Founding Members

Physicians/Medical Doctors and healthcare professionals


Jose Antonio Pereira Albino

  • Vascular Surgeon Senior Consultant (Chief Clinical Officer) Vascular Surgery Coordinator of Lusiadas Vascular Cluster – Lisbon Hospital / Lisbon clinics / Amadora Hospital / Algarve Hospital and clinics.
  • Vascular Surgeon from 1989.
  • Senior Consultant from 2000 in Hospital St. Marta, Lisbon.
  • Former Director of the Vascular Surgery service in Hospital Pulido Valente from 2004 to 2013.
  • Former member of the Clinical Directive Board of CHLN -Lisbon.
  • Former Vascular Consultant of H. St. Cruz, Carnaxide and Hospital Fernando da Fonseca, Amadora.
  • Authorship of various papers about phlebology, lymphology and vascular malformations.
  • Founding member of the Portuguese Society of Phlebology and former member of its Direction Board.
  • IUP (International Union of Phlebology) Portuguese representative member from 1999 to 2002.
  • Founding Member of the European Venous Forum.
  • First to develop the endovenous techniques (closure procedures – 2001) and first to develop the treatment of lipedema in Portugal, namely with the accomplishment of the “First Lisbon International Meeting” in Portugal (2017).
  • Large experience in all phlebologic treatment methods, the foam techniques in particular.
  • Former editor of the Revista Portuguesa de Cirurgia Cardio Torácica e Vascular.

Alexandre Amato

Dr. Alexandre Amato is a Brazilian vascular surgeon with a distinct focus on advancing Lipedema research. Holding a Doctorate in Sciences from the University of São Paulo, he has dedicated much of his academic and clinical work to this under-researched area. He is the author of the pivotal book “Exercise Method for Lipedema” and has published numerous scientific articles on the subject, contributing to a deeper understanding of the disease. Through Lipecurso, Brazil’s first course on Lipedema, Dr. Amato has been instrumental in training the next generation of healthcare providers specializing in this field. His contributions have not only elevated the medical community’s approach to Lipedema but also offered new pathways for patient care.


Clare Anvar

I have been a clinical massage therapist since 2004, with a private practice treating chronic pain conditions, disorders of the lymphatic system and complex surgical recovery. Alongside this, I worked for an HIV/AIDS charity, before becoming a Complementary Therapist in Cancer Services at University College Hospital in London. Subsequently, I worked at a private orthopaedic clinic, before practicing  from a plastic and reconstructive surgery clinic. Since 2015, I have taken a special interest in lymphoedema and lipoedema management. In 2023, I was invited to became the Clinical Therapy Advisor to Lipoedema UK.

Karen Ashforth

Jean Paul Belgrado

Matteo Bertelli

Maria Rosario Beseler Soto


Francesco Boccardo

President of the “European Society of Lymphology”, Past President of the “International Society for Experimental Microsurgery” and of the “International Society of Lymphology”. Associate Professor of General Surgery by the University of Genoa, with National Scientific Qualification as Full Professor of Surgery. Head of the “Surgical Lymphology Unit” of the Department of Surgery, San Martino Hospital. Clinical activity in Surgical Lymphology, Reconstructive Microsurgery and General Surgery. Main clinical activities and fields of research: Diagnosis and Surgical Treatment of Primary and Secondary Lymphoedemas and Lymphatic Malformations, Surgical Prevention of Secondary Lymphoedemas, Prevention and Treatment of Lymphatic Complications in Oncological and Cardio-Vascular Surgery, Diagnosis and Treatment of Primary and Secondary Thoracic, Abdominal and Peripheral Chylous Disorders, use of ICG Fluorescence in Lymphatic Surgery, Reconstructive Microsurgery, General and Vascular Surgery.

