Prof. Carmeliet is considered one of the fathers of cardiac cellular electrophysiology. From his first publication in 1957 on ventricular action potentials to his last publication in 2019 on cardiac pacemaking, he contributed more than 300 publications and made seminal contributions to the field. He trained and mentored innumerable cellular electrophysiologists and was one of the giants on whose shoulders many great scientists have built.
Prof. Carmeliet created the WGCCE together with his friend Prof. Edouard Coraboeuf with the aim of bringing together basic cardiac electrophysiologist researchers to share scientific information in a friendly atmosphere and to allow young Ph.D. trainees to present their work to an international audience. The first meeting was held in Leuven, Belgium, in 1977, gathering about 100 scientists investigating the cardiac action potential and the underlying ionic currents. Shortly after, Prof. Silvio Weidmann joined them in this effort. Our WG still continues in the spirit in which it was created, and the legacy of the WG founders is commemorated with the Carmeliet-Coraboeuf-Weidmann lecture presented at our annual meeting. Prof. Carmeliet continued to support our WG throughout his life and attended many WG meetings. He also provided the first WG webinar on “Cardiac cellular electrophysiology: back to basics” in January 2020, which was viewed by more than 700 scientists from around the world.
In addition to being an outstanding scientist, Prof. Carmeliet will be remembered for his enjoyment of sharing his knowledge and interacting with younger scientists, and his kindness towards all. He has inspired many generations of electrophysiologists and will remain alive in our collective memory.