Wouter Oosterlinck, MD, PhD, is a Cardiac Surgery Professor of Leuven University. His main practice and scientific areas include above all Coronary Artery Disease Treatment. During the years he has been developing a wide experience in Off Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, either in open and through minimally invasive surgery approaches. His studies are now focusing on innovative systems as well, such as Robotic Cardiac Surgery. Author or co-author of many publications and presentations, he was also awarded for his scientific contribution to the studies about heart protection for Diabetes Type II patients. In the past he was a Belgian Judo Championship winner.
Stepan Cerny, MD, Ph.D., MBA, is a Cardiac Surgeon and Director of Robotic Cardiac Surgery at the Na Homolce Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic. He received his Cardiovascular surgery training at IKEM Prague, University Hospital of Wales Cardiff, Derriford Hospital Plymouth, and Toronto General Hospital. In the years 2002 – 2012, he served as a Chairman of Cardiac Surgery at the Na Homolce Hospital. Since 2016 he has been in charge of a very successful robotic cardiac program at the same hospital. He has been focused on minimally invasive cardiac and robotic surgery for more than 15 years and is currently performing the full spectrum of robotic intracardiac and revascularization procedures. His other areas of clinical and research interests are mitral valve surgery, aortic valve-sparing operations, and complex aortic surgery. Dr. Cerny is one of a few European proctors for robotic cardiac surgery, and has successfully trained numerous cardiac robotic teams, and is a strong advocate in helping to increase the adoption of robotic cardiac surgery in Europe. He has published several articles on robotic cardiac surgery. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the ISMICS and is a member of the Board of the Czech Society for Cardiovascular Surgery.
Ulrich Franke, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Cardiac Surgery and Head of the Department for Cardiac and Vascular Surgery at the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart, Germany, since 2007. He is focused on minimally invasive cardiac procedures for more than 20 years. He has a wide spectrum of minimally invasive cardiac operations. In coronary surgery he performs more then 95% using the total arterial, non-aortic touch off-pump technique. MIDCAB procedures as well as multivessel coronary operations using mini-thoracotomy were done routinely. In 2008 he was the first surgeon operating on the Ross-procedure minimally invasively using partial sternotomy. Minimally invasive David’s procedure and aortic arch surgery complete the minimally invasive aortic program. He introduced minimally invasive mitral and tricuspid valve operations into his program in 2007. Due to his minimally invasive focus he builds up the robotic cardiac program 2019 in Stuttgart as the only one in Germany. In a short time it develops to one of the biggest robotic cardiac programs in Europe with 160 cardiac operations in 2021 including MIMS, MIDCAB, coronary multivessel revascularization and others. In 2015 he has won The Leonardo DaVinci Award for Training Excellence of the EACTS.
Paul Modi is a Consultant cardiac surgeon at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital with a subspecialist interest in minimally invasive and robotic mitral valve repair and AF surgery. He trained on the South West of England Cardiothoracic training programme. He was awarded Doctor in Medicine (MD) by the University of Bristol for work into paediatric myocardial protection. He then worked as an attending surgeon in North Carolina, USA, for one year where he was a Clinical Instructor in Robotic and Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, working with Dr Ranny Chitwood. He was awarded the prestigious Society Scholarship for Cardiac Surgery to train in minimally invasive valve surgery with Prof Fred Mohr in Leipzig, Germany, and Prof Hugo Vanermen in Aalst, Belgium. He had further subspecialist training in robotic cardiac surgery with Dr Doug Murphy and Dr Sam Balkhy, two masters of robotic cardiac surgery. Mr Modi is the only surgeon performing Da Vinci robotic mitral valve and coronary artery surgery in the UK. Mr Modi performs over 100 mitral valve operations per year, predominantly minimally invasive and robotic reconstructions.