ERS Congress Chair Award

Luigi Allegra

Presented to: Professor Luigi Allegra

This award recognises the awardees commitment to the care of patients with lung disorders and their contribution to research and training in this area.


Professor Luigi Allegra was born in 1938. Between 1979 and 2010, Professor Luigi Allegra led the Pneumological School of Milano State University in the role of full Professor of Lung Diseases.

He has played an important role in the birth and growth of European pneumological societies – being directly involved in the progression of the European Respiratory Society from its beginnings.

With the support of his predecessor, Professor Paul Sadoul (1918–2011), Professor Allegra was appointed Vice-President of the Societas Europaea Physiologiae Clinicae Respiratoriae (SEPCR) from 1977 to 1981. He organised the SEPCR annual conference in Milano in 1979.

In 1981 it was recognised that there was a need to expand and enlarge the coverage of this society to be inclusive of all elements of the specialty. In response, a new society Societas Europaea Pneumologiae (SEP) was founded in Belgirate to encourage and accommodate wider membership. Professor Allegra was appointment the President of SEP in 1984–85. He organised the Milano-Stresa SEP annual Congress in 1985.

After 25 years of involvement in SEPCR and 10 years activity at SEP, the two societies officially merged in 1990 to become the European Respiratory Society. Professor Allegra was one of four founding fathers alongside André Perruchould on behalf of SEP and Ken Saunders and Paul Vermeire on behalf of SEPCR. Professor Allegra and his colleagues were nominated to define the common statute and cultural design of this new and unique society – the outcomes of which are visible today.

  • The Ceremony for the Congress Chair Award will take place during the Opening Session, which is scheduled on Saturday 9 September, 2017 from 17:45 in Room Gold (South).