He designed and implemented an Original Microsurgical Technique for the Primary Prevention of Arm Lymphoedema following Breast Cancer Treatment called “LYMPHA technique” (LYmphatic Microsurgical Preventive Healing Approach). The use of this Preventive Surgical Technique has also been extended to other oncological fields (gynecological and urological tumors, cutaneous melanomas, etc.).

Author and Co-Author of over 250 Scientific Publications and Chapters for 25 Textbooks of General Surgery, Vascular and Lymphatic Surgery. Invited Speaker, President, Chairman, Member of the Scientific Committee in over 200 National and International Congresses.

Pinar Borman

Erich Brenner

Agostino Bruno

Enrique Burgos de la Obra

Roberto Cannataro


Marina Cestari

Marina Cestari graduated in Medicine and specialized in Medical Angiology.

She is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Lymphology and Scientific Manager of the E.S.L. website.

She is founding member and vice-president of the Executive Committee of the Italian Lymphoedema Framework and member of International Society of Lymphology.

She is Medical-Scientific Director of  the Pianeta Linfedema Study Centre.

She has participated as a lecturer at university masters, refresher courses, training in the lymphological field and has been speaker at national and international conferences and congresses. She has published numerous papers in the lymphological field.

Pasquapina Ciarmela

Saverio Cinti


Manuel Cornely

Manuel Eugen Cornely regularly speaks at national and international conferences, promotes interdisciplinary exchange of information with renowned lymphology specialists and scientists and organized the annual “”Plenum Lymphologicum”” at Bonn-Bad Godesberg He studied philosophy and medicine at the University of Cologne and began his professional career as a ward physician specializing in septic surgery and wound healing. In 1997 he set up his own practice as a dermatologist in Düsseldorf and Cologne, specializing in conservative and operative lymphology. 1997 Developed Lymphological Liposculpture for surgical treatment of lipohyperplasia dolorosa (LiDo), secondary and primary lymphedema. Founded Professional Association of Lymphologists e. V. (BVL) to promote medical training in lymphology “”Curriculum Lymphological Continuing Education”” Convent C (BVL). 2006 Awarded honorary professorship for lymphology teaching and consulting at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), Mexico 2009 Special advisor for lymphology of the Professional Association of German Dermatologists (BVDD) 2013 Foundation of the specialized clinic for operative lymphology CG LYMPHA 2017 Foundation of the lymphological research institute LY. SEARCH GmbH with him as scientific director. Recent studies: LIPLEG – Study “”QST LiDo Study”” to explore the phenomenon of pain “”HDBA-LiDo Study”” to develop a treatment algorithm for a coincidence of obesity and LiDo. “”LF PST Questionnaire””

Rachelle Crescenzi

Mehran Dadras

Constance Daubert

Evangelos P. Dimakakos

Paula Donahue

Eraci Drehmer Rieger

Joanna Dudek


Gabriele Faerber

After receiving her degree from the Albrecht-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg and first training and working as a GP, Dr Faerber specialised and qualified in phlebology in 1990 and in lymphology in 1998. Since 2001 she has been diagnosing and treating venous and lymphatic disorders at Centre of Vascular Medicine Hamburg.

In 2008 she qualified in nutritional medicine and has since then been focusing on the treatment of overweight and obese patients with lymphatic disorders and lipoedema. Very early on she discovered that a protein optimised ketogenic diet not only helped patients lose weight but was also able to reduce the typical lipoedema symptoms. Since 2010 she has published and presented her results both in scientific journals and at national and international conferences for vascular medicine and lymphology.

Her scientific interests are the connections between obesity, inflammation and metabolic disorders and vascular and lymphological disorders and lipoedema.

She was a board member of the German Societies of Lymphology and Phlebology until they merged in 2022 and continues to be on the board of the new German Society of Phlebology and Lymphology. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Phlebologie. While in 2015 she was a member of the expert working group for the German lipoedema guidelines, she was appointed coordinator and lead author of the pendent revision and actualisation of those guidelines in 2020.

