ESPR Sections

Representing Paediatric Sub-Specialties

As a part of the ESPR Council, the sections represent different Paediatric sub-specialties.

Headed by dedicated and elected section secretaries, it is the sections' role:

  • to provide speakers/topics for ESPR conferences;
  • to publish research and guidelines related to their expertise;
  • to act as a discussion forum and incubator of ideas/initiatives for like-minded Paediatric professionals;
  • to organise annual gatherings at the ESRP congresses;
  • to mentor young investigators.

The ESPR sections are open to all members from the society with a relevant specialisation.

Currently the ESPR has eight sections, two of which—Nursing and other Healthcare Professionals & Infection, Inflammation and Immunology—were inaugurated recently during EAPS 2018.

  • Brain and Development

    Pierre Gressens, MD, PhD
    1st term
    October 2016 – October 2019

  • Circulation, Haematology and Oxygen Transport

    Section Aim
    The aim of the section is to promote research and to provide best-evidence guidelines or recommendations in the fields of circulation, oxygen transport and haematology. This is achieved by encouraging exchange of ideas and discussions amongst researchers and experts in the field, through organisation of parallel sessions, workshops and courses during annual ESPR conferences (EAPS & jENS), as well as by bringing individuals together in special interest groups and a virtual research community.

    Section Council
    The section consists of a Section Secretary, who sits on the ESPR Council, two Section Council Members and two Young Council Members. The role of the Section Council Members is to support the Section Secretary in developing and promoting issues relevant to circulation, oxygen transport and haematology. The position of Young Council Member is designed to encourage young investigators to take a more active role in the ESPR.

    Section Council Members

    • Willem de Boode, 1st term*, Section Secretary, October 2016 - October 2019
    • Afif El-Khuffash, 2nd term, Council Member, October 2017- October 2020
    • Eirik Nestaas, 1st term*, Council Member, October 2016 - October 2019
    • Mayka Bravo, 1st term*, Young Council Member, October 2016 - October 2019
    • Colm Breatnach, 1st term, Young Council Member, October 2016 - October 2019

    *opted recently (November 2018) for a second term of three years

    Special Interest Groups
    Currently, there are three special interest groups within the section. These are:

    1. Neonatologist Performed Echocardiography (NPE)
      The NPE group was set up in 2014 with the goal of promoting the responsible use of echocardiography by neonatologists to enhance clinical care of newborn infants by formulating 'state-of-the art' guidelines. Currently, the NPE group consists of >40 members originating from >15 countries worldwide with specific expertise in NPE. In 2016, a consensus statement was published by this group with recommendations for NPE training and accreditation in Europe (see link here). Subsequently, the group developed comprehensive technical and clinical reviews encompassing many aspects of the use of NPE in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These review papers are presented together in a dedicated online, open-access supplement to Pediatric Research (see link here). The next objective of the NPE group is to implement a pan-European governance structure with the responsibility to develop a certification and accreditation programme and set standards for competency and excellence in NPE under the umbrella of the European Board of Neonatology (EBN) within the ESPR. Moreover, NPE will be incorporated into the next, revised version of the European Curriculum and Assessment Framework for Subspecialty Training in Neonatology. The overall aim of this endeavour is to ensure the safe application of echocardiography in the clinical setting to enhance hemodynamic assessment, improve our management strategies, and foster collaborative research.

    2. Near InfraRed Spectroscopy (NIRS)
      The NIRS group was initiated in 2017 during the 2nd jENS meeting in Venice. The aim of this dedicated group of experts is to produce state-of-the-art methodological and clinical guidelines/recommendations regarding the use of NIRS in neonatal care. Our goal is to publish a series of papers that will interest both researchers and clinicians.

    3. Non-invasive Cardiac Output Monitoring
      During the section's business meeting in Paris in 2018, a third special interest group working on the analysis of the validity, applicability and feasibility of several techniques of cardiac output monitoring in newborn infants was established.

    Ongoing & Future Projects

    • Implementation of a pan-European governance structure with the responsibility to develop a certification and accreditation programme and set standards for competency and excellence in NPE.
    • Development of an interactive platform via the ESPR website and mobile app (for ESPR members).
    • Collaboration with the new ESPR section 'Infection, Inflammation & Immunology' regarding the Surviving Sepsis Campaign with emphasis on the preterm infant.
  • Epidemiology

    Tine Brink Henriksen, MD, PhD
    2nd term
    October 2016 - October 2019

  • Infection, Inflammation and Immunology

    Section Secretary:
    Eleanor Molloy, PhD
    1st term
    October 2018 - October 2021

  • Nursing and other Healthcare Professionals


    • providing education, developing guidelines and preparing position statements
    • offering high-quality contributions to conferences and meetings
    • supporting and coordinating research of society members in all fields of nursing and other health care professionals
    • working in a multi-disciplinary manner together with the other ESPR sections

    Way of working:

    This is achieved by encouraging exchange of ideas and discussions among members in research and education platforms in Europe and the ESPR.

    The section Nursing and other Healthcare Professionals has its own business meeting, which is held during the annual ESPR meeting.

    Decisions at the annual business meetings are made by simple majority of the members present.

    At the annual business meeting research projects and proposals for future congresses are discussed and worked on.

    Achievements for future research:

    • Family-centered care and family empowerment
    • Developmental care
    • Sleep and brain development
    • Pain & sedation
    • Safety and risk reduction in NICU
    • Surroundings & stress
    • Neonatal transport

    Section Secretary:

    Agnes van den Hoogen, PhD
    1st term
    October 2018 - October 2021

  • Nutrition, Metabolism and Gastroenterology

    Alexandre Lapillonne, MD, PhD
    2nd term
    October 2016 - October 2019

  • Paediatric and Neonatal Pharmacology

    The Pharmacology section is a young and growing section that aims to study, educate and collaborate within Europe. We aim to increase the awareness about the relevance of neonatal and pediatric pharmacology among scientists and researchers. Improved knowledge and understanding of drugs, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, drug development, and new therapies to protect our patients, will all contribute to improved patient care and outcome.

    We aim to:

    • Increase the knowledge about neonatal and pediatric pharmacology in Europe by:
      - Sharing research and knowledge;
      - Writing educational papers;
      - Organizing education and courses to teach others.
    • Collaborate with all the other section, because pharmacology is part of the topics that are covered by the other sections( such as circulation, sepsis, lung and neurology) within ESPR.
    • Improve and enlarge the network of (clinician)scientists in the field of pharmacology and beyond.
    • Encourage and support young researchers.

    Section board members:

    • Sinno Simons (Section Secretary)
    • Eugene Dempsey (Senior)
    • Anne Smits (Senior)
    • Liam Mahoney (Junior)
    • Harris Kotidis (Junior)
  • Pulmonology

    Anton H.L.C. van Kaam, MD, PhD
    1st term
    October 2017 – October 2020

  • European Board of Neonatology (EBN)

    Maximo Vento, MD, PhD

    Dominique Haumont, MD
    Officer of Neonatal Databases

    Tomasz Szczapa, MD, PhD
    Officer of Education and Training

Should you wish to join a section or contact one of the section secretaries, please send an email to The ESPR Secretariat will be happy to forward your request.