It is a great honour and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to receive the ESC EACVI Research Grant for 2018. This grant, which is remarkable for young cardiologists, provides me unique chance to visit Oxford John Radcliffe Medical Sciences Division and to deepen my knowledge in cardiovascular imaging. I will widen my previous experiences and further develop new skills, aim to become a multi-modality young imager within the ESC EACVI. Besides clinical skills, the grant will power my academic activity, as we aim to publish our results in prime journals. I will work in Oxford JR OCMR supervised by Professor Neubauer and Professor Ferreira.
Having received this Research Grant, I am delighted and grateful for EACVI for the continuous support of both academic and clinical research and young professionals in the field.
It is a great honour and privilege for me to receive an EACVI research grant for 2018. I am sincerely grateful for the award and I am pleased to accept it. I would like to thank EACVI for giving me the unique opportunity to spend one year at Medical Imaging Research Center, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium, supervised by prof. Jens Uve Voigt.
In the last few years a great step has been made in new echocardiographic techniques. The lab in Leuven has performed pioneering work in the field of high frame rate imaging. This grant will allow me to work on a great project of using completely novel approach for the assessment of diastolic function based on ultra-high frame rate echocardiography. Diastolic function of the left ventricle is impaired in most pathologies of the heart and can even become the dominant problem. Therefore, the reliable and reproducible assessment of diastolic function is of high relevance in clinical practice. Echocardiography at higher frame could provide new information on diastolic function, which would go far beyond what classical echocardiography can provide.
It would therefore be a great opportunity for me to learn and research specifically in one of the leading cardiovascular imaging centre in Europe Undoubtedly, the EACVI grant will give me unique chance to enhance and develop new skills, which will be critical for my further career progression.
Title of the research Perfusion mapping in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Year of the research 2017
Host institution Barts Heart Hospital, UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, London, United Kingdom
Her experience: The EACVI grant allowed me to spent last year working as a research fellow at Barts Cardiovascular Imaging Department (London, UK).
It has been an intensive year of work during which, under the guidance of Prof. James Moon and the support of the other supervisors, I had the chance to be involved in an extremely interesting research program on perfusion mapping in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I am very pleased with my research project that gave me the opportunity to take part in international conferences with oral presentations and write a manuscript.
I also boosted my clinical competencies in cardiac magnetic resonance reporting a big number of cases and learning how to scan on my own.
I must thank EACVI for this great opportunity.
Title of the research Comprehensive, High definition Accelerated Non- invasive Cardiac MRI for Early diagnosis of patients with symptomatic heart disease (CHANCE)
Year of the research 2017
Host institution University Medical Center Utrecht, Center for Imaging Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Title of the research Advanced myocardial structural and functional assessment by cardiovascular magnetic resonance in patients with severe mitral regurgitation undergoing percutaneous mitral valve repair with the Evalve MitraClipTM
Host institution CMR Unit, Bristol Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Bristol Heart Institute, Bristol, United Kingdom
Title of the research T-1 mapping characterization of diffuse myocardial fibrosis associated with obesity in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Mechanisms involved and relationship to clinical outcome.
Year of the research 2016
Host institution Laboratorio de Imagen Cardiovascular, Hospital Clinico San Carlos
Title of the research Impact of Image Geometry and Image Quality on the Feasibility, Accuracy and Reproducibility of Longitudinal Strain Measurements from different Myocardial Layers and from the Full Wall
Host institution Medical Imaging Research Center, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
Title of the research Comparison of Two- and Three-dimensional Myocardial Strain Imaging by Echocardiography for the Early Detection of Cardiotoxicity in Patients During and After Cancer Chemotherapy
Host institution University of Padua, Italy
Title of the research An International Quality Control System For Myocardial T1 Mapping
Year of the research 2015
Host institution The Institute of Cardiovascular, the Institute of Cardiovascular, London, UK
Title of the research Inter-vendor Comparison of Regional Strain Measurements
Host institution Medical Imaging Research Center, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
Title of the research The prognostic value of global longitudinal strain of the left ventricle in the risk assessment of patients with non-ST elevation myocardial infarction
Host institution Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, UK
Title of the research Real time three-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography for detection of fibrotic regions in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: Comparison with two-dimensional echo and delayed-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance
Year of the research 2014
Host institution Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Medical Imaging Research Center, UZ Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
Title of the research Is Myolaminar Architecture Generation Explained by Shear? (IMAGES)
Year of the research 2014
Host institution Department Mathematical Cell Physiology, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany
His experience I am delighted and honored to have been chosen to receive an EACVI Research grant for 2014. I thank the selection committee for selecting my project and particularly for their farsightedness in their choice of this 'basic science' project, which explored the detailed underlying mechanisms of normal cardiac development and mechanical function. The grant allowed me to carry out research in cardiac structure-functions relationships at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. For more info, click here.
Title of the research Prognostic significance of diffuse myocardial fibrosis in asymptomatic moderate to severe aortic stenosis: a T1 mapping and quantitative exercise cardiac mechanics study
Host institution Non invasive Cardiovascular Imaging department of the Cardiovascular Center Aalst, Belgium
Title of the research Clinical implications of three-dimensional transoesophageal echocardiography on determining reparability and outcome of aortic valve-root complex repair in aortic insufficiency.
Host institution Cardiology Department, Leiden University Medical Centre, LUMC, Leiden, Netherlands
Title of the research Mitral leaflet remodeling in functional mitral regurgitation: 3-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography insights beyond left ventricular remodeling
Year of the research 2013
Host institution Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands His experience After having the honor of being awarded the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) Research Grant, I have lived a most unique professional and social experience. I traveled to Leiden, the Netherlands, were I started a PhD fellowship at the well-known non invasive cardiac imaging department, led by Prof. Jeroen Bax, my promoter, motivated and guided by the most inspiring co-workers such as Dr. Victoria Delgado and Dr. Nina Ajmone Marsan, as well as a multitude of international PhD fellows. The main focus of my research was on advanced imaging techniques and applications in patients with valvular heart disease, particularly 3D echocardiography and deformation analysis. In addition I studied applications of non invasive cardiac imaging techniques in hypertrophic cardiomyoptahy patients. Within a very well organized professional structure, we learned during weakly journal clubs how to start a scientific idea and systematically plan and develop a research project, including collection of scientific data and statistical analysis. These meetings also served as a ground to teach how to present and discuss scientific results and prepare for international meetings. Finally translating these results into a scientific manuscript or paper was systematically guided. I had the opportunity to present most of these results at international meetings, including in Brussels (BeHRA), Amsterdam (ESC), Munich (ESC), London (PCR London Valves), Frankfurt (CSI), Los Angeles (AHA), Istanbul (EuroECHO) and Athens (EuroECHO) (co-authoring 1 being finalist and 1 being laureate of the Young Investigator Award). I co-authored over 10 papers (5 of which being first author) and wrote 1 book chapter on imaging in heart failure and 1 website contribution (mitral valve anatomy and function, wikiecho.org). Apart from the theoretical scientific activities, I was fully trained in advanced 2D/3D-echocardiography, including as a lead echocardiographist during several dozens of percutaneous MitraClip and TAVI procedures. Basics and clinical applications of 2D/3D dyssynchrony assessment, 3D LV function analysis, 3D valve modeling, speckle tracking and Tissue Doppler deformation analysis and stress-echocardiography were teached. In addition we analyzed all preprocedural cardiac CT scans for patients undergoing TAVI. Currently I am a consultant at the Cardiology Department of the AZ Sint Jan Hospital in Bruges, Belgium, where I focus on clinical non invasive cardiac imaging and recently co-founded a successful transcatheter mitral valve repair program. Apart from the clinical work, I intend to finish my doctoral thesis by 2015 at the Leiden University Medical Center and continue on (inter)national research projects, bearing in mind my co-promotors’ words: “Inspiration must find you working”.Finally I take the opportunity to thank the EACVI as well as Prof. Bax, Dr. Delgado and Dr. Ajmone Marsan for the fantastic experience. It has been a theoretical and practical learning school that will undoubtly change my professional, social and technical conduct at the service of many patients. I recommend all young cardiologists or trainees the same educational experience, as our generation will be next to fuel and lead the challenging field of cardiovascular imaging research and development.
