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SIOG Surgical ad-hoc Committee - Profiles


Isacco Montroni (Italy)
Isacco Montroni graduated at the Alma Mater Studiorum Bologna University Medical School in 2004 and he was admitted to the General Surgery Program in Bologna the following year. In 2009-2010 he served as General Surgery Resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard University) under Dr Andrew Warshaw and Dr Charles Ferguson. Dr Montroni completed his residency in 2010 as he continued his academic career as a PhD student from 2011 to 2013 focused on an international multicenter study on surgical treatment of cancer in older patients. After his PhD degree he moved back to the United States where he joined Dr Steven Wexner at the Cleveland Clinic Florida for a clinical fellowship in Minimally Invasive Advanced Colorectal Surgery that he completed in 2015. After serving as colorectal surgery junior attending at the Humanitas Research Hospital with Prof Spinelli, he’s currently a staff member of the Colorectal Surgery Unit at the Ospedale per gli Infermi in Faenza. 

Dr Montroni is the Associate Editor for Colorectal Cancer of the European Journal of Surgical Oncology (EJSO), author of several peer reviewed articles, reviews and book chapters mainly focused on colorectal surgery and elderly cancer patients.  Dr Montroni is a fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) and of the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO). Former member of the Steering committee of the ESSO Young Surgeons and Alumni Club (EYSAC), he’s currently the chair of the Surgical ad-hoc Committee the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG).  


Nicole Saur (USA)
Nicole Saur, MD, FACS, FASCRS is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.  She did her General Surgery training at Tufts Medical Center and her Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Florida. 

She became a member of SIOG via the mentorship of Isacco Montroni and Riccardo Audisio.  She is proud to have participated in the GOSAFE study and other initiatives of the Surgical ad-hoc Committee and to now serve as the vice-chair. 

She is looking forward to working with the Surgical ad-hoc Committee to collaborate with SIOG members and continue to establish inter-society initiatives.



Paola Aceto (Italy)
Dr Aceto is a Senior consultant anesthesiologist at the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, “A. Gemelli” University Hospital Foundation in Rome (Italy). She is an alumnus of the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome where she obtained her medical degree and completed her training in Anesthesia and Critical care. Paola also obtained a PhD degree in Neuroscience from the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in 2011. She is a member of the Geriatric Anesthesiology Scientific Committee of European Society of Anesthesiologists and her many research activities include the relationship between anesthesia depth monitoring and cognitive outcome in the older patients; biomarkers of memory processes under anesthesia and the relationship between surgical stress and anesthetics concentration. Paola is also part of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Anesthesiology.


Riccardo Audisio (Italy)
Riccardo A. Audisio was born in Milan, Italy, where he completed his High School at the Istituto Leone XIII in 1975. He graduated in Padua in Medicine & Surgery (1980) and specialised in General Surgery at the University of Verona (1985) as well as in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Milan (1994).
Trained at the National Cancer Institute of Milan (1980-94) he was appointed deputy director at the Department of General Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, Milan (1994-8).
He moved to the United Kingdom in 1999 to become Consultant Surgical Oncologist and Honorary Professor at the University of Liverpool, UK. As of February 2018 he is Professor at the Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Göteborg, Sweden.

Past Editor of Surgical Oncology, Elsevier Publisher (2007-13) he is Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Surgical Oncology (2013-present).
Author of 260 peer-reviewed publications and 36 book chapters, Professor Audisio edited 23 book projects and is guest reviewer to 39 international scientific journals.
Professor Audisio is past-president of SIOG (International Society of Geriatric Oncology), BASO (British Association of Surgical Oncology) and ESSO (European Society of Surgical Oncology). He served as an advisor to the Department of Health, UK and to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer in Older Women.

Professor Audisio sat on the Board of Directors of ECCO, the European CanCer Organisation. He is member of several international scientific societies including BASO, ESSO, SSO, AAA, SIOG and EUSOMA. He is past-chair of the Education & Training Committee of ESSO. Professor Audisio chairs the Surgical Oncology track at the Global Health Catalyst, Harvard Medical School. His clinical research focuses on Breast Cancer, Geriatric Oncology, Education/Certification in Surgical Oncology and the optimisation of Surgical Oncology in L/MICs.

Tyler Chesney (USA)
Tyler Chesney is a colorectal and gastrointestinal surgical oncology at St. Michael’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. He completed medical school at McMaster University in 2013 and a Master of Science at Queen’s University focusing on knowledge translation in cognitive aging and dementia. He completed residency in General Surgery at the University of Toronto in 2018, and Complex General Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto in 2020.

