Consortium

This ambitious EHRA-PATHS project will be performed by a strong public-private consortium composed of 14 partners from 11 different European countries and is coordinated by the world-renowned European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and its subsidiary the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA). Each participating partner exerts a tandem of cardiology with other specialty, to deliver a unique solution for the complexity of the comorbid AF condition. The complementary expertise and disciplines cover 9 medical sub-specialties, namely cardiology, polypharmacy, pneumology, geriatrics, neurology, endocrinology, nephrology, oncology, and general practice. In addition, many consortium partners bring expertise in patient engagement, cardiac rehabilitation and prevention, epidemiology, sex aspects, health economics, risk factor management, public health systems, patient-centred care, therapy adherence, and project management. All these disciplines are required for the successful development of interdisciplinary, patient-centred, systematic care pathways.

The consortium consists of key cardiology societies, universities and hospitals, coordinated by ESC’s fully-owned branch EHRA, the operational entity leading the consortium. In addition to ESC, the project also brings together clinicians and researchers from 7 (university) medical centres (UMCG, MFUB, KCL, UZA, UM, UZH, TUH), 4 research institutes (UHASSELT, RS, NIC and LHI which is a large research & development hub with over 100 hospitals in Germany), 1 public health service (SERMAS), and 1 SME (CAT). Each partner brings extensive clinical expertise and experience in managing innovative research projects, as well as knowledge, business intelligence, and assistance for business and financial planning.

Consortium European Society of Cardiology logo

Coordinator

European Society of Cardiology (ESC), European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA)

Work packages

WP1 – Characterisation of comorbidities in
elderly AF patients
WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care
pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team 

Hein Heidbuchel
John Camm
Chris Gale
Christophe Leclercq
Donna Fitzsimons
Svya Palayan
Christina Dimopoulou
Cinzia Ceccarelli
Elsa Pacella
Anett Ruszanov

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is a not-for-profit medical society. ESC is a member-focused, volunteer-led institution whose activities are driven by healthcare professionals, for healthcare professionals, healthcare authorities and patients. The volunteers are supported by a team of ESC staff based at the European Heart House in France and the European Heart Agency in Brussels. 

ESC unites 100,000 scientists, clinicians, nurses and allied professionals across all cardiology subspecialties and career stages. Today ESC counts 57 National Cardiac Societies as institutional members that help shape the future of cardiology and drive ESC activities. With its European roots and global scope, ESC have developed collaborative relationships through its 47 ESC Affiliated Cardiac Societies with cardiovascular medicine organisations worldwide to learn, share and advance the battle against cardiovascular disease. The ESC also comprises 28 cardiovascular subspecialty communities covering the full spectrum of cardiology. They include 7 Associations, 15 Working Groups and 7 Councils, enabling ESC to provide in-depth, expert knowledge to all cardiovascular clinicians and researchers.

ESC Hein Heidbuchel

Hein Heidbuchel, MD, PhD, FESC, FEHRA

Professor Hein Heidbuchel is leading the cardiovascular research group at Antwerp University. He is also Chair of the Cardiology department of the Antwerp University Hospital (UZA) and Guest Professor at Hasselt University. He served as President of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) from 2018 to 2020. He is still EHRA Board Member and a Fellow of EHRA and of the ESC. He published >340 articles in peer-reviewed international journals (total number of citations: 30102 on WoS; H-index: 68). Moreover, he published 31 book chapters and he is an inventor on 2 patent applications. He supervised 5 post-docs, 18 PhD students, 19 Master thesis students, and trained 27 clinical electrophysiology fellows. He has >250 active international congress participations, and >200 invited lectures. He is national coordinator of many international clinical trials and an active clinical investigator in more than 35 trials.

Prof. Heidbuchel is an international recognized expert in the field of AF. He is also the creator and lead/senior author of the Practical Guide on NOAC therapy in atrial fibrillation (2013, 2015, 2018 and 2021 edition), which formulates practical advice for physicians with more than >450.000 copies distributed worldwide. He was also a member of the 2010 and 2016 ESC Guideline Committees for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, and reviewer of the 2020 AF Guidelines.

ESC John Camm

John Camm, M.D., FRCP, FAC, FESC, FHRS

John Camm is British Heart Foundation Professor of Clinical Cardiology at St George’s University of London, London, UK. His interests include cardiac arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, stroke prevention, and anticoagulation.

Professor Camm is Editor of the European Society of Cardiology Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine and ESC CardioMed, Electrophysiology of the Heart, Clinical Cardiology and Evidence Based Cardiology.  He has written or edited more than 40 books, predominantly in the field of cardiac arrhythmology. He has authored or co-authored more than 1450 peer reviewed papers, more than 500 book chapters, and in excess of 2500 accepted abstracts.  He has delivered more than 1000 international lectures.

Professor Camm has been involved in the production of numerous guidelines, including the ESC guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation.  He is the holder of the European Society of Cardiology Gold Medal and the British Cardiovascular Society Mackenzie Medal.

(photo)

Chris Gale, Ph.D, MEd, FESC, FRCP

(bio)

Christophe Leclercq, MD, PhD, FESC, FEHRA 

Prof. Leclercq is the head of the department of cardiology at the Rennes University since 2015. He has the responsibility of a 22-beds unit mainly dedicated to cardiac arrhythmias. He is also in charge of the pacemakers and ICDs program in the department (more than 650 implantations / year) and for the clinical research unit with 7 research nurses involved in the development and approval of new implantable device therapy. Prof. Leclercq is especially involved in heart failure device therapy and is member of the steering committees of several trials (PROSPECT, B-LEFT, CHAMP, SEPTAL-CRT, ADAPTIVE-CRT,MORE CRTMPP, SMART-CRT …). He has published over 210 manuscripts and held lectures at the HRS, EHRA Congress, and ESC meetings. He is a reviewer for the major cardiology journals and member of the board of the European Heart Journal, EP Europace and Circulation. He is also a member of the executive board of the French Society of Cardiology since 2009, take on administrative responsibilities in the ESC and EHRA, including (but not limited to) Member of the ESC Board between 2016 and 2018 and since 2020. He is the actual EHRA President until August 2022.

Donna Fitzsimons, PhD

Professor Donna Fitzsimons is currently Head of the School of Nursing & Midwifery & Member of Senate in Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is a past ESC Board Member (2014-2020) where she led Patient Involvement activities and pioneered the establishment of the ESC Patient Form. She was previously an elected Councillor on the ESC Board 2016-2018 and was Chair of the ESC Council on Cardiovascular Nursing & Allied Professionals (2011-2013). As a member of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee she has lead work on involving patients in Guideline development and review, as well as enhancing nurses’ role in Guideline Implementation. Currently she is working on projects with EAPCI, ACNAP and Digital Health. 

Professor Fitzsimons’ leadership demonstrates her commitment to improving the quality of patient experience and care through education and research. Her research interests in Cardiology include prevention, patient engagement and palliative and supportive care.

Svya Palayan

Mrs Svya Palayan has a master degree in Association Management and has been the EHRA (European Heart Rhythm Association) Manager at the ESC (European Society of Cardiology), since 2008. She has also a marketing background and joined the ESC in 2003 as Coordinator international stand and promotion. At present, together with the EHRA volunteers she manages, coordinates & drives specifically related Associations projects/activities/initiatives and implement board strategies. She also ensures that the directives established by the Board of the EHRA are compliant with the guidelines of the ESC.

Christina Dimopoulou

Christina is a certified European Project Manager and has been actively engaged in the European Affairs field since 2011 with specific expertise in managing Horizon 2020 projects. She is also being engaged as a policy advisor advocating for cardiovascular health at EU level. In particular, she is seeking to disseminate outstanding scientific results deriving from cardiovascular research projects and convey strong messages calling for EU action to secure an environment favourable to cardiovascular disease.

Cinzia Ceccarelli

Cinzia Ceccarelli is EU Projects Manager with over 10 years of experience in managing EU-funded research and innovation projects.

