SAH-Congress-Banner-2022

Invited Faculty

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International Faculty

Dr Anders Barasa

Dr Anders Barasa

Denmark

Dr. Anders Barasa is currently practicing at the dept of Medicine at Rigshospitalet-Glostrup in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he performs cardiac MRI and is the Heart Failure Clinical Lead.

He has practiced cardiology in Nairobi for a number of years and was the scientific chair of the Kenya Cardiac Society 2016-2019. He continues to work actively in SSA both as an educator and aiding in the writing of contextualised guidelines.

Dr Barasa is  the current co-chair of the African Heart Failure Association and a member of the PASCAR imaging task force.

Dr Ami B. Bhatt

Dr Ami B. Bhatt

USA

Ami Bhatt is the chief innovation officer (CIO) of the American College of Cardiology. In her role, Dr Bhatt provides leadership and expertise in health care innovation and continues to grow the College's comprehensive Innovation Program in support of the ACC's Mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health.

Dr Bhatt has been a member of the ACC for nearly 20 years and a member of the ACC’s Health Care Innovation Section, as well as the College’s Lifelong Learning Oversight Committee. As an active clinical cardiologist, investigator and educator Dr Bhatt brings nearly 10 years of experience in telemedicine and digital health to her new role. She founded her first program in virtual care in 2013 and continues to work on creating culturally relevant personalised virtual cardiovascular care delivery models. Her research has centered on identifying and implementing solutions to overcoming access barriers to cardiovascular and telemedicine care. 

A graduate from Harvard College and the Yale School of Medicine, Dr Bhatt completed her medicine and pediatrics residency at Harvard, her adult cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and her adult congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension fellowship at the Boston Children’s Hospital. She most recently served as the director of Outpatient and Telecardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Corrigan-Minehan Heart Center. While ACC CIO, Dr Bhatt will continue clinical practice at MGH in adult congenital heart disease and teaching as an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

Professor Ralf Birkemeyer

Professor Ralf Birkemeyer

Germany

Ralf Birkemeyer is an adjunct Professor of Cardiology at the University of Ulm, Germany. He works as interventional cardiologist at the Herzklinik Ulm and Universitätsklinik Ulm and is involved in a broad range of coronary and structural interventions.

His main research interests are primary PCI and coronary device development. Professor. Birkemeyer has been involved in numerous cardiology trials. He is a member of several professional associations, including the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), Association for Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI) of the European Society of Cardiology, German Cardiac Society (DGK) and the Working Group Interventional Cardiology (AGIK) of the German Cardiac Society.

Dr Bharat Dalvi

Dr Bharat Dalvi

India

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, Pakistan.

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.

Professor Davide Capodanno

Professor Davide Capodanno

Italy

Davide Capodanno, is full Professor of Cardiology at the University of Catania and Interventional Cardiologist at the Cardiac-Thoracic-Vascular and Transplant Department , Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria “Policlinico G. Rodolico-S. Marco” in Catania, Italy.

He received his MD and PhD from the University of Catania and completed his research training at the University of Florida in Jacksonville, USA.

Dr Capodanno has authored 550+ manuscripts published in the peer-reviewed literature, including original articles, reviews and editorials. He has co-authored 5 textbooks of interventional cardiology and 17 textbook chapters. He has delivered 200+ invited lectures in international meetings, including ESC, ACC, EuroPCR, TCT, CIT, TCTAP. Dr Capodanno’s areas of interest and expertise include coronary revascularization, drug-eluting stents, antithrombotic pharmacotherapy, trial design and biostatistics.

He is the Co-Director of the PCR Clinical Research Course and Associate Director of TCT. He is a member of the Working Group on Thrombosis of the ESC and a member of the Educative Solutions Research Group Programme of PCR.

Dr Capodanno serves as Editor-in-Chief of Eurointervention, Section Editor of Thrombosis and Haemostasis and Editorial Consultant of JACC Cardiovascular Interventions and Circulation Cardiovascular Interventions.

Professor Marion Delcroix

Professor Marion Delcroix

Belgium

Marion Delcroix graduated from the Free University of Brussels, where she specialised in respiratory medicine. She is currently Professor of Medicine and of Respiratory Physiology at the Universities of Leuven and Kortrijk, Belgium.

