scientific Advisory board (sab)


The members of the SAB will be invited to the annual GA meetings in order to monitor the progress of work, to assess the scientific quality and to give feed-back to the Consortium members, but without a right to vote. The SAB consists of three renowned experts, who will also consider and mention any ethical issues which might require (stronger) attention in their feed-back.


Associate Professor in Gastroenterology, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Nottingham.  Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Maura leads the GI Motility Service and she is the referral consultant for functional disorders of upper and lower GI tract at the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre. She obtained her Specialization (2000) and PhD (2004) in Italy, where she worked for eight years as referral consultant for functional bowel disorders and lead of the Motility Unit of one of the most important university hospital in Milan, the San Raffaele University Hospital. She then moved to Belgium, where she spent also part of her PhD, to work in the lab of Prof Jan Tack as Senior Research Supervisor (2012-2016). She dedicated her professional carrier to the study of role of gut motility to the pathophysiology of symptoms of functional disorder. She is one of the Editor of the journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility and she leads the working group on food and drug interaction in the COST Action CA16205 (European Network on Understanding Gastrointestinal Absorption-related Processes).

Philippe Courtet is Professor of psychiatry at the University of Montpellier, and Head of the Department of Emergency & acute care Psychiatry at the Academic Hospital, Montpellier, France. He leads the Chair of excellence in prevention of suicide of the Fondation Fondamental. He leads a research group “vulnerability of suicidal behaviour” in the INSERM. His areas of interest involve vulnerability to suicidal behaviour in patients with mood disorder, focusing on brain imaging and social pain. He is now implementing projects using web-based tools for assessing and managing suicidal patients. Professor Courtet is chairman of the task force “suicide” of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry, past-President of the French Association of Biological Psychiatry and Neuropsychopharmacology, member of the European Psychiatric Association and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He has published 299 articles in peer-reviewed journals, numerous book chapters and edited three books on suicidal behaviour.

Fernando Azpiroz is currently Professor of Medicine and Consultant in Digestive Diseases at the University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. He graduated from medical school at the University of Valladolid, Spain, in 1977, and after completing a residency program in general surgery at the San Carlos University Hospital of Madrid, he followed a three year fellowship in the Gastrointestinal Research Unit at the Mayo Clinic, where he received the Edward C. Kendall Award for Meritorious Research. In 1986 he joined the Vall d’Hebron Department of Digestive Diseases where he served as Chief of the Department from 2009 to 2019.

Dr Azpiroz clinical practice develops in a large referral unit, and specifically focuses on functional gut disorders. His research program investigates the origin of gastrointestinal sensations (both pleasant and unpleasant) which depend on gut motility, visceral sensitivity and contents. Recent research focussed on intestinal gas, abdominal distension and the biological responses to food ingestion. Dr Azpiroz has been distinguished with the Masters Award in Gastroenterology for Clinical Research in Digestive Diseases, Research Award of the International Group for the Study of Gastrointestinal Motility, Research Scientist Award of the Functional Brain Gut Research Group, and Senior Investigator-Clinical Science Award of the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder. At present Dr Azpiroz serves as Chairman of the Microbiota & Health Section, European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility.