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Obituary: Steen Elkjaer Husted, MD, FESC, 1950-2016

Cardiology and Cardiovascular Pharmacology have lost a great Physician Scientist and a Gentleman. He pioneered cardiovascular research over the past thirty years


On December 27th 2016, Cardiology in Europe and the Scientific Community worldwide lost a Physician Scientist who contributed much to cardiovascular medicine and pharmacology. The ESC Working Group on Thrombosis has been deprived of a highly respected Scientist and a great Friend.

Steen E. Husted was born on 22 August 1950 in Denmark. He completed his medical education at the University of Aarhus (DK). He took his specialty board in Internal Medicine in 1987, Cardiology in 1993 and Clinical Pharmacology in 1998. He was among the Founders of the Danish Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis in 1993.

Steen’s scientific contributions are numerous. His interest in cardiovascular pharmacology and coagulation started in the mid seventies. In the early eighties, Steen participated in the first trials of low-dose aspirin in patients with acute coronary syndromes and vitamin K antagonists in patients with deep vein thrombosis. One of his main fields of interest was venous thromboembolism and anticoagulation, especially in complex and challenging clinical situations such as cancer and pregnancy.

Another main field of his research and interest were acute coronary syndromes and antiplatelet pharmacology. He was a truly translational researcher ante litteram in the field of platelet pathophysiology, pharmacology and therapy. He made crucial contributions to the pre-clinical and clinical development of the newer P2Y12 receptor blockers, which saved many lives once entered into daily clinical practice. He participated in designing and performing the most important clinical trials in cardiology over the past 20 years, such as APPRAISE, ARISTOTLE, ASSENT-2, AVERROES, DANAMI, DISPERSE, EINSTEIN, FRISC-II, ONSET-OFFSET, PIONEER AF-PCI, PLATO, PROFESS, RESPOND, SPORTIF, TRA2P-TIMI 50 to mention a few. He has surely influenced the lives of countless scientists and patients, making the world a better place. Steen was a wonderful and very articulate speaker and it was always a pleasure to attend his talks and lectures.

He was elected to the nucleus of the Working Group on Thrombosis in 2010, became its Treasurer in 2012 and was unanimously elected Vice Chair in 2014. He was going to step up as Chair in August 2016 but his illness intervened. He handled the decision of resigning from Chairmanship in July 2016 with an unforgettable courage and generosity in supporting younger colleagues, in spite of his awareness of an uncertain future. During his Vice-Chairmanship, Steen was a remarkable leader and a great teacher for the entire group. However, we remember him most as a warm human being, with a unique capacity for listening and willingness to help, always with a smile. In spite of his superb talent in Medicine and Research, he was a man of great modesty, with an inborn curiosity for Life in all its aspects and with a quiet but strong ‘joie de vivre’.

We have lost a true friend and we will greatly miss him. Cardiology, Cardiovascular Pharmacology and the Working Group on Thrombosis are considerably poorer for his passing yet strong in the legacy that he has provided. Our sympathies go to his wife, sons, grandchildren and other Family and friends.

Robert F. Storey, Chairman Working Group on Thrombosis 2012-2014

Joao C. Morais, Chairman Working Group on Thrombosis 2014-2016

Bianca Rocca, Chairman Working Group on Thrombosis 2016-2018

on behalf of the Working Group on Thrombosis of the European Society of Cardiology


This article has been accepted for publication in the European Heart Journal

Published by Oxford University Press

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.

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