Lifetime Achievement Award


Lifetime Achievement Awardee 2024: Paul Fockens

Paul Fockens was Department Chair of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Amsterdam University Medical Center, The Netherlands, and currently serves as consultant-gastroenterologist in Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Throughout his highly successful career as an academic gastroenterologist, Paul has continuously distinguished himself in patient care, research, medical publishing, mentorship, and leadership amongst his peers. His research initially focused on EUS and its clinical impact and later on transmural endoscopy and NOTES. He was leading the pancreato-biliary research group at his department and also actively participated in upper GI motility research and in the research on detection and therapy of early colonic neoplasia as well as CRC-screening. 
Besides leading national organisations, at the international medical society level, Paul was the General Secretary and then the President of the ESGE (2010-2014), and a leading force in the joint ESGE/UEG collaborative “Quality in Endoscopy” project.  

In UEG, Paul served as Member of the Future Trends Committee (2010-2011), Endoscopy Representative on Council (2013-2015), and finally as Vice-President and then President 2016 to 2019. During his leadership years in UEG, Paul was responsible for the development of UEG’s strategic plan 2019-2022. This plan laid out new strategic directions in particular for Research, Standards & Guidelines and strengthened the concept of multidisciplinarity and cooperation across the whole digestive health field. During his presidency, UEG commissioned a new study for the White Book 2.0 and further emphasized measures to improve equality and diversity throughout the organisation.  

He was an early and strong supporter of Young GI initiatives in UEG and greatly enjoyed teaching and mentorship in the Netherlands and internationally. Paul has mentored more than fifty young trainees in achieving their PhD, was the Chair of both the European Postgraduate GastroSurgical School and the Dutch National Gastroenterology Training Committee and has organized post-graduate conferences including EUS LIVE Amsterdam and Amsterdam LIVE Endoscopy. 

In the field of gastroenterology research and scientific publications, Paul has published hundreds of peer review papers, is the co-editor of two highly successful medical textbooks, Endosonography and Gastroenterological Endoscopy, and was the co-editor of the journal Endoscopy.

Join us for the award ceremony on October 13, 2024 on occasion of UEG Week Vienna. Learn more via our UEG Week online programme.

Past Lifetime Achievement Awardees

We recognise outstanding individual achievements in digestive health

Each year we award an outstanding individual who has helped to improve the lives of people in relation to digestive health and whose contributions, leadership and impact have been of importance for the myUEG Community. Their work is widely acknowledged by the myUEG Community.

The nomination period for  2022 candidates has now ended. 

Target group

Digestive health specialists

  • who have had a career spanning at least 30 years and are widely acknowledged by the broader gastroenterological community
  • whose outstanding accomplishments have improved the lives of people in relation to  digestive health
  • whose contributions, leadership and impact have been of importance for the UEG community
Head of Association Management
Wilma Hofer