In 2016, after he recovered from a metastatic colon cancer, Stefan Gijssels became a patient advocate and freelance health policy consultant.

Since January 2021, Stefan is the pro bono Chair of the Patient Expert Center (PEC). He is a member of many (cancer) advisory boards as a patient representative, including the European Commission Initiative on Colorectal Cancer(ECICC).

Stefan Gijssels is als a health policy consultant and moderator, primarily focused on making health systems more patient-centric and smarter.

In 2018, Stefan Gijssels co-founded Digestive Cancers Europe which he led till early 2021.

Stefan is the author of the “Roadmap for the Prevention and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer in Europe”, published in 2021 by Digestive Cancers Europe. He is the co-author of the European Code of Cancer Practice, organised by the European Cancer Organisation.

He was formerly active in many organisations, including being Co-Chair of the Patient Advisory Committee of the European Cancer Organisation, Co-Chair of the European Alliance for Value in Health, and Vice Chair of the Belgian Science Policy Council.

From 2001 to 2016, he was Vice President Communication & Public Affairs at Janssen Europe, Middle East & Africa. Before that he held executive positions in international public affairs consultancies, a multinational company and a policy think tank. He started his career as an English teacher in Morocco for two years.

He has a a master’s degree in Literature and Philosophy from Leuven University, Belgium, graduating in 1982.