There will be many specialists from different countries giving interesting lectures and carrying out the postgraduate courses at the 49th Nordic Lung Congress. Below you will find their short introductions. This website is continuously updated whenever more lecturers register. In total we are expecting around 100 lecturers!

ALAN ALTRAJA, the Congress Chair, is a Professor of Pulmonary Medicine and the Head of the Department of Pulmonology at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu in 1990, trained at the Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, and specialized in pulmonary medicine at the University of Tartu in 1999. Alan Altraja received the scientific degree of Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (Ph.D.) from the University of Helsinki in 1999. Prof. Altraja’s research interests include asthma and COPD with metabolomics and the systems biology-based approach; tuberculosis, and interstitial lung diseases.
Alan Altraja is the current President of the Nordic Respiratory Academy (NORA), a member of the European Respiratory Society, the International Union of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases and Member of the Board of the Estonian Respiratory Society. Altraja has been an Associate Editor of the Clinical Respiratory Journal/European Clinical Respiratory Journal and has contributed to numerous international journals as a reviewer.

Alan Altraja will be co-chairing the sessions 23 and 26 and will be presenting during sessions 9 and 23. In addition, Alan Altraja will be chairing the AstraZeneca’s Lunch Symposium on Thursday, June 13 at 12 p.m. and presenting during Boehringer Ingelheim’s Lunch Symposium on Friday, June 14, at 12:30 p.m. along with chairing the latter symposium.

ANNA VON BÜLOW, MD, PhD, works at Bispebjerg Hospital, Denmark. She is a specialist in training in pulmonary medicine and has been working with severe asthma especially focusing on epidemiological research in severe asthma and systematic assessment of patients with difficult-to-treat/severe asthma.

ANNE DICHMANN SORKNÆS works as a research nurse at the Medical Department M/FAM at OUH, Svendborg Hospital, Denmark and as a postdoc at the University of Southern Denmark. Her PhD topic was telemedicine for patients with COPD and her research focus is mainly lung disease, telemedicine and family nursing care. She has written text books about lung diseases and telemedicine, published several articles and given many lectures about these topics. In her 30 years of clinical work, she has primarily worked with patients with lung diseases.


ANNE-MARIE GABRIELSEN is a specialist in pulmonology and internal medicine and she has a PHD. She is in charge of a medical intensive care unit at Vestfold Hospital Trust, where she practises non-invasive ventilation on daily basis.


ANNEMIE SCHOLS is a professor of nutrition and metabolism in chronic diseases at the Maastricht University Medical Centre and the head of the research school NUTRIM. Professor Schols conducts translational research on metabolic derangement in COPD and lung cancer with a specific focus on skeletal muscle, to unravel generic and disease specific denominators and mechanisms. Based on these insights she develops and clinically evaluates novel nutritional and other metabolic interventions to improve health and wellbeing in respiratory diseases. She has published > 350 international scientific publications and > 50 book contributions. Her Hirsch citation index is 85.


ANNIKA REINTAM BLASER MD, PhD graduated from the University of Tartu, Estonia, worked thereafter as a consultant in the general ICU of the Tartu University Hospital and later as a chief of the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care in East Tallinn Central Hospital. Currently she is working as a consultant in the ICU of the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, Switzerland and as a researcher at the University of Tartu, Estonia. The main topic of her research is gastrointestinal dysfunction in intensive care patients. She is a Chair of the Working Group on Gastrointestinal Function in Section of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine and a member of Executive Committee of the Abdominal Compartment Society.

ARE MARTIN HOLM is a pulmonologist at Oslo University Hospital, associate professor at the University of Oslo and chair of the Scandiatransplant Heart and Lung Group. His main field of interest is lung transplantation. He will give a talk about the importance of diagnosis for lung transplantation, and he will chair the session about lung transplantation.
ARNULF LANGHAMMER has been involved in the HUNT Study, a population based study in Mid-Norway, for the last 25 years. He is the leader of the HUNT databank and project leader of the Lung Study and Osteoporosis Study. The HUNT Study has collected data in four surveys from 1984 to 2019 for the age group 12-100 years, and have comprehensive data from questionnaires, interviews, clinical measurements, as well as analyses of blood and urine. Data can be linked to most national and regional health registers.
Besides being professor at NTNU, he has worked as a specialist in General Practice for three decades.
ÅSA LINA ALLE MADSEN (née JÖNSSON) is a Doctor of Medicine and PhD student at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her main research area is on the rare lung disease pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis (PAM). Her presentation will focus on the genetic and clinical aspects of the disease.

BIRGER N. LAERUM is a pulmonologist and pediatrician, the senior medical advisor for the Norwegian Association for Heart and Lung Patients and associate professor at the University of Bergen. His special fields of interest are asthma, allergy, COPD and cystic fibrosis. He is also the secretary of the steering committee in the Nordic Severe Asthma Network.

