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Meet the Legends and Experts

ESC Congress 2018

Distinguished keynotes


Saturday 25 August during the Inaugural session at 17:00

Keynote Address: «Academic and Industry Relations» by Eugene Braunwald, MD, Distinguished Hersey Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Founding Chair of the TIMI Study Group at the Birgham and Women's Hospital



Monday 27 August during the Awards Ceremony at 18:10

ESC Awards Inspirational Career Lecture by K A A Fox (Edinburgh, UK)  Professor of Cardiology of the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Fox was a founding fellow of the European Society of Cardiology and has served as a Board member and lead for ischaemic heart disease on the Scientific Committee for the ESC Programme. He was President of the British Cardiovascular Society from 2009 - 2012 and is currently Chair of the Scientific Programme of the European Society of Cardiology (2012 - 2014).


 richard-schatz-2012.jpgWithout missing the Presentation from Richard A Schatz, stent pioneer - On the ESC TV Stage, Sunday 26 August at  12:30

Dr. Schatz is an early pioneer of coronary stent technology and is best known for the co-development of the first successful coronary stent, the Palmaz-Schatz stent.

Dr. Schatz is Research Director of Cardiovascular Interventions at the Heart, Lung, and Vascular Center at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. He is also active in gene and stem cell therapy research.


ESC Named Lectures

S Connolly.jpgSJ Connolly (Hamilton, CA)

Sunday 26 August 09:30 ESC Geoffrey Rose Lecture on Population Sciences

Prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation: 3 decades of progress - Where next?

 Stuart Connolly is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at McMaster University and cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton Ontario Canada. He has a Masters in philosophy from Fordham University and an MD from McGill University in Montreal. He received his specialist training in Cardiology at the University of Toronto and Stanford University.

Dr. Connolly is recognized internationally for his research specialising in the evaluation of treatments for heart rhythm disorders and prevention of stroke, particularly by means of large global randomised controlled trials. He has published more than 335 scientific articles over his career, including more than  30 articles in the New England Journal of Medicine.


M Leon.jpgMB Leon (New York, US) 

Sunday 26 August - 10:05 ESC Andreas Grüntzig Lecture on Interventional Cardiology

The interventional paradox: when more is more and when less is more

Martin B. Leon, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy (CIVT) at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Previously, Dr. Leon was also the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and currently he serves on the Executive Board of the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Heart Valve Center.  Dr. Leon was the Founder of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) symposium and Chairman Emeritus of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) in New York City and is currently CRF’s Co-Director, Medical Research and Education Division.  TCT is the largest dedicated interventional cardiology meeting in the world and CRF is the largest independent not-for-profit cardiovascular research center in the world.

A distinguished pioneer in interventional cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Leon has been the national principal investigator for over 50 clinical trials that have helped shape the field including STRESS, STARS, Gamma-one, SIRIUS, ENDEAVOR, RESOLUTE, and most recently, the PARTNER trials, studying the value of transcatheter valve therapy for patients with aortic stenosis.  He has co-authored almost 2,000 peer reviewed scientific publications and abstracts, which have appeared in the most prestigious medical journals.  As a practicing interventional cardiologist, Dr. Leon has performed over 10,000 procedures during his career. 

He is the Founder and Director of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT), the world’s premier scientific symposium dedicated to interventional cardiovascular medicine, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. He has also been the Director or Co-Director of more than 100 international educational programs in the field. Dr. Leon has received 20 international career achievement awards and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Athens.

Dr. Leon was previously the Director of Cardiovascular Research and Education at the Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute in New York as well as Director of Clinical Research at the Washington Cardiology Center at the Washington Hospital Center and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC. He also served as a Clinical Associate, Senior Investigator, and Director of the Catheterization Laboratories in the Cardiology Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He was a founder of the Washington Cardiology Center and the Cardiology Research Foundation in Washington, DC.

Dr. Leon received his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine internship and residency as well as a cardiology fellowship at the Yale-New Haven Hospital.


F Maisano Photo.jpgF Maisano, FESC (Zurich, CH)

Saturday 25 August - 12:40 ESC Paul Hugenholtz lecture for innovation - Read more

Innovation in CV Medicine: Together we win

Francesco Maisano is the head of the Heart Center and Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery at University Hospital of Zurich. He is a cardiac surgeon with large experience in standard cardiovascular treatments and innovative technologies, as well as  cross-trained in interventional cardiology, with specific focus on structural interventions.

