Board of Directors



David Thivel is Full Professor in Exercise Physiology, energy metabolicm and human nutrition at the University Clermont Auvergne (France). He completed a PhD in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition in 2011 at French the National Institute for Agronomic Research and Blaise Pascal University of Clermont-Ferrand. He mainly explores the impact of physical activity, energy deficits and weight variations on the behavioral and physiological control of energy intake and appetite, particularly in children and adolescents with obesity.

David Thivel is the head of the AME2P Laboratory of Clermont-Ferrand (Metabolic Adaptations to Exercise under Physiological and Pathological conditions) and holds the International research Chair Health in Motion.


Vice President

Edyta Łuszczki currently has 10 years of work experience as a dietitian. She is a graduate of the Master’s degree in Dietetics at the Silesian Medical University in Katowice and postgraduate studies in Psychodietetics at the College of Social Sciences in Lublin. She defended her doctoral dissertation at the Medical College of the University of Rzeszów in 2017. Since 2013, she has been an Assistant Professor / Lecturer at the Institute of Health Sciences of the Medical College of the University of Rzeszów. In her scientific work, she implements the scope of research on the topic of nutrition for children and adolescents. She is the author and co-author of scientific publications with a total impact factor score of 436.672.

She is involved in many scientific projects on child and adolescent nutrition and has been associated with ECOG since 2015.


Dr. Elpis-Athina Vlachopapadopoulou, received the MD degree from the University of Athens, Greece with “magna cum laude” in 1986. Following completion of Pediatric Residency at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital Center of the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons campus (1990) she proceeded to a Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at New York Hospital- Cornell Medical Center in NYC (1990-94). She became Board Certified in both Pediatrics 1990 and Pediatric Endocrinolgy, 1997. She returned to Athens, Greece in 1994, and she is working at Children’s Hospital “P. & A. Kyriakou”, Dept. of Growth and Development-Endocrinology since 1997, currently as Director. She holds Greek Boards in Pediatrics and also Endocrinology.

Dr Vlachopapadopoulou is a member of the Endocrine Society since 1994, of the European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology since 1997 and of the European Society of Endocrinology since 2006.

She has published 52 articles and 148 abstracts in peer-reviewed journals. She has published 24 articles in Greek Journals. She authored 8 chapters, She is actively participating in International meetings with more than 200 presentations, as well as, several in Greek symposia and meetings. With 270 presentations.  Her main research interests focus on growth disorders, growth hormone deficiency, precocious puberty, obesity and long-term endocrine sequelae following treatment for childhood malignancies and bone marrow transplantation. She has been a reviewer for journals, ESPE and ECOG meetings, as well as, national journals and meetings. She is the principal investigator in three Phase –I, Phase II and Phase III international protocols and co-investigator in four international observational studies. She is a reviewer for Frontiers in endocrinology Topic: Endocrine and Metabolic consequences of childhood obesity, 2021 and  Endocrine and Metabolic consequences of childhood Obesity Vol 2, 2022.


Andrea Vania was the ECOG President in the term 2010-2013; also, EAPE/APEE President in the term 2003-2007 (presently: Honorary Member). He is also one of the founders of ECOG-ASBL, the no-profit foundation supporting ECOG’s economical activities.

In ECOG, he has been the main extensor of the last two bylaws of the Society. Now retired from his University position, he has been an Aggregate Professor of Paediatrics and Paediatric Nutrition at Rome University Sapienza for 20 years, also serving as Chief of its Centre for Paediatric Nutrition. In his university role, he took part in 29 Research Projects granted by the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research. Presently, as an independent researcher, he is actively cooperating with several Scientific Societies both sitting on the Board of some of them (SIMA [adolescent medicine], SIO [obesity], SINUPE [paediatric nutrition]) and providing his accumulated experience in his fields of expertise: paediatric nutrition and obesity, global therapeutic approach to families of children and adolescents with obesity, adolescent medicine. Andrea Vania’s cumulative scientific experience is testified by almost 800 items(including books or book chapters, lectures, original articles, etc.). He serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals and is a qualified reviewer for 35 of them. He believes that his long-lasting experience in both clinical practice and research may help ECOG society and board to attain their objectives.