BODIL IVARSSON is a registered nurse (1978), has a PhD in cardiothoracic surgery nursing (2005), is an associate professor in cardiothoracic surgery nursing (2012). Bodil has established and is the leader of the research environment  “Heart or lung transplantation from patients and next of kin's perspective” and "Psychosocial issues in pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension". Bodil will present research projects, which includes several studies, the patient's experiences of waiting for a heart and/or lung transplantation, and their next of kin, experiences of information, support and the psychosocial issue before the transplantation and during a long period after the transplantation.
BRYNDIS HALLDORSDOTTIR has an RN, MSc from the University of Iceland, she is a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Landspitali, University Hospital Reykajvik Iceland. Since 2009 she works at the outpatient clinic for long-term pulmonary patients and home mechanical dependent people, in 1997-2009 she worked at the sleep research Unit at Landspitali, in 1981-1997 in Health Care Centers in Reykjavik.

CARINE GROSS is a Chief Nurse at the Lung Clinic of Tartu University Hospital. In addition to managing nurses’ work , sh ehas a special interest in palliative care for chronic lung disease patients. Before she started working as the Chief Nurse, she worked as a nurse in home oxygen therapy for a long time. At this congress she is a Co-chair of the nursing session, which is focused on palliative care.

CECILIA ANDERSSON is Assistant Professor at Lund University and Honorary Fellow at Imperial College, London. She recently received a senior lectureship and a startup grant from the Swedish Research Council. Dr Andersson’s research focuses on the interaction between leukocytes and the epithelium in the pathobiology of asthma. Specifically, she is investigating the interaction between human epithelial cells and mast cells under conditions that are known to damage the airway mucosa such as respiratory viral infections. How viral infections affect the interplay between these two cell types is particularly important since viral infections of the lung are implicated in both development of asthma in children and worsening of asthmatic disease in adult patients.

CECILIE SVANES is a professor at the Centre for International Health, University of Bergen (UiB), and a consultant in pulmonary medicine at Dept Occupational Medicine, Haukeland University hospital (HUS) in Bergen, Norway. She leads the Norwegian facility for specific inhalation challenge diagnostics of occupational lung disease.  Her main research focus has been the early life origins of respiratory health and disease, and she leads the work on this topic in the ECRHS/RHINE studies. She is increasingly focusing on the study of preconception and transgenerational determinants of lung health and allergies, and has conceived and is leading the RHINESSA multi-generation multi-centre study.
In her presentation she will present new research on preconception determinants of respiratory health and disease, and thereby possibly give us a glimpse into the future of respiratory epidemiology.

CHRISTIAN B. LAURSEN is a Senior Consultant, the Head of Research, and Associate Professor at the Department of Respiratory Medicine, Odense University Hospital, Denmark.

His main research area is thoracic ultrasound.

Prof, Ph.D. Celeste Porsbjerg is a professor of severe asthma at the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, where she heads the severe asthma clinic, and co-chairs the Respiratory Research Unit. Celeste Porsbjerg is furthermore the director of the Copenhagen Center for Translational Research (CCTR). Her research revolves around solving key clinical issues in difficult asthma, understanding disease mechanisms, and personalising asthma management. Celeste Porsbjerg chairs the Danish Severe Asthma Registry (DSAR), and is the national representative for Denmark in SHARP and ISAR.
CLARA HJALMARSSON is a consultant cardiologist working at Sahlgrenska University Hospital since 2005. She is mostly working within the field of heart failure, heart transplantation and pulmonary arterial hypertension, which is also her main research focus.
The topic of her presentation is the impact of age and comorbidity on outcome in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). Recent reports from worldwide pulmonary hypertension registries show a new demographic picture of the IPAH population. The prevalence among the elderly is increasing, with a mean age of 50 to 65 years reported at diagnosis. She will discuss the results of a recent study in which - based on data from the Swedish Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Registry - the impact of age and comorbidities on survival was assessed.

EINAR HELDAL is a public health doctor, partly at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (working with TB surveillance, research, MDR-TB), partly an independent consultant for organizations including the TB Union, WHO and LHLI., providing program support to, among others, the Baltic countries, Russia, Romania, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe and East Timor. His main topics have been information systems, use of routine TB data, MDR-TB, training in TB program management and operational research. The presentation will describe TB trends in migrant groups in the Nordic countries, and discuss challenges in the prevention and care including how to target entry screening and ensure access to diagnosis and adequate treatment.

ELIZABETH ARKEMA is an Associate Professor in epidemiology at the Department of Medicine’s Division of Clinical Epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet. She is an epidemiologist with a doctoral degree in epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health. Her research aims to better understand the causes and consequences of chronic inflammatory diseases, with a focus on sarcoidosis. She is the principal investigator of several studies which leverage Sweden’s large population-based registers to identify risk factors for sarcoidosis and to better understand outcomes associated with the disease. Her work is funded by the Swedish Heart-lung foundation, the Swedish Research Council and Karolinska’s Strategic Area in Epidemiology.