He covers different international academic and scientific advisory roles, membership in professional associations, review and editorial boards activities. His main area of interest is structural heart disease, ranging from surgical to catheter-based therapies, with experience in the implementation of innovative therapies in clinical practice, focusing on training and education.

As inventor and innovator, he has filed more than 20 patents, and founded multiple start-up companies in the field of cardiovascular medicine. He has collaborated with multiple industry partners to  contribute to the research and development of a number of surgical and interventional devices currently available for clinical use.


D Newby.jpgD Newby, FESC (Edinburgh, UK)

Sunday 26 August - 09:30 ESC Rene Laennec Lecture on Clinical Cardiology

Cardiovascular imaging for the future: it’s chalk and cheese

David Newby is British Heart Foundation John Wheatley Chair of Cardiology at the University of Edinburgh. He is Director of Edinburgh Clinical Research and Imaging Facilities and a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. He has major interests in experimental medicine and the advanced imaging of cardiovascular disease including coronary heart disease, aortic stenosis and heart failure. He has been involved in several multicentre trials and has played a major role in the conduct of the SALTIRE (British Heart Foundation funded Scottish Aortic stenosis Lipid lowering Trial, Impact on REgression) and 3CPO (Health Technology Assessment trial of non-invasive ventilation for acute cardiogenic pulmonary oedema) trials. He is Chief Investigator for the SCOT-HEART trial funded by the Chief Scientist Office; a national multicentre randomised controlled trial of computed tomography coronary angiography. He has recently developed the use of positron emission tomography in a range of cardiovascular diseases.


S Priori photo rognée.PNGSG Priori, FESC (Pavia, IT) 

Sunday 26 August - 12:00 ESC William Harvey Lecture on Basic Science

Genetic engineering to mend the Heart

Professor Priori received her Degree in Medicine in 1985 at Milan University, her specialization in Cardiology in 1989 at Milan University and her PhD in Cardiovascular Pathophysiology at Milan University. She is Global Scientific Director of Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri (ICS MAUGERI) SpA SB, Full Professor of Cardiology since 2014 in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Pavia (Italy), Director of the Molecular Cardiology Unit at the Centro National de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) Madrid Spain and at the ICS MAUGERI in Pavia, Italy. She is best known for her work on genetics and pathophysiology of genetic cardiac arrhythmias and, in the last years, for Genetic Therapy of these diseases. The translational research conducted in her laboratories ranges from molecular studies in induced-pluripotent stem cells derived myocytes used as a disease model to functional investigations in transgenic animals and to the development of gene therapies. On the clinical and several landmark studies in the field of inherited arrhythmias have identified novel therapies, developed risk stratification schemes and contributed to the definition of clinical management for patients with inherited arrhythmias.


2018 ESC Gold Medals

The ESC Gold Medal of the European Society of Cardiology is the highest honor the Society can bestoy on exceptional scientists for their contribution to cardiovascular medicine.


Pfeffer photo.jpg

Marc Alan Pfeffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Dzau Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Senior Physician, Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA, USA

Dr. Marc Pfeffer is the Dzau Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Senior Physician in the Cardiovascular Division at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. A noted researcher, Dr. Pfeffer, along with his late wife, Dr. Janice Pfeffer, and Eugene Braunwald MD, is credited with introducing the concept that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) could attenuate adverse ventricular remodelling following myocardial infarction and that this use would result in a prolongation of survival and other clinical benefits. Since this initial discovery, he has had a principal role in several practice-changing clinical trials such as SAVE, CARE, HEART, VALIANT, CHARM, PEACE, ARISE, TREAT, ALTITUDE, TOPCAT and ELIXA.

Dr. Pfeffer is considered as a team builder and takes pride in academic advancement of trainees and junior faculty collaborating on the trials. He is known for his fairness in data sharing and assisting others in developing meaningful scholarly works from study databases. He sets high standards for relationships with the sponsors whether industry or NHLBI.