He has a longstanding commitment to caring for older adults including volunteer work with Alzheimer Society and Hospice, leadership of the geriatrics interest group in medical school, and research and clinical activity as a surgical trainee, and now membership in the Canadian Network on Aging and Cancer.  He has a strong interest in building collaborative networks within Canada to enhance the care of surgical oncology patients. His ongoing clinical and scholarly work aims to build clinical capacity of geriatric surgical oncology and advance the care of older adults with cancer within Canada. Locally he is building a geriatric surgical oncology program, and creating cross-specialty learning events between surgery and geriatrics trainees.

He is very proud and excited to be a member of International Society of Geriatric Oncology Surgical as-hod Committee to learn from, network with, and be inspired by a group of dedicated and passionate colleagues.

 Kwok-Leung Cheung (UK)
Kwok-Leung Cheung is Professor of Breast Surgery and Medical Education at the University of Nottingham, UK.  He qualified and trained at Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.  Upon completion of general surgery training, he conducted clinical and laboratory research at the University of Nottingham, UK, with a Doctor of Medicine (in the area of blood tumour markers) awarded in 2001.  He was then appointed as Consultant Breast Surgeon at Nottingham University Hospitals where he served as Head of Service, Breast Services (2007 - 2010) and Lead Clinician for Breast Cancer (2007 - 2011).  He is currently Consultant Breast Surgeon at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton.

He has obtained surgical fellowship status from Hong Kong, Edinburgh and America.  Professor Cheung was selected as one of the 12 International Guest Scholars 2007 of the American College of Surgeons, as a recognition of his strong interests and commitment in teaching and research.

Professor Cheung is a member of the Faculty of Examiners for Intercollegiate MRCS and the Panel of Examiners of the Intercollegiate Specialty Board in General Surgery. He is also part of the National Cancer Peer Review team and an External Professional Advisor to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman.  He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists, British Association of Cancer Surgery, Association of Breast Surgery, British Breast Group and International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG).  In 2015, he received the National Representative of the Year award from SIOG recognising his commitments to geriatric oncology and SIOG.  Within SIOG, he currently serves as the UK National Representative, Chair of the Membership and National Representatives Committee, a member of the Surgical Task Force, the Executive Committee and the Board.

His research interests include breast cancer, surgery and non-operative therapies, endocrine and targeted therapies, and clinical trials.  He leads a research programme on primary breast cancer in older women, covering biology and clinical outcome, geriatric assessment and psychosocial aspects, and cost effectiveness of different therapeutic strategies.  In 2010, Professor Cheung pioneered the Symposium on Primary Breast Cancer in Older Women in the UK, which has now become a biennial event, hosted by the University under the auspices of SIOG.    He has published over 100 journal articles, in addition to a number of book chapters and meeting abstracts.
His profile can be found on the webpage of  University of Nottingham, including a full list of his publications.

Erin Dean (Canada)
Erin is a Gynecologic Oncologist at CancerCare Manitoba and the University of Manitoba, where she did her fellowship training. Her practice encompasses the surgical management of gynecologic malignancies, as well as their chemotherapeutic treatment.  She is the Chair of the Gynecology Disease Site Group at CancerCare Manitoba, Division Head of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Manitoba and the Medical Site Manager at Women’s Hospital in Winnipeg, where she lives with her husband and two children.


Nicola de’ Liguori-Carino (UK)
Mr Nicola de’ Liguori-Carino is a Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon working at the HPB Unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary, University of Manchester.
Mr de’ Liguori-Carino completed his surgical training in 2005 at University of Rome, Italy, with a period spent at the Ohio University Hospital, Columbus, USA. He spent 4 years specialising in HPB and transplant surgery at the University of Liverpool and Leeds before being appointed Consultant in Manchester in 2009.
The HPB Unit in Manchester is one of the busiest in Europe and Mr de’ Liguori Carino has extensive experience in the treatment of malignant disease of the liver, pancreas and biliary system.  His clinical fields of interests are in advanced laparoscopic surgery for malignant and benign HPB disease and in Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) for pancreatic cancer for which he has given a major contribute to establish this technique in the UK.
His commitment to clinical research has been constant over the years with a special interest in Geriatric Surgical Oncology in patients with hepatobiliary and pancreatic malignancy.  He is, and has been, Principal Investigator for multi-centre international studies focusing in pre-operative assessment and functional recovery in oncogeriatric surgery.  The results of his studies are published on international journals and medical books.
He is the Cancer Lead for the Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary, University of Manchester.

Federico Ghignone (Italy)
Federico Ghignone graduated at the Alma Mater Studiorum Bologna University Medical School (Italy) in 2011 and he was admitted to the General Surgery Residency Program in Bologna the following year. In 2016-2017 he served as General Surgery Resident at the University Medical Center Groningen with a particular focus on surgical oncology and abdominal surgery. Dr Ghignone completed his residency in 2018 and he is currently a junior staff member of the Colorectal Surgery Unit at the Ospedale per gli Infermi in Faenza (Italy).

Dr Ghignone is author of peer reviewed articles and book chapters mainly focused on colorectal surgery and surgical oncology in senior adults. He actively participated and promoted the PREOP (Preoperative Risk Estimation for Onco-geriatric Patients) study and the GOSAFE (Geriatric Oncology Surgical Assessment and Functional rEcovery after Surgery)study. He is currently Assistant Editor of the European Journal of Surgical Oncology (EJSO) with a specific focus on Social Media.

Dr Ghignone is a member of the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) and the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP). He is proud member of the Surgical ad-hoc Committee of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG).

Monique Huisman (Netherlands)

Monique Huisman, MD/PhD, is a surgery resident and epidemiologist. She will sub-specialize into surgical oncology and abdominal surgery. Her residency takes place at the University Medical Center in Groningen and at ZGT in Almelo (Netherlands).

She received her medical degree from the University of Groningen in 2013. She finished her PhD-project in 2018.  The subject of her PhD was ‘Preoperative risk assessment of adverse outcomes in onco-geriatric surgical patients’ and contains the results of the PREOP-study, a project from the SIOG surgical taskforce. As part of her PhD-project, she performed a research fellowship at the McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory in Montréal Canada, under the supervision of dr. A. Vigano.

Michael Jaklitsch (USA)
Mike Jaklitsch is a thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. He is program director of the Cardiothoracic Residency program and is a  Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.  His major clinical interest is lung cancer, including the unique needs of elderly cancer patients and the use of minimally invasive techniques such as video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).  His publications focus on surgical innovation, lung cancer screening, risk assessment, and the use of pre-habilitation.  He served as the Co-Chair of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery Committee on Lung Cancer Screening and Surveillance. 

Dr. Jaklitsch received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1986.  He completed a research fellowship at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and a general surgery residency at the University of Alabama Hospital in 1993.  He completed a residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Minnesota in 1997.   He has been a member of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at BWH since 1997.  He serves as Vice-Chair of Education for the Division.

Jakub Kenig (Poland)
Jakub Kenig MD, PhD, Professor of Jagiellonian University Medical College, general and oncologic surgeon at the Department of General, Oncologic and Geriatric Surgery Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow (Poland).

He gained valuable working and research experience in the field of minimally invasive surgery, oncologic and geriatric surgery at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York - USA), Department of Visceral, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus (Dresden – Germany), Department of Surgery (Heidelberg – Germany), Department of Surgery (St. Gallen – Switzerland).

Author of several peer reviewed articles and book chapters mainly focused on general and oncologic  surgical aspects in older patients. Organizer and chairman of the ESSO Course on Surgical Geriatric Oncology in 2017. He is the chair of the Oncogeriatric Committee of the Polish Society of Surgical Oncology since 2018.

Dr Kenig is a member of the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO), the European Association of Endoscopic Surgery (EAES) and the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG).

Valery Nekoval (Russian Federation)
Clinic of Coloproctology and minimally invasive surgery
Sechenov First Moscow State University, Russian Federation.


  • 1998 - Gomel State medical Institute, specialty: medicine, Gomel, Belarus
  • 1999 - Gomel city emergency hospital, specialty: surgery, Internship, Gomel, Belarus
  • 2013 - I. M. Sechenov first Moscow State Medical University of the Ministry of health of Russia, specialty: Coloproctology, Professional retraining, Moscow, Russia
  • 2015 - Ulyanovsk state University, specialty: Oncology, Professional retraining, Ulyanovsk, Russia
  • 2018 - I. M. Sechenov first Moscow State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of Russia, specialty: Coloproctology, certification cycle "Coloproctology", Moscow, Russia
  • from 2019, member International Society of Geriatric Oncology SIOG

Scientific Direction:

  • Minimally invasive treatment methods
  • Advanced surgical interventions
  • Colorectal cancer in older patients
  • Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment in economopoulos
  • Immediate and long-term results of colorectal cancer treatment in elderly patients.
  • Advanced cancer operations in patients of the older age group (over 75 years).
  • Perioperative assessment of the tolerance of surgical treatment, preparation for the operation of an elderly person. 
  • A comprehensive approach to the management of the postoperative period, the possibilities of modern medicine in predicting and preventing early postoperative complications in patients recognised as "Fragile" by the result Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA).