Title of the research Assessment of right ventricular function during exercise echocardiography in patients with non ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy: correlation with functional capacity and classical prognostic factors of heart failure
Host institution Dept of Cardiology, University of Liege, CHU Sart-Tilman, Belgium
Title of the research Prognostic determinants of tricuspid valve morphology and right ventricular remodelling assessed by 2D and 3D echocardiography in patients undergoing cardiac surgery with functional tricuspid regurgitation
Host institution University of Padua, Italy
Title of the research Three-dimensional ascending aorta quantitative morphology, genetic patterns and histology of the aortic wall in patients affectd by bicuspid aortic valve (BASV) eligible for valve or ascending aorta surgery
Host institution Cardiovascular Imaging Department, University of Padua, Italy
Title of the research Dobutamine stress echocardiography to investigate apical rocking as surrogate of dynamic left ventricular dyssynchrony in ischemia and patients with dilated cardiomyopathyYear of the research 2012
Host institution UZ Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
Current position Internal medicine resident, Dept. of Cardiology, Clinical Hospital Centre Zemun, Belgrade, Serbia
His experience After wining the EAE Research Grant 2012, I had a privilege to join the Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC) in the University Hospital Gasthuisberg (Leuven, Belgium). This unique research facility (also known as “The Louvre” due its large glass roof) is a great host institution for anyone interested in advanced echocardiographic techniques, particularly myocardial deformation imaging. Using multimodality imaging and collaborating with colleagues from several European centers, I investigated apical rocking: a novel, simple and promising dyssynchrony parameter developed by the research group led by Professor Jens-Uwe Voigt, my fellowship mentor. My main research interest was a dynamic relationship of cardiac dyssynchrony and contractile reserve in patients undergoing cardiac resynchronization therapy, but I also took advantage of great opportunities of the UZ Leuven to learn more about 3D echocardiography, flow tracking and contrast echocardiography. During the fellowship year, I presented the results of our research at Leuven Symposium on Myocardial Velocity and Deformation Imaging 2012, ESC Congress 2012, Echokardiographie Kongress Köln 2012 and Euroecho and other imaging modalities 2012. In parallel with my research activities, I followed postgraduate studies in Advanced Medical Imaging and graduated from Catholic University Leuven in 2012. Finally, taking part in various clinical trials in a busy echo lab in UZ Leuven, I improved my understanding of the whole process of conducting a high standard research in the field of cardiac imaging.Apart from these obvious professional benefits, this life-changing and sometimes challenging year in the “Louvre” gave me the opportunity to meet some exceptional people and to live in a beautiful historic city which immediately spoiled me with its charm, beer, waffles and chocolate.
Title of the research Left and right atrial size and function assessment by novel semi-automated software tailored for atrium analysis by three-dimensional echocardiography.Year of the research 2012Host institution Echocardiography Laboratory of the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences from Padova, Italy
Current position Assistant Professor at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” Bucharest, Romania
Her experience I have conducted my research at the University of Padua (Italy), under the supervision of Dr. Luigi P. Badano. During the EACVI Research Grant, I have been deeply involved in the clinical and the research workflow of the Echocardiography Laboratory of the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences from Padova, Italy. The conducted research was in the field of three-dimensional transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, with a focus on the analysis of the mitral annulus geometry and dynamics in healthy volunteers, and in pathological conditions. I have been involved in the clinical routine of the laboratory, performing and interpreting exams and training residents in performing conventional and advanced echocardiography. I have also been involved in the courses held in Padova about three-dimensional echocardiography, lecturing about the function of the normal and pathological mitral annulus. My extensive research activity finalized with a PhD thesis in collaboration between the University of Padova, Italy and the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” Bucharest, Romania. I have co-authored 7 published papers in peer-reviewed journals and 3 others submitted for publication, one chapter-book, and I have had multiple presented abstracts and conferences to international and Italian congresses.
At present, I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” Bucharest, Romania and I am continuing my research activity, focusing on the study of three-dimensional echocardiography and its potential for clinical applications.
I have also been appointed an EACVI Club 35 member committee, aiming to expand the influence of the EACVI Young Community among the Romanian Cardiologists.
Winning the EACVI Research Grant has represented for me a wonderful life and work experience. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from outstanding people, to establish professional relationships with experts in the field of three-dimensional echocardiography from different countries, and to work with a great supportive team. My collaboration with the team from Padova is an ongoing process, conducting multi-center research protocols in the field of three-dimensional echocardiography.
