Professor Maria de Fátima Carneiro is the Head of the Department of Anatomic Pathology at the University Hospital of S. Jočo in Porto, Portugal. In 2001 she became a member of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Pathology (ESP) and in 2011 she was elected for President of the ESP for the period from September 2011 to September 2013. Her research activity is directed towards the understanding of the etiopathogenesis of gastric cancer, mainly focusing on the study of the interplay between Helicobacter pylori virulence factors and host genetic susceptibility as well as the molecular basis of sporadic and familial gastric carcinoma development, with an emphasis on hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC). Beside the membership of the Editorial Boards of several journals, she also works as a Managing Editor of Virchows Archiv and a co-editor of the volume on Tumours of the Digestive System (4th edition of the WHO Blue Books on Classification of Tumours).
How would you evaluate the recent 24th European Congress of Pathology 2012 in Prague in general?
The 24th ECP, hold in Prague in September 2012, was very good scientifically and socially. This success was due to the superb performance of Prof. Ales Ryska (Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee) and his collaborators. Only those who have been involved in the organization of a Congress of this importance will understand what was done in such a quiet, confident and professional attitude.
How would you rank the organization?
I would rank it in the top 15% of the ECPs that I have attended to date (and I have attended many…:).
How did you like the scientific program, the social events and the city?
The scientific sessions were generally very good and the program was well balanced, covering the most important areas of “modern” Pathology. The social events gathered participants in a very nice atmosphere and the very good quality of food and wine helped a lot. The Don Giovanni opera in the Estates Theatre deserves a special reference. It was really a delighting and unique occasion. Prague, as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, attracted people to touristic crawls and the weather contributed a lot to the nice atmosphere.
What are the plans for the upcoming 25th ECP 2013 in Portugal?
The upcoming 25th ECP will be held in Lisbon (August 31st to September 4th, 2013). The motto of the Congress is “Pathology: A gate to the future”, having in mind the new challenges of Pathology and the future Pathologists (residents and trainees are being stimulated to play a crucial role in the Congress). As you may know, the Lisbon Congress was initially coined the seven Ps Congress: Pathology after Prague; Prognosis; Predictive; Personalized; Portugal and Pleasure. The finalized social program has expanded this number of Ps: a couple of exciting Parties, including a Sunset Rave Party (a “Premiere” in ESP Congresses), a Performance of choral music pieces from Portuguese speaking countries and a welcome ceremony devoted to FADO (it is a pity it is not written Phado :).
You were elected for President of the European Society of Pathology for the period from September 2011 to September 2013, so the period of your Presidency is now in its middle. What are the areas you decided to focus on? What has been done and what does still require attention?
Being the President of the European Society of Pathology is probably the most demanding challenge in my professional career. For my tenure as the ESP President, I elected Education in Pathology as the main target. Specific actions have been taken or are being developed such as:
to create an education portal on the ESP website
to maintain/expand the offer of courses and tutorials in the frame of European School of Pathology (EScoP)
to support the activities of the Working Groups
to strengthen the relationship with the European Association of Pathology Chairs and Program Directors (EAPCP) as well as the establishment of the Progress/Proficiency Test.
Furthermore, actions have been taken for the reinforcement of the links with the National Societies of Pathology and the reinforcement of the internationalization and networking with International Organizations and Societies (IAP, EORTC, UEG and ESMO), encompassing joint meetings that have been and will be organized between the ESP and the aforementioned Societies.
Do you have any message for the Czech Society of Pathology?
From what I know of Czech Pathology (with so many brilliant young, and not so young, pathologists), I foresee that it will play an important role in the consolidation of European Pathology, based on competence (in the fields of research, education, and diagnosis) and international networking.