EAU15: Abrahamsson bids adieu in upbeat opening ceremony

Sat, 21 Mar 2015

With the upbeat tune from a brass band ushering participants to the main hall and the fiery staccato number from a flamenco dance troupe, the 30th Anniversary Congress opened yesterday, another landmark in the annual congress history.

“I have served this wonderful organisation for 11 years and it has been the best journey of my life,” said EAU Secretary General Per-Anders Abrahamsson in an emotional moment, which was interrupted by applause.

About the congress, he remarked in jest: “The weather could have been better, but for a meeting it is good to have rain, so we can enjoy the scientific programme- inside.”

Flamenco music, courtesy of Ballet Carmen Cantero, filled the main auditorium hall with energy, and the Chattanooga Big Band, with its funky, pop band music, welcomed the audience in style “The main challenge for urology in the future is to stay as a ‘comprehensive’ specialty, ” said Prof Laurent Boccon-Gibod (FR), recipient of the Willy Gregoir Medal. Boccon-Gibod is very aware of the rapid advances in urology and reminded young urologists that “…several different pathologic conditions that used to be the ‘core business’ of urology disappeared due to therapeutic breakthroughs. Young urologists should be prepared for the consequences of technological progress and redefine the core business of urology in the next 10 to 15 years.”

Prof Humberto Villavicencio (ES), who won the Frans Debruyne Life Time Award, echoed Boccon-Gibod’s sentiments: “Urology is possibly the specialization with the most technological advances booked to date. The hospitals without enough vision to invest in technology can become obsolete.”

He urges young urologists to “study and publish in high-impact journals, to gain more knowledge and provide added-value to the specialty.”

Dr Morgan Rouprêt (FR) received the 18th Crystal Matula Award, a prestigious honour granted by the EAU to a young promising European urologist Stavros Tyritzis (GR) received the Hans Marberger award, as lead author of the best European paper published related to minimally-invasive surgery in urology Simon Horenblas (NL) received the EAU Innovators in Urology Award, while Martin Spahn (DE) won the EAU Prostate Cancer Research Award. The new EAU honorary members are Professors Gopal Badlani (USA), Keong Tatt Foo (SG), and Ladislav Jarolim (CZ).