Isabel Forner- Cordero_web

Isabel Forner-Cordero

Specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, trained in lymphology in France, Germany and Belgium.  Working in the Lymphedema Unit in University Hospital La Fe, Valencia (Spain), since July 2000.  Several publications in international journals and presentations in congresses. She is a Member of the Spanish Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Member of the European Society of Lymphology, Member of the International Society of Lymphology, Member of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Lymphology, and the President and Founder of the Spanish Group of Lymphology.  Associate professor at University of Valencia. ORCID identification:

Paula Fredrichi


Mojtaba Ghods

In 2008, Dr. Ghods founded the Clinic for Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Microsurgery in Potsdam and expanded it at Bad Belzig and Forst to become one of the largest departments for plastic surgery in Germany. Dr. Ghods is a member of the German Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (DGPRÄC), INTERPLAST Germany and the Professional Association of German Surgeons (BDC). In December 2021, Dr Ghods became the first scientist in the world to successfully complete his habilitation on lipedema ”The standardization of surgical treatment of lipedema patients” at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the University of Potsdam He coordinates the task force ”Lipedema” of the German Association of Plastic Surgeons (DGPRÄC) and represents it in the German S2k-guideline Lipedema. Ghods is one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons on lipedema in Germany and considered a pioneer of liposuction for lipedema in the Society of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgeons (DGPRÄC). Numerous studies on lipedema are being conducted at Dr. Ghods’ clinics, including research on MRI as a potential diagnostic marker with the German Heart Center Berlin (DZC), and basic research on potential pathophysiological causes of lipedema with the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE). They are also one of 14 “LIPLEG” centers commissioned by the German “Joint Federal Committee” (G-BA) to compare conservative therapeutic approaches with surgical interventions for lipedema.

Puneet Gupta

Manokaran Guruswamy


Lourdes Reina Gutierrez

Vascular Surgeon,

Member of the executive committee of the Spanish Group of Lymphology Member of the International committee of the American Venous Forum Past Secretary of the Spanish Chapter of Phlebology and Lymphology Head of Vascular Department, Hospital Cruz Roja, Madrid, Spain.

Director of the National Reference Center for Training in Spain for the Board of Phlebology of UEMS, Director of International Course of Sclerotherapy and Phlebology. Director of EVF How Plus on Sclerotherapy in Madrid Coeditor and Member of the Board of Phlebolymphology journal.

Revisor of the International Angiology.


Till Hasenberg

Prof. Dr. Till Hasenberg is a visceral surgeon and nutritionist, specialized in bariatric surgery. He studied medicine in Heidelberg, Mannheim, New York and Toledo (OH) and received his training in general, visceral and transplant surgery at the University Medical Center Mannheim. After 5 years as deputy chief physician at a well-known private hospital in Essen, Germany, he has set up the Helios Obesity Center West. This unique Center offers cross-location, interprofessional and multidisciplinary obesity treatments at the Helios University Hospital Wuppertal and the Helios Hospitals in Velbert and Oberhausen. In addition, he heads the clinic for general and visceral surgery at the Helios St. Elisabeth Clinic in Oberhausen.

Margarida Henriques


Karen L. Herbst

Dr. Karen L. Herbst, MD, PhD graduated from the University of Iowa with a PhD in Cell Physiology, then completed a Howard Hughes Fellowship. She graduated with an M.D. from Rush Medical College and did her residency and chief residency at the University of Washington. Dr. Herbst completed a combined research and clinical fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Washington and is a board-certified in endocrinologist. She had faculty positions at Martin Luther King Drew Medical Center/UCLA, the VA San Diego Health Care System/UCSD, and the University of Arizona. She won the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from Tucson Business and was named one of America’s top physicians. You may recognize her as the research physician on Mystery Diagnosis, featuring a man with Dercum’s Disease. She has been working with connective tissue diseases since 2000. In 2019 Dr. Herbst headed a NIH-sponsored conference to establish the standard of care for lipedema and in 2020 she presented new ICD-10 codes for lipedema and Dercum’s disease to the CDC. She continues her passion for helping people as part of Total Lipedema Care in Tucson, Arizona, and helped establish a not-for-profit research organization, Fat and Connective Tissue (FACT) Education and Research.

