolved most of her clinical training at Lund University Hospital, Sweden.

Her research on amplitude-integrated EEG monitoring started with a focus on early prediction of outcome in asphyxiated infants and preterm infants. Additionally her research interests include seizure detection, sleep and pain assessments.

She is also a member of the Swedish Neonatal Society and the European Society for Pediatric Research.


Professor Moshe Hod is Director of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Division at the Helen Schneider Women’s Hospital, Rabin Medical Center and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.

Moshe Hod is President of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine (EAPM) and Chairman of the GDM Initiative Experts Group of the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO).  

Professor Moshe Hod is the editor of the Textbook of Diabetes and Pregnancy as well as the author of more than 280 scientific publications and is considered as one of the world leaders in research and management of diabetes and pregnancy. 

The Netherlands

Professor Agnes van den Hoogen is a nurse scientist at the University Medical Centre of Utrecht (UMCU) – Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht, The Netherlands. She has been a neonatal intensive care nurse since 1985. In 2000, she graduaded in Health Science at Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom. In September 2009 Agnes received her PhD, topic: Infections in Neonatal Intensive Care its Prevalence, Prevention and Antibiotic use at the University of Utrecht, medical faculty of the University Medical Centre Utrecht. At present she is a postdoc researcher and a neonatal nurse in the health department of Neonatology at Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, UMCU. She is qualified in education, teaches at the University of Utrecht and is engaged in various educational activities.

Since 2009 Professor van den Hoogen is president of the European Society for Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC). She is actively involved as a committee member in the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN).


Professor Petra Hüppi, is a clinician in pediatrics. She is currently the Division Chief of the Division of Child Development in Geneva, Switzerland, and has international research activities with a visiting scientist position at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA.

She is a member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and has directed numerous research projects both at Harvard Medical School and the University of Geneva, aimed at the better understanding of early human brain development. Her research group has successfully applied adapted quantitative, volumetric MRI techniques and new diffusion imaging techniques in hundreds of consecutively studied newborn infants to delineate anatomical and temporal characteristics of brain development in a time period of extreme relevance to brain injury in the preterm and term infant. Professor Hüppi further directs the Child Development Unit at the Children’s Hospital that takes care of children at risk for early neurodevelopmental problems including the Infant Follow-up Program for preterm infants.

Professor Hüppi, as a neonatologist, combines a profound knowledge of the physiology and pathophysiology of the newborn infant with a high expertise on the application of new neuroimaging techniques and their relationship to functional outcome in preterm children.


Professor Bo Jacobsson received his medical degree at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1991. He specialised in obstetrics and maternal/foetal medicine and received his Ph.D at Gothenburg University, Sweden in 2003. Subsequently he carried out his post-doctoral research training at Aarhus University in Denmark. He has been a Guest Professor at Rikshospitalet, Oslo Norway and is presently Director of the Perinatal Research Laboratory at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden where he also conducts his clinical obstetrical pratice. He is also associated to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Professor Jacobsson’s laboratory is studying basic and applied aspects of the mechanisms of preterm delivery. Another area that has attracted his interest is genetic components of the timing of delivery and also the interplay between genes and the environment. One of his main interest currently is the possibility of preventing preterm delivery through intervention with dietary products, e.g. probiotics. The main research aim is to identify and apply different strategies to prevent preterm delivery with the purpose to deliver healthy, full-term infants

At his lab he is responsible for training researchers from different parts of Europe and Africa.

Northern Ireland

Professor Linda Johnston was the first Professor and Chair to be appointed in Neonatal Nursing Research in Australia. Her programme of research over the last 20 years has focused primarily on the assessment, and management, of pain in babies requiring neonatal intensive care. In particular, Linda and her team have focused on those babies with complex surgical conditions requiring a prolonged hospitalisation and multiple procedures. More recently her work has begun to explore the longer term outcomes for surgical babies and their families who experience a neonatal intensive care stay.

Professor Johnston is Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University Belfast, an Honorary Fellow of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Visiting Professor at Soochow University China and Honorary Professor at The University of Melbourne and the University of Hong Kong. She is a Fellow of the European Academic of Nursing Science and Editor of the journal Neonatal, Paediatric and Child Health Nursing.

Professor Johnston recently co-convened the 8th International Neonatal Nursing conference in Belfast, auspiced by the Council of International Neonatal Nurses. As a member of the Council of Deans of Health UK Executive, her policy interests include clinical academic career pathways and the advancement of nursing research in the discipline.