She is Head of the Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Program, in charge of the Respiratory High Care Unit, and Chair of the Council for Rare Diseases of the University Hospitals of Leuven. She has been involved in the routine care of over 2000 patients with PH and has participated in main pivotal trials for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Marion Delcroix was a task force member at the 3rd to 6th World Symposia on PH, a nucleus member of the Working Group on Pulmonary Circulation & RV Function of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and is a founding member and chair of the International CTEPH Association (ICA).

Professor Delcroix has over 200 publications, with research interests focusing on pulmonary circulation and gas exchange, cardiac imaging, and the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of PAH and CTEPH. She has been associate editor of the European Respiratory Journal (ERJ) and is currently deputy editor of the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation (JHLT). Lastly, she was involved as core member for PH in the European Reference Network (ERN)-lung, as Assembly Head for Pulmonary Vascular Diseases of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), as co-chair of PHAROS ERS Clinical Research Collaboration, and as scientific board member of the World Symposia on Pulmonary Hypertension Association (WSPH). She is a fellow of the ESC and of the ERS, and co-chair of the ESC/ERS 2022 PH guidelines

Professor Joanna Szymkiewicz – Dangel

Professor Joanna Szymkiewicz – Dangel

Poland

Professor Szymkiewicz is Head of the Department of Perinatal Cardiology and Congenital Anomalies, the Centre of Post-graduate Medical Education, which is the Polish University for post-graduate medical training. Chief of the largest reference center for Fetal Cardiology in Poland, where approximately 400 new fetal cardiac problems are diagnosed every year and 4000 fetal performed echocardiography scans.

Professor Szymkiewics graduated at the Medical Academy of Warsaw. Completed her Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology training in the leading Pediatric Hospital in Poland. Trained at Guy’s Hospital in London, Liverpool Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. Also, having 10-years experience in the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory.

 

Professor Szymkiewics is a leading pioneer of fetal cardiology and organised care for pregnant women with fetal cardiac congenital anomalies.  She established the programme for diagnosis and treatment of fetal arrhythmia and conduction problems and organised the fetal cardiac interventional team which performed 134 fetal cardiac interventions, being the third biggest in the world.  Also, she developed the concept and organisation of the perinatal hospice with psychologists which has continued since 1999.

 

Professor Szymkiewica is a member of the steering committee of the International Fetal Cardiac Interventions Registry (IFCIR) and the international steering group of AEPC study on:  Effect of fetal aortic valvuloplasty on outcomes. A prospective observational cohort study with a comparison cohort. She is also the past- President of the Fetal Cardiology Working Group of AEPC. Honorary Member of The Polish Ultrasound Society and the Romanian Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.  

 

 

The author or co-author of many international articles, a lecturer at many international conferences and webinars organised by Heart University and Congenital Heart Academy.

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 Alan Fraser

Professor Alan Fraser

Wales

Alan Fraser is Consultant Cardiologist at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK; Visiting Professor in Cardiovascular Imaging and Dynamics at the University of Leuven; and Emeritus Professor of Cardiology at the Wales Heart Research Institute, Cardiff University.

He qualified in Edinburgh, undertook post-graduate training in Scotland and Wales, and was research fellow at the Thoraxcentre in Rotterdam. He is a Past-President of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, and past Chairman of the Committee on Regulatory Affairs of the European Society of Cardiology. He now chairs the Task Force on Regulatory Affairs of the Biomedical Alliance in Europe, and he is Scientific Director of the EU Horizon 2020 CORE-MD project (developing regulatory science for high-risk medical devices) which includes a project on the clinical evaluation of artificial intelligence software for medical devices. His research interests include cardiac imaging, heart valve disease, heart muscle disease, and the pathophysiology and diagnosis of heart failure.

Gerhard Hindricks

Gerhard Hindricks

Germany

Gerhard Hindricks, MD, is a Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. His career spans three decades and he was part of the team which carried out the first radiofrequency catheter ablations in the world in the late 1980s in Münster, Germany.

He later helped develop radiofrequency catheter ablation on a clinical basis and establish it as a cornerstone for the treatment of many arrhythmias. He heads one of the largest electrophysiology departments in Europe in the Heart Center Leipzig in Germany, providing services for up to 5000 patients and performing almost 2500 interventions for arrhythmias per year. He is also the Chief Medical Officer of the whole Heart Center Leipzig, one of the biggest heart centers of Europe with approx. 500 beds. He is also General Manager of the Leipzig Heart Institute, a large Research & Development unit in Leipzig.

 

Professor Hinddricks has been involved with the management of the European Heart Rhythm Association for over a decade. He has served as President of EHRA from 2015 to 2017. He previously served as the committee chair for international affairs and also chaired the programme committee for EUROPACE 2011.

 

Professor Hindricks has been for many years Deputy Editor of the European Heart Journal with specific tasks and interests in the field of electrophysiology and cardiac arrhythmia and has also served as Senior Guest Editor on Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology in North America. From July 2017 was appointed as Editor-in-Chief of EP Europace.

Professor Paul Friedman

Professor Paul Friedman

USA

Dr. Paul Friedman is a Professor of Medicine and the Norman Blane & Billie Jean Harty Chair, Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Honoring Robert L. Frye, M.D. at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

He has served as Director of the Cardiac Implantable Device Lab, Mayo Clinic. He is a trained electrical engineer, with deep experience in innovation (> 60 patents issued, named Minnesota Top Inventor, founder of device and AI-based med tech companies), and scientific research (> 500 scientific original publications). He is a committed educator, serving as a director for 5 national and international meetings, editor of 7 textbooks, and author of over 60 book chapters. He is a frequent visiting professor and lecturer at educational meetings. His clinical practice includes implantation of cardiac devices, extraction, complex ablation and left atrial appendage occlusion.  His research interests include testing and development of novel devices and new AI tools in medicine. 

Dr. Friedman received his BA in Plan II liberal arts and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He received his medical degree from Stanford University and trained in internal medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle (internship) and Stanford University. He trained in cardiovascular medicine and cardiac electrophysiology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA.

Dr Saleha Kabir

Dr Saleha Kabir

United Kingdom

Dr Kabir began her career in echocardiography in adult cardiology gaining British Society of Echocardiography accreditation and specialising in Adult Congenital Heart Disease and gaining EACVI accreditation in Congenital Heart Disease Echocardiography. During this period, she led the ‘Bubble Study’ Clinic and Audit and Training within the department.

After several years she went on to extend her practise to paediatric echocardiography.  Currently she is the Physiologist lead for Paediatrics and Advanced Imaging in the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, having a special interest in 3D echocardiography and TOE.

 

Dr Kabir’s experience with these modalities is used not only to better understand and demonstrate congenital heart lesions to the best effect in consideration for intervention, but also to enhance echo guidance during interventional procedures particularly in the Catheter laboratory.

Professor Alexander Lyon

Professor Alexander Lyon

United Kingdom

Dr. Alexander Lyon is a Senior Lecturer in Cardiology at Imperial College London and a Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital. His clinical interests are in the field of heart failure, cardio-oncology, Takotsubo syndrome and the effects of major stresses of the heart, and gene therapy for chronic heart failure.

Alex has been the clinical lead for the Cardio-Oncology service at the Royal Brompton Hospital since 2011, specialising in surveillance and cardio-protection from modern cancer drugs, risk stratification and treatment of all cardiac complications of cancer treatment. The service was recently awarded a Gold Cardio-Oncology Centre of Excellence award from the International Cardio-Oncology Society.

Alex is a co-chair of the first ESC Cardio-Oncology Guideline which was presented and published in August 2022 and a co-author of the 2021 BSE-BCOS echocardiography in cancer patient guideline.

Alex is the chair of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Council of Cardio-Oncology (2022-2024), the past president of the British Cardio-Oncology Society, a board member of International Cardio-Oncology Society (ICOS), and he is the cardiology advisor to the charity Macmillan Cancer. Alex is a co-investigator of the first Leducq Cardio-Oncology Transatlantic Research Network funded from 2020-2025 ($6M).

Alex has published over 180 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and Alex is a deputy editor of the European Heart Journal. His H-index is 57

Dr George McDaniel

Dr George McDaniel

USA

Dr George McDaniel is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. His primary practice is management of dysrhythmia in pediatric patients and adult patients with congenital heart disease.