Tim Hucho

Nina Huettinger

Maher Ido

Carmen Iglesias

Emily Iker

Jafar Jorjani


Linda Anne Kahn

Linda-Anne Kahn, NCTMB, CLT-LANA, CHNC, is a nationally certified LymphedemaTherapist, Clinical Aromatherapist, Health Coach, and Massage Therapist with over 35 yearsof experience.

Linda Anne is internationally certified as a Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist and Lymphedema Specialist from the Dr. Vodder School in Austria, The Foeldi Clinic in Germany, and Drs Judith and John Casley-Smith in Australia. She is Nationally certified bythe Lymphology Association of North America (LANA). She is the director of LymphaticTherapy Services in San Diego, California. She specializes in the treatment of Lipedema and Dercums disease. She regularly speaks at International and National Lymphedema, Aromatherapy, and Fat Disorder Conferences.

She is co-author of the book, Lymphedema, and Lipedema Nutrition Guide and is co-authorof the Standard of Care for Lipedema for the USA.  

She practices at Beauty Kliniek Day Spa and Wellness Center in San Diego ( and Lymphatic Therapy Services (


Karsten Kollecker

I was born April 13th, 1966 in Recklinghausen/Germany.

After studying medicine from 1987-1993 at the FU Berlin and from 1993-1994 at the Westf. Wilhelms Universität in Münster I worked at the Elisabeth-Krankenhaus Gelsenkirchen in the department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics from 1994-1998

In 1998 I started the Training for General Practitioneer and completed the qualification in Phlebology, from 1999- 2001. In 2004 I completed the “Curriculum Lymphologicum”.

Since 2002 I work in my own practice in Recklinghausen as a GP and Phlebologist, since 2018 together with my colleague, Sarah Eickmann, who is a Cardiologist.

Beside my prctice as a classical GP I treat a large number of patients with any kind of phlebologic problems such as Lipedema. Lymphedema, Varicose Veins and Phlebothrombosis.

In the last 10 years the focus changed more and more to Patients with Lipedema because of the large number of Patients coming to my practice with this suspected diagnosis.


Philip Kruppa

Dr. Philipp Kruppa received his medical degree from the Charité University Medicine Berlin and he is specialized in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Currently, he is part of the team of Dr. Mojtaba Ghods in Potsdam, Germany. With increasing clinical experience, he realized an urgent need for better diagnosis and treatment of the lipedema patients and therefore worked to promote general awareness of this disease in Germany. His research is dedicated to investigating the underlying pathomechanisms of lipedema and improving the clinical care of lipedema patients. He is working on a number of clinical studies on associated comorbidities, analyzing potential factors affecting outcome after surgery, or improving patient safety in the surgical management of high-risk lipedema patients with von Willebrand disease. The primary objective of his ongoing basic research is the detection of a biomarker using molecular analysis of human tissue and blood samples. To improve diagnostic algorithms, Dr. Kruppa is also engaged in developing an MRI-based protocol.

Frank Labschies

Alejandro Latorre Parra


Heike Majewski

  • 1987-1994: Study of human medicine at the university of Bochum
  • 1994:  practical year in Trinidad and Jerusalem 1995. PhD
  • 1/1995-6/2010:  Specialist training in surgery and vascular surgery at the Clinic for General Surgery, Trauma Surgery and Vascular Surgery, Alfried Krupp Hospital, Essen
  • 1998: NGO with Cap Anamur in Sudan
  • 2002: board certified Specialist in general surgery
  • 2006: board certified Specialist in vascular surgery
  • 7/2010-2/2019: Senior physician at the Clinic for Vascular Surgery, University Hospital of Bochum
  • 3/2019-9/2021: LipoClinic Dr. Heck Mühlheim, clinic for  surgical treatment of lipedema
  • 2/2020-2/2022: Founding president of the German Society for Lipedema Surgery –  DGfLC Since October 2021:
  • LiSuMed – Private Practice for lipedema surgery, conservative and surgical treatment of lipedema in Essen, Germany