Berthold Koletzko is Professor of Paediatrics at University of Munich and Head of the Division Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine at Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital, University of Munich Medical Centre in Germany.

He has published over 700 journal articles (12 161 times cited, H-index 57), 184 book chapters and 29 books. He is editor in chief of Annals Nutrition&Metabolism, associate editor of Current Opinion Clinical Nutrition Metabolic Care and of the journal “Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde”.

Berthold Koletzko is coordinator of several international research consortia, including the EarlyNutritionProject and the EDPEN Project on Disease Associated Malnutrition in Children. He is further past President of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition (ESPGHAN) and Managing Director of the Early Nutrition Academy.

He holds Chair positions in following organisations:

  • Scientific Committee of the National German Society of Paediatrics
  • Child Health Foundation
  • Scientific Committee of National Network Young Families.


He contributes as board member in the German Platform Nutrition and Physical Activity and as scientific advisor in the European Parliament Committee on Consumer Protection as well as in the Innovation Initiative of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. He previously was Member and Rapporteur of the European Commission Scientific Committee on Food.

Honours that Berthold Koletzko recently received include:

  • Freedom to Discover Award of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, New York in 2006
  • Honorary Medal of the Children’s Memorial Institute, Warsaw in 2006
  • ESPEN Network Grant in 2009
  • Comprix Gold Award Innovative Health Communication in 2009
  • Rank Lecture Award, The Nutrition Society in 2012
  • Arved Wretlind Lecture Award, European Society Clinical Nutrition Metabolism in 2012
  • European Research Council Advanced Award 2013-2018.
  • Fit4Future Award 2014


Berthold Koletzko also had been appointed Guest Professor at Poznan University of Medical Sciences for 2013-14.


Pierre Kuhn (MD, PhD) is a professor of paediatrics at the University Hospital of Strasbourg, France, and an invited researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He works as senior neonatologist and has the position of head of the NICU at the University Hospital Strasbourg since 2007. Following his medical specialty trainings in paediatrics and neonatology, Professor Kuhn undertook additional studies for an MSc and a PhD in Neurosciences. His research focussed on the sensory sensitivities of very preterm infants. He continued this line of research during as a postdoctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He has published in national and international journals as well as several book chapters.

Professor Kuhn is the co-founder of the Group of Reflection and Evaluation of the Environment of Newborns of the French Neonatal Society (GREEN de la SFN) and active group member of a reflecting group on ethical aspects in perinatology. He is also the president of the Regional Perinatal Network. Professor Kuhn is a board member of the Société Française de Néonatologie (French Neonatal Society) and takes an active role in the organisation of the Journées Francophones de Recherche en Néonatologie (French Days of Research in Neonatology). He also serves on the Editorial Committee of the French language journal Revue de Médecine Périnatale (Springer, France) since 2008. 

In addition, Professor Kuhn is a co-founder and current president of ESPPACES, an association for caregivers and parents of newborns in the Alsace region.


Dr Nicholas Lack is a statistical consultant currently employed as head of statistical methods at the Bavarian Institute for Quality Assurance in Munich. He has gathered over 30 years of international experience in maternal and child health in government health administration assignments in the United Kingdom and Germany. 

His specialty lies in benchmarking of hospitals with respect to quality of care. Since 10 years he has been involved in international collaborations such as cross-country comparisons of perinatal health (EURO-PERISTAT) and causal analysis of rare obstetric events and their prevention (INOSS). Dr Lack holds degrees in psychology and education. He is a part-time lecturer of statistics in further education and conducts regular quality management seminars at the Bavarian College of physicians. 

Currently, he acts as a part-time consultant to the Nigerian Federal health Administration in the introduction of obstetric quality assurance into their regular health care system. Dr Nicholas Lack has published on the topics of funnel plots for quality comparisons, the epidemiology of perinatal mortality as well as on methodological difficulties of cross-country comparisons of indicators of maternal child health care.


Professor Hugo Lagercrantz was appointed professor in 1989. As paediatrician, he specialised in neonatology and is working in the Department of Woman and Child Health, combined with a service consultancy at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital.

Professor Lagercrantz’ research deals with life’s first stage – the body’s stress responses at birth and the medical problems that arise when life starts early. Particular attention has been devoted to respiratory control of newborns and the phenomenon of sudden infant death syndrome.