Prior to joining the ESC, she was Project Manager of the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative (EeMAP & EeDaPP,H2020-EE-CSA) at the European Mortgage Federation, delivering a standardised European framework and data collection process for energy efficient mortgages. From 2015 to 2017 she was Research Officer at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, supporting the implementation of research policies and the access to competitive research funding. From 2011 to 2015, she worked as Project Manager at Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, where she was mainly involved in ERMES (FP7-ICT-STREP), MODAClouds (FP7-ICT-IP), MANOEUVRES (SP1-JTICleanSky), SEHUD (TEMPUS) and BabyLux (CIP-PSP) projects. She also provided consultancy services to PAs and SMEs. She holds a degree in Political Sciences from Università degli Studi di Milano.

Elsa Pacella

Elsa Pacella is EU Projects Officer at ESC. Prior to joining ESC, she worked for other Brussels-based organizations in the field of health first aid, emergency and democracy support. In her previous roles she worked on EU-funded projects, supporting the administrative work, as well as advocacy and policy work, and communications. She holds a Joint Master’s Degree in International Relations from Bologna University and Corvinus University in Budapest.

Anett Ruszanov

Anett is a committed project manager with almost seventeen years’ work experience in Brussels.
Her special expertise lies in administrative coordination, stakeholder engagement, co-creation with stakeholders, event organisations, community management, moderation, producing evidence-based policy recommendations.
She has proven track record in regional research and innovation policy, particularly in the digital healthcare field. Anett has extensive experience with member-based networks, in providing services to members and managing membership relations.
She has the background in European studies and project management. Anett spent more than eleven years at the European Research and Innovation Network and before she was heading a regional office and worked for Business Hungary for four years.

Partner

Work packages

WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Hein Heidbuchel
Johan Verbraecken
Lien Desteghe

The Antwerp University Hospital (UZA) is the leading teaching and tertiary referral hospital of the Antwerp region and is the academic centre of the University of Antwerp. With 32 clinical and paramedical departments and about 3000 employees, this 600-bed hospital has a comprehensive range of services available. Healthcare delivery, education and scientific research are interwoven major goals. The hospital has a large cardiology department with >20 cardiologists specialized in various cardiovascular disease areas. The department has among other infrastructure a cathlab with 5 fully equipped rooms, an extensive structural cardiac interventions program, a heart failure clinic (with nurse specialists), a special cardiovascular implantable electronic devices clinic, a dedicated ‘telemonitoring unit’, specialist consultations ranging into unique focus groups like women with cardiovascular diseases, congenital heart disease, cardio-oncology etc. The AF clinic comprises 3 AF nurses and an integrated educational + motivational approach comprising in-person contacts, Web tools and an own developed app. The training and formation of dedicated AF specialized nurses belongs to the objectives of this department.

The Multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Centre of the Antwerp University Hospital is one of the larger sleep centres in Europe, with a capacity of 16 beds for attended sleep studies in adults, and 5 beds for paediatric sleep studies. Its facility is open 7 days a week. Ambulatory polygraphies are in full development and are offered on a regular base. Its aim is to perform optimal diagnostics and treatment of all kind of sleep- and wake disorders. It is a multidisciplinary department, in which specialized psychiatrists, neurologists, pneumologists and ENTs collaborate. The available expertise is used to offer the best treatment to the patient. As an academic and multidisciplinary department, it occupies a prominent position in healthcare, scientific research and in training, and is recognized as an innovative quality organization with an excellent reputation, a powerful network and enthusiastic employees. The Sleep centre has a strong interest in the assessment and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing and initiates each year more than 1000 patients on CPAP therapy, with a cohort of 7000 patients on CPAP and oral devices in follow-up. The complete spectrum of non-CPAP therapies is offered in close collaboration with the department of ENT, including upper airway surgeries, oral device therapy, positional therapy, hypoglossal nerve stimulation and maxillo-mandibular osteotomies (together with the department of maxillofacial surgery). Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia is offered by two psychologists in the outpatient clinic.

Given this wide variety of expertise in cardiology and AF, and a good collaboration with other departments in the hospital such as the Multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Centre, this university hospital perfectly fits as one of the centres of the EHRA-PATHS consortium.

ESC Hein Heidbuchel

Hein Heidbuchel, MD, PhD, FESC, FEHRA

Professor Hein Heidbuchel is leading the cardiovascular research group at Antwerp University. He is also Chair of the Cardiology department of the Antwerp University Hospital (UZA) and Guest Professor at Hasselt University. He served as President of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) from 2018 to 2020. He is still EHRA Board Member and a Fellow of EHRA and of the ESC. He published >340 articles in peer-reviewed international journals (total number of citations: 30102 on WoS; H-index: 68). Moreover, he published 31 book chapters and he is an inventor on 2 patent applications. He supervised 5 post-docs, 18 PhD students, 19 Master thesis students, and trained 27 clinical electrophysiology fellows. He has >250 active international congress participations, and >200 invited lectures. He is national coordinator of many international clinical trials and an active clinical investigator in more than 35 trials.

Prof. Heidbuchel is an international recognized expert in the field of AF. He is also the creator and lead/senior author of the Practical Guide on NOAC therapy in atrial fibrillation (2013, 2015, 2018 and 2021 edition), which formulates practical advice for physicians with more than >450.000 copies distributed worldwide. He was also a member of the 2010 and 2016 ESC Guideline Committees for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, and reviewer of the 2020 AF Guidelines.

Johan Verbraecken, MD, PhD, FESC, FEHRA

Prof. Dr. Johan Verbraecken has been chairing the Multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Centre of UZA since 2005. He is pulmonologist-somnologist, and expert in respiratory sleep medicine for more than 25 years. At the same time, he is Professor at the University of Antwerp. Currently, he is past president of the Belgian Association for Sleep research and Sleep medicine. On the European level, he is past chair of the Sleep and Control of Breathing Group of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), past ERS E-Learning Director, past Chair of the ERS Accreditation Review Committee for the accreditation of respiratory training centres, past board member of the European Sleep Research Society (2-year mandate) and member Executive Committee of the Assembly of National Sleep Societies. He is author or co-author of more than 200 scientific papers in peer-reviewed international journals and contributed to 157 book chapters related to sleep and breathing. He also published 19 books. He supervises 7 PhD students, promoted 59 Master thesis students, and trained 25 clinical sleep fellows. He organised or co-organised more than 190 scientific meetings and symposia and served >600 invited lectures.

Relevant expertise to the project:

Prof. Verbraecken is an internationally recognized expert in the field of obstructive and central sleep apnoea, and successfully chaired the ERS Task Force on Non-CPAP therapies in OSA (2011; update in 2021), and on diagnosis and therapy of Central sleep apnoea (2017). He also participated in different other international guideline committees (on insomnia, on bariatric surgery in OSA, on upper airway surgery in OSA), and currently chairs the Task Force “Beyond the AHI”.

Lien Desteghe, MSc, PhD

After her studies Biomedical Sciences (2009-2014), Lien Desteghe performed a PhD at Hasselt University and the Jessa Hospital Hasselt with Prof. Dr. Hein Heidbuchel and Prof. Dr. Paul Dendale as supervisors. In September 2018, she successfully defended her PhD entitled “Towards more integrated care for patients with atrial fibrillation”. Currently, she is appointed as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp and Hasselt University. She is affiliated to the cardiology department of Antwerp University Hospital and Jessa Hospital Hasselt. She is also internationally active as chair of the Young Community (1200 members) and board member of the Association of Cardiovascular Nursing & Allied Professions (ACNAP). She has 27 publications in international peer-reviewed journals (e.g. European Heart Journal, Europace, International Journal of Cardiology, Clinical Research in Cardiology; Total number of citations: 1147, H-index: 11). She received 12 awards, best poster prizes or grants during her PhD.

Lien Desteghe is specialized in integrated care in AF with a focus on patient education, oral anticoagulation and therapy adherence, telemedicine and mobile health, risk factor management (e.g. overweight, sleep apnoea). These are all relevant topics related to the EHRA-PATHS project.