Peter Mallinger

Lucia Mazzolai

Sue Mellgrim


Sandro Michelini

Dr. Sandro Michelini dedicated for over 40 years to vascular diseases, lymphoedema, lipedema and related pathologies. A passionate researcher, he spent decades to knowledge sharing of his own clinical experience and the Heads of Centres for the development of basic sciences. He took part in several research projects teams, including the one which discovered the first gene for Lipedema. Always committed to institutions and to national and international scientific societies for the best patients care. Along with the Italian Ministry of Health, he coordinated a commission that drew up guidelines for Lymphoedema, adopted by care centres.  Always committed to involve patients’ associations.


Serena Michelini

Dr. Serena Michelini graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Rome La Sapienza with highest honors. She later obtained a diploma in General Medical Practice issued by Lazio Region Health Department and in Aesthetic Medicine at the International school of Aesthetic Medicine, Fatebenefratelli Foundation Hospital in Rome. She specialized in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and she has always cultivated an interest in the field of vascular pathologies and lipedema. At present, she is involved in active genetic and clinical research groups on lymphedema and lipedema and in establishing conservative and rehabilitative care tailored to the needs of individual patients with these conditions. She is a member of the regional secretariat SIMFER Lazio of the Italian Scientific Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as a representative of young physicians.

Anna Mnatsakanyan

Alberto Onorato

Johannes Ott 

Meik Pankonin


Megan Pfeffer

Megan Pfeffer is an internationally renowned Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of ‘I Choose Health’, a leading online and in-person health & wellness clinic specialising in nutritional counselling & therapy for the management of lipoedema & lymphoedema. Megan is also an Advisory Board member with Lipoedema Australia and lead author of the groundbreaking book ‘Medical tests for lipoedema management for patients & clinicians’ with co-author Dr Karen Herbst, released in 2023.

Megan has lipoedema herself and is a breast cancer survivor. Her innovative approach to wellness, emphasizing the mind-body connection, has earned her recognition as a thought leader in the health industry. Megan’s unwavering commitment to empowering individuals to prioritize their health and self-care continues to inspire and transform lives worldwide.

Nuno Pimenta

Giovanna Pitotti

Maurizio Podda


Eleni Priglinger

Dr. Eleni Priglinger has long-standing experience in stem cell research particularly focusing on various regenerative cell types, extracellular vesicles (EVs) and scaffolds for musculoskeletal tissue engineering. She is an expert in the field of lipedema research where she has done pioneering work on the relevance of distinct cell types and EVs responsible for the etiology and progression of lipedema. A milestone in her lipedema research was the identification of miRNAs as diagnostic biomarker which was honored by the lipedema foundation research award. Dr. Priglinger’s current research in lipedema specifically revolves around identifying biomarkers within lipedema plasma samples. The emphasis on non-invasive, circulating lipedema biomarkers is aimed at simplifying the diagnostic process and advancing clinical trials. Ultimately, her efforts in this area contribute to bridging the treatment gap in lipedema and improving patient care.

Joana Prior de Freitas

Cristina Puigdellivol

Diana Rajewski

Stefan Rapprich

Ruiz Reme

Matthias Sandhofer

Franz-Josef Schingale

Torsten Schlosshauer


Klaus Schrader

As a specialist in general medicine, I focus on vascular diseases in my practice, and meanwhile almost exclusively on lymphatic and lipoedema. I have been active in professional politics for many years, today I am a member of the board of the BVPL. The German ICD10 coding of lymphangiological diseases, the type classification of lipoedema and now the SPQR classification of the LiDo go back to me. I wrote the chapter on social medicine in the textbook “Applied Lymphology” by Cornely, Marsch and Brenner. I am married, we have 1 adult son. I’m City councellor in my home town of Hof, honorary judge at the social court. Member of numerous scientific societies and associations. Boy Scout for Life.