ELISABETH BENDSTRUP is a Doctor of Medicine, Senior Consultant, PhD and Associate Professor at the Department of Respiratory Diseases and Allergy at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. She is Head of the hospital’s Center for Rare Lung Diseases. 
Dr Bendstrup became a specialist in internal medicine in 2004 and in respiratory medicine in 2006. Her main research interest is IPF and other ILDs, and she has co authored over 90 publications in the respiratory field.

Dr. ERLA BJÖRNSDOTTIR is a research specialist at the University of Reykjavik. Currently she is the Vice President of the Icelandic Sleep Research Society. Erla also works as a clinical psychologist helping people with sleep disorders. She is an author or coauthor of over 16 published peer-reviewed papers and one book. Her main research interests include the co-morbidity of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea as well as research on cognitive behavioral treatment for insomnia.

Dr. ERNA SIF ARNARDOTTIR is a research specialist at the University of Iceland and the Landspitali – The National University Hospital of Iceland. Currently she is the President of the Icelandic Sleep Research Society and the chair of the ANSS-ESRS task force "Beyond the AHI -Standardisation of additional measures in adult sleep studies for obstructive sleep disordered breathing".  She is a member of the executive committee of the ANSS and coordinated the launch of the ESRS Early Career Research Network. She is the author or coauthor of over 30 published peer-reviewed paper and one book chapter. Her main research interests include the adverse effects of sleep disordered breathing from snoring to obstructive sleep apnea and the standardization of sleep measurements and scoring methods.

ERVE SÕÕRU MD, is a pulmonologist and somnologist at the North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation. She is an ESRS certified sleep medicine expert (2013) and the vice president of the Estonian Sleep Medicine Association. She is a PhD student at Tallinn University of Technology. Her expert areas are sleep disorders, sleep-disordered breathing and non-invasive ventilation. She is organising the post-graduate course of non-invasive ventilation and will lecture on the management of sleep apnea among drivers focusing on different aspects of screening sleepy drivers in Estonia.

EVA LINDBERG is a Professor and Chief physician in Respiratory Medicine. She is the head of the Centre of Sleep and Breathing at the university hospital Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala. Her expert areas are non-invasive ventilation, COPD, sleep-disordered breathing.

The presentation will give an update on underlying evidence for non-invasive ventilation in COPD, both in the acute setting and long-term treatment in stable COPD.

EVITA BIRAUA is a registered nurse (RN) with nursing degree, certified in general medicine and owns a master degree in Pedagogy
Her work position is head nurse of outpatient department at Riga East University hospital at Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases. She is responsible for organizing and managing care for tuberculosis and lung diseases outpatients in Riga and its district. She is also a facilitator of WHO CC Latvia since 2002, covering effective health communication and people centred care topics. 
She likes the work she does because it's dynamic and variable. She is involved in different studies, such as: the use of volatile organic compounding sensors to diagnose tuberculosis.
She is particular interested in research and practical application of interpersonal communication techniques and strategies in health care.

GÖRAN RADEGRAN, Associate Professor, DMSc, MD, M Sc Eng Phys, is the Head of the Swedish Society of Pulmonary Hypertension, & the Head of the Hemodynamic Lab & PAH Ward, VO. Heart & lungmedicine, at Skåne University hospital in Lund, Sweden. Göran Rådegran works with PAH, CTEPH, heart failure and heart transplantation investigations and follow-up. At the present Conference a focus of the presentation will be on risk stratification in PAH diagnosis & follow-up.

HANNA SOINI is a mycobacteriologist with a special interest in molecular biology and epidemiology. She has worked with TB and mycobacteria her whole career. She got her PhD from the University of Turku, Finland, and then worked for 3 years at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. After that she returned to Finland to head the Finnish mycobacterial reference laboratory. She has also worked at TB projects in Murmansk, Russia, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Hanna is currently working as a senior TB expert at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland. She is in charge of the national TB surveillance and control, including the mycobacterial reference laboratory. Her presentation will be about whole genome sequencing (WGS) in routine diagnostics of tuberculosis.

HANNA-LIIS LEPP is an internal medicine doctor currently working as a clinical nutrition consultant doctor in the North Estonia Regional Hospital. The main focus in this small Nutrition Team is perioperative care and surgical patients but they are also consulting both acute and chronic pulmonary patients in need of in-hospital as well as home enteral or parenteral support.

In her lecture she will present a patient case and hopefully embark a discussion about the impact of nutritional status and support of one of such patients. Your comments and active participation is expected!

HANNU KANKAANRANTA is Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Tampere and Head of Respiratory Medicine at Seinäjoki Central Hospital. In addition to respiratory medicine, Hannu Kankaanranta has a long history in pharmacological research and is also a clinical specialist of clinical pharmacology and drug therapy.

Hannu Kankaanranta has been actively involved in the preparation of the clinical guidelines of asthma and COPD in Finland. Previously his main research interest has been eosinophils, their survival and the mechanisms of action of asthma and COPD drugs. The most recent research activity concerns adult-onset asthma and Hannu Kankaanranta is the leader of the Seinäjoki Adult Asthma Study (SAAS).

HASEEM ASHRAF is the Associate Professor of the Division of Medicine and Laboratory Sciences ath the University of Oslo, Norway.

HELGA JONSDOTTIR, Dr, RN, PhD, FAAN, is a Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland and holds a joint position as an academic chair of nursing care for chronically ill adults at Landspitali University Hospital Reykjavik Iceland. She received her master’s and doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota in the USA.
The presentation will focus on two hitherto considered distinct approaches to care of people with COPD – palliative care and symptom management- and propose a merging on the form of partnership based care.

HÕBE TREUFELDT is a psychologist at Tartu University Hospital. She is in training to become a clinical psychologist with the primary focus on providing psychotherapy for lung transplant patients. Her interests also include improving psychological treatment for patients with somatic illnesses and also for patients with addiction problems.

JAN HEDNER MD is a Professor of Respiratory medicine at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. His presentation will deal with consequences of better phenotyping in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) research. Current approaches to phenotyping have enabled a more diversified view of the OSA disorder that extends beyond the application of CPAP therapy. This development is welcomed considering that long-term compliance to CPAP in OSA is limited. Better phenotyping also enables a practice of personalized medicine in patients with OSA. This presentation will address some new and emerging forms of therapy in OSA, both mechanical and pharmacological.

JARI RÄSÄNEN, MD in 1991, Helsinki University. Specialist in Surgery in 1999, Specialist in Gastrointestinal Surgery in 2002 and in Cardiothoracic Surgery in 2006. His doctoral thesis in 2007 focused on Barrett's esophagus and associated adenocarcinoma.

In 2008-2009 Jari Räsänen worked as a clinical fellow with Dr. James Luketich in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Pennsylvania, USA. UPMC is one of the best known centers in the world for its development of minimally invasive thoracic procedures such as VATS lobectomies and segmentectomies and especially minimally invasive esophagectomies. After returning to Helsinki, Finland, Dr. Räsänen implemented and researched these procedures in everyday use at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Helsinki University Hospital.

Dr. Räsänen’s recent interest has been the further development of minimally invasive thoracic and esophageal surgery by use of robotic assisted techniques. His present position is the chief of General Thoracic and Esophageal Surgery at Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. His talk in this meeting is about oligometastatic disease in lung.

Dr. JENNY THEORELL-HAGLÖW is a nurse researcher at the Respiratory, Allergy and Sleep research group at the Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research is focused on sleep, sleep apnea and metabolism. She is a senior nurse at the Sleep apnea clinic at the Uppsala University Hospital in Uppsala and has more than 15 years  of experience in sleep apnea treatment, focusing on CPAP treatment.

JONAS ERJEFÄLT is Professor in Immunology and Inflammation Research and Head of the Unit of Airway Inflammation at Lund University, Sweden.  After his basic training and PhD studies at the Medical Faculty in Lund Dr. Erjefält has worked in the pharmaceutical industry and at the National Heart & Lung Institute in London, before returning to Sweden.  He has authored and co-authored >150 scientific articles and book chapters in the field of asthma, allergy, and COPD and has served as expert reviewer for leading medical journals and international grant awarding organizations including the National Institute of Health (NIH), MRC and the Wellcome Trust, UK. His main interest and field of expertize is on histological approaches to explore immunopathological aspects of COPD, asthma and respiratory infections. Prof. Erjefält is also founder of Medetect AB, a company focused on tissue-based drug target validation and new technical solutions for decoding complex immune cell patterns in inflamed tissues.

JONINA SIGURGEIRSDOTTIR, RN, MS, PhD student, a Rehabilitation Nursing Specialist and a Quality Manager at the Reykjalundur Rehabilitation Centre in Iceland. She received her master’s degree in nursing from the Royal College of Nursing in Manchester and the University of Akureyri, Iceland and is studying towards a doctoral degree at the Medical Faculty of the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. The presentation will focus on COPD patients’ Needs Driven strategies for self-management, what promotes or hinders their healthy lifestyle changes and participation in PR.

Associate professor and senior consultant JUDITH BRUCHFELD is heading the TB Centre at the Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm where all TB cases in adults in Stockholm county are handled. Judith Bruchfeld is also leading a TB research group at the Division of Infectious Diseases, Dept of Medicine, KI Solna and is since many years involved in studies concerning improvement of TB diagnostic methods both for active and latent TB, TB treatment improvement including therapeutic drug monitoring as well as TB in risk groups. She has been part of the WHO and ECDC working groups for the development of guidelines for latent TB and is a member of the WHO task force for latent TB. She will present the current challenges with the diagnosis and treatment of LTBI.