I strongly recommend to young cardiologists to apply to ESC and EACVI Training and Research Grants, as they have completely changed my work, my professional relationships and the perspectives for my professional career.
Title of the research Left and right atrial size and function assessment by novel semi-automated software tailored for atrium analysis by three-dimensional echocardiography.Year of the research 2011Host institution University of Padua, Italy, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular SciencesCurrent position Senior Cardiologist, PhD fellow at the University of Padua, ItalyHer experience I have conducted my research at the University of Padua (Italy), with the mentoring support of Dr Luigi P. Badano. During the tenure of the EAE Research Grant programme, I have been involved in designing and conducting several research lines, based mainly on three-dimensional and speckle-tracking echocardiography. I had the great opportunity to improve my research experience, my knowledge and skills in advanced echocardiographic modalities (transthoracic and transoesophageal echocardiography; deformation imaging; stress echo etc.). I have also been involved in the clinical routine of the echo lab, performing and interpreting exams with a large case mix and training residents in performing conventional and advanced echocardiography. At present, I am a PhD fellow at University of Padua and continuing my research activity, focusing on the study of three-dimensional speckle-tracking technology and its potential for clinical applications.
The results of my research activity during the EAE Grant tenure have been presented at international congresses (ESC Congress and EUROECHO & other imaging modalities Congress 2011) and selected for Young Investigator's Award competition at national congresses (SIEC 2011, National Congress of the Romanian Society of Cardiology 2011). I have also enjoyed the rewarding and sometimes challenging experience related to scientific writing and publishing process. Since the beginning of the programme, I have co-authored 7 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and other 2 submitted for publication, 2 books in Italian on three-dimensional and speckle-tracking echocardiography and 9 book chapters (2 in press).Since 2011, I have also participated in designing and organising several educational activities dedicated for young echocardiographers (as a member of EAE Club 35 committee), including a survey aiming to provide a broader perspective on the benefits gained by the past EAE grant winners from their abroad experience, which has contributed to the decision to increase the numbers of grants offered by EAE each year. Last but not least, winning the EAE Research Grant has represented for me a fantastic work and life experience, having the privilege to meet and learn from outstanding people, to establish positive professional relationships with exceptional persons from different countries and to work with an enthusiastic and supportive team.
Title of the research The part of echocardiography in transcatheter aortic valves implantation (TAVI)Year of the research 2010Host institution Cardiovascular Institute in the Hospital Clínico San Carlos, MadridCurrent position Senior cardiologist at the Hospital S. João, EPE/ University of Porto Medical School in Portugal. Dedicated to advanced echocardiographyHer experience During the tenure of the research programme I had opportunity of improving my skills in advanced echocardiography, especially on the performance and interpretation of 3D echo. I have been studying TAVI patients’, from selection to procedure specifications until long term follow-up. Under the EAE 2010 grant I have dedicated time to scientific writing and besides my main project I had opportunity of participating in various clinical studies, which significantly increased my knowledge in heart imaging modalities, investigation methodologies and principles of scientific writing.
In the Cardiovascular Institute I had an overwhelming experience. I had opportunity to work with exceptional colleagues, who shared the highest standards of understanding in Cardiology and heart imaging modalities, in an environment of effective team work, enthusiasm and friendship. This was definitive for the process of learning and to take the most advantage of a dedicated period of research.I had also opportunity to work with colleagues from all around the world, which enriched me personally, enlarged my working connections and wide my horizons to the International level.
Currently I have a position as senior cardiologist in Hospital S. João, EPE/ University of Porto Medical School, where I am dedicated to advanced echocardiography. I represent the EAE Club 35 as Portuguese ambassador and I regularly take part in International conferences as a speaker. Up to now, since the beginning of the programme I am author of 12 published articles in peer reviewed journals, 5 of them as first author.After an intensive year in Madrid I continue to do research in echocardiography and other imaging modalities, with a clear enhanced understanding of investigation methodologies, which allows me to supervise clinical investigation and continue to work at the International level. I am most grateful to Professor Zamorano and to the Cardiovascular Institute team for the invaluable contribution for a decisive step head in my career.
