Mentorship Programme

The Mentorship Programme, launched in November 2012, was created as a means of enhancing scientific exchange and personal developmental relationships in which a more experienced and knowledgeable hepatologist would guide a young investigator through a crucial stage of their career path.

The Mentorship entails informal face-to-face communication during a sustained period of time, between the mentor (who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge in the field of hepatology) and the mentee (who is perceived to have less experience). The programme is not simply about answering ad hoc questions or providing occasional help: it is about establishing an ongoing relationship (continuous learning, dialogue, and challenge).

Mentoring is a process that involves communication and is relationship based, it is a process enabling the informal transmission of knowledge and a means of support for the mentee that is relevant to work, career, and professional development.

APPLICATION FOR Mentorship Programme is now closed.

Successful applicants will be notified in January 2017





Prof. Jean-Francois Dufour, MD

Professor Dufour

Prof. Jean-Francois Dufour, MD studied mathematics at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and received his medical degree from the Geneva Medical School. After training in internal medicine at the University Hospital Geneva and the University Hospital Bern, both in Switzerland, he joined the laboratory of Professor I. Arias at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied the effects of calcium signalling on bile canaliculus. He then returned to the clinic to complete a gastroenterology fellowship with Professor M. Kaplan at the New England Medical Center, also at Tufts University. In 1997, Professor Dufour established his own laboratory at the University of Bern, Switzerland, where he is currently clinic director and full professor of Hepatology ( ).

Professor Dufour is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, the American Gastroenterology Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the Swiss Association for the Study of the Liver, the Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Gastroenterologie und Hepatologie.  He is a founding member of the International Liver Cancer Association.  He was twice a member of the EASL governing board; as scientific committee member and then as educational councillor. He was also member of the United European Gastroenterology educational committee. As such, professor Dufour has a broad understanding of basic, translational and clinical research, its bottleneck and the challenges in disseminating and exploiting knowledge. 

Professor Dufour has served as the principal investigator on multiple clinical studies, focusing on NASH and hepatocellular carcinoma. His laboratory explores the link between fatty liver, physical activity and liver cancer.  He is associate editor of Hepatology (responsible for the monthly ‘Highlights’ section), and was an associate editor of the Journal of Hepatology, Clinical Sciences and Liver International. Professor Dufour has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications.


Prof. Michael Trauner, MD

Prof. Michael Trauner

Prof. Michael Trauner, MD, received his medical education at the Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz in Graz, Austria, where he started his Residency and Fellowship in Internal Medicine in 1991. From 1994 to 1997 he was trained as an Erwin Schrödinger Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Austrian Science Foundation at Yale University’s Department of Internal Medicine (Section of Digestive Diseases) and Liver Center in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, where he worked on the molecular alterations of hepatobiliary transport systems in cholestasis.

After returning to Graz, he completed his training in Internal medicine and a fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He then established an internationally recognized research group in cholestatic and fatty liver diseases, and in 2005, founded the Liver Center at the Medical University of Graz, serving as Professor of Experimental and Clinical Hepatology. Since 2010 he has been Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Medical University of Vienna, where he is also Division Head of one of the largest clinical gastroenterology, endoscopy, and liver services in Europe.

Dr Trauner’s main research interests are the molecular regulation of hepatobiliary ABC transporters in cholestatic and fatty liver diseases by nuclear receptors, bile acid signaling via nuclear receptors, mechanisms of cell injury in cholestatic and fatty liver disease, and development of novel pharmacologic treatments for cholestatic and fatty liver diseases. He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 35 book chapters and has edited 3 books. He has delivered more than 200 invited lectures at international scientific meetings, mainly on molecular and clinical aspects of cholestatic and metabolic liver diseases, and holds three patents on the treatment of cholestatic and metabolic liver diseases.

Dr Trauner is past President of the Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, as well as a member of several other national and international professional and scientific societies. He has served on editorial boards and scientific committees, such as the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) Governing Board and the United European Gastroenterology Council. He has also served as Associate Editor of Journal of Hepatology, Seminars in Liver Disease and Hepatology.

Rules & conditions

EASL offers 2 mentorships per year.

The mentor/mentee relationship is to be based on a specific objective (e.g. launching a research project, acquiring new clinical skills or getting some data into publication...)

EASL will pay for 1 visit up to two weeks (flight & university / 3* accommodation) for the mentee to visit the mentor. EASL will also pay for the mentor and mentee to attend The International Liver Congress™ in April (flight, accommodation & registration) where they can meet and present their collaboration to EASL delegates. (Other meetings can be arranged as required but at the mentor's and mentee's own expense).

Duration of each programme: 12 months - no renewal is possible.

Mentees will be entitled to collaborate with one of the above-stated mentors depending on their specialty area and field of interest. Only 1 mentor per mentee and vice versa.

Conditions for Mentees

  • Mentees should be under the age of 35 at the time of application and/or still in training.
  • Applicant must be a registered EASL member.
  • Applicant must not hold a permanent position.
  • Home institution must be European and located in a different European country from the mentor's institution.
  • No restriction on the applicant's nationality.
  • Mentees and mentors will be notified by early January.
  • The mentors and mentees will be requested to attend The International Liver Congress™ in April. Both parties will take part in the Young Investigators' Forum.


  • All applications will be reviewed by the scientific committee and then sent for approval to the mentors
  • Mentorships to begin (at the latest) by January of the following year
  • The mentor-mentee relationship should last for 1 year. Extended programmes cannot be requested or accepted
  • All applications to be received in English

How to apply

Online applications should be sent to the EASL Office before 30 November each year.

During the process you will need to upload:

  • your personal details - complete CV
  • a letter detailing your interest in the mentorship program and stating the objective(s) which you, the mentee, would like to achieve
  • a letter of recommendation from a former or current supervisor

Questions regarding EASL Mentorship should be sent to

Previous Mentors-Mentees

Year Mentor Mentee
2016 Prof. Marsha Y Morgan, MD

Prof. Marsha Y Morgan, MD

Qualified in medicine with distinction and undertook her early clinical training in Manchester and London.

•	Dr. Nina Kimer, Hvidovre, Denmark

Nina Kimer,


2016 Prof. dr. U.H.W. Beuers

Prof. dr. U.H.W. Beuers

Head of Hepatology, and Professor and Programme Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam.

Dr. Sharat Varma, Brussels, Belgium

Sharat Varma,


2015 Prof-Dominique-Charles-Valla

Prof. Dominique-Charles Valla

Professor of hepatology at Université Paris Diderot and Hôpital Beaujon (APHP, Clichy), Paris.

Research interests: vascular diseases of the liver in adults


Georgiana Minzala,



Prof. Michael P. Manns, MD

Director of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology at the Medical School of Hannover in Germany.

Research interests: viral hepatitis, autoimmune liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver transplantation, regenerative medicine, and cell therapy.


Jelena Martinov,



Prof. Dr Peter Ferenci, MD

Medical University of Vienna, Austria.

Research interests: Chronic Viral Hepatitis, Inherited Liver Diseases, Hepatic Encephalopathy

Natalia Tikhonova

Natalia Tikhonova,

Moscow, Russia


Prof. Peter L.M. Jansen, MD, PhD

Prof, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Research interests: Cholestatic and Metabolic Liver Disease

Alina Habic,

Cluj, Romania


Prof. Massimo G. Colombo, MD

Professor of Gastroenterology, University of Milan, Italy.

Research interests: diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis and liver cancer.

Bulent Baran,



Dr Jaime Bosch,

Professor of Medicine and Chief of Hepatology Section at the IMD, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain.

Research interests: the pathophysiology and treatment of portal hypertension.

Bogdan Procopet,