Scientific Advisor

Dénes Molnar is professor in pediatrics, nutrition and metabolism, at Dept. Paediatr.Medical School, Univ. Pécs, Hungary. He was the chairman of the Dept. Pediatr. Univ. Pécs from 2007 until 2015. He is one of the founding members of ECOG, served as the president and for two terms the scientific advisor of the European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG), and the vice-president of the Hungarian Association for the Study of Obesity. He was the president of the Hungarian Paediatric Association in the period of 2012-2015.

Dénes Molnar started the clinical and research work on childhood obesity more than 40 years ago.
He is an associate editor of Ann Nutr Metab, and Frontiers in endocrinology, nutrition, public health, the member of the editorial board of Obesity Facrs, Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, Journal of Pediatric Biochemistry and The Scientific World Journal; besides that of more national journals. He participated in 9 international research programs, and won 11 national research grants. He is PhD program leader in the topic of Nutritional research in children and infants. Number of PhD students, who defended their thesis is eleven so far. Special interest: metabolic disorders, eating disorders, childhood obesity, nutrition, prevention of adult diseases in childhood. He has published 480 original articles in peer-reviewed journals, wrote 16 book chapters and edited 2 books (cumulative IF: >1200; number of independent citations: 18401, Hirsch index: 60).

Board Member

Teodora Handjieva-Darlenska (MD, PhD) is an associate professor of pharmacology and nutrition at Medical faculty, Medical university in Sofia, Bulgaria. She graduated Medical Faculty in Medical University – Sofia, Bulgaria in 2005. Since then, she received two specializations in Pharmacology (2010) and in Nutrition and dietetics (2016).

Further to her expertise she defended two PhD levels in Pharmacology (2009, from Medical Faculty – Sofia), and in Nutrition and obesity (2011, from University of Copenhagen, Denmark). She is currently an Associate professor in Medical University – Sofia. Assoc. prof. Handjieva-Darlenska was a daily coordinator of the Bulgarian center of the DiOGenes (6th FP and the EU, 2005-2008), and the PREVIEW projects (7th FP of the EU, 2013-2018) as well as of the EPHE project (EPODE for the Promotion of Health Equity in children, 2012-2015). She is also actively involved in different national and international projects. She is currently supervisor of three PhD students, one resident, and had one defended phD student. Since 2016, assoc. prof. Handjieva-Darlenska is a president of the Bulgarian association for the study of obesity and related diseases. She is a co-founder of the Center for management of obesity and bariatric surgery, University hospital Alexandrovska certified for a Center for Obesity Management by European association for the study of obesity (EASO) in 2019. She is founder of yearly organized camp called “School for health- for children, parents and teachers” for the implementation of a healthy nutrition and physical activity in the family.  Assoc. prof. Handjieva-Darlenska is a co-chair of the Nutrition working group of EASO.

She received a certification for European specialist in the management of obesity in children and adults in 2021 by EASO. Assoc. prof. Handjieva-Darlenska has more than 50 papers in high impact factor journals; h-index 23. She is an associate editor of Frontiers in nutrition. Her main research interests are in appetite regulation, prevention and treatment of obesity in children and adults.

Board Member

Caroline Braet (1961), Ph.D., is full professor and Head of the Department of Developmental, Personality, and Social Psychology at Ghent University in Belgium since 2011.

Caroline Braet obtained her MD in Psychology at Ghent University (specialisation: Clinical Psychology) in 1984 (magna cum laude), her MD in Teaching (Lerarenopleiding) (magna cum laude) in 1985 and her PhD in Psychology in 1993 (magna cum laude). She further obtained at UGent Certificates of Postgraduate Specialisation in Developmental Psychology (1985-1987), and in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (1987-1990).  