Partner

Hasselt University
(UHasselt)

Work packages

WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Johan Vijgen
Wim Marneffe
Lien Desteghe

Hasselt University is a young but very ambitious university. It consists of more than seven faculties, four research institutes, three research centres, 6,500 students and 1,400 researchers and staff. One of the most important pillars of this university is to stimulate innovation. This is also applicable for the Faculty of Medicine and Life Science and the cardiology research group for which Prof. Dr. Paul Dendale and dr. Lien Desteghe will be the major investigators for this EHRA-PATHS project. They are also both part of the Limburg Clinical Research Center (LCRC), which is the academic clinical research centre of Hasselt University in collaboration with Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Genk (1034 beds) and Jessa Hospital, Hasselt (981 beds). Since its start in 2010, it has grown into a successful research and innovation centre with social and economic impact focusing on translating fundamental and clinical research to clinical practice. LCRC led to >60 PhD projects and >400 publications. Currently, LCRC is involved in 2 H2020 projects: FAPIC (Fast Assay for Pathogen Identification and Characterization) under supervision of prof. dr. Inge Gyssens and CoroPrevention (Personalized Prevention for Coronary Heart Disease) under supervision of prof. dr. Paul Dendale. Within the LCRC cluster cardiology, there are also various research projects on cardiac (tele)rehabilitation, prevention, heart failure, AF management, etc. There are also four important scientific platforms of LCRC that are of value within the EHRA-PATHS project: University Biobank Limburg (UBiLim), Mobile Health Unit (MHU) & Data Science, Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Platform and RELAB: Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology.

The focus of the research group “economy and policy management” is the evidence-based evaluation of existing policy or new policy measures. The outcome of research projects often leads to tangible policy measures to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of policy measures. The projects of the research group are diverse. For instance, they are currently examining the impact of the implementation of fully integrated electronic health records in a major Flemish hospital. Furthermore, they are examining the total costs and cost-effectiveness of knee and hip replacements (and the impact of changes in the care pathways) in four Flemish hospitals. A next example in healthcare research is the PREMOMII project, which is a multicentre randomized controlled trial together with five major Flemish hospitals. The group is responsible for the health economic evaluation of a remote monitoring programme for pregnant women with high risk of developing Gestational Hypertensive Disorders (GHD).

The expertise of Hasselt University concerning cardiac rehabilitation and prevention, mobile health and health economics will be very valuable for this EHRA-PATHS project.

Johan Vijgen, MD, FESC, FHRS, FEHRA

Cardiologist, Chief of the Division of Electrophysiology, Jessa Hospitals, Hasselt, Belgium, leading a top level EP service with state-of-the-art EP labs and five excellent Electrophysiologists.
Vice President of the Belgian Hearth Rhythm Association.
Faculty member and presenter at annual meetings of EHRA, HRS, ESC, BSC, BeHRA
Chairman of the Task Force on Driving and ICD of the European Heart Rhythm Association. First author of the Consensus paper on Driving and ICD of the European Heart Rhythm Association, Europace, August 2009.
Chairman of the Task Force on Driving and Cardiovascular Disease of the European Union, Road Safety Unit. First author of the New Standards for Driving and Cardiovascular Diseases, Report of the Expert Group on Driving and Cardiovascular Diseases, Brussels, oktober 2013. This document was the basis of the EU-Directive 2016/1106 of the European Committee of July 7th 2016 on Driving Licence and Heart Disease.
Top recruiter in major ablation trials (Vistax, AXAFA, Venture-AF)
Active involment in new technology trials (Laser ablation, High Power- Short Duration RF ablation, Pulsed Field Ablation, Left bundle Area Pacing)
Active involved in training Electrophysiology and Device-HF Fellows
Active involved in supporting PhD students of the University of Hasselt and the University of Maastricht

Prof. Wim Marneffe, PhD

The research group on ‘Economics & Policy Management’ (led by prof. dr. Wim Marneffe) conducts evidence based policy research on a broad range of topics. On healthcare related topics (mainly the economic evaluation in health care settings), 5 PhD’s have successfully defended over the past five years and the group has publications in top field journals such as Value in Health, Health Policy, Health Economics. Furthermore, the group has experience in applied research projects in hospital settings (e.g. 7 ongoing PhD projects in nine Flemish hospitals). His research group is largely growing. Prof. Marneffe has 36 publications and a H-index of 9.

The expertise of Prof. Marneffe on economic evaluation a policy in various health care settings will be very valuable in the cost-utility simulations included in the EHRA-PATHS clinical trial.

Lien Desteghe, MSc, PhD

After her studies Biomedical Sciences (2009-2014), Lien Desteghe performed a PhD at Hasselt University and the Jessa Hospital Hasselt with Prof. Dr. Hein Heidbuchel and Prof. Dr. Paul Dendale as supervisors. In September 2018, she successfully defended her PhD entitled “Towards more integrated care for patients with atrial fibrillation”. Currently, she is appointed as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp and Hasselt University. She is affiliated to the cardiology department of Antwerp University Hospital and Jessa Hospital Hasselt. She is also internationally active as chair of the Young Community (1200 members) and board member of the Association of Cardiovascular Nursing & Allied Professions (ACNAP). She has 27 publications in international peer-reviewed journals (e.g. European Heart Journal, Europace, International Journal of Cardiology, Clinical Research in Cardiology; Total number of citations: 1147, H-index: 11). She received 12 awards, best poster prizes or grants during her PhD.

Lien Desteghe is specialized in integrated care in AF with a focus on patient education, oral anticoagulation and therapy adherence, telemedicine and mobile health, risk factor management (e.g. overweight, sleep apnoea). These are all relevant topics related to the EHRA-PATHS project.

Partner

Work packages

WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Isabelle van Gelder 
Michiel Rienstra
Thea van Asselt 
Irene Mateo Leach
Ester Maas-Soer 
Colinda van Deutekom

The CardioVascular Research Center (CVC) is dedicated to preserve cardiac function over time. Cardiovascular (CV) disease is still the major cause for morbidity and mortality, and is strongly agerelated, so prevalence will increase. First goals are optimal therapy of these disorders, which often but not always coincide with the goals to preserve cardiac function, and to prevent other associated morbidities, including stroke and mortality. Ultimately, prevention of heart failure (HF) with preserved and reduced ejection fraction and atrial fibrillation (AF) is our goal, i.e. healthy aging. Interestingly, these disorders are related to vascular dysfunction and are strongly age-related, although they start to occur at younger ages. High quality research with strong translational focus could help reducing the burden of CV-related loss of lives and productive years and contribute to healthy ageing. The CVC has embraced as its central mission to generate new insights into the mechanisms that drive both epidemics of HF and AF, and translate these insights in new targets, new treatments, and develop patient tailored therapy in order to preserve cardiac function and prevent adverse outcomes.

Prof.dr. Isabelle C. van Gelder, MD PhD FESC FEHRA

Isabelle C. Van Gelder obtained her MD and PhD in Groningen, where she completed her cardiology and electrophysiology education. Since 1995 she works as cardiologist at the University Medical Center Groningen. Since 2006 she is Professor of Cardiology at the University of Groningen.
She is Board Member of EHRA and Chair of the EHRA Programme Committee 2020-2022 and visiting professor of the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
She was awarded with the prestiguous PostDoc Netherlands Heart Foundation grant in 1994, an Interuniversity Cardiology Institute Netherlands PostDoc grant in 1995, and the Bert Talen Medal in 2016 by the Netherlands Heart Rhythm Association. She gave the European Society of Cardiology 2019 René Laënnec lecture on clinical cardiology and received the European Society of Cardiology silver medal for her work in clinical Cardiology.
She is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology and of the European Heart Rhythm Association.
She received >€20 million research grants for atrial fibrillation research, published >300 peer reviewed papers, and is promotor of >20 PhD students. She is PI of >20 trials including the RACE trials, STEEER-AF and EHRA-PATHs and steering committee member of >15 international trials including EAST, AXAFA, ASSERT, APAF-CRT, and RASTA-AF.
She was Task Force member of the ESC AF 2020 guidelines and is Associate Editor of the Europace and Heart.
Her research focuses on understanding the susceptibility to atrial fibrillation and its adverse outcomes. She explores novel management strategies to prevent adverse outcomes with a focus on cardiovascular risk management and diagnosis and prevention of heart failure.