In recent years, Professor Lagercrantz has studied the newborn brain, especially the preterm brain. By studying how the child processes sensory input, such as odors, pain or the sight of faces, he tries to understand how consciousness arises, and what happens when the brain develops abnormally.

Professor Lagercrantz published about 260 scientific articles and several popular science books. He is also an active author of opinion articles on research and care, often from a child perspective. From 2002 to 2003, he was Chairman of the Swedish children Medical Association. In 2004 he was appointed President of the European Society for Pediatric Research. In February 2005, Professor Lagercrantz was guest lecturer at the College de France in Paris. He was rewarded in 2004 with Astrid Lindgren’s world award for his efforts for children.

The Netherlands

Jos Latour is Professor in Clinical Nursing at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences at Plymouth University, United Kingdom. Before, he was nurse scientist at the Erasmus University Medical Centre – Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He had been a paediatric and neonatal intensive care nurse since 1986. In February 2011, Professor Latour received his PhD at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, medical faculty of the Erasmus University Medical Centre. His PhD programme is named the EMPATHIC study (EMpowerment of PArents in THe Intensive Care). Currently this programme is implemented in several European countries. His other scientific research programmes are focused on end-of-life care issues, the presence of parents during resuscitation, and the transition of care in adolescents with chronic illness from paediatrics to the adult care. One of his latest studies is the implementation of the nurse practitioner as case-manager for parents with extreme preterm infants below 27 weeks of gestation.

Professor Latour has over 50 publications in national and international peer-reviewed journals. He is associate editor of the journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and editorial board member of several international peer-reviewed journals. In the past 15 years, Professor Latour gave over 100 invited lectures related to paediatric and neonatal nursing and medicine at national and international congresses. Most of these lectures were related to family-centred care issues.

Besides research, Professor Latour is actively involved in the promotion of evidence-based care. His vision is to narrow the gap between research and practice. He is engaged in various educational activities. Professor Latour is a teacher at the Care Academy of the Erasmus Medical Centre and also at various international nursing post-graduate courses.

Currently, Professor Latour is the treasurer the World Federation Pediatric Intensive Critical Care Societies and he is also actively involved in the European federation Critical Care Nursing associations (EfCCNa). From 1996 till 2000 he was the president of the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) Nursing. Professor Latour has been honoured with several awards such as Fellowship of the European federation Critical Care Nursing associations in 2008 and the Life Time Achievement Award of ESPNIC in 2009.


Dr Atle Moen is a consultant neonatologist at the Rikshospitalet Oslo University Hospital. He finished his Medical Degree at the University of Oslo in 1991 and wrote his thesis for his medical doctorate on Circulatory effect of surfactant replacement. Since 2002, he is a certified paediatrician. 

He worked for more than 10 years at the Drammen Hospital, part of VestreViken Hospital Trusts as consultant in paediatrics and neonatology, Clinical Director Neonatology and Medical Director of the Department of Paediatrics. In Drammen Hospital, he planned and implemented a new single room level II NICU in 2012. He also held the position of Clinical Director of the Department of Neonatology at Oslo University Hospital Ullevål 2013 to 2014. Dr Moen served as a member of the Norwegian National Council for Priority Setting in the Health Care 2013-2014.

United Kingdom 

Professor of Fetal Medicine, King’s College, London, 

Professor of Fetal Medicine, University College, London

Professor Kypros Nicolaides, a world renowned fetal medicine expert, was born in Cyprus, completed his medical studies at King’s College Hospital, London University in 1978. At present he is Professor of fetal medicine at King’s College and University College, London.

Professor Nicolaides has received several distinguished awards, including the Ian Donald Gold Award for Highest Contribution in Ultrasound of the International Society Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Eric Saling Award for Highest Scientific Contribution in Perinatal Medicine of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine and Excellence in Letters, Culture and Science of the Government of Cyprus. He is an honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, Member of the International Academy of Perinatal Medicine and Honorary Doctor in Medicine at the Universities of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Athens and Ioannina (Greece), Bucharest (Romania), Jinan (China), Olomouc (Czech Republic) and Warsaw (Poland). Professor Nicolaides is member of the EFCNI Scientific Advisory Board.

