ERS President presents lifetime ERS membership to this year’s Honorary Members

4 September, 2020

European Respiratory Society (ERS) President Prof. Thierry Troosters has selected two ERS members to receive the prestigious Honorary Member title. The title carries with it a lifetime membership to ERS.

Recipients of this title are selected by the President each year and subsequently approved by the ERS Executive Committee. Selection is based on multiple factors but with a focus on those with extraordinary merits in the respiratory field, coupled with exemplary contributions to the work of the Society.

This year’s recipients have been announced as: Prof. Sally Singh, Head of Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Departments and Professor of Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation in the Department of Respiratory Science at the University of Leicester, UK; alongside Prof. Judith Garcia Aymerich, Full Research Professor and Head of Research Programme at ISGlobal and Associate Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.

Prof. Troosters praised both recipients for their track records and noted that they served as excellent examples for young, enthusiastic clinicians and researchers, with an interest in improving respiratory care:

“Prof. Singh is a physiotherapist who found a way to conduct top clinical research through an excellent multidisciplinary collaboration in her institute, but also within the UK and in international networks. She kept her strong identity as an allied health professional but blends in seamlessly in the multidisciplinary and academic landscape of pulmonary rehabilitation. Her work on rehabilitation and functional exercise testing is widely applied in clinical practice and clinical trials. Her efforts to roll out pulmonary rehabilitation in deprived areas around the world have changed the lives of patients far outside Leicester; they have had global reach.

“Prof. Garcia Aymerich is a Catalan researcher with a spirit for collaborative research. I first met her in 2000 during my own ERS long-term research fellowship in Barcelona. As her career evolved, she became an independent researcher in a difficult research environment. She was able to seek and utilise opportunities, conduct creative original research and built her career almost independently. Judith has helped to put the theme of physical activity in COPD on the map, taking an epidemiologic approach, but looking for clinically relevant interactions. Her papers on the protective effects of physical activity for patients with COPD truly boosted this field and helped to validate physical activity as a characteristic of patients and a relevant end-point in clinical trials.”