JUKKA LEHTONEN works at the Helsinki University Central Hospital. He is a clinical cardiologist with an interest in cardiac sarcoidosis. Their group has a nationwide registry of all cases of cardiac sarcoidosis in Finland. They have published 20 articles of the incidence, clinical course, and prognosis of cardiac sarcoidosis in Finland.

JUSSI KARJALAINEN (MD, PhD) is the Head of the Department for the Allergy Centre in Tampere University Hospital, Finland. The focus of his work has recently been on severe and difficult-to-treat asthma, and on clinical phenomena related to these (e.g. laryngeal obstruction, small airway dysfunction, ASA-intolerance).  He has published papers in epidemiology, immunology and genetics of asthma and other respiratory diseases in major international journals. Along with his academic studies he also participates in Pharma sponsored Clinical Trials on asthma, COPD and allergic rhinitis.

Prof. Dr. JÜRGEN BIEDERER specializes in Diagnostic Radiology of the chest using multiple row detector CT and MRI in experimental research and clinical use. In 1997-2011 he was a resident, fellow, managing senior physician and finally vice director of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel. He conducted research at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) 2005-2006, and changed to University Hospital Heidelberg in 2012. From 2012 to 2013 he worked as a managing senior physician at the department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology of University Hospital Heidelberg, where he is still active in the Section of Pulmonary Radiology. Since 2014 he is the head of the Department of Radiology at the County Hospital Groß-Gerau (KK-GG) as part of Radiologie Darmstadt. 

Scientifically he is engaged in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) and in imaging cohort studies (COSYCONET). His international network comprises cooperations with institutions in Denver (CO, USA), Edinburgh (UK), Cambridge (UK), Trieste (IT), Riga (LV) and Kiel (DE). Professor Biederer is active in the thorax workshop board at the German Radiology Society (DRG) and in committees of the European Society of Thoracic Imaging (ESTI), the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and the International Workshop for Pulmonary Functional Imaging (IWPFI). He is a member of the editorial board of Fortschr. Röntgenstrahlen (RöFo) and active reviewer for a number of international journals. His favorite field in research for more than 20 years now is clinical magnetic resonance imaging of the lung, which will be also the topic of his presentation at this conference.

KAIJA TAMMEKIVI works as a pulmonologist at Tartu University Hospital. It is one of two centers in Estonia that follow patients with pulmonary hypertension and this is one of her main areas of interest. She will co-chair a session on Risk Stratification in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, which is an important part of managing the patients with this rare disorder to achieve better outcomes.

KAISA RAJALA, MD, is a specialist of geriatrics and general medicine and has a special competence of palliative medicine. She works as a chief of home care and palliative ward in Hyvinkää. Previously she worked for five years as a palliative consultant in Helsinki Univesity Hospital. Her research focuses on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients’ symptoms and health-related quality of life, and she will defend her PhD thesis in spring 2019.

KNUT LÖNNROTH is a professor of Social Medicine at the Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. He is a medical doctor with a Public Health and Social Medicine PhD from the University of Gothenburg and the Nordic School of Public Health. He has conducted extensive epidemiological, health systems and social science research during the past 25 years, with a main focus on tuberculosis. He has worked for the Global TB Programme of WHO for 13 years, where he coordinated the development of a new global indicator for the assessment of the economic impact of TB for patients and affected households. He has also coordinated policy guidance on social determinants of TB, TB screening, TB elimination in low-incidence countries, management of TB comorbidities, and social interventions to improve prevention, uptake, adherence and financial risk protection. His research at Karolinska Institutet focuses mainly on social determinants and consequences of diseases of poverty, with special attention on the intersection between health care and social sectors.

KRISTIINA SAKSNIIT studied physiotherapy at the University of Tartu (BSc, MSc). She has worked at the Tartu University Hospital Lung Clinic since 2013. Her work in the inpatient department includes applying and scoring polygraphy, applying NIV in the acute hospital setting, preparing patients for NIV in the home setting and also invasive ventilation and obstructive and central sleep apnea treatment. In her presentation "NIV in pulmonary setting" she will focus mainly on the indications for NIV treatment and applications in the acute and home care setting.

LARS HEGGELUND is the head of research and senior consultant at the Drammen Hospital, Vestre Viken Hospital Trust. He is a specialist in internal medicine and infectious diseases. His interests include etiology, pathophysiology including immune responses in infectious diseases, particularly airway infections. He is the project leader of the Pneumonia Project in Buskerud County, Norway.

LEA PEHME works at the Tartu University Hospital, Lung Clinic as a enior teaching physician. Her fields of research are the following:

Therapy of MDR-TB, new regimens, shortening the duration of treatment. 

Delays in TB diagnosis.

