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Invited Faculty

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International Faculty

Dr Bharat Dalvi

Dr Bharat Dalvi

USA

Dr Bharat Dalvi is Consultant at Glenmark Cardiac Center and in the Department of Paediatric Cardiac Sciences at Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre.

Dr Dalvi’s area of interest is non-surgical cardiac interventions in children and adults with congenital heart diseases. His expertise is in transcatheter closures of PFO, ASD, PDA, pulmonary and coronary fistulae, rupture sinus of Valsalva and paravalvar leaks.  He has a large experience in balloon pulmonary and aortic valvuloplasties and in dilatation and stenting of coaractation of aorta and pulmonary artery stenosis. More recently, he has established a programme for percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation at the Reliance Foundation Hospital.

Dr. Dalvi has a keen interest in academics and has more than 100 publications in national and international journals and more than 150 abstract presentations to his credit. He was the founder Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Pediatric Cardiology and continues to serve on the Editorial Board of a number of Journals. In addition, he has delivered multiple orations and more than 200 guest lectures at multiple national and international conferences. He is regularly invited as a Guest Faculty at the various National and International symposia and Workshops.

Dr Kevin Damman

Dr Kevin Damman

Netherlands

Dr Damman is a Clinical Cardiologist and Medical Director of the advanced heart failure programme at the University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands.

His research focuses on acute and advanced heart failure, with particular emphasis on the cardiorenal axis. Current research interests are focused on improving treatment of acute heart failure patients, including early assessment of effect of decongestive therapies, novel treatment strategies and the role of the kidney in the process of cardiorenal interaction.

 

Dr Damman is the principle investigator of the PUSH-AHF study on natriuresis guided therapy in acute heart failure and is part of the steering committee of the ADVOR trial investigating acetazolamide in acute heart failure.

 

Dr Damman is the Associate Editor of the European Journal of Heart Failure. Furthermore, he is member of the working groups on Cardiorenal Dysfunction, Advanced Heart Failure and Acute Heart Failure from the Heart Failure Association of the ESC.

Dr Victoria Delgado

Dr Victoria Delgado

Spain

Victoria Delgado is Head of the Cardiovascular Imaging department af the Heart Institute, Hospital University Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain.

After 15 years working at the Leiden University Medical Center developing her research focus on multi-modality imaging in heart failure and valvular heart disease, she recently moved back to her home town in Barcelona.

Dr Delgado has served twice as councillor of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging , one of the terms as chair of Scientific documents, also a member of the EORP and committee of the Clinical Practice Guidelines. She is currently councillor of the ESC board.

Dr Delgado is the Associate Editor of Circulation and Journal of American Society of Echocardiography.

Professor Alexander Lyon

Professor Alexander Lyon

United Kingdom
Professor John McMurray

Professor John McMurray

United Kingdom
Professor Ana Olga Mocumbi

Professor Ana Olga Mocumbi

Mozambique

Professor Mocumbi is Associate Professor of Cardiology at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and lead researcher at the non-communicable diseases division of the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (both in Mozambique).

She is also an Affiliated Professor at the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, Adjunt Professor at Torrens University in Australia and Honorary Professor at University of Cape Town.

Professor Mocumbi’s research focus is neglected cardiovascular diseases, especially rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathies, heart failure in the young, and women’s cardiovascular health. She co-chairs the Pan African Society of Cardiology Taskforce on Reproductive Health Services for Women with Cardiovascular Disease, the Expert Group on Neglected Cardiovascular Diseases at the World Heart Federation, and the Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries Poverty Network

Professor Farouk Mookadam

Professor Farouk Mookadam

United States of America

Professor Mookadam is presently a Professor of Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Director of the Cardio-Oncology Servic, and Director of Stem Cell Transplant Programme, Anderson Pheonix.

