EYSAC Research Academy

Our Mission

Our mission is to faciliate learning and provide necessary tool to empower young surgeons to become leaders in developing high quality cancer surgery research. EYSAC believes that research is a key pillar of excellent and optimal surgical care for our cancer patients. Hence, the academy aims to provide content that will serve as foundation for understanding clinical research methodology and inspiration for innovative and practice changing research from the women and men who are icons of surgical oncology. Recognizing that cancer treatment is multi-disciplinary, the EYSAC Research academy also aims to be a forum not just for young surgeons but a diverse team of specialists with a common purpose, to develop high quality cancer research and deliver the best treatment for patients.

Our Vision

Our vision is to develop a sustainable plaftform for learning cancer surgery research, to produce at least 1 new international research project every year and 1 new publication at a peer-reviewed journal each year. In order to create an impact not just in Europe but globally, EYSAC also envisions a dynamic Research Academy with a strong engagement from its national representatives all across Europe and neighbouring regions. Our vision is to have a diverse and collaborative organization that will support these national representatives to lead cancer research that will address the unmet needs of patients in their own countries or regions. 

Our Committee

Wim Ceelen, ESSO Board - @WimCeelen

          Expertise: GI, EBM, Clinical Research

Wim Ceelen is a surgical oncologist at Ghent University Hospital, Belgium. He has an interest in GI cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, and peritoneal metastasis. He is a teacher of evidence based medicine and has experience with basic, translational, and clinical cancer research. He joined the Board of Directors of ESSO in 2020.

Andreas Brandl, EYSAC Past-Chair - @AndreasBrandl8

          Expertise: GI, PSM, Clinical Research

My education, training, and experience have given me a strong foundation in the field of surgical oncology. Currently, I am working as a consultant, and surgical oncologist at the Digestive Unit at Fundação Champalimaud, Lisbon, Portugal . Aside the clinical work, I have been leading clinical research and actively contributing to basic science programs, focusing on understanding biomarkers´ role as targets for new therapeutic agents in patients with gastrointestinal cancers.

Laura Lorenzon,  - @LauraLorenzon

          Expertise: GI, CRC, Clinical Research

I am a surgeon at Fondazione Policlinico A. Gemelli IRCCS in Rome and a research passionate. After completing my surgical training I completed my studies with a PhD in translational science. I joined EYSAC in 2016 as a research delegate and I was appointed Chair in 2018, ending my mandate in 2020. My clinical and research interests are focused on GI malignancies. 

Yvonne Schrage, ETC

          Expertise: Sarcoma, Melanoma, GI, Clinical Research

Consultant and surgical oncologist at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek/the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. My focus is on melanoma and sarcoma. After completing surgical training I followed the ESSO sarcoma fellowship in several leading institutes in Europe. I joined the EYSAC steering committee in 2019 and I am representing EYSAC in the Education and Training Committee of ESSO.

Dara Lundon, - @Doctor_Dara

          Expertise: GU, Clinical Research

Director of Clinical Trials & Innovations with a focus on Genito-Urinary Oncology. Completed a PhD in cancer biology as part of training in urology. Also interested in men's health, sports and exercise medicine and telehealth and developing better research tools.

Carmela Caballero, EYSAC SC Chair - @Carmela_surgery

          Expertise: International Clinical Research, Breast, CRC, Head & Neck

Carmela is a general surgeon and a medical advisor for cancer research. She trained at the Philippine General Hospital and Rizal Medical Center in Manila and obtained her license in 2013. She worked in Singapore General Hospital and in 2014, obtained a research fellowship for surgical research quality assurance at European Organization for Research and Treatment in Cancer (Brussels). She became a full time Clinical Research Physician for GI and Head and Neck cancer clinical trials in 2016. She has been with Breast International Group (BIG) as a medical advisor since 2018. Carmela is also co-coordinating its Surgical Task Force, De Novo Metastatic and Triple Negative BC groups, Asian Collaboration and the Patient Partnership Initiative. 

Carl Jacob Holmberg, EYSAC SC -  @Carl_Holmberg

          Expertise: Melanoma

Surgeon and melanoma researcher at Sahlgrenska University Hopsital (Gothenburg, Sweden) with a special interest in research ethics. 

Nada Santrac, EYSAC SC, National Representative

Mariela Vasileva-Slaveva, EYSAC SC 

              Expertise: Breast

I am resident in General surgery with a special interest in breast cancer. Currently I am working at University Hospiatl Acibadem City Clinic Sofia, Bulgaria. Beside this I am secretary of "Women for oncology-Bulgaria" society. I finished my PhD in 2016 on a translational research project regarding prognostic factors in breast cancer and as a part of it I participated in the establishment of the first breast cancer biobank at Medical University Sofia, Bulgaria. In 2020 I spent one year as an ESMO translational research fellow at EXTRO-lab, Department of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Giacomo Montagna

              Expertise: Breast

Helen Mohan, National Representative - @HelenMohan1

              Expertise: CRC

I am a colorectal fellow at the Peter MacCallum cancer centre in Melbourne, Australia having completed my surgical training in Ireland. 

Olivia Sgarbura, National Representative, ESSO Communication Committee

Raza Sayyed, National Representative - @RazaSayyed12

              Expertise: Peritoneal Malignancies, Sarcoma, GI cancer, Cancer care disparities

Surgical oncologist at Patel Hospital Karachi Pakistan. Special interests include peritoneal malignancies, soft tissue sarcomas, pelvic exenteration and cancer care disparities. Active member of the Surgical Oncology Society of Pakistan (SOSPK) and also part of its Young Surgeons Advisory Committee. 

Almog Ben-Yaacov, National Representative


A Memorial Sloan Kettering surgical oncology fellow gratuate, working now as a surgical oncologist in Chaim Sheba Medical Center. In the last 5 years my main interst and work is with peritoneal surface malignancy, sarcoma and gastric cancer. Active in clinical training, Program director of the residency program. A member of EYSAC since 2016.

Johnny Henry Hererra Kok, National Representative - @JHHerreraK

              Expertise: Upper GI

General and Digestive Surgeon at Complejo Asistencial Universitario de León - Spain with special interest in Upper GI surgery and Surgical Oncology. "For surgeons, and specially for surgical oncologist, quality training is the cornerstone on which to build a safe and quality clinical practice for our patients". 

Ina Breinl, National Representative

              Expertise: Breast

Our Representatives

You can find our representatives here


ESSO Industry Partners