It is with deep regret and sadness that we inform you that our colleague Prof. Dr. Adriana “Adri” Gittenberger-de Groot passed away on 16 September 2020.
From the very beginning of her career in the 1970s, Adriana was involved with some of the most important discoveries in both clinical and basic science, from the use of prostaglandin therapy to keep newborns with hypoplastic left heart syndrome alive long enough for cardiac surgery; to the contribution of cardiac neural crest, second heart field and epicardial derived cells to forming the embryonic heart. Adriana was born in the Netherlands. She studied Medicine at the Leiden University and soon chose a career in science. She was a passionate researcher in morphology and development of congenital heart defects, linking her basic science with clinical relevance in an original way.
Adri was an enthusiastic and active member of the ESC Working Group on Development, Anatomy, Pathology, where she remained part of the Nucleus in different roles including Chair (1994-1996) until 2000.
During her life, Adriana supervised around 40 PhD students. Her original and sometimes controversial insights formed the basis for many innovative concepts. Through her passion for research, her creativity, charisma and warm personality, she was able to connect and attach to people and encourage them to bring out the best in themselves.
Adriana was an enthusiastic teacher and for the past decades, she shared her great knowledge of morphology and cardiovascular research with us during ESC meetings. She continued working on her research until just before her death, and her latest paper was published in September 2020.
We will miss her dearly and are endlessly grateful to her for the joy she brought into our lives, and for the knowledge she leaves behind.
We wish her husband, children and grandchildren much strength.
On behalf of the Working Group nucleus,
Duncan Sparrow, Communication Coordinator 2020-2022