Professor Nicolaides has published an amazing number of 1,161 peer review papers in scientific journals on aspects of fetal diagnosis and therapy and has edited and written several books. He introduced internet based courses for health care professionals and patients in 20 languages. Professor Nicolaides provided training in fetal medicine to more than 500 doctors from 50 countries. He is Founder and Chairman of the Fetal Medicine Foundation, aiming to promote research and training in fetal medicine throughout the world.

The Netherlands

Monique Oude Reimer is a NIDCAP consultant at the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and Co-director of the Sophia NIDCAP Training Centre, Rotterdam.  Monique Oude Reimer has worked as a neonatal intensive care nurse since 1992. She completed her NIDCAP training in 2000 in Lund (Sweden). 

Currently, she works as a Clinical development specialist at the NICU, where she supports the units in all their efforts to implement individualized care for the patients and their Family. She is well invested in the Family and Infant Neurodevelopment Education course (FINE) that she has developed together with her colleague Inga Warren, Senior NIDCAP Trainer in London, UK. Oude Reimer has presented multiple lectures in English, German and Dutch at different conferences over the past few years. 

Since 2014, Monique Oude Reimer is chair of the Expert Group on care procedures of the Standards of Care for Newborn Health project initiated by EFCNI. 


Dr Carmen Pallás-Alonso (PhD, MD) is the Head of the Neonatal Unit at the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre in Madrid, Spain. She is Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the Medical School of the Complutense University in Madrid and a member of the Spanish group Preventive Activities for Children and Adolescents (PrevInfad). Additionally, she holds the position of National President of the Spanish Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).  

The Neonatal Unit of the Hospital 12 de Octubre has pioneered the implementation of a developmental and supportive care concept in Spain. Further, it is one of two Spanish NIDCAP training centres. The first Spanish human milk bank was established by Dr Carmen Pallás-Alonso and her team. Additionally, the unit has been accredited by UNICEF as BFHI hospital. The neonatal team performs research on human milk handling in the neonatal unit and human milk banks. Other research areas include kangaroo care, developmental supportive care and patient and family-centred care.

Dr Carmen Pallás-Alonso has been distinguished with the Queen Sofia Research Award for the follow-up programme for preterm infants weighing less than 1,500g in the year 2000 and the National Quality Award in 2006 by the Spanish Ministry of Health. She is author of more than 100 papers and numerous book chapters.


Professor Christian Poets did his medical training at Hanover Medical School, Germany, and the National Heart&Lung institute, London, UK. He then worked as a consultant paediatrician at Hanover Medical School, before he was appointed Professor and Medical Director, Department of Neonatology, University of Tübingen, Germany, in 2002. In 2007, he declined an offer to become head of the Department of Neonatology at the Charité in Berlin, Germany to continue his work in Tübingen, Germany.

Professor Poets’ main research interests include the advancement of neonatology via application of Evidence Based Medicine (including the performance of randomized controlled trials), control of breathing and its disorders, particularly apnoea of prematurity and sudden infant death syndrome, surfactant research, and neonatal immunology. He has also done scientific studies into the factors influencing neonatal outcome, from which he has learned that preterm infants are doing better if they are being treated in larger perinatal centres after birth than in smaller hospitals.

He was Chairman of the German Society for Neonatology and Paediatric Intensive Care from 2004 to 2009.

United Kingdom

Professor Heike Rabe is currently a Consultant Neonatologist at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals in Brighton, United Kingdom and has been appointed as Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer for Brighton and Sussex Medical School. After graduating from medical school at the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster, Germany, she started her training in Paediatrics in England. She returned to the Children’s Hospital of the University of Münster and became a Research Fellow supported by a DFG grant and performed research on cerebral Doppler ultrasound.  After completion of her training in General Paediatrics and Neonatology, Professor Rabe became a Consultant Paediatrician at the Children’s University Hospital of Münster. Finally, she was granted Habilitation in Paediatrics and became an Assistant Professor of the Medical School of the University Hospital of Münster.  

Professor Rabe’s research interests are neonatal brain, haematology, oxygen transport and microcirculation and she is actively performing studies within these areas. She is a member of several national and international scientific societies. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (UK). As a member of the European Society for Paediatric Research/European Society for Neonatology (ESPR/ESN), she served as a section secretary from 1998 to 2004 and a member of the Council from 2001 to 2004. The Council of the ESPR/ESN has seconded her in 2004 to act as the representative on behalf of the Society on the EU directive on Paediatric Drug Regulation. In 2007 she was elected Vice President of the ESPR.


