The Leaders Generation Programme of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has just celebrated its third annual edition in ESMO’s HQ hometown, Lugano, Switzerland. As part of its expanding portfolio of excellent initiatives aimed at supporting and growing the careers of its junior members – the future of the practice of medical oncology – this inspired course that launched back in 2016 has been designed for some of the Society’s most driven young talents who will flourish to become its future leaders and shapers of their profession in tune with the rapid pace of change in oncology.

The participants of each program are selected by ESMO’s Fellowship & Awards Committee based on the strength of their CV, publication and presentation history, motivation statement and the letter of recommendation from their senior colleague or mentor.

We are delighted to report that, for a third consecutive year, this exciting training has counted on the participation of VHIO faculty. Elena Élez, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator of VHIO’s Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group directed by Josep Tabernero and co-led by Teresa Macarulla, who incidentally, has also just been recognized as a young advancer or precision research, treatment and care in colorectal cancer ‘at home’ by the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS), joined this year’s Leaders Generation Programme and will officially graduate with her fellow students of the Class of 2018 during a special ceremony at this year’s ESMO 2018 Congress: Securing access to optimal cancer care, 19 – 23 October, Munich, Germany.

The six-day course is split into two 3-day parts in the months of April and June and is specially devised to not only identify and nurture future leaders, but also to enable participants to expand their communication and leadership skill sets as well as gain an in depth grounding regarding ESMO’s role in the world of oncology.

Incorporating a stimulating and varied range of presentations, workshops in break-out groups, discussion sessions, and practical and situation-based trainings, the program is led by renowned ESMO faculty consisting of ESMO ‘royalty’, key opinion leaders, as well as external professional experts, with pre-course preparation a must for all attendees as well as bridging assignments and exercises between the two parts of the training.

Talking to VHIO Communications upon her return from Lugano Elena said, “I am extremely grateful to ESMO for this tremendous opportunity. Not only has the Leaders Generation Programme afforded me a whole host of new communication skills and essential tips on how to best interact and engage with the media, it has also provided me with precious insights into the inner workings, structure and spirit that make our Society so great.”

As previously mentioned, Elena is not the first from VHIO to benefit from this superb educational offering. Both Rodrigo Dienstmann, Principal Investigator of our Oncology Data Science (ODysSey) Group, and Leticica de Mattos-Arruda, Junior Principal Investigator of Applied Genetics of Metastatic Cancer Group, were paticipants in the 2017 Class, and Guillem Argilés, also a Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator of VHIO’s Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group, was one of the selected 15 students to enroll in the very first Class of 2016.

To discover more about ESMO’s Leaders Generation Programme and its various other initiatives and programs aimed at supporting its younger faculty, including the important work carried out by the Young Oncologists Committee (YOC), chaired by VHIO’s Guillem Argilés, please visit: