Ruggero De Paulis is the director of the Cardiac Surgery Department of the European Hospital in Rome, a position he has held since 2006. After graduating from the University of L’Aquila and completing his residency at the University of Torino, he spent two years in an artificial heart programme at the University of Utah, and then two years as staff surgeon at the VI and XII University of Paris. Since then he has been working in Rome, at the University of Tor Vergata, where he was appointed Associate Professor in 2002. His main interest is in aortic and mitral repair surgery and he is the designer of the “Valsalva” graft, currently used in most aortic root surgeries. He is a member of the AATS and STS and is currently the chairman of the EACTS Vascular Disease Domain.