Charles Christoph Roehr grew up in Western Germany and West-Sussex, UK. He studied Medicine in Berlin, where he also received most of his basic Paediatric training and, in 2009, graduated as a Neonatal Specialist at the Charité University Medical Centre Berlin. He has an M.D. in Pediatric Allergy Immunology and Pulmonology, and a PhD in Neonatal Medicine on Non-invasive respiratory support of Neonates requiring resuscitation. Since 2012 he holds a university position as Privatdozent (Assistant Professor of Paediatrics) at the Charité Berlin, Germany. Since 2017 he is Associate Professor at the University of Oxford.

Professor Roehr has a keen interest in studying neonatal transition at birth and to improve the various methods of non-invasive respiratory support/ventilation (NIV) applied to neonates. Another interest of his is medical education and postgraduate training. For many years, he has conducted national and international seminars on different neonatal topics. In his role as President of the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR), European Society of Neonatology (ESN) Officer of Education, deputy chair of the European Scientific Collaboration of Neonatal Resuscitation Research and Chair of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Section of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), Charles is keen to promote neonatal education, resuscitation research and respiratory health throughout Europe and beyond.

Professor Roehr joined the Neonatal Consultant team at the Oxford University Hospital Trust in late 2014, following an 18 month research fellowship at Monash University and the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.


Professor Mario Rüdiger is Head of the Department for Neonatology and Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine at the Children’s Clinic of the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden, Germany.

Professor Rüdiger was trained as a paediatrician and neonatologist at the University Hospital Charité, Berlin. During that time he also started his scientific career mainly on the field of lung injury in preterm newborns.

After 10 years in Berlin he moved to Austria, where he worked as a consultant at the Clinic for Neonatology at the University Hospital in Innsbruck between 2004 and 2008. Besides his clinical work he was the Head of the Pulmonary Research Group.

In 2008, Professor Rüdiger became Professor for Paediatrics and Head of Department at the University Hospital Dresden. His clinical and scientific expertise covers mainly the following three topics: prevention of chronic lung disease in preterm infants, delivery room management and neonatal neuropsychological development. Accordingly, his laboratory studies are dedicated to the pulmonary surfactant system, perfluorocarbon administration and lung development. The clinical research questions are focused on improvement of delivery room management. As the principal investigator he was responsible for the multicenter, international Trial to Evaluate a Specified Type of APGAR (TEST-APGAR). To improve the neuropsychological development of preterm infants he developed the “FamilieNetz” – pilotproject to support families of preterm infants.

His scientific work was honored by different awards, such as the EFCNI CaPaNi-Award for neonatal lung research, the Bengt-Robertson-Award and the German Broadcasting Charity-Award “Goldene Henne”.


Professor Manuel Sanchez Luna is an Accredited Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the Complutense University of Madrid and the Medical Director of the Neonatology Division and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón. He holds a PhD, and an MD degree in Pediatrics and an MBA in Medical Governance and Hospital Administration. Professor Manuel Sanchez Luna is specialized in neonatology. His research interests include Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Respiratory physiology, Sepsis, shock, and personalized nutrition. He has widely contributed to national and international conferences and published more than 140 articles and book chapters. 

Professor Sanchez Luna is the President of the Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies (UENPS), the Elected President of the International Neonatology Association (INA), a Regular Fellow of the International Academy of Perinatal Medicine, and a member of ESPR, ESICM, ESPNIC and ESN.


Professor Ola Didrik Saugstad is a leading Norwegian pediatrician. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Oslo, Consultant in new-born medicine and Director of the Department of Pediatric Research at the National Hospital.

Professor Saugstad finished medical school in Oslo in 1973 and earned a doctoral research degree (dr. med.) in 1977. He became a Consultant in 1986 and a Professor in 1991.

Professor Saugstad has published more than 250 articles and book chapters in journals and books and is one of the most prominent Norwegian medical researchers. He was a board member of the European Society of Pediatric Research from 1987 to 1990, of the International Pediatric Foundation from 2001 to 2004 and President of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine from 2002 to 2004. He is an editor or member of the editorial board of several medical journals, and has served as a referee for more than 30 journals. He has also received several awards, and is honorary member of several medical societies. He has supervised 20 dr. med./PhD degrees.