Extrapulmonary TB

Risk for tuberculosis among health care workers

Tuberculosis prevention, BCG vaccination in Estonia.

Latent TB Infection.

LEIF BJERMER is a Professor and Head of Lung and Allergy research at Skane University Hospital, University of Lund. His main interest is asthma and COPD pathophysiology with a special focus on inflammation, remodelling and repair, invasive and non-invasive biomarker validation. In parallel with academic research, he also runs a phase II clinical trial unit.  For years they have tested a large number of drugs including biologics for both asthma and COPD and a great number of these have reached or are on the way to the market. More expensive drugs challenge the hospital care system as we need to be sure that patients treated really benefit from the treatment, i.e. we need a more personalized approach. This focuses us to be more specific in choosing individual therapy based on careful pheno/endotyping. Biomarkers should not only predict response but also serve as follow-up instruments guiding us in when to start and when to stop.

LIGA KUKSA is currently Head of the Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Department at the Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Clinic at Riga East University Hospital, Riga, Latvia. She received her MD in 1995 from the Medical Academy of Latvia, and specialized in Pulmonology in 1998. She has been involved in the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Management of MDR-TB’s training activities since 2000, and currently is leading the WHO CC.

MAGNUS SKÖLD, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine Solna, Respiratory Medicine Unit and Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Sköld graduated MD from Lund University 1983, received a PhD at Karolinska Institutet (KI) 1991. He became associate professor 1996 and full professor 2007 at KI. He is specialized in pulmonary medicine and is a senior consultant at the Karolinska University Hospital. In 1996-1998, he was a visiting research associate at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, USA.  His research includes translational studies on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In particular, he has been interested in the relatively large proportion of COPD patients that have never smoked.
The plenary lecture will include an overview of COPD in neversmokers including epidemiology, possible mechanisms and clinical manifestations.

MANFRED DANILOVITS is currently working as a senior consultant pulmonologist at Tartu University Hospital Lung Clinic.

Dr. Manfred Danilovits is a national expert on MDR-TB. He has been  a member of the  European Regional Green Light Committee and  WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Tuberculosis. Manfred Danilovits is conducting different level trainings on TB and MDR-TB organised in collaboration with the Estonian National Tuberculosis Control Program, the University of Tartu and several international organizations.

PGC3: „Use of updated M/XDR-TB regimens: Estonian experience“.

Session7: „New and shorter regimens to treat drug-resistant TB“.

MARGARETA MØKLEBY, MSc, RN, Intensive Care Nurse, works at the Sleep Department, Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital and as a research fellow at the Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Norway.

Research projects: ‘Patients’ narratives of living with obstructive sleep apnea and the use of CPAP’.

Individuals adjust to CPAP differently due to prior and present life situation, and whether the use of CPAP is experienced as an opportunity to regain ordinary life, or as an obstacle to maintaining ordinary life. Promoting a broader aspect of CPAP adherence, where interventions are initiated from the person-in-context, support may become tailored and more meaningful for patients.

MARIA DIAKOPOULOU, a specialist in Internal and Respiratory Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Main focus on IPF and Interstitial Lung Disease, clinically active in the Pulmonary Fibrosis Unit. Coordinator of Multidiciplinary Conferences on Interstitial Lung Disease. Director of the Pulmonary Medicine  Residency Programme and coordinator of student education in Respiratory medicine and Allergy. Practising Aviation Medicine as Aeromedical Examiner, certified by the Swedish Transportation Authority. 

MARIAN PETERSEN, has studied since 2002 and in 2012 she obtained a doctorate in medical science from Lund University with the subjects of sleep and sexuality. She enjoys reading literature, writing protocols, creating surveys and analyzing data to finally see and disseminate results.
Both quantitative and qualitative studies are important and complementary, and the best study has been achieved with a broad research group where professionalism and competencies can complement.
Her presentation at the 49th Nordic Lung Congress will focus on sexuality, family life and some of the challenges CPAP treatment provides as well as discuss what we can promise the patient.
MARIEKE J. VAN DER WERF is the head of the Disease Programme Tuberculosis at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Stockholm where she is responsible for the scientific and technical work of the Centre on tuberculosis surveillance, diagnosis, guidance development, and country support. She was trained as a medical doctor, in biomedical sciences, and in public health and obtained her PhD in 2003. She published more than 100 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and participated in international policy and guideline development groups, such as the World Health Organization STAG-TB and the Task Force Impact Measurement.
is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences at Brock University in Canada. Also, Dr. Tammemägi is Scientific Lead on Cancer Care Ontario’s Lung Cancer Screening Pilot for People at High Risk.  Tammemägi’s research has a focus on lung cancer screening, lung cancer risk prediction modeling and prediction modeling of which pulmonary nodules detected on computed tomography are cancer. Tammemägi has been a co-investigator and remains an active analyst in several major U.S. and Canadian lung cancer screening trials, including the U.S. National Lung Screening Trial.
Tammemägi will present an update to selected perspectives on lung cancer screening. 


