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Paul Van Schil was born on July 7, 1957 in Antwerp, Belgium. He graduated from medical school with great honour in 1982 at the Antwerp University in Belgium. After completing his training in general surgery he became a fellow in the department of cardiothoracic surgery at the Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands. His doctoral thesis was entitled “Bronchial sleeve resection for lung cancer: long-term results”.

In 1990 he became a staff member at the department of surgery of the Antwerp University Hospital. Currently, he is professor in thoracic and vascular surgery at the Faculty of Medicine, chair of the Antwerp Surgical Training and Research Center (ASTARC) and chair of the department of thoracic and vascular surgery of the Antwerp University Hospital.

From October 2013 till October 2014 he was president of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery (EACTS).  In 2017 he became member of Board of Directors of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and chair of the lung cancer domain of its Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee (SPFC). Currently, he is an associate editor of the European Respiratory Journal and Journal of Thoracic Oncology. His main interests are thoracic and vascular surgery with a special emphasis on lung cancer staging and therapy, lung metastases and mesothelioma.