Umberto Simeoni is Professor of Paediatrics at Faculté de Biologie et de Médecine, University of Lausanne and Director of the Division of Pediatrics and of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) Research Unit at CHUV University Hospital in Lausanne Switzerland. He graduated at Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France, where he later worked in the position of Professor of Paediatrics and Director of Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units at Strasbourg University Hospital, up to 2001. He then moved as Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Department of Neonatology at Aix-Marseille University and AP-HM University Hospital in Marseille, France until 2014.

His research is oriented towards the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), with a special focus on the developmental programming of the cardio-vascular system in conditions of perinatal disease, such as intrauterine growth-restriction, preterm birth or exposure to maternal overweight/obesity and gestational diabetes. He also is highly interested in perinatal bioethics. He authored and co-authored more than 150 referenced articles, several books on neonatology, and more than 300 invited lectures. Umberto Simeoni is Past President of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine and President of the Société Francophone DOHaD.


Dr Inge Tency graduated as a midwife in 1999. Subsequently, she started a master in Medical Social Science, option health education and promotion at Ghent University (2002) and obtained a teaching certificate in 2003. She combined her studies with a job as midwife and became a scientific collaborator of the skills lab at the faculty of medicine of Ghent University. In 2005 she leaved clinical practice and worked on diverse scientific projects at the Women’s Clinic of Ghent University Hospital. In June 2013 she defended her PhD on “Inflammatory response in maternal serum during preterm labour”. Since December 2012 she works as a lecturer in midwifery education (KaHo Sint Lieven, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium) where she also coordinates the international Midwifery program. 


Professor Pierre Tissieres is Professor of Pediatrics at the University Paris South, and Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care and Neonatal Medicine at the Paris South University Hospitals. He is leading the Endotoxins, Structures and Host Responses Group at the Department of Microbiology, from the Institute of Integrative Biology of the Cell, Paris Saclay University. 

He graduated from the University of Lausanne Medical School, and obtained a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Geneva School of Sciences. He is specialized in molecular immunology and neonatal critical care. Professor Pierre Tissieres’s current research is mainly focusing on the immune response of neonates and premature infants to Gram negative sepsis.

Professor Pierre Tissieres is a member of the executive committee of the European Society of Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care, and is Chair of the scientific affairs of this society.

The Netherlands

Dr Aleid van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, MD, PhD, is pediatrician and the head of the follow up program of NICU graduates at the Emma Children’s Hospital, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam.

She is consultant to the Expertise Center for Post discharge developmental Support (EOP-Nl, Expertise centrum Ontwikkelingsondersteuning voor Prematuren). Between 2003 and 2013, she was Chairperson of Dutch society of Neonatal follow up and from 2005 to 2013 Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the New York Medical College.

Dr Aleid van Wassenaer-Leemhuis participated in the core writing group of the Dutch guideline on aftercare for preterm and small for date neonates which was a joined effort of the preventive primary healthcare, the Dutch society of paediatrics and the Dutch association of parents of preterm infants .
She has Amsterdam-based, national and international collaborations within which she sets up and carries out research in multi-disciplinary groups mostly aiming at improving long term outcomes of preterm infants and infants born after fetal growth restriction. This concerns primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of neurodevelopmental disabilities, mostly within in the age group from 0 to 13 years. Funding for this research comes from all kinds of sources, from hospital based institutes to US based National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Dr Stefan Verlohren, MD, PhD is a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Senior lecturer at the Department of Obstetrics, Charité University Medicine, Berlin. He is specialised in Maternal-Foetal Medicine and DEGUM II certified with a clinical interest in prenatal diagnosis and foetal therapy. After studying medicine in Marburg, Lausanne and Berlin, he went on to do specialist training with research fellowships in Berlin and London. 

His main research interest is pre-eclampsia, he is the head of the Pre-eclampsia Research Group at the Charité and Vice-Chairman of the DGGG Hypertension of Pregnancy/Pre-Eclampsia Association.

The Netherlands 

Gerard H.A.Visser, emeritus professor Obstetrics, University Medical Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands, president European Association of Perinatal medicine, former president Dutch society Obstetrics and Gynaecology, honorary fellow Flemish, South African and Royal Colleges of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Member medical high court, The Netherlands. Research interests: fetal (neurological) development, IUGR, fetal asphyxia, diabetes and pregnancy, About 400 PubMed international articles, supervisor more than 60 completed PhD projects.

