Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain
Dr. Andreu Porta-Sánchez graduated in Medicine at the Universitat de Barcelona in 2007 and completed his residency in Cardiology at Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona (2008-13). Following his residency, he received a post-graduate training grant from «la Caixa» Banking Foundation and pursued further clinical and research training in arrhythmia at the University of Toronto (Canada) from 2014 until 2017. In December 2017 he obtained his Fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology from University of Toronto and decided to come back to his country of origin to pursue an academic career in cardiology. He obtained his PhD in ventricular tachycardia at Universitat de Barcelona (cum laude) in 2019 and after four years of leading the arrhythmia unit at Hospital Universitario Quirónsalud Madrid and teaching as assistant professor of Medicine at Universidad Europea de Madrid, he moved in early 2022 to Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, where he works in the arrhythmia unit. Since late 2017, he has been a research fellow at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) in Madrid in the Molecular Cardiology Laboratory led by Prof. Silvia Priori.
St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands
Dr. Bart van Putte graduated medical school in 2002 at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). In 2003 he successfully defended his PhD thesis at the University of Utrecht on experimental lung surgery (isolated lung therapy with gemcitabine for the treatment of lung metastases). In 2010 he finished his residency and became cardiothoracic surgeon. From 2011-2013 he worked as staff member in Amphia hospital Breda, the Netherlands. Since 2013 he has been practicing at St. Antonius hospital Nieuwegein (Netherlands) and has been responsible for the residency training program since 2017. His current clinical and scientific focus is minimally invasive mitral and AF surgery including left appendage management resulting in several (finished and ongoing) PhD theses. As a proctor for thoracoscopic AF ablation he has trained more than 25 centers worldwide since 2012. Bart was taskforce member of the 2016 and 2020 ESC/EACTS Guidelines for Atrial Fibrillation.
Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+), Maastricht, the Netherlands
Dr. Bart Maesen studied medicine at the University of Antwerp. After obtaining his medical degree, he conducted scientific research into ischemia/reperfusion damage at the University of Antwerp. He subsequently moved to Maastricht University where he conducted research into various aspects of the substrate of AF in Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schotten’s group. In 2011 he was trained as a cardiothoracic surgeon at Maastricht UMC+ and registered as such in 2017. In 2015 he received his PhD from Maastricht University. In addition to general cardiothoracic procedures, his attention is focused on minimally invasive surgery (Hybrid AF ablation, rhythm surgery, transcatheter heart valve intervention). Within the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS) he is a member of the “Arrhythmia Taskforce”.
Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain
Dr. Daniel Pereda completed medical school at the University of Barcelona and completed his residency in Cardiovascular Surgery at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona. After his residency he completed two clinical fellowships at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MD) and Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, MD) before joining the staff at Hospital Clínic of Barcelona in 2011. His main areas of interest are minimally invasive valve surgery, particularly mitral repair both thoracoscopic and robotic and surgery of congenital heart defects in adults.
University of South Florida, Department of Neurology, Tampa, USA
Dr. David Z. Rose is a Professor of Vascular (Stroke) Neurology at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine and Co-Medical Director of the 32-bed Neuro-ICU at Tampa General Hospital. He completed an Internal Medicine internship and residency at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Neurology residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Stroke Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Research interests include early anticoagulant use after AFib-related stroke, cerebral microbleeds and early dementia in patients with AFib, and Neuro-Cardiac Program pathways such as arrhythmia monitoring for embolic strokes of undetermined source and left atrial appendage co-management. Dr. Rose is the author of a fun review book entitled “Laughing Your Way to Passing the Neurology Boards”. His online presence is X/Twitter: @DrStroke
Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), MUMC+, Maastricht, the Netherlands
Prof. Dr. Harry Crijns is Head of Cardiology at Maastricht UMC+ and conducts groundbreaking work in the field of cardiology. Prof. Crijns graduated as a doctor from the University of Amsterdam in 1981. He has been a cardiologist since 1987, specializing in cardiac arrhythmias and in 2001 he was appointed professor of Cardiology at Maastricht University. In the same year, he was appointed Head of the cardiology department at Maastricht UMC+. Throughout his working life, he has built up a national and international reputation in the field of cardiac arrhythmias and AF in particular. Prof. Crijns has been at the forefront of the development of new cardiac subspecialties such as ‘Electrical Heart Failure’ and his research provided innovative insights into the treatment and diagnosis of AF. As a result of that research international treatment guidelines were adjusted. Scientifically, he has supervised 45 PhD students to date and has 728 scientific publications to his name. Prof. Crijns also initiated a post-academic training program for cardiologists in Maastricht: the Diploma of Advanced Studies in Cardiac Arrhythmia Management (DAS-CAM). This course underlines the strong reputation of Maastricht UMC+ and Maastricht University as an international hotspot in the field of cardiovascular medicine.
Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, USA
Dr. James Cox is best known for his work in the field of cardiac arrhythmia surgery and the development of the Cox-Maze Procedure for the treatment of AF completing the first “Maze” procedure in 1987. On January 1, 2017, Dr. Cox was appointed Professor of Surgery and Surgical Director of the Center for Heart Rhythm Disorders at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Cox was the 81st President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), is a member of the editorial board of over 20 scientific journals, Chairman of the Residency Review Committee for thoracic surgery, a director of the American Board of thoracic surgery, a member of the Surgical Study Section at the National Institutes of Health and a Founding Member of the following boards: Board of Directors of CTSNet, Board of Directors of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education and the Joint Council on Thoracic Surgical Education. He was elected to the Russian Academy of Science in 2005.
Tampa Cardiac Specialists, Lutz, USA
Dr. Kevin Makati is a cardiologist board certified in general cardiology and electrophysiology. He completed his residency at Washington University, School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital and fellowships in cardiology and electrophysiology at Tufts University, School of Medicine/Tufts Medical Center. He elected to further learn AF ablation under pioneer, Michel Haïssaguerre, in Bordeaux, France after training. Dr. Makati has served on the founding board for the BayCare Physician Partners network, Rhythm Section Chairperson, Cardiology Steering Committee and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Committee. In addition to clinical practice, he holds an Associate Professorship at University of South Florida and is a clinical instructor at Washington University and Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Makati serves as an invited editor/reviewer for JACC and JICRM. He is active in research as a site principal investigator (PI) on multicenter trials involving AF ablation, defibrillator therapy and advanced mapping techniques and co-international investigator of the Hybrid AF™ Convergent ablation post-approval study as well as section editor for several textbooks. Dr. Makati and colleagues in Tampa, Florida were among the first investigators to publish outcome data supporting the use of cryotherapy with Hybrid Convergent ablation over a decade ago. He continues to research the role of Hybrid therapies in the treatment of advanced forms of AF and appendage management with his fellow colleagues and lectures internationally on this unique and emerging field.
Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, Paris, France
Since 2009, Dr. Konstantinos Zannis has been working as a staff surgeon at the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris. He developed three axes of the minimally invasive program of the Cardiac Surgery Department, namely mini-sternotomy approach for aortic valve replacement, subxiphoid approach for long-standing persistent AF and mini-thoracotomy approach mitral valve surgery. He teaches cardiac surgery in adult patients, indications for surgery, operative techniques and results of surgery for residents in cardiology.
Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain
Dr. Manuel Castella is a cardiovascular surgeon, Head of the Cardiovascular Surgery Department at the Hospital Clínic, University of Barcelona. The department is a national referral for complex mitral repair including robotic, pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and adult congenital heart disease. Among all types of cardiac surgery, Dr. Castella’s main interest and fields of research are AF surgery and pulmonary thromboendarterectomy. He has co-led trials in thoracoscopic AF ablation and he has been member of the ESC/EACTS Committee for the development of the Guidelines for Atrial Fibrillation Management in 2016 and 2020. Since 2018, Dr. Castella is the Chairman of the Arrhythmia Surgery Task Force of EACTS. His interests are port-access mitral repair and other types of minimally invasive surgery.
Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Prof. Dr. Natasja M.S. de Groot, FEHRA works as a senior cardiologist-electrophysiologist. She is appointed as a full-time professor in the Erasmus Medical Center and the Technical University in Delft. She is also a Medical Delta Professor. She is experienced in device implantations and catheter ablation procedures with a variety of mapping/ablation technologies including remote magnetic/robotic navigation and a diversity of electro-anatomical mapping techniques. The main focuses of her clinical work include: catheter ablation of complex tachyarrhythmias (such as post-operative tachyarrhythmias in patients with congenital heart disease) and catheter ablation in pediatric patients. Prof. Dr. de Groot’s research projects are aimed at unravelling the pathophysiology of complex cardiac tachyarrhythmias, developing and testing developing novel diagnostic tools (in close collaboration with TU Delft) and therapies for cardiac arrhythmias. Her main research topics are high-resolution mapping studies of cardiac arrhythmias in particular AF, mechanisms of (post-operative) AF, dysrhythmias in patients with congenital heart disease and neuromodulation of atrial fibrillation. For this purpose, she has developed a unique way of recording and processing cardiac signals to perform mapping procedures.
Schüchtermann Klinik, Bad Rothenfelde, Germany
Since April 2020, Prof. Nicolas Doll holds the post of Medical Director of Heart Surgery at Schüchtermann Klinik, Bad Rothenfelde, Germany. Previously, Prof. Doll was the Medical Director and Head of Department of Cardiac Surgery at Sana Heart Center Stuttgart, Germany. His fields of interest include surgical ablation of AF, pacemaker, defibrillator, biventricular stimulation, OPCAB surgery, minimally invasive valve surgery and diving medicine.
Central Teaching Hospital of the Ministry of the Interior, Warsaw, Poland
Prof. Piotr Suwalski is Head of the Cardiac Surgery Clinic at the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Interior and Administration in Warsaw. He’s also a member of the prestigious group Cardiovascular Nucleus, European Society of Cardiology. Prof. Suwalski, as the author of over 200 publications in national and foreign journals, is a valued cardiac surgeon, committed scientist and a teacher devoted to scientific work. He is honored with many awards, including the NOW POLSKA NOW Award for cardiosurgical treatment with the use of minimally invasive techniques.
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA
Dr. Ralph Damiano is a cardiothoracic surgery specialist in Saint Louis, USA and has 43 years of experience. Dr. Damiano graduated from Duke University School Of Medicine in 1980 and completed a residency at Duke University Hospital. He currently practices at Washington University and is affiliated with Barnes Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. Dr. Damiano has experience with valve surgery (aortic, mitral, tricuspid), coronary artery bypass surgery, Cox-Maze IV for AF, and septal myectomy. His areas of research interest include the surgical treatment of AF, myocardial protection, and minimally invasive and robotic surgery.
University of California, San Francisco, USA
Dr. Randall Lee is a cardiologist and electrophysiologist, whose research focuses on cardiac arrhythmias and vascular regeneration. Dr. Lee is interested in improving outcomes for patients who have catheter ablation to treat complex arrhythmias, such as AF and ventricular tachycardia. Specifically, he is active in devising tools and techniques to better treat arrhythmias and prevent strokes. Working with his cardiovascular surgery colleagues, he has developed hybrid procedures combining epicardial and endocardial ablation that can work for patients with persistent AF when previous catheter ablation has failed. He has pioneered devices for stroke prevention, including the LARIAT device, and initiated UCSF programs providing device-based therapies for lowering stroke risk. In addition to these endeavors, he has a cardiac tissue engineering laboratory focused on heart muscle repair and reconstruction to treat heart failure and arrhythmias. Dr. Lee earned his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he also obtained a doctorate in pharmacology. After completing a residency in internal medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, he completed a cardiology fellowship and postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry and molecular biology at Stanford University, where he earned physician-scientist and young investigator awards in cardiology. During a second fellowship at UCSF, he subspecialized in cardiac electrophysiology, the study of heart rhythm disorders.
McMaster University Medical School, Hamilton, Canada
Dr. Richard Whitlock is a Canadian cardiovascular surgeon and a Professor of Surgery at McMaster University Medical School. Dr. Whitlock joined the Department of Cardiac Surgery as an assistant professor in 2012. He also became a P I at the Population Health Research Institute at the same time. He is most well known for being the PI of the SIRS (Steroids in Cardiac Surgery) trial and the LAAOS III (Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Study) trial, a trial to determine the effectiveness of left atrial appendage occlusion during cardiac surgery in patients with AF.
Cardiac Surgeon, Stuttgart, Germany
Dr. Timo Weimar works as cardiac surgeon based in Stuttgart, Germany. He is specialized in the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and was trained at Washington University in St. Louis by Dr. Ralph Damiano. Besides the different types of concomitant ablation techniques, he also performs standalone procedures, including minimally invasive biatrial Maze IV procedures, endoscopic left atrial ablations and endoscopic LAA exclusion.