Rising Star programme

Rising Stars

calls Call for rising stars



You are invited to submit an abstract of an original research related to the Conference Topics to be candidate as Rising Star



The main topic areas have been determined and reflect key questions to be discussed:

  • Aetiology & Physiopathology (including inflammation, genomics)
  • AATD – Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • Comorbidities and Overlaps (including CF, COPD)
  • Epidemiology & Registries
  • Exacerbations
  • Imaging
  • NTM
  • Infections (including ABP, Pseudomonas, Hemophilus)
  • PCD – Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia
  • Precision medicine
  • Respiratory Physiotherapy & Airways Clearance
  • Treatments and New Drugs


the concept

Two young researchers / clinicians, selected by a strict process, will have the opportunity to:

Present your work for 15 minutes followed by 5 minutes for questions and a discussion at the Conference during the RISING STARS SESSION WITH AWARDS session scheduled on July 4th, 2024 in front of the international audience of more than 400 specialists.

Receive the personal feedback of the Scientific Committee of the Conference who will provide useful advice for the development of the winners’ career as researchers and international congress speakers.

Receive a full hosting package (free registration, travel, and accommodation)



Online submission

  • In order to participate in the selection process, please submit before March 29th, 2024
  • Submit your work through the website selecting the section “Call for Rising Stars.”
  • Select the topic among the list, follow the instructions and complete your submission according to the rules.
  • State the conflict-of-interest disclosures for each author at the end of the submitted abstract (If there are no conflict of interest, it should be stated as well).
  • Upload a Full academic curriculum including publications and / or poster presentations made in the past.


compulsory criteria

Compulsory criteria:

  • Abstracts should be related to the topics of the Conference.
  • The candidate should be the first author of the abstract.
  • The abstract should be original.
  • The abstract should be presented in English.
  • The candidate should not have been included in the faculty of a previous international Forum.

The main selecting criteria will be the relevancy and scientific value of the abstract presented, evaluated by the Scientific Committee of the Conference. The choice will be made at the Scientific Committee’s discretion. In case of equality the following priority criteria will be applied.


priority criteria

Priority criteria:

  • Age: Priority to researchers / clinicians under 42;
  • Provenience: priority for researchers / clinicians working in low–income countries – with limited access to funds.




Notifications to submitters will be sent by the end of April 2024.

Please kindly note that if your rising star application is not accepted, it can be automatically considered for an oral or poster presentation. 


WBC 2022 Rising Stars

Zina Alfahl

Rising Star Winner (Bronchiectasis)
School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast (United Kingdom)


Sputum microbiome and clinical outcome measures in bronchiectasis: Data from the BRONCH UK Study


Patients with bronchiectasis suffer from recurrent pulmonary exacerbations which lead to progressive loss of lung function, reduced quality of life and increased morbidity and mortality. Bacterial infections are the major cause of exacerbations due to the presence of one or more pathogens; therefore, the characterisation of the airway microbiome may improve our understanding of the natural history of bronchiectasis. In this study, we investigated the changes in bacterial community composition in sputum during clinical stability and following antibiotic treatment for pulmonary exacerbation. In addition, we investigated the relationship between main microbiome ecological indices and clinical outcome measures. Results showed that bacterial community composition was stable during periods of clinical stability and did not change following antibiotic treatment of a pulmonary exacerbation. Furthermore, no association was observed between changes in the main ecological indices and clinical outcome measures.

Jelmer Raaijmakers

Rising Star Winner (NTM -PD)
Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (The Netherlands)


Rifampicin has no clear role in the standard regimen for M. avium complex lung disease – A hollow-fibre study with genome-wide transcriptional analysis.


Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteria are the most frequent causative agents of nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease (NTM-PD) worldwide. Rifampicin is currently recommended for the treatment of MAC-PD alongside azithromycin and ethambutol. Rifampicin has poor in vitro activity against MAC, but is thought to prevent the emergence of macrolide resistance. We evaluated the contribution of rifampicin within the standard therapy of MAC-PD in an intracellular hollow-fibre model. Rifampicin did not add to the antimycobacterial effect to a regimen of azithromycin and ethambutol and it did not add to suppression of the emergence of macrolide resistance. In addition, to study the differences in adaptation to each treatment regimen, we performed RNA sequencing of the bacterial population over time. RNA sequencing showed that the addition of rifampicin does not greatly alter gene transcription in comparison to the 2-drug regimen. We believe that the similar transcriptomic profile in the two arms is driven by the presence of both azithromycin and host cells, both strongly influencing transcription and likely dominating the stress response with little-to-no additional effect of rifampicin. The additive effect of rifampicin in the treatment regimen is thus questionable, particularly in nodular-bronchiectatic MAC-PD.