Ruggero De Paulis received his Medical Degree at the University of L’Aquila, Italy in 1982. He trained at the University of Torino, Italy, at the University of Paris, France, and at the University of Utah, USA, before starting his academic and surgical activity at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata in 1991 where he became Professor in 2002. Since 2006 he is the Director of the Cardiac Surgery Department at the European Hospital and currently Professor at the UniCamillus University of Rome. He has been EACTS President in 2018 2019. His areas of interest are aortic and mitral repair surgery, aortic root and arch pathologies. He is the inventor of the Valsalva graft and has designed a physiological band for mitral valve repair.
Mark Hazekamp is currently chief of the congenital cardiothoracic surgery programme of University Medical Centers of Leiden and Amsterdam in the Netherlands and a professor at Leiden University. After graduating from Leiden medical school in 1982 he spent several years in general surgery in Spain and the Netherlands before training as a cardiothoracic surgeon in Leiden. He has a special interest in arterial switch, double switch, Ross and Nikaidoh operations promoting long-term follow-up studies in the field of congenital heart surgery. More basic research interest is focused on homograft valve tissue engineering and on 4D flow MRI to study circulatory energy loss after surgical procedures. Organizational work has focused on public reporting of surgical outcomes and quality improvement programs in the field of congenital heart surgery.
Secretary General 2021-2022 and Chair Francis Fontan Fund 2017-2021
Dr Rafael Sádaba graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain) and completed his basic and advanced training in Cardio-Thoracic Surgery at the Leeds General Infirmary and East Yorkshire Hospitals in the UK, and the Sir Charles Gardner Hospital in Perth (Australia). During his training, he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Science by the University of Leeds. Subsequently he was awarded a PhD degree by the Public University of Navarra for his work on degenerative aortic valve disease. Dr Sádaba is currently working in the Dept of Cardiac Surgery at the "Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra" in Pamplona (Spain), where he is Coordinator of Cardiovascular Research and Innovation, and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Navarra. He is the former Secretary of the European Board of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Dr Sádaba is a Fellow in Cardio-Thoracic Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. As member of the European Society for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, he holds leadership positions in this association as Council member, Chair of the Education Committee and Chair of the Francis Fontan Fund. He is also member of the Spanish Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the Heart Valve Society, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He is Associated Editor of the journal “Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery” and lead clinician in the “Translational Cardiology Research Group” at NavarraBiomed Foundation. His research interests have focused on the surgical pathology of the aortic valve and myocardial regeneration therapy.
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