Prof. dr. Michiel Rienstra

Michiel Rienstra is professor of Clinical Cardiology specialized in Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and heart failure, and Clinical Director of the UMCG Department of Cardiology. He has been awarded the prestigious NWO Rubicon and Veni grants to vist Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Framingham Heart Study for a post-doc on population genetics and epidemiology. In 2015, the European Society of Cardiology academic grant supported his project on big data approach in AF.
He is fellow of the European Society of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, member of the Scientific & Clinical Education Lifelong Learning Committee (SCILL) and member of EHRA Congress Scientific Programme Committee 2020-2022. He is member of the Scientific Board of the Netherlands Heart Institute.
Michiel received >€5 million research grants for AF research, published >210 peer reviewed papers, and is promotor of >10 PhD students. He is PI or steering committee member of numerous national investigator-initiated clinical studies (RACE 2 to 7, MARC 1-2, VIPHF, DECISION) and several international trials on AF or heart failure including GENETIC-AF, RASTA-AF, MARC 2, APAF-CRT, MONITOR-HF and advisory board member of the EFFECT EU study and Norwegian Exercise and AF Initiative.
He combines clinical treatment of patients with arrhythmias, with clinical-oriented research. He chairs a research group that focus on improving diagnosis (including genetics) and treatment of individuals with (or at risk of) AF and the combination of AF and heart failure. He is involved in 4 large national consortia; RACE V, RED-CVD, AI, and MyDigiTwin.

Dr. Thea van Asselt

Thea van Asselt (PhD) is a Health Economist at the departments of Epidemiology and Health Sciences of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), The Netherlands. She is experienced in trial-based and model-based economic evaluations, covering a wide range of clinical areas, including mental health. After obtaining a PhD degree from Maastricht University (2008) she continued to work in health economics research and moved to Groningen in 2014. She has many years of experience in performing cost-effectiveness analyses in national and international projects. These range from several Dutch studies into the cost-effectiveness of mental health interventions to an ongoing H2020 project on real-time monitoring COVID-patients in the ICU. Being a health economic lead in several NICE appraisals over the years she has also gained knowledge on the specifics of the appraisal and decision process.

Dr. van Asselt is the co-coordinator of the course ‘economic evaluation in healthcare’ in the MSc BA Health of the faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Groningen. She is also a member of the ‘Rational Pharmacotherapy’ committees of the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Dutch Healthcare Institute that advises the Dutch Ministry of Health on reimbursement of pharmaceutical care.

Dr. Irene Mateo Leach

Irene Mateo Leach studied biology at the University of Alicante (Spain) and received her PhD in evolutionary genetics in 2009 from the University of Groningen. Then she carried out a post-doctoral research on the genetic and epigenetic background of heart failure and related phenotypes at the Department of Cardiology of the UMCG. In 2015 she moved into research project management, and since 2016 she has been a project manager and funding advisor at several UMCG departments and at the UMCG Research BV supporting grants applications and implementation of funded projects. Irene has experience with Horizon 202 project and several Dutch funding programs.

Ester Maas-Soer, MSc

Ester Maas-Soer started in clinical research in 2002 after obtaining a MSc degree in Human Movement Sciences at the University of Groningen. She gained experience within clinical research organizations on different aspects of clinical trials, eg. data management, monitoring and report writing as well as planning and budgeting. Since 2017 she worked as a sponsors’ project manager of clinical trials in EU as well as in the US and collaborated with hospitals and CROs from protocol development up to final reporting of the trials. Currently, she is project coordinator within the cardiology department of the UMCG and involved in multiple (investigator-initiated) trials.

Colinda van Deutekom

Colinda van Deutekom studied medicine at the University of Groningen and graduated in 2021. During her studies she has obtained specific interest in atrial fibrillation and cardiology in general. She will join the team as a PhD student.

Partner

Work packages

WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Dominik Linz
Harry Crijns

Maastricht University

The Maastricht Heart+Vascular Center employs more than 600 people, has a clinical capacity of 110 beds and each year performs 6,100 cardiovascular procedures, including 2,000 surgical procedures, 1,150 percutaneous coronary interventions (widening narrowed blood vessels) and 730 ablations (correcting heart rhythm problems). It combines monodisciplinary heart and vascular specialities in one coherent, interdisciplinary organisation. The Center incorporates a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic serving 110,000 patients a year, which creates the perfect infrastructure for the proposed projects in this application. Maastricht has fundamental experience in performing mono-center and multi-center trials and developing nurse-led care and integrated-care models. At the Center, a high patient volume goes hand in hand with research and innovation. The Maastricht Heart+Vascular Centre collaborates closely with the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM). The Maastricht Heart+Vascular Center has built solid international networks for research and high-end care. The Center also welcomes a continuous stream of foreign medical specialists seeking knowledge and experience of complex cardiovascular pathologies.

Department of Respiratory Medicine: The department of Respiratory Medicine is dedicated to deliver the best care for patients with respiratory diseases. The department has specific expertise in the care of patients with COPD, lung cancer and chronic respiratory failure. The clinical care for patients with COPD is provided both as inpatient and as outpatient settings through a structure clinical care pathway. The department works closely together with CIRO Horn, expertise centre for complex organ failure. Together with CIRO, the department of Respiratory Medicine is world-renowned for its clinical and research interest in COPD as system disease with a specific interest in cardiovascular manifestations. The department of Respiratory Medicine has specific clinical expertise for patients with COPD. It is one out of four centres in the Netherlands that provide chronic home ventilation for patients with respiratory failure, including COPD. The department also has an endobronchial lung volume reduction services for COPD patients with hyperinflation. Complex pulmonary rehabilitation is provided via a strong collaboration with CIRO Horn as an outpatient and inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program. The department of Respiratory Medicine has a strong track record in COPD related metabolic impairments and ageing. Its research is embedded in the Maastricht school of Nutrition and Translation Research in Metabolism.

CARIM

With an annual budget of more than 20 M€, CARIM is one of the largest cardiovascular research institutes in Europe, producing more than 500 scientific articles and approximately 40 PhD dissertations per year. In the last ten years, CARIM papers were published in high impact journals such as Cell, JAMA, Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, and Lancet Neurology.

CARIM offers a very broad range of facilities covering the entire field of translational cardiovascular research and many internship opportunities, taking advantage of its connection with a large academic hospital. CARIM has an open and dynamic work culture in which talented and ambitious young people work side by side with renowned researchers and medical specialists. CARIM is an active research institute that enables its employees and provides support, such as assistance with applications for research grants and funding, a talent development programme and a Research Council, that reviews project proposals before they are submitted. CARIM provides a dynamic, critical learning environment, which proves to be fertile ground for top achievements in the field of cardiovascular research.

CARIM is one of the six schools of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) of Maastricht University and is embedded within the Maastricht University Medical Center+ (Maastricht UMC+). CARIM collaborates closely with the Heart+Vascular Center of Maastricht UMC+.

Dominik Linz, MD, PhD

Dominik Linz defended his medical doctor thesis (summa cum laude) and pursued formal doctoral training (PhD) in the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, University Maastricht. In 2017, he completed his specialist training for internal medicine and Cardiology and achieved his post-doctorate lecturing qualification (“Habilitation”) and the authority to teach (“venia legendi”) for Internal Medicine in the University Hospital in Homburg/Saar. Subsequently, he started to work as a “Beacon Research Fellow” and clinical fellow at the University of Adelaide to drive a translational research program focusing on atrial fibrillation and risk factor management with focus on sleep-disordered breathing. In 2018 he was promoted to Associate Professor of The University of Adelaide. Given his track record, he has been recruited as a Staf member and Cardiologist to the Maastricht University Medical Center in 2019. Since 2020, he is Affiliate Professor of Lifestyle Factors in Cardiac Arrhythmia at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Copenhagen.

Dominik Linz is Fellow of the EHRA and member of the EHRA E-Communication Committee. He is (co)author of 250 scientific articles (6.100 citations, H-index: 35). He is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Cardiology Heart & Vasculature, Cardiology and Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology and is member of the Editorial Boards of Hypertension, Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Heart Rhythm and Heart Rhythm O2.

He has research experience in the area of clinical risk factor management and translational mechanistic research with focus on the treatment of atrial fibrillation and sleep-disordered breathing.

Harry JGM Crijns, MD, PhD

Harry Crijns is professor and chair of Cardiology and board member of the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM) at Maastricht UMC+. He studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam and was trained in cardiology and electrophysiology in Groningen and Maastricht. He is a Fellow of the ESC and a past board member of the EHRA. He is also past Chair of the Netherlands Society of Cardiology. He served on several guidelines committees for the management of AF. Currently he is the chairman of the scientific advisory board of the Dutch Heart Foundation.

