Much has changed since the 15th Congress of ECCO, as at that moment the COVID-19 outbreak seemed far away, but by now the pandemic is affecting all our daily life and work activities. However, I do want to take you back to a sunny Vienna, as the ECCO Congress with the theme “IBD beyond 2020” was very successful. More than 7,000 participants from 102 countries attended the meeting, either to be educated or to present their latest work and interact with IBD interested colleagues from around the world. With great pleasure we hereby share the highlights presented in Vienna February this year: new insights in modifying the gut microbiome as a treatment target, first study results of experimental studies, long term results of treatment strategies and real-world comparison analysis, as well as multi-omics and big data results of (global) consortia.
In his letter of invitation, Silvio Danese (past-president) states “Think global and not local”. Many of the results presented at ECCO were the result of collaborations around the globe. By joining efforts much more is and becomes possible. To circle back to the COVID-19 pandemic I realise that this motto is even more than ever actual. A COVID-19 Taskforce composed of ECCO members keeps the IBD community updated on the ECCO website and IBD clinicians worldwide are encouraged to report all cases of COVID-19 in their IBD patients trough and international registry which aims to rapidly define and report the impact of COVID-19 on patients with IBD (https://covidibd.org/).
Last but not least, please stay healthy, take care of yourself and one another. I am looking forward to meet you next year in Berlin.
Marjolijn Duijvestein works as a gastroenterologist at the IBD center of Amsterdam UMC, merged in 2018 from Academic Medical Center (AMC) and the VU University Medical Center. In 2012 she obtained her PhD at Leiden University and was trained as a gastroenterologist specialised in IBD disease at the AMC. As part of her training, she gained experience at the University of California San Diego (UCSD, USA) and performed an internship at Robarts Clinical Trials, an academic research organisation dedicated to drug development for IBD. Her clinical activity and research is focused on IBD, in particular clinical and translational research.
Conflict of Interest Statement
MD has served as advisor for Echo pharma and Robarts Clinical Trials, reports nonfinancial support from Dr. Falk Pharma, and received speaker fees from Janssen, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Takeda and Tillotts Pharma.
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