He is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Internal Medicine, and international Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners.  He has taught and performed electrophysiology cases in South Africa at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital along with Dr. Adele Greyling.  He is a past speaker on pediatric topics at the South African Heart Congress and Cardiac Arrhythmia Society of Southern Africa Annual Symposium.

Prof John McMurray OBE

Prof John McMurray OBE

United Kingdom

John McMurray OBE, BSC (Hons), MB ChB (Hons), MD, FRCP, FESC, FACC, FAHA, FRSE, FMedSci Prof McMurray is currently Professor of Medical Cardiology and Deputy Director (Clinical) of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences and honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.

Prof McMurray’s primary research interests are in heart failure and the cardiovascular consequences of diabetes and chronic kidney disease, with a focus on clinical trials.  He is, or was, the principal investigator, member of the executive committee or steering committee member for several large trials in his areas of interest including the completed CHARM-Added, CORONA, I-Preserve, EMPHASIS-HF, PARADIGM-HF, ATMOSPHERE, Harmony-Outcomes, PARAGON-HF, GALACTIC-HF, DAPA-HF, DAPA-CKD, DELIVER and the ongoing FINEARTS-HF trial. He is widely published, is a member and former chair of several guideline committees, and an editorial board member for a number of journals.

 

Professor McMurray was awarded an (honorary) OBE in 2019 by Her Majesty the Queen, in recognition of his services to cardiovascular research. In 2020 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the European Society of Cardiology.

Professor Julinda Mehilli

Professor Julinda Mehilli

Germany

Professor Mehilli is the Chief of the First Medical Clinic (Cardiology, Pulmonology and Intensive Medicine) at the Hospital Landshut-Achdorf and Professor of Cardiology at the Ludwig-Maximilian University , Munich, Germany.

Before her appointment as Clinic Chief in September 2020, she was previously director of the Catheterisation Laboratories at the Deutsches Herzzentrum, thereafter at the LMU University Clinic in Munich and was responsible for both coronary and structural invasive programmes. With more than 6000 PCIs and more than 2000 catheter-based valvular procedures, she is one of the most experienced operators in Germany.

Professor Mehilli spent 20 years in Clinical Research, first as co-founder and co-director of the well-known ISAResearch Zentrum, thereafter as leader of the working group Minimal-Invasive Cardiology at the LMU Clinic and Principal Investigator at the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).

Professor Mehilli has led many national and international multi-centred trials and authored a multitude of high-ranking publications with a total impact factor of more than 4000.  Professor Mehilli is also a member of various boards and cardiologic societies – AGIK, EAPCI, DGK, ESC, Women-EAPCI as well as Associate Editor for the European  Heart Journal, Journal American College of Cardiology and EuroIntervention. She is active member of various ESC Guidelines Task Forces, and Co-chair of the 2022 ESC Guidelines on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management.

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 Eric Rosenthal

Professor Eric Rosenthal

United Kingdom

Professor Eric Rosenthal was appointed as Consultant Paediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiologist at Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust, London in 1996 after undergoing full training in both adult and paediatric cardiology at Guys Hospital, London.

He is the clinical lead for the paediatric electrophysiology service and has written over 250 journal articles and chapters in textbooks of paediatric cardiology, electrophysiology and interventional catheterisation.

Professor Rosenthal research interests include pacemaker and defibrillator implantation in complex congenital heart disease, X-Ray free catheter ablation, cardiac effects of ADHD medication and covered stent correction of Sinus Venosus ASD 

Professor Valérie B. Schini-Kerth

Professor Valérie B. Schini-Kerth

France

Professor Schini-Kerth is presently with the Biomedicine Center of Strasbourg Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Strasbourg, France. Qualified as a Professor in Pharmacology and received her Masters of Pharmacology and Doctor in Pharmacy from the University of Strasbourg between 1984 – 2000.

Valérie Schini-Kerth is a member of the INSERM Regenerative Nanomedicine research unit (UMR 1260). Her major interest is focusing on the pivotal role of the endothelium in the control of vascular homeostasis in health and disease. In particular, she is studying the mechanisms contributing to the induction of endothelial dysfunction related to ageing and major cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension and diabetes. Her major recent interest is to study the role of premature endothelial senescence in the initiation of endothelial dysfunction and its pharmacological inhibition by drugs and natural products including berry-derived products. She is currently the Chair of the Natural Products Section of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR).

