Professor Volkmar Falk is medical director and director of the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery of the German Heart Center Berlin, Chair of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Charité Berlin and Professor for Translational Cardiovascular Technologies at the ETH, Zurich. After successfully completing Medical School and his doctorate at the University of Bonn he began his basic surgical training at the University in Göttingen and completed his residency at the Department of Cardiac Surgery of the Heart Center Leipzig. From 1998 to 2003 he held the position of a senior surgeon there, with an interruption of his clinical work for a one year research fellowship at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. In 2001 he completed his “Habilitation” (German post-doctoral university teaching qualification) and in 2003 he became a senior consultant. From 2009-2014 Falk was appointed professor and director of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University Hospital in Zurich. In 2014 he was appointed Professor and Chair of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Charite Berlin and became the medical director and director of the DHZB Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery of the Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin. Since 12 2018 he was appointed professor for Translational Cardiovascular Technologies at the ETH, Zurich. His main areas of current clinical and academic research are in the field of endoscopic and minimally invasive cardiac surgery and image guided transcatheter therapies. He was co-founder of the Innovation Center for Computer Assisted Surgery (ICCAS) at the University of Leipzig funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF). In Zürich he established numerous research collaborations with the ETH, among them “Zurich Heart” Project, an interdisciplinary project at the interface of medical engineering and surgery for the development of new components for mechanical circulatory assist systems. He is currently PI of the project, which received intense funding over the last 5 years. Falk is the author or coauthor of over 566 scientific publications (listed in Pubmed, Hirsch-Index 63) and serves in various functions (Board member, President, Committees) in numerous international professional societies (EACTS, ESC, DGTHG, SGHC, ISMICS and others). He serves on the editorial board of a number of journals in the field and on a number of International Guideline-Committees. He is Coauthour or Chairman of the current ESC ESC
Dr. Balkhy is Professor of Surgery and Director of Robotic and Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine. He received his Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgery training at Tufts New England Medical Center and the Lahey Clinic in Boston, MA. He was Chairman of Cardiac Surgery at the Wisconsin Heart Hospital in Milwaukee, WI prior to moving to the University of Chicago in July 2013. Dr. Balkhy has been well known for his strong advocacy of less invasive cardiac surgery. Since adapting robotic surgery into his practice in 2007, Dr Balkhy quickly became a leader in beating heart totally endoscopic single and multi-vessel, robotic coronary bypass and has one of the largest series of these procedures in the world. He pioneered the robotic connector coronary bypass procedure (Connector TECAB) and lectures widely on this topic and proctors surgeons all over the world. Dr Balkhy has published numerous peer-reviewed articles as well as several textbook chapters on robotic cardiac surgery. He is a frequent invited speaker and presents at national and international professional conferences and scientific meetings. He has trained and proctored numerous surgeons on robotic techniques in cardiac surgery both in the US and internationally and is a strong advocate in helping to increase the adoption of cardiac robotic surgery worldwide.
Prof. Dr. med. Sabine Bleiziffer is a Senior Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at the Clinic for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Herz- und Diabeteszentrum NRW in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. She is head of the Structural Heart Program. Her credo is to achieve the most benefitial approach for the patient in a interdisciplinary setting. After studying at the Leipzig Medical School 1994-2000, Sabine Bleiziffer graduated from the Ludwig-Maximilian Universität in Munich in 2001. She then started her residency training at the German Heart Center in Munich, where she recognized soon that heart surgery is a rapidly evolving specialty. Early interest in minimally invasive surgery motivated her to establish endoscopic graft harvesting at the German Heart Center Munich. The first human transcatheter aortic valve implantation in 2002 by Alain Cribier in Rouen was a milestone for heart medicine and an inspiring event for the future of cardiac surgery. After receiving board certification for cardiac surgery in 2007, Sabine Bleiziffer involved her clinical and scientific ambition into the newly founded transcatheter heart valve program at the German Heart Center Munich. She took over the lead of the Structural Heart Program in 2009. During the next exciting years, the team at the German Heart Center Munich was part of the development of transcatheter heart valve therapies with involvement in CE mark studies, first-in-man procedures, early adoption of new technologies and establishment of worldwide networking activities. Parallel to the maturation of the technologies, the role of cross-trained cardiac surgeons evolved in this field. As a senior cardiac surgeon, Sabine Bleiziffer developed a broad spectrum of conventional cardiac surgery with a focus on minimally-invasive therapies during the same time. In 2019, Sabine Bleiziffer moved to Bad Oeynhausen to work in one of the largest cardiac surgery units in Germany. As a senior cardiac surgeon, she performs surgery on complex and combined pathologies including cardiac transplantation, with a continued and special interest in minimally invasive procedures. Her key responsibility is the Structural Heart Program. The interdisciplinary center organization at the Herz- and Diabeteszentrum is most beneficial for the individual patient in terms of diagnosis, risk evaluation, choice of patient-tailored intervention and postprocedural treatment. Being convinced of the relevance of the surgical part of the heart team, Sabine Bleiziffer acts as member of numerous international associations, working groups and advisory boards, and as surgical steering and screening committee member of several multicenter studies.