Tim Schulz


Nadiv Shapira

Dr. Nadiv Shapira has been a cardiac surgeon for over 25 years, specializing in adult, electrophysiological and arrhythmia cardiac surgery. In 2011, opened a vein and laser center. In 2014, after studying with Dr. Josef Stutz in Germany, he opened First State Lipedema in Wilmington, Delaware and since then, devoting his professional life primarily to this disorder. In 2022, co-founded a national network for diagnosis and treatment of Lipedema that connects patients, providers and insurance carriers. He provides comprehensive conservative and surgical treatment of patients from all over the U.S.,. During his 8+ years Lipedema experience, he continues to improve the technique of Lymph Sparing Liposuction and lately, focuses on molecular markers and pathophysiology of the disease.

Sara Alexandra Silva Rosado

José Luis Simarro


Markus Stücker

Professor Dr. Markus Stücker, Dermatology and Phlebology Specialist with the additional discipline of Dermatohistology, Allergology and Cancer Therapy with Drugs, has practised at the Department of Dermatology, Ruhr-University Bochum, since 1991, initially as an Intern and Assistant doctor later as Senior Physician (1996) and Managing Senior Physician (2007).

In 2008 on his and Prof. Mumme’s initiative, the Vein Center of the Dermatological and Vascular Surgery Clinics, both Departments of the Ruhr-University Bochum, was founded. The Vein Center is nowadays highly recognized as an interdisciplinary center for venous diseases and wounds.

Prof. Stücker is actively involved in several societies. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of various journals and the author of several books an numerous articles.

Gyozo Szolnoky

Andrzej Szuba

Daniel Torres Gonçalves

Chieh-Han John Tzou

Christian Ure

Nicola Vaia

Keeley Vaughan  

Mary Warrilow


Jane Wigg

Jane Wigg is an multi award winning nurse consultant, who has been working in the field of lymphatics for over 25 years.

She is an innovator, publisher, author, and educator of Lymphology.

Jane works clinically through providing Near Infrared Lymphofluoroscopy imaging clinics in the UK, through LymphVision and is Director of the Lymphoedema Training Academy, providing full certification in Lymphoedema rehabilitation training. Our focus is on optimising treatment for a compound affect to improve the lives of those living with lymphatic conditions

Thomas Wright

Organizations of Physicians/Medical Doctors and healthcare professionals

Oliver Cornely

Carolina de Miguel Benadiba


Leslyn Keith

Leslyn Keith, OTD, CLT-LANA is a certified lymphedema therapist and has a Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy with an emphasis on lymphedema and obesity. She has treated lymphatic and fat disorders for over 20 years and currently conducts research, consults, and lectures on lymphedema, lipedema, and obesity nationally and internationally. She is the author of two books and has published several articles about the efficacy of a ketogenic diet for lymphatic and fat disorders. Currently, Dr. Keith is Director of Research and Board President for The Lipedema Project and an instructor in lymphedema therapy for Klose Training and Consulting.

Lukas Prantl


Catherine Seo

Catherine Seo, PhD is Founder & CEO of Lipedema Simplified, LLC & Lipedema Project, Inc, course director for various events about lipedema and lymphedema, and professor of psychology. She produced and directed the documentary, The Disease They Call FAT, and co-authored the book, Lipedema-The Disease They Call FAT: An Overview for Clinicians. Dr. Seo developed a Holistic Approach inclusive of 5 areas for treating lipedema: 1) physical, 2) mental/ psychological, 3) emotional, 4) spiritual, and 5) social. She has dedicated over 40 years to learning and teaching how to bring knowledge, compassion, and humor to living with a chronic condition.