Siri Rostoft (Norway)

Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
Siri Rostoft is a medical doctor at Oslo University Hospital, Norway, specialized in internal medicine and geriatric medicine. She completed her PhD about geriatric assessment in older surgical cancer patients in 2011. Her main research interests in geriatric oncology are the clinical importance of geriatric assessment and interventions and frailty. She is a deputy editor for Journal of Geriatric Oncology.



Armin Shahrokni (USA)
Dr. Shahrokni is a Geriatrician and Colorectal Oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). In addition to providing care for older cancer patients 3 days a week, his main research area of interest is on use of Big Data in more comprehensive assessment and care of older adults with cancer especially during perioperative period. He has developed electronic Rapid Fitness Assessment (eRFA) in 2015 which has been implemented as of 2019 in all MSKCC Geriatrics clinics, thoracic surgery clinics and bone marrow transplant clinics. Since 2015, approximately 5000 older cancer patients have completed the eRFA which is an electronic geriatric assessment. In 2019, the eRFA has been transitioned to an institution-wide platform to collect electronic assessment of patients which will facilitate the implementation of such tool in the whole institution. He has collaborated in a pilot study to implement eRFA in Australia. Dr.Shahrokni’s vision is by 2030, instead of stratifying patients by age, they be stratified by a more robust assessment of their functional status.

Dr. Shahrokni has graduated from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran/Iran. He then completed a combined internal medicine and preventive medicine residency at Yale/Griffin Hospital and obtained Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He then completed combined Geriatric Oncology fellowship at University of California-Los Angeles under the mentorship of Dr. Arash Naeim. He has been a member of Cancer and Aging Research Group, International Society of Geriatric Oncology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology.

He hopes that through his and his colleagues’ collective efforts via International Society of Geriatric Oncology, the assessment, care and outcome of older cancer patients improve significantly in the next decade.

Ponnandai Somasundar (USA)
Ponnandai S Somasundar MD, MPH, FACS is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Boston University.  He is the Vice Chairman of Surgery and the Director of the Geriatric Oncology program at Roger Williams Medical Center at Providence, Rhode Island, USA. 

Roger Williams Medical Center is an affiliate of the Boston University.  He is a surgical oncologist/hepatobiliary surgeon with minimally invasive surgery as the interest.  He has several publications and is serving as the associate editor in several journals.



Binafsha Manzoor Syed (Pakistan)
Dr. Binafsha Manzoor Syed, currently working as Director Medical Research Centre / ORIC Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences Jamhsoro. She earned her PhD in Breast Surgery from University of Nottingham. Her research mainly focused on the biological characterization of breast cancer in older women. She has also compared that with the younger population.

She is actively involved in under-graduate and post-graduate education in clinical research. She is recipient of Research grant from Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for Molecular characterization and correlating it with long term clinical outcome in patients primarily treated by surgery for Breast cancer and colo-rectal cancer. She has also received a grant to evaluate factors expediting ageing in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Recently she is appointed as Director, Asian Consortium on Arsenic Research, Nanjing Medical University, China and Director, International consortium on Health Promotion, Nanjing Medical University China.

Giampaolo Ugolino (Italy)
Dr. Giampaolo Ugolini was born in Rimini, Italy, and obtained his medical degree and residency in General Surgery at Bologna University (with one year as Junior resident in Surgery in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital).
He completed his training in the United States working as clinical and research fellow in Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital (Brown University).
He has a position as Associate Professor in Surgery at Bologna Medical School and he is Chief of General and Colorectal Surgery at Faenza Hospital.

His clinical interest is mainly dedicated in minimally invasive colorectal surgery for cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
His research activities are focused in Surgical Outcomes and Geriatric Oncology.
He has participated actively in the international research network (supervised by Riccardo Audisio) who conceived the PREOP and GoSafe study, phase IV observational studies focused on frailty assessment tools and functional recovery of older adults undergoing surgery for cancer.
Dr. Ugolini lives in Bologna with his wife and his three children.