Professor Mookadam represents the Echo Research and Practice Editorial Board plus multiple editorial boards as a journal reviewer; Associate Editor of the European Heart Journal  – Cardiovascular Imaging, the European Journal of Echocardiography and the Future Cardiology Journal Editorial Board.  He has reviewed over 250 peer-reviewed articles for PUBMED indexed. Innumerable abstracts, posters and 11 book chapters and mentored many students, residents and fellows throughout his career.   

Professor Simon Stewart

Professor Simon Stewart

Australia

Professor Simon Stewart is a National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia Senior Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of Health Research, Notre Dame University Australia.

Previously, he held senior academic positions at the world-renowned Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne (Head, Preventative Cardiology 2007-2014) and as Inaugural Director of the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Services Research in Melbourne, Australia (2014-2017) before focussing on his NHMRC-funded research program to develop innovative health services for those most affected by chronic heart disease.

For the past 20-years his twin focus of research has been to undertake large-scale population and community-based studies to understand an evolving burden of heart disease and, in response, to develop innovative models of care to improve related health outcomes. During this period his published research (predominantly as first or senior author) has informed close to 200 guideline-expert position statements from national and international professional bodies.

During this time, he has retained close connections to Africa and its growing network of cardiovascular researchers. This includes helping to design and conduct pivotal studies such as the Heart of Soweto Study in South Africa and the MOZART Disease Surveillance Study in Mozambique. He proudly holds visiting professorial appointments to the Cape Heart Institute at the University of Cape Town and the Eduardo Mondlane University in these two countries whilst maintaining active research collaborations across the African continent.

Professor Markella V. Zanni

Professor Markella V. Zanni

United States of America

Professor Markella Zanni is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Women’s Health Research in the Metabolism Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Zanni received her A.B. from Harvard College summa cum laude and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School with support from a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship. Dr. Zanni leads a clinical-translational research programme focused on elucidating sex-specific mechanisms of myocardial infarction and heart failure among people with HIV. She also serves on the leadership team overseeing the Randomised Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV (REPRIEVE), the largest international randomised trial evaluating a primary cardiovascular disease prevention strategy among people with HIV.

Dr Zanni has served as Principal Investigator on multiple R01 research grants and a K24 mentoring grant from the National Institutes of Health, as well as research grants the Harvard Catalyst, the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research, and the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard.  Her original research has been published in journals across the disciplines of ID/HIV, cardiology, and endocrinology/women’s health.

Local Faculty

Professor Dirk Blom

Professor Dirk Blom

South Africa

Associate Professor Dirk Blom is the Head of Division of Lipidology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and heads the Lipid Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Dr Blom’s personal research interests include genetic disorders of lipoprotein metabolism with a particular emphasis on dysbetalipoproteinaemia and familial hypercholesterolaemia which is particularly common in South Africa. His unit has participated or is participating in multiple trials of novel agents for the management of heterozygous and homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia, familial chylomicronaemia and atherogenic dyslipidaemia. Other interests include familial chylomicronaemia syndrome, lipodystrophy, PPARgamma mutations, dyslipidaemia in ART rational use of lipid-lowering therapy in resource-constrained settings.  

Dr Blom is also active in medical education and is a member of the Council of the College of Physicians of South Africa after having previously served as the secretary of the College. He regularly participates in specialist exams.

Dr Blom is a member of multiple international societies and currently serves on the executive committee of the Lipid and Atherosclerosis Society of Southern Africa. He is the president-elect of the International Atherosclerosis Society. He has published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, Journal of Clinical Lipidology, Current Opinion in Lipidology and the Journal of Lipid Research. He has also contributed to the development of the South African Dyslipidaemia and Diabetes treatment guidelines.

Professor Antoinette Cilliers

Professor Antoinette Cilliers

South Africa

Professor Cilliers is presenty Head of the Department of Paediatrics, C.H. Baragwanath Academic Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

She attended the University of Witwatersrand Medical School, specialised in Paediatrics within the University of the Witwatersrand Hospital Complex, and completed a one-year fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the Gasthuisberg University Hospital, Leuven, Belgium in 1999.  