His primary research focus continues to be atrial fibrillation (AF). He founded the RACE trials in the Netherlands and led the Euro Heart Survey on AF (ESC). He has established his reputation by introducing innovative concepts for diagnosis and treatment of AF by showing that – quite contrary to longstanding beliefs – electrical management does not change prognosis. This revolutionised management of the arrhythmia worldwide with the effect that major interventions like electrical cardioversion, catheter ablation and antiarrhythmic drug therapy are applied in a much more personalized fashion.

Subsequently his group showed that rate control in AF can be individualized thereby removing the previously used strict heart rate targets from the international guidelines. He also performed the Euro Heart Survey on AF and made many contributions to the field of stroke management in AF, such as the construction of well-recognised AF specific risk stratification scores for AF progression (HATCH), ischemic stroke (CHA2DS2-VASc) and major bleeding (HAS-BLED). These scores have practically conquered the medical AF community and improved patient care whilst boosting new clinical research throughout the world.

His research group now focusses on recent-onset AF, hybrid AF ablation, upstream therapy and vascular mechanisms for AF progression and stroke in idiopathic atrial fibrillation. He is (co-)author on over 650 scientific articles, with 56,677 citations and Hirsch-index of 100.

He has solid research experience in the area of integrated chronic care for clinical AF, as well as international randomised clinical trials.

Partner

Work packages

WP1 – Characterisation of comorbidities in elderly AF patients
WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Gerhard Hindricks
Nikolaos Dagres
Alireza Sepehri Shamloo
Christopher Kowalewski

The Leipzig Heart Institute (LHI) is a large independent research institute that provides management and administrative services in science and research, specifically pertaining to the field of modern cardiovascular medicine. It focuses on the development and transfer of new therapeutic methods & technologies in the whole field of cardiovascular medicine. Collaborating with teams comprising of multidisciplinary specialists with outstanding expertise in preclinical and clinical studies, the LHI successfully conducts clinical research (coordination or participation at large randomised trials and non-randomised studies, analysis of large administrative databases) and preclinical research. LHI manages and coordinates various clinical trials in the field of cardiovascular medicine, among them investigator initiated trials. LHI acts for instance as legal sponsor of large multicentre randomized trials such as RESET-CRT (NCT03494933) and SOLVE-TAVI (NCT02737150). Currently 75 trials and registries are running at Heart Center Leipzig (Herzzentrum Leipzig), all of them are coordinated by LHI and supported with study nurses of LHI.

Professor Dr. Gerhard Hindricks

Professor Dr. Gerhard Hindricks was born in Rheine/Westphalia, Germany in 1960. He attended the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster, Germany. After graduation, he worked under Professor Günter Breithardt at the Department of Cardiology and Angiology at the University of Münster (1989 – 1998). He is a specialist for Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Since April 1998, he works as co-director (initially) and then director of the Department of Electrophysiology at the University Leipzig – Heart Center, which is one of the biggest Electrophysiology Departments worldwide. Since 2017, he is Medical Director of the Heart Center Leipzig, one of the biggest heart centers worldwide. Since 2005, he is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Leipzig. He is General Director of the Leipzig Heart Institute, a major Research & Development Project in Saxony, Germany. He has a particular reserach interest in atrial fibrillation. He is leader of PROFID (EU-H2020, grant agreement No 847999) and Chief Investigator of the large, publicly funded multicenter randomised trial RESET-CRT with cardiac devices (cardiac resynchronization devices, NCT03494933). He was chief investigator of IN-TIME, an international randomised trial with defibrillator devices (Lancet 2014;384:583-590). From 2015 to 2017, he was the president of the European Heart Rhythm Association of the European Society of Cardiology. He is member of the Committee for Practice Guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology, the committee that is responsible for the guidelines of the Society. He is together with Prof. Potpara chair of the task force of the 2020 guidelines of the ESC for atrial fibrillation. He has served for several years as Deputy Editor of the prestigious European Heart Journal (2018 impact factor 24.9). Since 2017, he is Editor-in-Chief of EP Europace (Oxford University Press), the official journal of the European Heart Rhythm Association (IF 2018 = 5.0). He has more than 660 publications in scientific medical journals in PubMed, more than 32,600 citations in Web of Science with an h-index of 68.

Dr. Nikolaos Dagres

Dr. Nikolaos Dagres was born in Sparta, Greece in 1970. He studied Medicine at the Albert – Ludwigs University of Freiburg i.Br., Germany from 1987 to 1993. At this University, he also performed his dissertation and received the title Dr. med. in 1993. He performed his specialist training at the University Hospitals of Essen and Münster, Germany (1994 – 2001) and is specialist for Internal Medicine and Cardiology. From 2004 to 2009 he has been Lecturer in Cardiology and from 2009 to 2015 Assistant Professor in Cardiology at the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Since April 2015 he works as Consultant Electrophysiologist (Oberarzt) at the Department of Electrophysiology at the University Leipzig – Heart Center, Germany. In 2018 he received the title Dr. med. habil. and “Privatdozent” (lecturer) at the University of Leipzig in Internal Medicine/Cardiology. He is member of the Board of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) since 2015, is the current chairman of the EHRA Research Pillar and current chairman of the EHRA Scientific Documents Committee. He has a special research interest in atrial fibrillation and has served as chairman of the EORP Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Long-Term registry. He is scientific co-leader of PROFID (EU-H2020, grant agreement number 847999) and Deputy Chair of the Steering Committee of the RESET-CRT randomised trial (NCT03494933). He is Deputy Editor of the EP Europace Journal.

Dr. Alireza Sepehri Shamloo

Dr. Alireza Sepehri Shamloo is a medical doctor, graduated from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran. He has more than eight years of experience in designing, conducting, and supervising research projects in the field of cardiology. In 2016, he was awarded a Ph.D. Scholarship by the National Science and Technology Council of Iran. He also received the Best Young Researcher Award in three consecutive years for his research activities from his university. Since October 2018 he works as a research fellow at the Department of Electrophysiology at the Leipzig Heart Center, Germany. Currently, he is resident of cardiology, Project Manager of PROFID project, Principal Investigator of Leipzig Apple Heart Rhythm Study and FastCIED randomised trial. He is the former President of the International Federation for Medical Students Association [IFMSA-IRAN, MUMS]). He is also an inventor, and one of his inventions was selected as one of the best inventions during the annual European Cardiothoracic Surgeons Conference in 2013. Moreover, he has held several positions (including Editor-in-Chief, member of the Editorial Board, and Reviewer) in several international journals. He has more than 35 publications in PubMed.

Christopher Kowalewski

Christopher Kowalewski is a medical doctor born in Regensburg, Germany who studied medicine at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany and the Stanford University, California. He finished within the top 1% during in the test for medical studies.
During his studies he worked as a research fellow at the institue for pathophysiology in Erlangen qapplying patch clamp technique to HEK-cells to evaluate the effect of antiepiletic drugs on different electrolyte channels. He encrypted the Database for congenital heart diseases at the child cardiology clinic. In addition he took part in the development of a navigation software for intracardiac procedures. In 2016 he transferred to the Stanford University in California, USA where he studied and performed research in the field of cardiac arrhythmia. During his time at Stanford he won best clinical poster award at the Karolinska Cardiovascular Reasearch & Medicine Symposium 2016, best abstract award at the european society of cardiology and was featured in EP concepts ignited: Innovative Techniques and Technologies at the Heart rhythm Society in 2018. He is reviewer for several international journals.

Partner

Work packages

WP1 – Characterisation of comorbidities in elderly AF patients
WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Tatjana Potpara

Faculty of Medicine is one of the oldest faculties of the University of Belgrade. Founded on December 9, 1920, with approximately five hundred fifty undergraduate students obtaining MD degree, 30 students obtaining M.Sc. degree, and around 170 of them obtaining a PhD degree per year, MFUB is the leading institution for medical educational in Serbia and a significant player in regional terms. Research is based on collaboration between basic and clinical researchers. This integrative approach is enabling transfer of knowledge obtained in basic disciplines to clinical practice, including new diagnostics and therapeutic procedures. Many laboratories at the MFUB are specialized in experimental research in various scientific disciplines. They collaborate with affiliated teaching hospitals and clinics, where clinical research is carried out. In the last decade Faculty provided funds, with the support of the Ministry of education, science and technological development of Serbia, for purchasing new equipment and adapting the existing labs that significantly improved the research infrastructure. Professors of our Faculty coordinate more than 50% of all national projects, funded by the Ministry of education of the RS. Besides national, MFUB participates in many international research and educational projects. The basic requirement for academic career development is a sound publication record, as well as teaching excellence which stems from the translation of scientific knowledge into lecturing.

