Professor Jan De Waele is an intensivist at the Surgical ICU of the Ghent University Hospital in Ghent, Belgium. As the current President of WSACS – the Abdominal Compartment Society, he will host the 2015 World Congress on the Abdominal Compartment in Ghent, Belgium in May 2015 ( Prof. De Waele joined the ICU Management Editorial Board in 2015.

We asked Prof. De Waele our 7 questions:

1. What are your key areas of interest and research?
Optimisation of antibiotic therapy; antibiotic resistance; abdominal infections and catastrophes e.g. abdominal compartment syndrome and acute pancreatitis.

2. What are the major challenges in your field?
Translating our research findings into treatment strategies adapted to the needs of the individual patient or briefly, personalising critical care medicine.

3. What is your top management tip?
Personal – use technology for project and time management.
Interpersonal – encourage diversity to stimulate creativity.

4. What would you single out as a career highlight?
Moving to critical care medicine after finishing my surgical training and being involved in WSACS – the Abdominal Compartment Society (, experiencing how difficult it is for many intensivist and surgeons to consider and accept new insights.

5. If you had not chosen this career path you would have become a…?
Molecular gastronomy chef,  geek journalist, off-the-beaten-track travel agent

6. What are your personal interests outside of work?
I recently started to enjoy nature and landscape photography (some pictures on Unfortunately I live in the wrong country so have to travel a lot…

7. Your favourite quote?
“In der Beschränkung zeigt sich der Meister” (‘The master shows himself first in conciseness’, freely translated to ‘less is more’) – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1802.

After completing his training in general surgery and critical care, Prof. De Waele became a full-time critical care physician, and joined the multidisciplinary team of intensivists at the Dept. of Critical Care Medicine at the Ghent University Hospital. He was appointed Associate Professor in Medicine in 2010. He holds a Sr. Clinical Investigator Fellowship Grant from the Research Foundation Flanders, and has authored or co-authored over 150 journal articles and book chapters.  He serves as Deputy of the Infection section in the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and Councillor in the Surgical Infection Society – Europe (SIS-E).

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