Professor Cilliers areas of interests include, investigation and treatment of children with congenital and acquired heart disease, Interventional Cardiology, Echocardiography, and training Paediatric Cardiologists for South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Vicky Frazao

Vicky Frazao

South Africa

Vicky Frazao is a manager at Deloitte & Touche who focus on data privacy and protection and forms part of the broader Risk & Advisory team.

Vicky is a South African qualified attorney specialising in complex and end-to-end data privacy solutions and implementation. She advises clients across various functional areas to ensure seamless integration between legal risk management, compliance, cyber security and governance.

Vicky previously worked at an international law firm where she gained experience in corporate commercial law, as well as privacy and data protection compliance, both from a local and international perspective.

Vicky was admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa in 2020, a member of the Northern Province Law Society and the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Professor David Marais

Professor David Marais

South Africa

Professor David Marais graduated from the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital where, following the initiation of heart transplantation, much research was done on familial hypercholesterolaemia.

After specialising in Internal Medicine in 1984, he studied Medical Biochemistry  before returning to clinical practice in 1989.  He was appointed as director of the Lipid Clinic and developed a diagnostic and research laboratory for severe dyslipidaemias.  He has also participated in pharmaceutical studies of several new plasma lipopoprotein modifying drugs.  Having moved to chemical pathology to focus more on laboratory investigation, he remains dedicated to severe metabolic errors in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. 

Professor Marais  prime role is in the  clinical and laboratory diagnostic  evaluation of severe disorders in a setting of limited resources.  He has innovated some special investigation of dyslipidaemias and collaborated in research and teaching in Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, along with other centres in South Africa. 

Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba

Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba

South Africa

Professor Mdwaba is presently with TZoro IBC and TZoro Strategic Advisory CEO, Chairman of Productivity SA and co-founder and chairman of SANA (South African Norwegian Association).

NEDLAC Tripartite and the SADC Tripartite candidate for the ILO (International Labour Organisation) Director General role in 2022,until the recent election, March 2022. The ILO is a UN (United Nations) Tripartite specialised agency with 187 member countries.

 

Professor Mdabwa was previously involved with the IOE (International Organisation of Employers), Vice-President to the ILO & ILO Vice-Chairman (Geneva, Switzerland). First IOE Vice-President and ILO Vice- Chairman from Africa since inception in 1919 in 2017 – 2021.

 

He was also the chairman of the Human Rights and Responsible Business Conduct Policy Working Group of the IOE in 2015-2021. The IOE is the largest private sector organisation with members in over 150 countries, representing over 50 million companies. Previously, chairman of Council at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in 2015-2018. Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at UWC in 2018-2021.  Member of the B20 Employment and Education Task Forces from 2010 – 2021 (G20) and was B20 Germany and Italy Co-Chair of the Employment and Education Task Forces.  Member of the Advisory Group of Uber, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in 2019 – 2020 and has consulted to UBER in South Africa amongst other clients from 2019 – 2022.

Professor Ruckika Meel

Professor Ruckika Meel

South Africa

Professor Ruchika Meel is a general cardiologist and Head of the Echocardiography Laboratory at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg with interests in clinical cardiology and cardiovascular imaging

She has a passionate interest in research with to date 1 book publication, four book chapters and 32 original research articles and over 50 congress presentations. Her Masters of Medicine dissertation, awarded cum laude was entitled “Time to fibrinolytics for acute myocardial infarction and reasons for delays at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Pretoria”.   Professor Meel’s PhD thesis was an investigation of myocardial mechanics in chronic rheumatic mitral regurgitation. She is currently involved in a research project entitled “HIV-associated ascending aortic aneurysms: clinical features and natural history”. She is actively involved in supervising and teaching MMED students, undergraduate medical students, medical registrars and cardiology fellows. She is a member of the Cardiac Imaging Society of South Africa and has recently actively participated in providing cardiac imaging guidelines in patients with COVID-19. She is a Fellow of the European association of cardiovascular imaging. She has received multiple awards for conference presentations and was the recipient of Carnegie doctoral and post-doctoral awards and is part of the emerging clinician scientist cohort in South Africa. Most recently, she was awarded the prestigious TH Bothwell Research prize in Internal Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Clinical Medicine annual awards ceremony.