National and regional nonprofit Organizations dedicated to fight against Lipedema and/or related pathologies

Polly Armour


Sharie Fetzer

Sharie has been Chair of charity Lipoedema UK since 2014, initiating numerous patient surveys and publications. She was on the task force of the Royal College of General Practitioners e learning course on Lipoedema and Wounds UK Best Practice Guidelines for the Management of LIpoedema. Sharie’s projects include diet and lifestyle research and NICE review of  non-cosmetic liposuction for lipoedema patients. She is passionate about raising awareness of lipoedema to healthcare professionals and exited by the opportunity for outstanding doctors and researchers to create new standards of patient care through Lipedema World Alliance.


Kate Forster

Kate has been on the Board of Lipoedema UK since 2016 and is passionate about bringing the voice of those living with lipoedema together with professionals and researchers, to improve the quality of life for people with lipoedema and their families. Her interest in how to live your best life with lipoedema has led her to study aqua exercise; she holds a number of qualifications in aqua fitness, aqua yoga and aqua pilates. Kate has worked in medical devices/pharmaceutical companies for over 10 years in business/operational management. Kate is a Board or Committee member for several other charities, including Diabetes UK’s Council of People Living with Diabetes.


Valeria Giordano

Valeria Giordano, founder and president of LIO Lipedema Italia since 2018. Patient advocate for lipedema, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, she is a professional translator, specialised in English for special purposes (area of expertise: medical and audiovisual translation) and a foreign language lecturer and teacher with an ongoing PhD in language and translation (currently frozen since 2014 for health reasons). In 2023 she completed her II level Master Course in Patient Advocacy Management at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and Economics at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome in collaboration with ALTEMS (Graduate School of Economics and Management of Healthcare Organizations), EngageMinds Hub – Consumer & Health Engagement Research Centre, ASAG (Graduate School of Psychology) and the “Agostino Gemelli” University Polyclinic Foundation. She is passionate about raising awareness of lipedema, giving voice to patients and their needs and empowering people with lipedema to feel there’s nothing wrong with them and they’re worth enough to be heard and receive proper care. She is one of the constituents of Lipedema World Alliance as a great opportunity to working together with healthcare professionals and researchers to promote evidence-based medicine and to bring patients’ values to their attention.

Margareta Haag

Susanne Helmbrecht


Manuela Lourenço Marques

Manuela Lourenço Marques has primary lymphedema and a complex clinical situation led her, in 2014, to cross the board to an internment in a Reference Centre where, in addition to an intense treatment, she acquired knowledge and lived experiences, not only around her illness but also on lipedema, which led her to immediately feel that these should be shared with all those who, like her, want a certified answer.

The path is not made alone, is her conviction and, in July 2015, she promoted the foundation of andLINFA, a patient organization that since its inception develops work also in lipedema and has had Lipedema patients in its governing bodies.

Manuela believes in networking, where patient representatives and healthcare professionals work as a team to find the best answer for the patient, their families, and carers.

The Chair of andLINFA is a board or founder member for other Associations and she is also an ePAG (European Patient Advocate) and ePAG co-chair in VASCERN.

In her professional area, Manuela is Senior Technician  in management and she has, among others, a Pos-Graduation in International Project Management

Isobel MacEwan

Elin Madsen


Marcella Oggiano

Marcella Oggiano is an Italian lipedema sufferer living abroad for 29 years. She has been a Buyer and Senior Product Manager for 17 years in the wine industry and she has volunteered in India and for the United Nations, skills that she put at the service of LIO Lipedema Italia in which she is the vicepresident since 2021. In LIO she focuses on international projects and collaborations and is involved in corporate fundraising activities. Marcella speaks four languages and is graduated in Economics and Finance in Germany, with a background training as an elementary school teacher, political science and Italian and Spanish linguistics. She is pragmatic, tenacious and curious like a child, but she loses her temper when she sees injustice.

Flavia Sampaio

Lene Tofteng Hansen

Elisabete Vasconcelos

Maria Viu Rodriguez