Title of the research
Year of the research 2010Host institution UZ Gasthuisberg, Leuven, BelgiumCurrent position Cardiologist in training at the Emergency Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases “C.C.Iliescu”, Bucharest, RomaniaHer experience I am glad that, with the EAE research grant program 2010, I had the opportunity to work for one year in the Cardiovascular Imaging Department of UZ Gasthuisberg, Leuven. It was a great pleasure, and I am very grateful, to have worked with a very enthusiastic team from the (EAE accredited) Echocardiography Department and to benefit of guidance from a coordinator with substantial experience in research activity with echocardiographic modalities, Professor Jens-Uwe Voigt. I am grateful to my Romanian mentor, Dr. Ruxandra Jurcut, the first to encourage me to join a research team.
My research focused on the use of 3D echocardiography in assessing the geometry and function of the left ventricle and on the new 3D speckle tracking techniques in quantifying regional deformation in myocardial infarct. A special interest was the right ventricle assessment in different states of increased afterload using the 2D speckle tracking techniques.
The experience through-out one year of research activity in echocardiography has definitely enlarged my approach and understanding of both the basic and advanced echocardiographic techniques. Moreover, I believe that the research activity improved my observational skills and capability to pay attention to details, as well as skepticism and self-criticism.
In the Medical Imaging Research Centre - Leuven, I had the chance to meet other young scientist from the Cardiology Research group and interact with some of their projects, which was challenging, but fruitful.
Undoubtedly, the EAE research activity represents a progress in my training as cardiologist.
Title of the research The Sclaire Study: Systemic sCLerosis Assessment with Integrated Rest and stress Echocardiography.Year of the research 2009Host institution Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council of Pisa, ItalyCurrent position Clinical Doctor and PhD fellow at the 2’nd Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiology Center, University of Szeged, HungaryHis experience I was awarded with the research grant of the European Association of Echocardiography for the year 2009. I conducted my research at the Institute of Clinical Physiology in Pisa, Italy, under the guidance of Dr. Rosa Sicari. The focus of our research was the assessment of patients affected by systemic sclerosis by means of different echocardiographic techniques (resting echo, exercise echocardiography, 3 dimensional echocardiography, strain and strain rate imaging, as well as chest and vascular ultrasound). During my fellowship I collected a huge database of scleroderma patients, visiting also other prestigious institutions, such as the Department of Cardiopulmonary Sciences, University Hospital Santa Maria della Misericordia, Udine and the Cardiology Department, Niguarda Ca' Granda Hospital, Milan. Since finishing my tenure in Pisa, I have participated at several important cardiological congresses where I had the opportunity to present my research (1 poster (n1) ESC Congress 2009; 2 poster (n2-3), Euroecho 2009, 2 poster (n4-5) ESC 2010, 2 poster (n 6-7) Euroecho 2010, Scleroderma World Congress 2010 1 poster (n8) and several presentations in Hungary (n9-13)). The list of abstracts is listed on separate paper. Currently. I’m busy with the preparation and writing of scientific papers which are intended to be submitted very soon.
I was very happy to have an opportunity to broaden my scientific views thanks to the European Association of Echocardiography.
Title of the research Effect of preload changes on left ventricular global and regional functional parameters - towards a reliable estimation of left ventricular contractilityYear of the research 2009Host institution Department of Cardiology & Medical Imaging Research Center, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Catholic University Leuven, BelgiumCurrent position Cardiology resident, Meander Medical Center, Amersfoort, the NetherlandsHis experience With the EAE Research Grant I had the opportunity to conduct scientific research in an internationally renowned research facility with Prof J. D`Hooge and prof J.U. Voigt, after obtaining my PhD in the Netherlands (Echocardiographic quantification of regional richt ventricular systolic function). During a one year period we were able to perform the abovementioned study which would not have been possible without proper funding. Our preliminary findings suggest that functional ventricular adaptations (by echocardiography) induced by postural changes give insight into ventricular contractility. This implies that ventricular functional adaptations give a better and more reliable insight into the actual contractile function, rather than any measure obtained at a conventional echocardiographic examination (i.e. at rest in recumbent position). These results have already been presented the annual EuroEcho meeting in 2010 at Copenhagen. These findings gave way to further research projects which will be conducted in the near future.
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