Dr Mandhir Munasur

Dr Mandhir Munasur

South Africa

Dr Munasur is a graduate of the University of Cape Town Medical School. He is a Fellow of the College of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of SA and has a Master of Medical Science degree by dissertation.

He is a past-president of the College of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of SA, and has been an examiner, convenor, moderator and councillor of the College of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of SA.  In addition, he has been a two-term Senator as well as a member of the Education and Risk & Ethics Committees of the Colleges of Medicine of SA.  He has been a supervisor as well as an external examiner for Masters candidates in cardiothoracic surgery.  He is the author and co-author of publications in cardiac and thoracic surgery in peer-reviewed journals and has been an invited speaker at numerous scientific meetings.  His area of practice encompasses adult cardiac surgery and general thoracic surgery with a special interest in coronary artery surgery.

Carmen November

Carmen November

South Africa

Carmen is presently working at Tygerberg Hospital as an Operational Manager. Prior to Tygerberg, she was the Operational Manager at Bellville Melomed Private Hospital and a Chief Professional Nurse at Tygerberg Hospital in the Cathlab, as well as the main theatre Scrub Sister.

During her tenure at Bellville Melomed, she launched the Melo Heart Programme, which promotes health education, lifestyle changes, medication, and physical exercise.  

Carmen started her career at Tygerberg Hospital in 1991 as a nursing student and she received a Diploma in Nursing (General, Psychiatric, community and Midwifery).  In 2000, she received her Diploma in Critical Care and a Diploma in Nursing Administration (2006) and a Diploma in Nursing Education (2020) from the Stellenbosch University.

Carmen currently lives in Cape Town and serves as the chairperson of the Western Province branch for ISCAP for the past 8 years.

Joseph Shaw

Joseph Shaw

South Africa

Joseph Shaw is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa and has right of appearance in all South African Superior Courts. His expertise lies in the research and problem-solving fields of commercial, local government (municipal), and non-profit sector laws.

Joseph fulfils senior executive roles in several non-profit organisations and provides advice and legal support to organisations setting themselves up to participate in the non-profit sector.

Joseph is a skilled communicator and mediator, having completed a Commercial Dispute Mediation Course (UCT) in 2015. Pre-litigation dispute resolution is a growing area of legal practice in South Africa and he strives to help parties achieve beneficial and cost-effective settlements.

Joseph has completed an Advanced Short Course in Business Rescue Practice (UNISA) and holds a Chainalysis Cryptocurrency Fundamentals Certification (CCFC). He is also a Registered Foreign Lawyer (South Africa) with the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales.

Joseph has a growing practice in cryptocurrency and virtual asset tracing. He advises on how South African property, contract, and insolvency laws impact these emerging asset classes.

In his past ICT career he gained a vast amount of experience in IT engineering and served for a decade as a reservist in the South African Police Service

Professor Frederick J. Raal

Professor Frederick J. Raal

South Africa

Professor Derick Raal is Professor and Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Professor Raal is a NRF A-rated scientist, was recognised as a Web of Science highly cited researcher for 2021 and has authored or co-authored over 350 original articles and book chapters and has reviewed for several international journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, Circulation, and Atherosclerosis.  He is a committee member of the homozygous FH International Collaborators registry as well as a member of the steering committee of the European Atherosclerosis Society FH Studies Collaboration (EAS FHSC). He is on the Editorial Board of Atherosclerosis and is a board member of the International Atherosclerosis Society.