MICHAEL BRUN ANDERSEN is a consultant in Radiology with a subspecialty in thoracic imaging. He is currently doing a PhD at Aarhus University Hospital revolving around computed tomography imaging and computer post-processing in thoracic diseases. Michael is the founding and current president of the Danish Society of Thoracic Imaging. His presentation will focus on the radiological aspects of the new guidelines for IPF.


MICHAEL DURHEIM is a pulmonologist at Oslo University Hospital, with a primary focus on interstitial lung disease and lung transplantation. He will speak about recent advances and promising future directions in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).


MICHAEL PERCH is head of the Danish Lung Transplant program at Rigshopitalet, Copenhagen, as well as associate clinical professor at University of Copenhagen. Apart from Lung Transplantation Michael Perch has been working in the field of advanced emphysema treatment for almost a decade. At Rigshospitalet we offer evaluation for surgical lung volume reduction as well as bronchoscopic lung volume reduction and lung transplantation. Therefore, Michael Perch has extensive experience with evaluation and patient selection as well as the use of several different bronchoscopic lung volume reduction techniques.  Michael Perch will be having a presentation on bronchoscopic treatment of pulmonary emphysema and a workshop on endobronchial valve treatment.


OLLI POLO works at the Tampere University Hospital, Finland. He will hold a presentation entitled “Diagnostic methods of sleep-disordered breathing”.

PIRET VIIKLEPP, MD, pulmonologist works since 2008 at the National Institute for Health Development as the Head of Estonian Tuberculosis (TB) registry and the coordinator of the country’s TB activities integrated in the National Health Plan. Her presentation will focus on Estonian TB control measures as a success story of the country’s TB program on the way from a high TB burden to a low incidence country.

ROGER HESSELSTRAND works as senior Consultant and associate professor at the Department of Rheumatology, Skåne University Hospital, Sweden. He is in charge of the care of patients with systemic sclerosis and leads the researchgruop on this disease. He has a particular interest in pulmonary arterial hypertension which affects many of these patients and will lecture about the disease, risk factors, screening, prognosis and treatment.
SIMEN ALEXANDER STEINDAL is RN and associate professor. His research areas are COPD, breathlessness, symptom management and living with chronic illness.  Steindal has previously worked at a hospital lung ward.

Effectiveness of nursing interventions to manage breathlessness in COPD
Even though interventions to control breathlessness take a multidisciplinary approach for patients with COPD, these interventions are often led, coordinated or delivered by nurses. A systematic review with meta-analysis was conducted to provide a broader understanding of the effectiveness of specific tasks applied by nurses and interventions that could be implemented in clinical practice. Three categories of nursing interventions were identified: interventions performed at home, in a clinic with home follow-up, or in a clinic.

SIRKKU GRIERSSON is a Public Health Nurse, MSc. (Public Health), Project Manager in Filha, Helsinki, Finland. She is  a member of Filha's TB expert group. She has worked in Filha's long standing TB collaboration projects first in Somalia in the 1980s and later (2000-2015) in Russia and Estonia, and has coordinated various training courses for physicians and nurses, for example on TB infection control. At this congress she will make a presentation about TB Infection Control.


SULEV MERISTE, MD, is a pulmonologist at Tartu University Hospital in Estonia. His main interest  areas are chronic respiratory failure treatment and interventional bronchoscopy.

He will partly conduct the linear endobronchial ultrasound PG course.




SUSANNE GABRIELSSON works at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Her presentation is entitled “Exosomes as immune regulators in sarcoidosis, asthma and COPD”. Exosomes are nano-sized vesicles packed with information such as RNA, proteins and lipids. We have described the presence of exosomes in different body fluids and immunological mechanisms for how exosomes stimulate the immune system. Since our discovery of exosomes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in 2003, we have demonstrated that exosomes can have pro-inflammatory functions in sarcoidosis and asthma. Exosomes also have the potential to function as biomarkers in lung diseases and cancer, and I will present data from patients with sarcoidosis, asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) and lung cancer.


is currently the Head of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Tartu University Hospital in Estonia. Over the years he has taken several months of professional training in leading thoracic surgery centers in Austria, Germany, Finland and Sweden. He has implemented into practice several new treatment methods in Estonia. His special interest has been minimally invasive thoracic surgery. In 2007 he initiated a lung transplant program and in 2010 performed the first lung transplantation in Estonia.

Since 2010 he is an Associate Professor of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Tartu, leading graduate and postgraduate education. His main research areas have been the treatment of pleural effusions and empyema; various aspects of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery; and the epidemiology and management of lung cancer. He has published more than 100 scientific papers in Estonian and international journals, and presented at several international congresses. He has been a principal investigator in international clinical trials.

