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ESC Council on Cardiovascular Genomics


Diseases of the heart and blood vessels are major contributors to human morbidity and mortality and a substantial proportion is caused or influenced by genetic mechanisms. Over the past 30 years the genetic architecture of inherited disorders of cardiac muscle, blood vessels, and ion channels has been elucidated to a large extent and more recently, the profound role of common risk alleles in precipitating common cardiovascular diseases has come to the fore.

Translation of genomics into healthcare is a major goal of the Council of the European Union and individual European nations. There are, however, many factors delaying translation of genomic science into direct benefit for patients, including technical, ethical and legal challenges as well as the failure to update and adapt routine clinical practice. For several decades, the ESC has led the way in promoting genetic medicine, but the rapid pace of sequencing technologies and the democratisation of genetic knowledge in form of direct to consumer genetic testing means that a gap is opening between fundamental biology and its practical application. For this reason, it is timely and necessary for the ESC to strengthen its mission to promote genomic literacy amongst healthcare professionals with the aim of improving patient care through therapeutic innovation.

The new ESC Council on Cardiovascular Genomics is a multi-stakeholder body tasked with the mission to encourage research, education and the sharing of genomic knowledge. The Council will draw on expertise from existing ESC Constituent Bodies as well as external stakeholders including professional societies, industry and patient representatives to accelerate the translation of genomic discoveries into clinical practice and to transform the lives of patients and families with genetic disease.

We look forward to a bright and exciting future.

Professor Perry Elliott, FESC
Chairperson 2019-2021

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