Dr. Pfeffer serves on the Data Safety Monitoring Boards of major international trials. An internationally recognized expert in the field of cardiology, he was recognized by Science Watch as having the most ‘Hot Papers’ (highly cited) in all of clinical medicine. Dr. Pfeffer was listed as one of the highly influential biomedical researchers of 1996-2011 in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is the recipient of the William Harvey Award of the American Society of Hypertension, the Okamoto Award from Japan’s Vascular Disease Research Foundation, the Clinical Research Prize, the James B. Herrick Award and was honored by the Distinguished Scientist Award from both the American Heart Association as well as the American College of Cardiology, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from both the Heart Failure Society of America and the Heart Failure Association of the European Congress of Cardiology. Dr. Pfeffer is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and is the recipient of an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Evgeny Shlyakhto_photo.jpg

Evgeny V. Shlyakhto,
Director of the Almazov Centre, Russia

Professor Evgeny Shlyakhto, Director General of the Almazov National Medical Research Centre, Academician of the Russian Academy of Science, President of the Russian Society of Cardiology, Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology.

Professor Shlyakhto was born on June 29, 1954 in Pogar, the Bryansk region. He graduated from the Pavlov Medical University in Saint Petersburg in 1977 and became Doctor of Science in Medicine in 1992, Professor in 1994, Honored Russian Scientist in 2004, and Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2014.

Evgeny Shlyakhto has been the Director General of the Almazov National Medical Research Centre since 2001 and the President of the Russian Society of Cardiology since 2011. In 2010, he became a member of the WHO Expert Working Group.

The Centre led by Prof. Shlyakhto carries out intensive research in the fields of translational medicine, molecular diagnostics, development of diagnostic tools for personalized treatment, cellular and tissue engineering for therapeutic purposes, creation of biocompatible materials and tissue-engineered constructs designed to create breakthrough medical technologies of fundamental importance for providing high-tech care to patients with cardiovascular, endocrine and blood diseases.

The results of research work by Prof. Shlyakhto have been summarized in more than 800 publications, 16 inventions, 2 scientific discoveries, and a number of monographs. Prof. Shlyakhto was a supervisor in 57 PhD and 20 DSc students.. 

Professor Shlyakhto is a member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Science, the Presidential Council for Science and Education, the Regional Health Council under the Federation Council of the Russian Federal Assembly, the Expert Health Council of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy of the Russian Federal Assembly, Vice President of the National Medical Chamber. 

Evgeny Shlyakhto is the Editor-in-Chief of the following medical journals: Russian Journal of Cardiology, Translational Medicine, and Journal of Arrhythmology. He also is a member of the international editorial board of the European Heart Journal.

Professor Shlyakhto plays an active role in such international committees as the ESC Congress Programme Committee (since 2012) and of the ESC Committee for Practice Guidelines (since 2015). 

Evgeny Shlyakhto received the Russian Federation Government Prize in science and technology in 2009 and won the Pavlov Award, the prize for scientific and technological achievement in Physiology and Medicine from the Saint Petersburg Government and St. Petersburg Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in 2011. He received an Order of Honour in 2012 and 4th class Order of Merit for the Motherland in 2017.



Ottavio Alfieri, MD
Professor of Cardiac Surgery
S. Raffaele University Hospital in Milan, Italy

In the initial part of his career he was devoted to the treatment of congenital heart diseases, first in Bergamo, Italy and then in USA, as Clinical Fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, NY and as a Research Fellow at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
His experience with adult cardiac surgery started in 1980 at the St. Antonius Hospital in Neuwegein, NL, where he spent six years as member of the staff.

He came back to Italy in 1986 to become Chief Surgeon at the Ospedali Civili in Brescia. Ten years later he moved to Milan as Professor and Chairman of Cardiac Surgery at San Raffaele University Hospital. 

He is author or co-author of more than 600 peer-reviewed papers, related to many areas of cardiac surgery.
He is member of the editorial board of several scientific journals.

His main interest is surgery for valvular heart disease (particularly mitral valve repair). 

In the early ‘90s he originally developed the Edge-to-Edge technique, a method of mitral valve repair which is the basis of the currently most used type of percutaneous correction of mitral regurgitation. 

During the last 15 years he has been very active in favouring in his department the multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of cardiac diseases. Particularly he was able to introduce transcatheter technologies in the daily cardiac surgical practice.

In 2011, he served as President of the European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS).
He is currently member of the ESC, EACTS, AATS, STS.

He is now President of the “Alfieri Heart Foundation” created to support research and innovation at the San Raffaele University Hospital.


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