Dr. Hugo Van Aken has been Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive-Care Medicine and Pain Therapy at the University Hospital in Münster, Germany, since August 1995. From 1986 to 1995, he was Professor and Chair at the Department of Anesthesiology at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.
He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA) and a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (FANZCA).
Hugo Van Aken has also been very active in professional bodies. From 1992 to 1999, he was General Secretary of the European Academy of Anaesthesiology (EAA) and from 2000 to 2004 its President. From 1999 to 2011, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). From 2001 to the end of 2006, he was President of the German Academy of Education in Anesthesiology. From 2007 to 2008, he was President of the German Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive-Care Medicine (DGAI). He has been Secretary General of the DGAI since 2009.
In 2009, he initiated the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anesthesiology, which has been endorsed by all of the anesthesiology societies in Europe, as well as the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society, the Indonesian Society of Anesthesiology, the Chinese Society of Anesthesiology, and recently the American Society of Anesthesiology. In 2012, Van Aken became a liaison officer for the WHO as a member of the Executive Committee of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA).
In addition, Hugo Van Aken has been an honorary member of the following societies: the American Society of Anesthesiology, American Association of University Anesthesiologists, Polish Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Belgian Society for Anesthesia and Resuscitation, Association of Anesthesiologists of Georgia, Czech Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive-Care Medicine, German Society of Internal Medicine, Dutch Society of Anesthesiology, European Society of Anaesthesiology, Chinese Society of Anesthesiology, and German Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive-Care Medicine. In 2009, he was appointed as an ordinary member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). In 2015 he was awarded the ‘German Cross of Merit, First class. From July 2015 to July 2018 he received the title guest Professor of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
He has been the founding Chairman of the European Patient Safety Foundation (EuPSF) since 2013. The EuPSF is a multidisciplinary, non-profit foundation with the aim of improving patient safety in Europe and throughout the world.
He has distinguished himself through numerous outstanding publications on experimental and clinical topics in his specialist field, with a major emphasis on the topics of epidural anesthesia/analgesia and fluid resuscitation. Starting in 2005, he has been making efforts to have “Bystander Resuscitation: Kids Save Lives” introduced as part of the school curriculum Germany. It is to become mandatory from 2015 onwards.
He is the author of 574 articles in Current Contents–listed journals and of many chapters in national and international textbooks, and has a variety of major research interests, including regional anesthesia, sepsis, and intestinal microcirculation.
He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Anesthesiology and of Best Practice & Research: Clinical Anaesthesiology, and is also a member of several international editorial boards and scientific societies in the field of anesthesia.
In July 2015 he received for his outstanding activities in the Medical Field the Cross of Merit (Firstclass) of the Federal Republic of Germany.