Gerard Visser trained in Groningen the Netherlands where he worked with Henk Huisjes and Heinz Prechtl. He spend a one year’s Royal Society fellowship in Oxford with Geoffrey Dawes. Later on he was a visiting professor at King’s College Hospital in London (Stuart Campbell/Kypros Nicolaides). In 1978 he defended his PhD  on induction of labour. In 1986 he became professor of Obstetrics and 3 years later he became chairman of the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. In 1991 he moved to Utrecht where he obtained the same position.  For three years he was the vice dean responsible for innovation of the medical training programmes and  a member of the board of the University Medical Center. The beginning and end of academic life were identical: obstetrics, patient care and research.


Dr Axel von der Wense received his medical academic education at the Universities of Wuerzburg, Berlin and Cape Town, South Africa. He specialized in paediatrics and neonatology at the University of Wuerzburg, Free University of Berlin and the Childrens Department of Klinikum Kassel.

In 2000 he was appointed Head of the Department of Neonatology and Paediatric Intensive Care at the Altona Childrens Hospital in Hamburg, Germany.

Dr von der Wense chaired the annual meeting of the German Society for Neonatology and Paediatric Intensive Care in 2007. He is a member of the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR) and was a co-organizer of the 50th annual meeting of ESPR in Hamburg 2009.

His scientific interests include neonatal haemodynamics and methods of minimal invasive techniques such as application of surfactant without intubation. Together with the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychiatrics he is principal investigator of the „Hamburg preterm and term infants and parents”-study. The aim of this trial is to identify the influence of parental stress, traumatic experience and parental psychiatric problems on mental and developmental outcome of preterm infants.

On the long run, one of his goals is the routine implementation of psychological care for parents during NICU-treatment in high level perinatal care centers.


Dr Björn Westrup is a senior consultant in neonatology and Director of the Karolinska NIDCAP Training Center at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital and lecturer at Karolinska Institute. Dr Westrup got his medical degree at the Karolinska Institute 1977 and a doctoral research degree (Dr. med) in 2003. He became Consultant in 1990 Dept of Pediatrics in Falun, has held that position at Dept of Neonatology at the University Hospital in Umeå 1999-2001 and at Karolinska University Hospital since 2002.

Dr Westrup’s field of research is mainly medical and physiological aspects of developmentally supportive care, family centered care and iron metabolism. He has been director of the Karolinska NIDCAP Training Center since its start in 1999. It was the first NIDCAP Center in Europe and has played a major role in the development of other European centers. Dr Westrup has pioneering the development of family centered developmentally supportive couplet care – a care model that minimize the separation of infant from its mother by if needed providing medical care also for the mother together with her infant in the neonatal unit. Dr Westrup has an increasing number of invitations to present on this model of neonatolgy at conferences and to hospitals in the process of change.

United Kingdom

Professor Dieter Wolke holds the degrees Dipl-Psych, C.Psychol, AFBPS, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Individual Differences. He currently works at the University of Warwick, Department of Psychology and Warwick Medical School and is Professor of Developmental Psychology and Individual Differences.

Professor Wolke studied at the University of Kiel (Germany) and University of London for his initial Psychology Degree (Dipl-Psych) and obtained his PhD from the University of London Faculty of Science. He has worked at different institutions at the University of London (King’s College; Institute of Child Health, Hospital for Sick Children) and the Universities of Munich, Hertfordshire and Bristol. Before his appointment at the University of Warwick, he worked in the research funding sector (Scientific Director of the Jacobs Foundation, Zurich, 2004-2006) while holding Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Bristol and Zurich. In 2014, he received an honorary doctorate from the Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), Faculty of Psychology, for his outstanding research in the field of the consequences of preterm birth.

Much of his research is interdisciplinary (psychology, social and medical sciences) and longitudinal. He is involved in a range of follow-up studies of preterm children in the UK and Germany including the EPICure Study, the Bavarian Longitudinal Study and the Millenium Cohort Study. His particular interest is of how preterm birth affects brain development and psychological development and quality of life. In addition he is a Co-PI of the UK Household Longitudinal Study with special interest in biomarkers and involved in several studies concerned with the social development of children. 

Professor Wolke has published widely and is on the editorial boards of a number of journals and several scientific advisory boards.