Partner

Work packages

WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Daniel Hofer
Thomas Rosemann

The University Hospital Zurich (UZH) is a tertiary hospital located in Zurich, Switzerland. The Department of Cardiology severs all subspecialties in Cardiology from primary cardiology to heart failure, complex arrhythmias, interventions to heart transplantation. Interdisciplinary teamwork is one of the great strengths of the department, and a holistic approach to patients (including those with atrial fibrillation) a hallmark of our care. The scientific record of the department is outstanding with several high-ranking publications over the last 10 years including European Heart Journal, Circulation, JACC, The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. med. Daniel Hofer

Daniel Hofer is an experienced consultant electrophysiologist and cardiologist at the University Hospital Zurich. After graduating from medical school in 2013 and completing his clinical specialist training in medicine and cardiology, he attended a fellowship in electrophysiology and cardiac device management at the University Hospital Zurich. He obtained the European Cardiac Device Specialist certification in 2018 and has published more than 15 scientific papers in international journals. He is an active researcher with specific scientific interests in atrial fibrillation therapy, leadless pacing, electrode extractions and zero-fluoroscopy electrophysiology. He is a member of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), the Swiss Cardiologist Association (SGK) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Thomas Rosemann, Prof. MD, PhD

Thomas Rosemann is head of the Department of Primary Care and Health Services Research at the University Hospital of Zurich and Full Professor at University of Zurich. He was borne in Rosenheim (Germany), studied medicine at the University of Munich, and completed his residency in internal medicine in hospitals in Rosenheim, and at the University Hospital in Heidelberg where he also completed his Habiltation (senior lecturer degree). He also completed an PhD at the University of Nijmegen (NL) in Health Services Research. He published over 500 scientific papers in journals, listed in the US National Library of Medicine. Based on his initiative, Switzerland launched 2015 a national research program (NFP 74) for health services research with a funding of 20 million Swiss Francs. The main research interest is the management of chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases in a primary care with a special focus on interdisciplinary care. His institute hosts the largest database in Switzerland with all consultation data from more the 6 million consultations at over 550 primary care practices, starting from 2008 up to date.

He has performed several RCTs with patients with cardiovascular diseases as an PI and frequently contributes to national guidelines for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, including HF in primary care in Switzerland.

Partner

Karolinska University Hospital, Region Stockholm (RS)

Work Packages

WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Emma Svennberg
Johan Engdahl

Karolinska University Hospital is one of Europe’s premier health facilities. Together with the world renowned Karolinska Institutet, it is a leading hospital in development and medical breakthroughs. Karolinska Institutet (KI), founded in 1810, is Sweden’s only university especially focusing on biomedical sciences. In addition, KI annually awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. KI ranks as one of the world’s leading medical universities, thanks in part to the quality of its research activities, which today account for 40 per cent of all medical research in Sweden.

Research at KI has a strong European dimension, with almost 200 project participations within the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). Of these, KI coordinated 28 projects. KI was a major player in FP7, participating in around 323 projects including 36 as coordinator as well as 31 European Research Council Grants. KI has to date been awarded 211 contracts within Horizon 2020. KI is also a major European beneficiary of funds from the National Institutes of Health in the U.S.

Danderyd University and Karolinska University hospitals are two of the largest university hospitals in Sweden. Both hospitals have vast knowledge in the care for patients with atrial fibrillation, and together cover a large proportion of the population in the capital area. In these premier healthcare centers, there are established nurse-led clinics for atrial fibrillation and large out-patient clinics. Danderyd hospital was recently awarded “Best cardiac care” in Sweden, whereas Karolinska was classified as one of the top 10 hospitals in the world by Newsweek. Both hospitals work closely together with the Karolinska Institutet facilitating development and leading clinical research in the field.

Dr Emma Svennberg, MD, PhD

Dr Emma Svennberg is a specialist in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the department of Cardiology at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm Sweden, where she currently holds a combined clinical and research position at Karolinska Institutet. In 2016 Dr Svennberg completed her PhD titled “Screening for atrial fibrillation in high-risk individuals” and has since continued her research and published a number of articles on this topic. Dr Svennberg has received the Swedish Society of Cardiology research award twice, and was one of the founders, and subsequently president of the Swedish branch of Cardiologists of Tomorrow. Dr Svennberg is currently on the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) board as m-health coordinator for EHRA, and liaison officer for EHRA at the European Society of Cardiology’s Digital Health Committee and a member of the HRS digital committee. Number of publications 19.

Dr Emma Svennberg is an expert in screening for atrial fibrillation in elderly individuals using digital health applications. She has extensive knowledge on wearable technology for atrial fibrillation detection.

Associate professor Johan Engdahl

Johan Engdahl is a senior Consultant at the department of Cardiology, Danderyds University Hospital and a lecturer at the Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet at the same hospital. Dr Engdahl holds a position combining clinical cardiology with emphasis on arrhythmias and clinical research, mainly within the field of detecting atrial fibrillation, stroke prevention and ambulatory heart rhythm detection modalities. In 1999, Dr Engdahl qualified as an MD, as PhD in 2005 with a thesis and qualified as an associate professor in 2015. Dr Engdahl has received a scholarship from the Swedish Society of Cardiology in 2015 and served as Chairman for the Swedish Resuscitation Council 2014-2017. Since 2020, Dr Engdahl is responsible for atrial fibrillation care at the department. Number of publications: 78.

Considerable clinical experience in the field of diagnosing and non-invasively treating atrial fibrillation. Expertise and extensive experience in long-term ECG or heart rhythm modalities including smartphone applications.

Partner

Work packages

WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Geraldine Lee
Edward Baker

The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care is the No.1 Nursing faculty in the UK and 2nd in the world (2019 QS World University Rankings) and we work closely with local hospitals as part of the King’s Health Partners: Guys and St Thomas’s Hospitals and Kings College Hospital. The adult nursing department has over 110 academic staff and over 1000 post-graduate students. Dr Lee has over 25 years of experience in advanced practice education and research and worked in large projects in Australia, South Africa and the UK. Her clinical and research experience is around providing patient-centered care and examining quality of life in those with cardiovascular diseases and other long-term conditions. She has undertaken both quantitative and qualitive research in these areas and published over 110 peer-reviewed papers. Her work has led to changes in clinical practice and she is currently part of an industry-funded project examining injectable therapies for patients. She has also had experience of being part of a team that developed a real-time computer based algorithm for the management of trauma patients (which has been patented) in Melbourne, Australia (https://trrproject.com/). Dr Lee runs a weekly AF clinic to provide integrated care to those with newly-diagnosed AF.

Therefore, in terms of EHRA-PATHS, with her expertise, Dr Lee will participate in all phases and in particular, be able to map current clinical practice of multimorbid AF patients with access to patients in her AF clinic and she has good relations with other local hospitals that can recruit patients (as per Phase 2), develop patientcentered care pathways (as per Phase 3), assist with analyzing and evaluating an MDT pathway (as per Phase 4) and as a Board member of ACNAP and a strong publication history, be active in disseminating EHRA-PATHS findings.

Geraldine Lee, Reader in Advanced Clinical Practice

Dr Lee has a PhD in detecting heart disease in resource-poor settings and she has worked in diverse populations including Soweto, South Africa, with the Aboriginal population in Central Australia and in rural populations in Victoria, Australia. Publications: She is widely published with over 100 peer reviewed publications and she is an expert member of the current NICE AF guidelines committee in the UK and is currently the chair of the Science Committee as part of the Association of Cardiovascular Nurses and Allied Professionals (ACNAP) within ESC.

Awards: Dr Lee was given a King’s Faculty Award in 2016 for her innovation in disseminating research findings. This was for her work in translational research with developing hospital in the home for those with multi-morbidities and chronic conditions.

Patents: Dr Lee was part of a research project that developed a computer-based real-time algorithm for trauma patients for use in emergency departments whilst working in Melbourne Australia. The system was patented and is in use in Saudi Arabia and by the US Military.