Dr Diane Spencer

Dr Diane Spencer

USA

Diane Spicer was initially trained as a pathologists’ assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Over the past 40 years she has worked in the field of fetal and pediatric pathology with a special emphasis on autopsy pathology and congenital heart disease

Currently, she serves as the curator of the Van Mierop Congenital Heart Archive at the University of Florida and is the senior archivist for the Archive Working Group which is a part of the International Society for Nomenclature for Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.  As of January 2021, she has held the position of cardiac morphologist in the Heart Institute at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Dr Spicer has participated in many peer-reviewed publications and has been on the faculty of many national and international conferences. 

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 Gil Wernovsky

Professor Gil Wernovsky

United States of America

Dr. Wernovsky is a Senior Consultant in Cardiac Critical Care and Pediatric Cardiology at Children’s National Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

He has held academic appointments at Cornell University, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a founding member of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society, Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative, World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery, the International Society for Pediatric Mechanical Cardiopulmonary Support, and the Congenital Heart Academy. He is the co-chair of the 8th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, August 2023 in Washington DC.  USA.

 

Dr. Wernovsky has been involved in training over 300 fellows in pediatric cardiology, intensive care, neonatology, cardiac surgery, and cardiac anesthesia.  His clinical interests include the inpatient care of infants with critical CHD, mechanical support of the failing circulation, and long-term outcomes in children with complex CHD, particularly in neuro-development. His career goal has been to identify modifiable factors in the inpatient care of children with CHD to improve overall outcomes, school performance and quality of life through a holistic, interdisciplinary approach.  He has lectured throughout the world and has been the recipient of multiple clinical awards for education, clinical research, and mentoring, including from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society, the American Association of Pediatrics, and numerous medical schools and scientific societies. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles and edited 6 textbooks and his work has been cited over 27,000 times.

 

In his free time, he enjoys, performs, and composes music with a band of pediatric cardiologists and surgeons – the Baby Blue Sound Collective – as well as with his expanding family, now including three grandchildren.

 

Professor Azfar G Zaman

Professor Azfar G Zaman

United Kingdom

Professor Zaman is a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Freeman Hospital and Newcastle University, England. Following graduation at Leeds University Medical School, he completed his post-graduate training in cardiology at regional centres in Leeds, London, Cardiff and New York. He continued to secure a Fulbright Scholarship and British Heart Foundation International Fellowship for vascular biology research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York.

Presently, Professor Zaman is Head of Coronary Intervention and Director of the Cardiac Catheter Laboratories in a tertiary cardiac centre performing high volume PCI and TAVR procedures and also Specialty Group lead for Cardiovascular Research with an interest in thrombosis in diabetes mellitus ad coronary artery disease.  Additionally, he is working with  extensive clinical trials research programme with over 120 peer-reviewed publications.  

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.

Dr John Benjamin

Dr John Benjamin

South Africa

Dr John Benjamin is a Cardiologist in private practice at the Morningside Clinic, Sandton, Johannesburg. He qualified at the Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg and was the physician in charge for three years at the Cardiac Catheterisation Unit at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.

He was also instrumental in starting the first echocardiography laboratory.

Dr Benjamin continues to present lectures to colleagues and is involved in numerous international clinical trials.He became interested in Sports Cardiology when asked to screen patients for the 2010 World Cup for the Netherlands and BritishTeams.

Dr Benjamin has subsequently presented papers at sports congresses and continues to screen soccer players for various institutions.

Dr André Brooks

Dr André Brooks

South Africa

André Brooks has been appointed as Head of Clinical Unit, Congenital and Paediatric Cardio-thoracic surgery since May 2019. His training in cardio-thoracic surgery commenced in 1995 at the unit at Port-Elizabeth Provincial hospital and subsequently at the The Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, Scotland, University of Cape Town’s affiliated Groote Schuur and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) and then in 2006 he spent a year training at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Birmingham, UK.

He has been appointed as a full-time consultant in the division since 2005 and his passion continues to be the development of a surgical programme to suit the specific needs of the African continent.  He has established a solid network of world-class international collaboration and with that bringing many innovative surgical strategies to the programme.