Dr. Laisaar is a member of several professional and scientific societies. He has been a councilor of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, president of the Estonian Society of Thoracic Surgery; member of the Board of the Estonian Society of Lung Physicians and the Estonian Society of Tissue and Organ Transplantation. He is an Estonian representative of UEMS Section of Thoracic Surgery and is an editor of the Estonian scientific medical journal “Eesti Arst”.

TARJA SAARESRANTA, MD, PhD is a Chief Specialist at the Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Division of Medicine, Turku University Hospital in Turku, Finland and Acting Professor and director of the Sleep Research Centre at the University of Turku, Finland.  She obtained her specialist degree in pulmonary medicine in 1993 (University of Turku), PhD degree in 2000, and special competence in Sleep Medicine in 2001 (Finnish Medical Association).  Her research has focused on sleep-disordered breathing, chronic respiratory failure as well as the effect of menopause on sleep, and is participating in the ESADA network. She is an author of over 90 peer-reviewed papers and 13 book chapters.

THORBJORG SOLEY INGADOTTIR has an RN and MSc. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the outpatient department for chronic lung patients at Landspitali University Hospital.

TOOMAS UIBU is a respiratory physician with a special interest in interventional pulmonology. Since 2010 he has been developing an IP suite in his university clinic. Currently they are performing a wide variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
In the Post-Graduate Course we shall introduce and learn hands-on some of the modern diagnostic methods such as Cryobiopsies, VB navigation combined with radial ultrasound, Endobronchial Valves for emphysema treatment and others. In the bronchoscopy session we shall, in addition, cover Photodynamic Treatment of intrabronchial tumours and Linear EBUS diagnostics.

TUULA VASANKARI is a Professor at the University of Turku.
Chief executive officer in Filha since 2011; responsible of all activities of Filha, leader of Filha tuberculosis activities
Professor at Turku University, Faculty of medicine, since 2016; 
Chairman in the National advisory group for tuberculosis treatment since 2007
Member of the National expert group for follow up of the Finnish National Tuberculosis program since 2007
Member of the National expert group for TB control since 2007
From 2002 to 2011 Senior doctor/consultant in Turku university hospital, special responsibility in tuberculosis
From 2005 to 2011 Senior researcher in National  institute for health and welfare
Research in the field of TB epidemiology, tobacco cessation and epidemiology of obstructive pulmonary diseases

ULLA ANTTALAINEN, MD, PhD is a Specialist at the Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Division of Medicine, Turku University Hospital in Turku, Finland.  She obtained her specialist degree in 2002 and PhD degree in 2008 (supervisor Prof. Olli Polo and MD, PhD Tarja Saaresranta, University of Turku). Her research has focused on sleep-disordered breathing, the disease among women especially and co-morbidities of sleep-disordered breathing. She has particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing and chronic non-invasive ventilation. She is responsible of the HDU at the pulmonary ward and started the telemonitoring of NIV in respiratory failure patients in Turku University Hospital. She is participating in the ESADA network and the Task Force for the Finnish Current Care Guidelines of Adult Sleep Apnoea.
She will lecture about the clinical experiences of telemonitoring of NIV in respiratory failure patients.

UNNUR BJÖRNSDOTTIR completed her postgraduate studies at Madison, University of Wisconsin in 1993 in Allergy and Clinical Immunology.  She was chief of Allergy/Immunology at the University Hospital and Associate Professor at the University of Iceland.  She currently heads the Severe Asthma Clinic at the University Hospital, Reykjavik Iceland and is responsible physician for the Asthma and Allergy Genetics project at DeCODE Genetics Iceland.

VAHUR HOLLO, MD, works at the National Institute for Health Development in Estonia as a Manager of Estonian Drug Treatment Database. For several years he has been responsible for TB surveillance in Estonia (2000 – 2008) and the European Union (in ECDC) (2008 – 2018). He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu in 1987.

His presentation will focus on different aspects of migration and tuberculosis in Estonia and the EU.

WALTER KLEPETKO MD is a Professor of Thoracic Surgery and the chairman of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna. He graduated the Vienna Medical School in 1978. He is the Director of Lung Transplantation Program at the Medical University of Vienna since 1989 and has been a Professor at the university since 2003.

Prof. Klepetko is a Dr. Honoris Causa of the University of Wroclaw (2004), the Victor Babes University Timisoara (2011) and the Semmelweis University of Budapest (2016).

He is an honorary member of the Czech Transplant Society, Romanian Society of Thoracic Surgery, Romanian Society of Transplantation, Hungarian Society of Surgery, Hungarian Society of Pulmonology and British Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons.

He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

Prof. Klepetko has published 512 peer reviewed papers, and his impact factor is 1020.

WILLIAM WARD SILJAN specializes in respiratory and internal medicine at Akershus University Hospital. His PhD-thesis has mainly revolved around immune responses and inflammatory biomarkers in community-acquired pneumonia. In his presentation he will focus on treatment of pneumonia and new developments in the field.