The Society

Who we are and what we do

ERS is one of the leading medical organisations in the respiratory field, with a growing membership spanning over 160 countries. ERS prioritises science, education and advocacy in order to promote lung health, alleviate suffering from disease and drive standards for respiratory medicine globally.

About ERS - Preview Image

About ERS

ERS is an international membership organisation that brings together physicians, healthcare professionals, scientists and other experts working in respiratory medicine. We are one of the leading medical organisations in the respiratory field, with a growing membership representing over 160 countries. Our mission is to promote lung health in order to alleviate suffering from disease and drive standards for respiratory medicine globally.

Science, education and advocacy are at the core of everything we do; we promote scientific research, provide access to high-quality educational resources and play a key role in raising awareness of lung disease to politicians. We work closely with the European Lung Foundation to extend that reach to the public and patients.

One in eight people in Europe die due to lung diseases – this means one person every minute. It includes well-known diseases like asthma and lung cancer and other less known like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is now the third most common cause of death.

Our History - Preview Image

Our History

The European Respiratory Society (ERS) was founded in 1990 as a result of a merger between two existing societies: the Societas Europaea Physiologiae Clinicae Respoiratoriae (SEPCR, founded 1966) and the European Society of Pneumology (SEP, founded 1981).

The merger took place at SEPCR and SEP joint meeting in London. A major benefit of this merger was a unification of what had previously been two distinct groups – the basic scientists of SEPCR and the clinicians of SEP. The interconnectivity of these two groups continues to be a driving force behind the success of our society today.

ERS also brought forward the assembly structure of SEPCR and continued to develop it. Our assemblies, and the groups within them, are the backbone of ERS. They underpin all scientific and educational activities and drive us forward in our mission.

Leadership Team

Preview Image - Monika Gappa

Monika Gappa , President

Preview Image - Carlos Robalo Cordeiro

Carlos Robalo Cordeiro, Past President

Preview Image - Silke Ryan

Silke Ryan , President Elect

Preview Image - Joanna Chorostowska-Wynimko

Joanna Chorostowska-Wynimko, ERS Vice President


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EU projects

ERS and the European Lung Foundation (ELF) collaborate on a number of EU-funded projects. These projects look at unmet medical and societal needs in the respiratory field by focusing on different aspects in the translational process – how observation in the clinic, laboratory and community turns into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public.

View ongoing EU projects
Other societies - Preview Image

Other societies

ERS collaborates with national, regional and other specialist societies across Europe and worldwide. We see these connections as essential, as they facilitate international collaboration, knowledge sharing and widespread access to resources, as we all work towards the common goal of improving respiratory health. The Conference of European Respiratory Societies (CERS) is a platform for ERS and partnered societies to get together and coordinate common activities.

View all partner societies
Alliances - Preview Image


ERS is a proud member of several alliances which look at specific areas within respiratory health. Alliances include the World Health Organization and a focus on areas such as TB elimination.

View all alliances

Become a Fellow of ERS

The Fellow of ERS Award (FERS) recognises excellence in contributions to research, education and clinical leadership in respiratory medicine from amongst the ERS membership. Members can apply directly for this title or be nominated by a colleague.

FERS recipients

See the full list of ERS members who have been awarded the prestigious FERS Award.