Lenard Conradi is chief senior physician and surgical director of programmes for minimally-invasive and transcatheter heart valve procedures in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University Heart and Vascular Center of Hamburg University. After studying at the School of Medicine, University of Kiel from 1998-2005, he undertook his residency at the University Heart Centre, Hamburg from 2006-2014. Appointed a senior consultant in 2019, he became Deputy Director in January 2021. A member of numerous international associations, working groups and advisory boards, he regularly undertakes a plethora of consultancies and proctorships and is principle investigator on several ongoing clinical trials.
Marco Di Eusanio is Professor of Cardiac Surgery; Director, Cardiac Surgery Department, Lancisi Cardiovascular Center, OORR; Director, Marfan Center, Director Minimally Invasive and Trans-Catheter Cardiac Surgery Research Center, Università Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona, Italy. His main practice and scientific areas include aortic and mitral valve repair, minimally invasive surgery and fast recovery, trans-catheter valve interventions (TAVI, percutaneous EtoE MV repair,TMVI) surgery of the thoracic aorta (open, endo, hybrid), cerebral protection, endocarditis, hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy surgery, surgical education. He is author or co-author of >200 publications and lectures nationally and internationally and regularly hosts other surgeons at his centre in order to learn minimally invasive techniques.
Prof. Dr. med. Jörg Kempfert was born 1976 in Berlin. After finishing Medical School in Hamburg and Leipzig he started his Residency at the Heart Center University Leipzig under the supervision of Prof. Friedrich Mohr. After Board Certification he moved to the Kerckhoff Heart Institute in Bad Nauheim to work with Prof. Thomas Walther. In 2014 he moved to the German Heart Center Berlin joining the team of Prof. Volkmar Falk. His interests are in the area of minimally-invasive, endoscopic and transcatheter valve therapy and aortic arch surgery.
Professor Sahin Senay is the Vice Dean of Acıbadem University School of Medicine in Istanbul. He works in affiliated Acıbadem Maslak Hospital in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery since 2010. He graduated from Ege University Medical School in 2000, and finished his cardiovascular surgery residency in Siyami Ersek Research and Training Center in Istanbul in 2005. He was trained in generality of adult cardiac surgery with a particular interest in transcatheter cardiovascular therapies and minimally invasive & robotic cardiac surgery. Regarding to these specific topics he completed specific training programs and worked as a fellow in Leipzig Heart Center, Mayo Clinic and University Hospital of Zurich in selected time periods. Currently he performs adult cardiovascular operations, transcatheter valve interventions, robotic cardiac surgery and endovascular aortic interventions. Robotic cardiac surgery and transcatheter cardiovascular therapies programs are running since 2010 in the current Acıbadem Maslak hospital with his participation. He also continues to academic performings regarding to the mentioned topics. He is a member of distinguished societies in cardiovascular surgery (European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS), International Society of Minimally Invasive Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (ISMICS) and Turkish Society of Cardiovascular Surgery (TSCVS)). He is currently serving in the Executive Board of ISMICS and TSCVS. He is in the Editorial Board of ‘Innovations’ Journal; the main journal of ISMICS and ‘Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery’; the official main journal of the TSCVS. Meantime he is the past Editor in Chief of the ‘Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery’. He is board certified in Turkey (Turkish Board of Cardiovascular surgery) and Europe (European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery). He has a wide range of publications and academic activities as well as academic awards in his medical profession. He was awarded ‘Young Cardiac Surgeon’ of the year in Europe, by European Society of Cardiovascular Surgery in 2008. His primary aim is to focus on ‘patient centered care’ for the treatment of his patients and to offer each of his patient the best modality of treatment in means of durability and safety. Thus the patient contentment is always a priority for him.
Dr. Nicolas M. Van Mieghem obtained his medical degree and cardiology degree at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. After subsequent Fellowships in interventional cardiology in Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg Genk, Belgium, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, USA and Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he joined the department of interventional cardiology in the Thoraxcenter, Erasmus MC as a senior staff member in February 2010. He is the clinical director of interventional cardiology since 2014. He became full professor of interventional cardiology September 1 2019. He is involved in the percutaneous coronary interventions program and has a particular focus on transcatheter heart valve interventions, mechanical circulatory support and treatment of calcified coronary lesions. He obtained the degree of PhD based upon his research in transcatheter valve therapies. So far he has published and co-authored over 350 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Van Mieghem is principle investigator and steering committee member in multiple ongoing international trials evaluating various transcatheter valve technologies, mechanical circulatory support platforms and coronary atherectomy devices. He is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC) and the American College of Cardiology (FACC).
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