 

During the last two decades he has been instrumental in developing a surgical programme with the philosophy of definitive, biventricular repair whenever feasible.  He has significantly expanded the neonatal surgical programme as well as the adult congenital surgical programme.  An ECMO programme for paediatric post-cardiac surgical patients has been established under his guidance.  At RCWMCH in collaboration with the Otolaryngology department an active surgical airway reconstructive programme has been established and this collaboration allows tracheostomies to either be avoided altogether or patients to be decannulated whom otherwise would have been sentenced to life with a tracheostomy.  Active collaboration with numerous African units have been established and the training of the first independent paediatric cardio-thoracic surgeon in Namibia was overseen.  He has been actively involved in overseeing undergraduate student projects and in offering them exposure to the specialty of congenital and paediatric cardio-thoracic surgery.

 

At present he is an EXCO member of the Society of Cardio-thoracic Surgeons of South Africa and an examiner for the CMSA.  His ideal is to further foster a world-class unit with the therapeutic model of radical definitive repair as best suitable for the African continent

Dr DG Buys

Dr DG Buys

South Africa

Dr Buys was appointed as Paediatric Cardiologist in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of the Free State as Head Clinical Unit with special interest in interventional cardiology. He is involved in all aspects of the department including service delivery, training, teaching and research.

Professor Trevor Carmichael

Professor Trevor Carmichael

South Africa

Trevor Carmichael trained as an undergraduate at the University of the Witwatersrand and specialised as an Ophthalmologist at the three hospitals on the Wits circuit.

He entered private practice as an Ophthalmologist in Alberton for 11 years before his appointment as the Sam & Dora Cohen Chair of Ophthalmology at Wits with Full Professorship in 1997. His PhD was on ‘Corneal ulceration’ and while Head of Department he completed a part-time Masters degree in Bioethics and Health Law graduating in 2017. His research report was on ‘Barriers to medical error reporting and disclosure by doctors’. This work has been presented at congresses in South Africa and overseas.

He has published several book chapters and 70 published articles, the most recent being a Bioethics journal editorial on protest action earlier this year. He is an examiner for Masters level research in Bioethics and a reviewer for the South African Journal of Bioethics and Health Law.

At the end of 2017 he was awarded Emeritus Professorship by Wits and he currently works privately at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre and also contributes to the Ophthalmology Division at Wits and maintains an interest in Bioethical issues.

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.

Dr Rik de Decker

Dr Rik de Decker

South Africa

Dr de Decker trained as a Zoologist, obtaining MSc (with distinction) in 1986. He later specialised in General Paediatrics, Paediatric Cardiology and Clinical Genetics, resulting in double sub-specialisation in Paediatric Cardiology and Clinical Genetics.

He was also the Consultant Clinical Geneticist in the Division of Human Genetics, University of Cape Town

Dr de Decker is presently a Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Memorial Hospital, and Western Cape Paediatric Cardiology Service, Cape Town, in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Cape Town.

He developed and initiated of the CATHCHAT platform followed by several interventional catheterisation workshops, broadcast to international audiences – to obtain expert advice and input. Also, he was the originator and developer of 13 Postgraduate Diplomas in Paediatrics to teach essential sub-specialist skills to doctors in rural areas that are remote from sub-specialist paediatric care.

Dr de Decker was appointed Director of the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and later promoted (ad hominem) to Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT

Rik is a member of the Mountain Club of South Africa, previous co-convener of Mountain Rescue (Cape Town Section), representing MCSA Mountain Rescue South on ICAR MedCom

Professor Anton Doubell

Professor Anton Doubell

South Africa

Anton Doubell is Emeritus Professor, attached to SUNHEART in the Division of Cardiology, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital. SUNHEART is a centre striving for improved access to cardiology training and advanced cardiac care.

He is a past President of the South African Heart Association and the founding Editor of the SA Heart Journal. In 2016 he was awarded honorary membership of the South African Heart Association. His research interests include cardiac imaging, pericardial disease and valvular heart disease, with the emphasis on rheumatic heart disease and infective endocarditis. He has more than 130 peer-reviewed publications to his name. Professor Doubell has developed a reputation for excellence in cardiology teaching and training and views the SA Heart Congress as an extension of the teaching platforms provided by our medical schools

Dr Robin Dyer

Dr Robin Dyer

South Africa

Dr Dyer qualified at the University of Cape Town. He is presently the Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medicine and Cardiology at UKZN Medical School.