Relevant expertise to the project:

Dr Lee is a qualified nurse with 30 years’ experience in advanced practice, quality of life and cardiovascular disease, specializing in AF. She runs a weekly rapid access clinic for newly diagnosed AF patients at St Thomas’s Hospital, London. Her work in developing integrated, patient-centered care demonstrates a good fit for the EHRA-PATHS project.

Edward Baker, Research Fellow

Edward has recently completed a Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship at King’s College London funded by Health Education England and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). His doctoral thesis was written in pathway-based care design for patients with blunt thoracic trauma and was recently submitted for examination at King’s College London.  As an early career researcher, Edward intends to conduct further research into pathway based care and outcomes-based research. The synergies and similarities in the challenges seen in the management of pathway-based care across populations makes the EHRA-PATHS project an excellent fit for this next step in his early post-doctoral career.

During the doctoral training programme, Edward has developed expertise in quantitative survey-based research methods and qualitative interview techniques. He has a growing portfolio of peer-reviewed publications and has been an associate editor of the Elsevier International Emergency Nursing Journal since 2018. Edward is an experienced emergency nurse and continues to work in a clinical academic role in the Emergency Department at King’s College Hospital, one of London’s four Major Trauma Centres and tertiary referral centres for both cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.  

Partner

Work packages

WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Ronan Collins
David Moore
Derek Heyden
Christine Mc Auliffe

Tallaght University Hospital is a 600 bed acute hospital, one  of two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin. It started the first dedicated Irish stroke service in 1996 and  interdisciplinary atrial fibrillation  clinic in 2018, with integrated involvement of cardiology, geriatric medicine and pharmacy supported by a fully approved data compliant database. The hospital has a full range of acute medical and surgical specialties, an acute cardiology service and a comprehensive geriatric medicine department (Age–Related Health Care) with sub-specialist interests in acute stroke, atrial fibrillation, dementia, integrated care, falls and gerotechnology. The department is a key opinion leader in the field of geriatrics and stroke internationally.

Dr. Ronan Collins, MD FRCP(lond) FRCPI FESO

Graduate of University College Cork 1992 and Trinity Collge Dublin 2002. Completed  his masters in medicine and higher medical training in geriatric and general internal medicine at Trinity College Dublin and the Yorkshire deanery at Leeds UK in 2002. Appointed consultant in Geriatric and stroke medicine Tallaght University Hospital Dublin in 2005 and director of stroke services at the hospital 2005-2017. National PI on ENOS, TICH-2 stroke trials and the Blitz-AF and Gloria-AF registries. C0-authored over 100 papers and book chapters and has a h-index of 24. Project lead on successful first Irish (Dublin mid-leinster) acute stroke telemedicine project and is the current Royal College of Physicians/ Health Service Executive , National Clinical Lead in Stroke. He is Co-Founder of Stroke Prevention and Atrial Fibrillation Ireland (SPAFI) and a member of the Irish Heart Foundation Council on Stroke, Irish Gerontological society, British Geriatrcis Society, European Heart Rhythm Association writing group for the practical guide on the use of NOACS in atrial fibrillation, fellow of the European Stroke organisation and a member of the international AF screen collaboration.

Dr. David Moore

Graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical director for Cardiology Tallaght University Hospital Dublin

Special interests include echocardiography, cardiac pacing, device therapy for heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia management.

Along with Prof Ronan Collins, pioneered the development of a multidisciplinary atrial fibrillation clinic at Tallaght

Dr. Derek Heyden

Dr Derek Hayden graduated from University College Dublin in 2008. He completed his training as a Geriatrician in Ireland and his Fellowship in Stroke medicine in Addenbrookes University Hospital, Cambridge. He completed his MD in Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation as UCD Newman Fellow with the Stroke Clinical Trials Network Ireland and was awarded Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr Hayden is a Consultant Geriatrician at Tallaght University Hospital.

Christine Mc Auliffe, MPharm, PgDip, MSc, MPSI

Christine is a Senior Clinical Pharmacist with six years’ hospital experience. She graduated from University College Cork with a Pharmacy degree in 2013. Since then Christine has developed a special interest in the areas of AF, polypharmacy and deprescribing. She has undertaken a Postgraduate Diploma in Independent Prescribing in the area of Cardiology delivered through Queen’s University Belfast. As part of her MSc in Clinical Pharmacy course she has conducted research in the area of inappropriate prescribing in older persons.

In addition to her clinical pharmacy role, Christine works as a Teacher Practitioner in the Royal College of Surgeons where she is involved in the delivery of pharmacology and pharmacy practice teaching to undergraduate students in the Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine and Physiotherapy.

Christine has been a core member of the TUH AF Clinic team since 2016. She provides clinical pharmacy input on issues such as drug dosing, drug-drug interactions, drug-disease interactions and provides education and follow-up care to patients attending the AF clinic. As well her clinical role in clinic Christine is an active member of the AF research team in TUH.

Christine is passionate about the development and delivery of interdisciplinary, patient-centred care and is very much looking forward to contributing to the EHRA-PATHS project.

Partner

Work packages

WP1 – Characterisation of comorbidities in elderly AF patients
WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

Lukasz Szumowski
Maciej Sterliński

1st and 2nd Department of Arrhythmia constitute Center of Arrhythmia of National Institute of Cardiology, raised in 2020. Departments provide all available and known methods for modern approach in cardiac arrhythmias and are focused on diagnosis and treatment of patients with arrhythmias with emphasis on atrial fibrillation (AF). The Department offers full spectrum of care over AF patients including heart rhythm monitoring, AF ablations and device implantations which suits the purpose of the Project.Key persons and the departments’ team are worldwide recognized experts, invited speakers and members of National/European societies and working groups.

Department of Coronary Disease and Cardiac Rehabilitation deals with patients after interventional treatment (CRTD, LVAD, TAVI, full spectrum of cardiac surgery), with cardiac arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation) and heart failure, with CIED. The goals of the clinical and scientific activity are further treatment, comprehensive rehabilitation and secondary prevention of cardiovascular complications. The department has a large echocardiographic lab and outpatient clinic, where patients with atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmias have been treated and observed for 20 years.

Prof. Dr. Lukasz Szumowski, MD, PhD, professor of the Institute

Prof. Szumowski is Head of Arrhythmia Center of the Institute of Cardiology and Ist Arrhythmia Dept. Employed in National Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland since 1998. In his carreer he was employed as Minister of Health of Poland 2018-2020, deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education 2016-2018. Membership: Polish Cardiac Society, European Society of Cardiology, European Heart Rhythm Association.

Relevant expertise to the project:

  • Specialization in: 1. internal diseases and 2. cardiology.
  • Country PI in EAST, AFNET, CASTLE AF, polish Electrical Storm Registry
  • Head of polish Ablation Registry Board,
  • Main Investigator in a scientific grants of Polish State Committee of Science
  • Editor in Chief of Heart Beat Journal
  • Author and co-author of over 100 papers: IF 131.4/citations by WoS: 1036/Hirsch Index: 15.

Prof. Dr. Maciej Sterliński, MD, PhD, professor of the Institute

Born 1970-08-20 in Warsaw.
Graduated in Warsaw Medical University in 1995.
National Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland since 1996
Head of EP Lab in Ist Department of Arrhythmia/Center of Arrhythmia/National Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland, since 2017
Professor of the Institute since 2017
Professor since 2020
Membership: Polish Cardiac Society, European Society of Cardiology, European Heart Rhythm Association
President of Heart Rhythm Association of Polish Cardiac Society in 2017-2019
Member of the Board of Polish Cardiac Society 2019-2021, member of working group of scientific initiatives
Distinguished by the President of the Republic of Poland with national distinctions: Silver Cross of Merit (2017), Medal of the Century of Regained Independence – Polonia Rediviva (2020)

Relevant expertise to the project:

  • Specialization in: 1. internal diseases and 2. cardiology.
  • EHRA accreditation in cardiac pacing and ICD, 2009
  • Executive coordinator of polish lead extraction registry
  • Country Lead Investigator in ESC/EHRA trials: Euro CRT Survey II, STEEER-AF.
  • Site Lead Investigator in EU-CERT-ICD FP7
  • Lead investigator in 2 scientific grants of Polish State Committee of Science
  • Investigator in scientific, non-profit or sponsored trials (Paced Electrogram Fractionation Analysis in Arrhythmogenic Pathologies, SPORTIF-III, HERO-2, iSpot, SynSeq, REST-HF)
  • Deputy/Section Editor in Polish Heart Journal (IF 1.68)
  • Expert of the polish Ministry of Health, State Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tarification and Medical Research Agency.
  • Author and co-author of 150 papers: Hirsch Index: 15.