Professor Raal is particularly interested in lipids and lipid disorders and has been integrally involved in the management of familial dyslipidaemia, particularly heterozygous and homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). The major focus of his research remains the clinical, biochemical, genetic and therapeutic management of this condition and he continues to conduct studies with novel therapies such as PCSK9-inhibitors and ANGPTL3-inhibitors in this patient group.

Dr Pieter van der Bijl

Dr Pieter van der Bijl

South Africa

Dr van der Bijl is a cardiologist at SAEndovascular, Kuils River Netcare Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.

. He has received specialist training in Internal Medicine, Anaesthetics, Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, General Cardiology, Imaging Cardiology Cardiology and Pacing, Radiology, Resonance Imaging, European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging and Cardiac Research  at hospitals in South Africa, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.

 

Dr van der Bijl provides an advanced echocardiography service and collaborates closely with radiologists to provide a comprehensive, multimodality cardiac imaging service to the patients of SAEndovascular. Dr Van der Bijl has a dedicated research interest, and has authored more than 130 peer-reviewed journal articles, 75 published abstracts and 5 book chapters. He has an h-index of 19, and regularly acts as a peer-reviewer for more than 25 scientific journals. He remains an active research affiliate of the Leiden University Medical Centre, and is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC), as well as the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (FEACVI). He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE), the European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Imaging (EHJCVI) and the Ethics and Guidelines Committee, as well as the Private Practice Committee of the South African Heart Association.

 

Prof Ebrahim Variava

Prof Ebrahim Variava

South Africa

Professor Variava is the Chief Specialist and Head of Internal Medicine at the Klerksdorp -Tshepong Tertiary Hospital Complex (KTHC) and an adjunct Professor in Internal Medicine at the University of Witwatersrand, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine.

Professor Variava is a multi-skilled specialist  physician with a comprehensive understanding of co-morbidities, both infectious and non-infectious diseases and  also completed numerous  studies, including  ways to improve  continuum of care, ongoing  surveillance for viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens, diagnostic tools and newer therapeutics for both drug sensitive and resistant tuberculosis.  Together with the late Professor Bongani Mayosi and presently with Professor Mpiko Ntsheke  he is currently involved with the IMPI 2 Study,  safety and efficacy of  intra-pericardial thrombolytic therapy in an attempt to prevent re-accumulation or constriction of pericardial effusions.

 

Professor Variava was instrumental in obtaining KTHC accreditation for Specialist Physicians training and a site for medical students attached to the University of Witwatersrand rotation. Together with a number of NGOs,  the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), NICD, Aurum, Right to Care and BroadReach, he also provided support for  research and assisted with implementation of various programmes (clinical access programmes for DR TB in the North West Province, circumcision clinic at KTHC and partnering with general practitioners, improving access to antiretrovirals). He is a principal investigator in clinical trials investigating  newer therapies/regimens for both resistant and sensitive tuberculosis and HIV therapies, as such a clinical trials unit developed at Tshepong.  As a result KTHC,  PHRU and  BroadReach were twice runner up in the Public Service Innovation awards.

 

He continues to work on guidelines for HIV, cryptococcal disease, DRTB and fungal diseases with National Department of Health and various societies.

 

Professor Variava ongoing interests  include diagnostics, therapeutics and gaining a better understanding of chronic co-morbidities, its complications, acute exacerbations and interactions

About the Sandton Convention Centre

Sandton Convention Centre is the Premier Exhibition, Conference & Events Destination in Africa and South Africa’s leading event venue, offering prestigious multi-use event spaces and venues in the financial hub of Johannesburg. It is conveniently located in the vibrant business district of Sandton in northern Johannesburg and within easy reach of the Gautrain and O. R. Tambo International Airport. The Sandton Convention Centre (SCC) is flanked by a number of leading hotels, sophisticated shopping centres and entertainment complexes.

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