Lars Wallentin is one of the most outstanding figures of European cardiology. He was appointed as Head of the Department of Cardiology and first Professor of Cardiology at University Hospital Uppsala, Sweden, in 1991. He founded the Cardiothoracic Center at Uppsala, becoming its first Chairman in 1994, and went on to serve as Vice Chairman from 1995 to 1999. Since then, the impact of his work on Swedish and European cardiology has grown without interruption, and now he is one of the most respected personalities in the cardiology world.
Lars Wallentin is best known for his multiple contributions to cardiovascular research. He founded the Uppsala Clinical Research Center (UCR) in 2001 and served as Director until 2008. His work has been particularly relevant in the development of new antithrombotics for the prevention or treatment of cardiovascular diseases, such as dalteparin and ticagrelor for the treatment of ACS, and ximelagatran and dabigatran for the prevention of embolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation. His research also played a key role in improving risk stratification in ACS and determining invasive strategy as the preferred approach for patients with NSTEACS. He and his team made important contributions in other research fields, such as new biomarkers and genetics. He has authored or co-authored more than 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Howewer, the influence of Lars Wallentin in cardiology has gone well beyond the innovation in diagnosis risk stratification and treatment for patients with cardiovascular diseases. His contribution to the improvement of quality of care in the field of ACS in Europe is vast. In 1992, he started and led the Swedish RIKS-HIA, probably the best national registry of Acute Cardiac Care worldwide. RIKS-HIA was the example for many other national and international registries and the background for multiple quality improvement projects in Sweden and Europe. In 2002, he founded and became first Director of the Swedish Competence Center for National Quality Registers in Health Care, which extended the success achieved in acute cardiac care to other disciplines.
In addition to these contributions, Lars Wallentin has been an active protagonist of the Swedish and European Cardiology. He is an expert for the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare, the Government Delegation for the development of Clinical Research and served as President of the Swedish Cardiac Society (1998-99), the Swedish Heart Association (2000-02), and the Committee for National Guidelines for Treatment of Heart Diseases. He is a member of several research councils, medical societies, task forces, working groups and editorial boards.
In 2010, Lars Wallentin was awarded with the ESC Gold Medal for his outstanding contributions to the science and practice of cardiology.