Partner

Work packages

WP2 – Mapping clinical practices and gap
identification
WP3 – Design and development of new care pathways
WP4 – Implementation of new care pathways
WP5 – Clinical and health economic evaluation of new care pathways
WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and implementation into guidelines
WP7 – Project management

Team

José Luis MERINO LLORENS
Teresa LÓPEZ
Pilar ZAMORA
Sergio CASTREJÓN

SERMAS constitutes the Public Health System for the Madrid Autonomous Region, Spain. Along with its clinical facilities, like La Paz University Hospital–HULP, also holds several research institutes such as the Hospital La Paz Institute for Health Research–IdiPAZ. HULP is the flagship general tertiary hospital in the Madrid Autonomous Region, serving to an area in excess of 500,000 people. As the first modern-concept hospital built in Spain, it has kept its prestige over the years, being recognised as the best valued among public-owned hospital through the years. The hospital hosts a wide range of outstanding specialists in areas such as oncology, haematology, immunology and infectious diseases, hepatology, cardiology, paediatrics and neonatology, neurology and neurodegenerative diseases, digestive diseases and nutrition, rheumatology, ophthalmology, maxillofacial, surgery and trauma. It is noteworthy its position as main reference in Spain for handling emergent infective threats, being the only hospital in Europe that successfully treat both Ebola and Crimea-Congo fever.

IdiPAZ institute concentrates the clinical, translational and experimental research of the La Paz University Hospital. The institute harbours 55 research groups distributed in six main research areas: neurosciences; cardiovascular; infectious diseases and immunity; organ system pathologies; cancer and human molecular genetics; and surgery, transplant and health technologies. And a series of common core platforms (Clinical Trials, Molecular Medicine, 3D printing etc.) aimed to ensure the synergies among the research groups and with the hospital wards.

IdiPAZ’s group on “RESEARCH ON INVASIVE CLINICAL CARDIOLOGY” is a consolidated research group formed mostly by clinicians from the HULP’s Cardiology Service, which is considered by the patients as the best in the country. Its Arrhythmia and Robotic Electrophysiology Unit is a very active research unit, involved in a number of ongoing projects and clinical trials.

José Luis MERINO LLORENS, MD, PhD, FEHRA

Director of the Arrhythmia and Robotic Electrophysiology Unit at La Paz University Hospital (Madrid) and Honorary Lecturer of Cardiology at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid-UAM’s Department of Medicine. He got his PhD degree (doctoral thesis) and became a Cardiologist in 1993. He underwent further training in Cardiac Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology (1993-1995) at “Gregorio Marañón” (Madrid, Spain), the Boston Children’s (USA), and London St George’s (UK) hospitals. He is presently President Elect of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA, 2020-) of the European Society of Cardiology, past Secretary (2018-2020) and Chairperson (2003-2018) of the Certification, Training Fellows and Education Committees of EHRA and past President of the Working Group on Arrhythmia of the Spanish Society of Cardiology (2003-2006). He is or has been member of the Scientific Committee of the last EHRA congresses (2007, 2009, 2011, 2018, 2019). His main research interest is on treatment of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, with more than 400 contributions as congress abstracts and more than 150 articles published in indexed journals. His main contributions in this field have been on ablation of complex arrhythmias (structural VT, atypical flutter and atrial fibrillation) and development of new antiarrhythmic and anticoagulant drugs, electroanatomical mapping (Ensite, Carto and Colombus) and remote navigation systems (CGCI-Magnetecs, Amigo-Catheter Robotics).

Teresa LÓPEZ, MD

Dr. López leads and Cardio-Oncology Unit, at La Paz University Hospital. She obtained her degree in Medicine and Surgery in 1996 (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), followed by an I.R. Residence in Cardiology at Hospital Fundación Jiménez Díaz, in Madrid (1997-2002). In 2004, she obtained her accreditation in advanced Echocardiography by the Spanish Society of Cardiology. Dr. López completed additional certifications in Adult Transthoracic Echocardiography (2013 and 2019) and Adult Transesophageal Echocardiography (2014 and 2020) by the European Society of Cardiology and Cardio-Oncology (2020) by the Intenational Cardio-Oncology Society (ICOS).

Her clinical and research focus include mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of cardiac complications of cancer therapies. Her clinical cardiac imaging expertise includes advanced training in echocardiography, myocardial deformation techniques, 3D echocardiography, and stress echocardiography.

Dr. López is the coordinator of the Spanish Cardio oncology working group. She is also the secretary of the ESC Council of Cardio-Oncology and Co-chair of 2022 ESC guidelines on Cardio-Oncology.

Pilar ZAMORA, MD

Associate Physician at La Paz University Hospital’s Medical Oncology Service. Medical Oncologist since 1985 and MD since 1992. MSc in Palliative Care and supportive treatment of the neoplastic patient. Associate Lecturer in Medicine at the School of Medicine of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Especially involved in the treatment of breast cancer, she actively collaborates in Cooperative Groups such as GEICAM and SOLTI focused on clinical and translational research in breast cancer. She has collaborated as an editor in several books related to the field of Medical Oncology and Palliative Care and has participated in abstracts and national and international papers, as well as in multiple clinical trials as a principal investigator.

Sergio CASTREJÓN, MD, PhD, FEHRA

Consultant of the Cardiology Department at La Paz University Hospital (Madrid) and electrophysiologist, member of the Arrhythmia and Robotic Electrophysiology Unit at IdiPAZ institute. He became a Cardiologist in 2010 and got his PhD in 2020 (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain). He underwent further training in Cardiac Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology at “Heart Hospital” (London, England, year 2009), “Gregorio Marañón Hospital” (Madrid, Spain, 2010-2011), “Hospital Clínico y Provincial” (Barcelona, Spain, 2012) and La Paz University Hospital (Madrid, Spain, 2010-2020). He obtained the Spanish EP certification in 2012 (Sociedad Española de Cardiología) and the European EP certification in 2016 (European Heart Rhythm Association).

His main research interest is on treatment of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, with several contributions as congress abstracts and articles published in indexed journals.

Partner

Catalyze BV
(CAT)

Work packages

WP7 – Project management

Team

Olav Veldhuizen
Ester Weijers
Sanne Lock

Catalyze is a Dutch SME specialized in project management and administration for EU-level R&D projects. Catalyze has strong expertise in collaborative academic projects, scientific research, translational research, product development, clinical research, regulatory and commercial strategies in the area of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, life sciences, and medical devices. Catalyze has experience in project management of international collaborative projects in the field of life sciences, including bookkeeping and administration services including budgeting, (financial) reporting, grant declarations, time keeping (hours registration), invoicing, tax declarations, and personnel affairs.

Catalyze also has extensive experience in running R&D projects and employs consultants (PhD, MD) and (financial) administration personnel with unique expertise in this field. Catalyze’s main tasks in the current proposal include:

  • Project Management
  • Assistance in development of an exploitation strategy
  • Active communication, dissemination and engagement activities

Mr. Olav Veldhuizen is Head of Project Management at Catalyze. He holds an MA in Cultural Management from Northumbria University, UK. Mr Veldhuizen has more than 14 years’ experience in the management of large, international collaborative biomedical research projects, working closely with universities, large pharma and SMEs. He also has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and dissemination activities, in particular working with patients and patient organisations as well as regulatory authorities such as the European Medicines Agency. In addition to Project Management he has had leading roles in dissemination Work Packages for several European projects. This has included initiating, organizing and running workshops to bring together stakeholders and multidisciplinary partners facilitating collaboration and dissemination.

Ester Weijers, PhD

Ester Weijers, PhD is Senior Project Manager at Catalyze. She holds a PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam and is specialized in vascular biology, stem cells and regenerative medicine. Later, she was involved in contract research as Scientist at A-Skin BV and worked as postdoctoral researcher focusing on functional qualities of blood outgrowth endothelial cells of von Willebrand Disease patients. Ester collaborated with (inter)national research groups, (co)authored scientific articles and grant applications. With her academic background Ester is specialized in writing grant applications and managing large collaborative research projects, including public-private partnerships with both academic and private partners.