His main areas of research are the epidemiology of diabetes mellitus, epidemiology of rheumatic heart disease and also the utilisation of outpatient facilities. In addition,  Dr Dyer has been involved in monitoring the effects of detention without trial of political prisoners and in providing counselling and care to detainees after release from detention.

 

Since 1994, Dr Dyer has been practising as a general and interventional cardiologist in private practice. Currently at Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital, KZN, with interests in interventional cardiology, efficient allocation of resources for effective cardiac care and the training of cardiac nurses.

Professor  MR Essop

Professor MR Essop

South Africa

Professor Essop was the previous head of The Division of Cardiology at Baragwanath Hospital and currently works at the Milpark Hospital. He was the founding member of the Imaging Society of South Africa and also was instrumental in creating the Pulmonary Hypertension Interest Group. He is widely published with over 140 publications in peer- review journals and 8 chapters and textbooks. He has a specific interest in cardiomyopathy, valvular disease, pulmonary hypertension, and cardiac disease in pregnancy.

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.

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.

Sr Stephanie Fourie

Sr Stephanie Fourie

South Africa

Stephanie Fourie qualified as a RN, Midwife, Community Nursing, and Psychiatric Nurse in 1990; she then worked for an infertility doctor before joining SANBTS where she obtained her Public Relations diploma. In 1996 she joined Momentum Health (now Discovery Health) as a case manager. A year later she moved into a Provider Relationships role and managed the Surgicom billing component of the contract. In 2002 she obtained her American Academy of Professional Coders certification as a Professional coder (CPC).

Stephanie  then supported the USA based Discovery Health plan Destiny Health with regards to coding and billing until 2007. Since then, Stephanie’s role has been and is the management of professional coding and billing in the Risk Management division of Discovery Health.

Dr  Maurice Goodman

Dr Maurice Goodman

South Africa

After obtaining his medical degree, Dr Goodman worked for several years in emergency medicine and trauma surgery. He participated in the South African rescue missions to Phuket and Haiti.

Having completed his MBA, Dr Goodman headed up the Southern Africa healthcare practice of a leading international consulting organisation before moving into the healthcare funding industry. Dr Goodman joined Discovery Health shortly after its inception and is currently the Chief Medical Officer of Discovery Health.

 

Dr Goodman is a Trustee of the Discovery Foundation which invests in the training of South African medical specialists in identified areas of need. He Chairs the Foundation’s Medical Student Loan Guarantee Fund. He is also a Trustee of the Discovery Fund which is dedicated to improving individuals’ quality of life through the funding of primary health care services in indigent communities.

Dr Goodman serves on the Executive Committees of the Wits Business School Association and the Medical Advisors Group. He is the current Vice-Chair and Immediate Past Acting President of Convocation of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He also serves on the Wits Council. Dr Goodman is a Branch Counsellor on the SA Medical Association (SAMA) South Gauteng Branch. He is also a Member of the SAMA Human Rights, Law and Ethics Committee and trustee of The Children’s Cardiac Foundation of Africa

Dr Adele Greyling

Dr Adele Greyling

South Africa

Dr Adele Greyling is an Electrophysiologist and Paediatric Cardiologist in Cape Town and qualified from the University of Pretoria in 1999, specialised in Paediatrics in the UK and Paediatric Cardiology in Port Elizabeth. Thereafter she did a fellowship in both adult and Paediatric Invasive Electrophysiology and implantable cardiac devices in Leuven, Belgium.

Dr Greyling obtained European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) accreditation in implantable cardiac devices in 2015 and invasive electrophysiology in 2016. She enjoys performing all invasive electrophysiology procedures and cardiac ablation with a special interest in arrhythmia management in congenital heart disease.

Dr Greyling is based at Mediclinic Vergelegen but also has an appointment as an honorary consultant at Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. She is passionate about education and improving patient awareness and access to EP services. She is a member of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), the Pediatric and Adult Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) and currently the President of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Society of Southern Africa (CASSA).

Professor Farrel Hellig

Professor Farrel Hellig

South Africa

Professor Farrel Hellig is an interventional cardiologist in a group practice at Sunninghill Hospital Johannesburg, South Africa.

