Prof. Wilhelmus “Willem” A. Bemelman, MD, of Amsterdam, Kingdom of the Netherlands, is known internationally for his work as a surgeon, scholar, and leader in colorectal surgery. He is the lead of the colorectal group, department of surgery, Academic Medical Centre (AMC), University of Amsterdam, which has experienced great success in minimally invasive surgery. Professor Bemelman is the sitting president of the European Society of Coloproctology and the immediate past secretary-treasurer of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation.
He received his medical degree from the University of Amsterdam and completed his surgical training at AMC and St. Lucas Andreas Hospital, Amsterdam. He later joined the department of surgery at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands as a consultant gastrointestinal surgeon, specializing in benign gastrointestinal disease. In 1999, Professor Bemelman returned to AMC as a consultant colorectal and laparoscopic surgeon to develop minimally invasive surgery. At AMC, he acquired a national reputation through excellent clinical outcomes and established what is now one of the most advanced units in the Netherlands for the laparoscopic treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer. He was appointed full professor of minimally invasive and colorectal surgery at AMC in 2006.
He has received multiple research grants in the areas of minimally invasive treatment of IBD, colorectal cancer, and reoperative surgery and has conducted several randomized clinical trials, all of which have had a profound influence on surgical practice in colorectal surgery. Professor Bemelman has published more than 500 manuscripts in academic, peer-reviewed journals and other publications.