Over the past years Braet successfully managed her Department and her Lab. Currently, the Department consist of >100 members, and 31 of them belong to her Lab. She acquired >43 granted research projects, resulting in 24 finished and 7 ongoing PhD’s and >200 A1 peer reviewed publications. These papers were currently cited > 6500 times (h-index = 44, ISI). She was selected as expert in the review board of the Ghent University Research Council between 2013-2018.

Past President

Name: Daniel Weghuber Dr. med. univ.
Date of birth:  February 28th 1976
Place of birth:  Steyr
Citizenship:  Austria
Marital status: married to Petra Weghuber 2005
Children:  Jakob, born 2008, Ida, born 2010

Academic education

– 1986-1991: Academic Gymnasium Kirchdorf an der Krems

– 1991-1992: Cheltenham High School, Philadelphia, PA, USA

– 1992-1994: Academic Gymnasium Kirchdorf an der Krems

– October 1994: Inscription at Vienna Medical University

– Spring 1999: Affiliation to the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism,  Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Vienna (research training, thesis); reviewer:  Prof. Dr. Michael Roden, Prof. Dr. Werner Waldhäusl

– January 2001: Dr. med. univ. with thesis, Effects of free fatty acids on muscle glucose transport/phosphorylation and intramyocellular lipid content in man”.

– January 2001- January 2004: Internship (Landeskrankenhaus Kirchdorf/Krems)

– März 2004: Ius practicandi as board certified general practitioner

– February 2004: Division of Metabolism and Nutrition, Department of Paeditrics, Vienna Medical University (scientific assistant);

– July 2004 – June 2006: Division of Metabolism and Nutrition, Department of Paeditrics, Vienna Medical University (pediatric resident);

– July 2006 – Dec. 2008: Department of Pediatrics, Paracelsus Private Medical School (PMU), Salzburg

– Dec 2008: Ius practicandi as board certified paediatrician

– March 2012: venia docendi at PMU as Assoc. Prof. of Pediatrics (Priv.-Doz.)

– Clinical positions (Department of Pediatrics, Paracelsus Medical University)

– Since May 2009: Division of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, head

– Since October 2010: Outpatient department, head

Research focus:
Juvenile Obesity: metabolic, orthopedic and psychological comorbidities, preclinical atheroslerosis, interdisciplinary diagnostics, mitochondrial genetics, glucose and fat metabolism, lifestyle and pharmacological treatment, regulation of hunger and appetite

Membership in scientific associations

– Österreichische Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde

– Obesity Academy Austria, president elect since 2011

– Österreichische Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Working Group (Deputy Head since 2011)

– Österreichische Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde, Pediatric Nutrition Commission, since 2009 (member)

– European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG), elected board member since 22.11.2010,  Vice-President since 11/2013

– European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)

– Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Gastroenterologie und Ernährung (GPGE), member

Reviewer for peer-review journals

– Pediatric Obesity since 2011

– Atherosclerosis since 2011

– Obesity Facts since 2012

– J Endocrinology 2013

– J Obesity 2012

– Int  Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 2013

Research grants

– Projekt “leichter leben” Krankenhaus Kirchdorf  – Fonds Gesundes Österreich 2003-2004, €20.650

– Projekt “INFORM” – Obesity Academy Austria et al – Fonds Gesundes Österreich 2007-2010, €97.000

– Projekt “INFORM individuell” – Obesity Academy Austria et al 2012-2014, €61.000

– Research Grant „Mitochondrial haplotypes in childhood obesity“, Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Gastroenterologie, Hepatologie und Ernährung (GPGE), 2009, €10.000

– Beta-Cell function in juvenile diabetes and obesity (7th frame work) – Work package leader (PI) – PMU Salzburg 2012-2016, €650.000

Board Map