Barbara van Leeuwen (Netherlands)
B.L. van Leeuwen, MD, PhD is a professor in surgical oncology with the elderly patient as main interest. She was employed by the Dutch Cancer Foundation 2006-2008 as a clinical and research fellow in “cancer in the elderly”. As such she gained valuable working and research experience in Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden, Whiston Hospital in Liverpool and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, USA. She started work in the University Medical Center Groningen in September 2008 and was rewarded a tenure track fellowship by the University. Since then she has been the primary investigator in several clinical and preclinical studies. Her main research focal points are preoperative decision making, screening tools for frailty in elderly patients and the etiology and sequelae of postoperative functional decline in elderly patients. She is a member of the board and research taskforce of Gerionne (Geriatric Oncology in the Netherlands) and the Surgical ad-hoc Commitee of the  International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG).

1: Plas M, Rutgers A, van der Wal-Huisman H, de Haan JJ, Absalom AR, de Bock GH, van Leeuwen BL. The association between the inflammatory response to surgery and postoperative complications in older patients with cancer; a prospective prognostic factor study. J Geriatr Oncol. 2020 Feb 5. pii: S1879-4068(19)30447-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2020.01.013. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32035801.

2: Bras L, Driessen DAJJ, de Vries J, Festen S, van der Laan BFAM, van Leeuwen BL, de Bock GH, Halmos GB. Patients with head and neck cancer: Are they frailer than patients with other solid malignancies? Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2020 Jan;29(1):e13170. doi: 10.1111/ecc.13170. Epub 2019 Sep 30. PubMed PMID:31571340.

3: Montroni I, Rostoft S, Spinelli A, Van Leeuwen BL, Ercolani G, Saur NM, Jaklitsch MT, Somasundar PS, de Liguori Carino N, Ghignone F, Foca F, Zingaretti C, Audisio RA, Ugolini G; SIOG surgical task force/ESSO GOSAFE study group. GOSAFE - Geriatric Oncology Surgical Assessment and Functional rEcovery after Surgery: early analysis on 977 patients. J Geriatr Oncol. 2019 Sep 3. pii:S1879-4068(19)30168-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2019.06.017. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31492572.

4: Plas M, de Haan JJ, van der Wal-Huisman H, Rutgers A, Absalom AR, de Bock GH, van Leeuwen BL. The systemic impact of a surgical procedure in older oncological patients. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2009 Aug;45(8):1403-1409. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2019.04.024. Epub 2019 May 3. PubMed PMID: 31104780. 

5: Festen S, Kok M, Hopstaken JS, van der Wal-Huisman H, van der Leest A, ReynersAKL, de Bock GH, de Graeff P, van Leeuwen BL. How to incorporate geriatric assessment in clinical decision-making for older patients with cancer. An implementation study. J Geriatr Oncol. 2019 Nov;10(6):951-959. doi:10.1016/j.jgo.2019.04.006. Epub 2019 Apr 26. PubMed PMID: 31031193.

Tan Kok Yang (Singapore)
He specializes in colorectal cancer surgery and laparoscopic colorectal surgery with a special interest in low rectal cancers and sphincter-preserving surgery. He is also trained to perform advanced procedures in colonoscopy.

His research work is well published in numerous international peer-reviewed journals. He is on the International Advisory Board of Digestive Endoscopy and also on the Editorial Board of World Journal of Gastroenterology and World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. He has also written a number of book chapters on colorectal surgery and published a number of editorials in international surgical journals.

He is the editor of the books "Colorectal Cancer in the Elderly" and “Transdisciplinary Perioperative Care in Colorectal Surgery” published by Springer in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

He is a Member of the Surgical Residency Advisory Committee of Singapore and has also been appointed as National Examiner for General Surgery. He is a member of the Singapore Medical Council Complaints Panel and serves on the Committee of the National Advisory Committee for Cancer.  He served as the President of the Society of Colorectal Surgeons of Singapore from 2015 to 2017. He also served as a Board Member of the Chapter of General Surgeons of the College of Surgeons.

His other passion in the field of surgery is the improvement of outcomes in elderly patients. He is the Clinical Director of the Geriatric Surgery Programme of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. He is actively involved in projects and clinical research on this challenging group of patients and is a member of the American Geriatrics Society and founded The Geriatric Surgery Society of Singapore in 2017.