ERS Educational Award

Presented to: Monika Gappa

The ERS Educational Award recognises a European respiratory health professional who has made an extraordinary contribution to education in respiratory medicine at a European or international level.

Monika Gappa

Professor Gappa completed her medical training at Hannover Medical School, where she worked clinically and scientifically for more than 20 years as a paediatrician, neonatologist, and subsequently as a paediatric respiratory medicine specialist. From there, she moved on to serve as Director of the Children’s Hospital in Wesel, Germany, for more than 10 years. In August 2019, she started a new position as Director of the Children’s Hospital EVK Dusseldorf, Germany, with the challenge of establishing the new paediatric respiratory department.

Her interest in paediatric respiratory medicine began during medical school while working on her MD thesis on inhaled antibiotics in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis. During the 1990s she spent several years as a research fellow at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health in London, UK, where she was a member of Professor Janet Stocks’ team. There, she did research in lung physiology and the early origins of lung disease. Professor Gappa considers working under Professor Stocks’ direct mentorship as the most important time of her professional career.

Her contribution to ERS started in 1996 when she was elected as the European Co-Chair of the joint ERS/ATS Task Force on Standardisation of Infant Lung Function Testing. In 1997, she became Secretary and later, Chair of the Paediatric Respiratory Physiology Working Group of the ERS Paediatric Assembly. As such, she started organising workshops and postgraduate courses which focused on infant lung function testing and paediatric respiratory physiology.

She was a member of the ERS School of Respiratory Medicine from 2006–2008. As the Chair of the ERS paediatric HERMES Examination Committee for Paediatric Respiratory Medicine (formerly the HERMES Paediatric task force), she:

•    Led the revision of the paediatric respiratory medicine syllabus (Breathe, March 2009);
•    Co-chaired curriculum recommendations for training in paediatric respiratory medicine (Breathe, 2010);
•    Contributed to developing the ERS examinations in pulmonary reimplantation response and the ERS European diploma examinations;
•    Developed accreditation criteria for training centres in paediatric respiratory medicine (Breathe, 2016);
•    Acts as a senior member of the Organising Committee for the ERS Summer School in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, as well as a faculty member for ERS School courses and Faculty Paediatric PG Courses ERS.
•    More generally, she has made substantial contributions to paediatric respiratory textbooks and was Associate Editor of Paediatric Pulmonology from 2007–2015.

ERS History

Committee Member HERMES Paediatric Examination Committee 2012–2017
Co-Chair HERMES Paediatric Task Force 2008–2012
Long Range Plan Com Assembly 7: Paediatrics 2013–2016 & 2005–2010
Assembly Secretary Assembly 7: Paediatrics 2005–2008
Committee Member ERS School 2005–2008
Group Chair Group 07.01:– Paediatric Respiratory Physiology and Sleep 1999–2003
Group Secretary Group 07.01:– Paediatric Respiratory Physiology and Sleep 1997–1999

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