Francesco Bonella is Associate Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division for Interstitial and Rare Lung Disease, Department of Pneumology at the Ruhrlandklinik University Hospital in Essen, Germany. After receiving his MD and Board Certification at the University of Verona, Italy, he earned his international PhD in Interstitial Lung Diseases at the University of Essen under the guidance of Professor Ulrich Costabel. Dr Bonella’s research interests include IPF, alveolar proteinosis, rheumatic-associated ILDs, and sarcoidosis with a special focus on biomarkers, genetic predisposition and applications of bronchoalveolar lavage. In recent years, he has acted as an investigator for major clinical trials in IPF, sarcoidosis and alveolar proteinosis. He is a reviewer for numerous scientific journals, Section Editor of Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine and has authored many chapters in textbooks, original articles, case reports, editorials and reviews. He is the Chair of the ERS Rare DPLD Group (12.04) and co-founded EuPAPNet, the European Network for pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. He is also the founder and now vice-chair of the EU-IPFF Scientific Advisory Board.