He is Honorary Professor of Cardiology at the University of Cape Town. He is involved in both the coronary and structural cardiac fields, as well as peripheral interventions. Sunninghill Hospital is a referral centre for complex medical problems. In the coronary arena, his main interests are, complex multivessel disease, left main intervention, rotational atherectomy and chronic total occlusion.

 

Professor Hellig has been active in the field of coronary physiology and imaging. Structural interests are, TAVI, Valve-in-valve procedures, LAA occlusion, septal defects and paravalvular leak closure. He has many educational roles, including, Director of Africa PCR, numerous presentations and live case transmissions to multiple international congresses and is a proctor for many different procedures.

 

Professor Hellig runs a fellowship for training in advanced coronary and structural intervention. He has numerous publications, editorials and book chapters, and is on the editorial board of Eurointervention Journal. In his spare time he plays saxophone, collects wine, cooks, and builds and flys model aircraft.

Robyn Hey

Robyn Hey

South Africa

Robyn Hey has more than 18-year’s legal experience and is first and foremost a legal strategist. Her experience in one of South Africa's biggest law firms and her acute understanding of business makes her more than a legal advisor.

Robyn helps solve business problems in a way that considers not only the law but every other aspect of a business.

Robyn will quickly call in an expert from another industry should she feel that a business’ difficulty stems from outside of her skillset and works with an extended network to meet business owners where they are at and tackling problems or projects head-on.

Having specialised in insolvency law for many years, Robyn is uniquely able to spot the legal gaps that make businesses vulnerable. She understands that clients work hard for their businesses, and provides them with game-changing legal solutions, helping them protect what they have built

Professor Ebrahim Hoosen

Professor Ebrahim Hoosen

South Africa

Professor Hoosen is the Head of Paediatric Cardiology at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban, South Africa, with affiliations to the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

His main interests include echocardiography, interventional paediatric cardiology, training of paediatric cardiologists and development of paediatric cardiac services in the province.

He is past-president and currently serves on the executive of the Paediatric Cardiac Society of South Africa.

Stephen Hogan

Stephen Hogan

South Africa

Stephen Hogan has been working in the field of banking for 21 years. Previously, he was with Nedbank, first as a Credit Analyst and then was appointed leader of the first Retail Banking Fraud Prevention Team.

Stephen later headed up Fraud Prevention for Standard Bank for 3 years and held the position of Director at the South African Fraud Prevention Services.

He has chaired various SABRIC committees over the years and currently manages Fraud Risk for Private Bank at Investec, where he specialises in Financial Fraud and Social Engineering

Prof Barbara Huisamen

Prof Barbara Huisamen

South Africa

Barbara Huisamen obtained her PhD from the University of Stellenbosch in 1993, with a dissertation on the characterisation of the inositol trisphosphate receptor of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and its role in handling calcium levels.

She continued her research in the Division of Medical Physiology of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Tygerberg Campus of the University of Stellenbosch while also being a Chief Specialist Scientist at the SA-MRC Biomedical, Research and Innovation Platform.

Professor Huisamen is currently an emeritus professor and part of the Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA) situated within the Diviion of Medical Physiology at Tygerberg. Her pre-clinical research has 2 main focus areas, namely myocardial insulin signalling in obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension and pharmacological or nutraceutical interventions and treatment options to protect and improve pathology. 

Professor Huisamen has published 76 peer-reviewed articles on cardiometabolic diseases and cardio-protection, which drew about 2000 citations from peers. She wrote chapters in 2 books and published a book on the Medicinal effects of Agathosma.  She has presented her work at more than 80 international conferences, also as invited speaker or guest speaker, and at more than 150 national meetings. She holds various patents on the use of nutraceuticals as treatment options in disease states in South Africa, America and Europe. Professor Huisamen has a keen interest in training young scientists and has graduated 48 MSc and PhD students in her career to date.

Professor Ruan Kruger

Professor Ruan Kruger

South Africa

Professor Ruan Kruger is a Professor of Physiology appointed in the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the North-West University with a research focus on hypertension in children, adolescents and early adulthood. He currently holds several positions including the South African Research Chair in the Early Detection and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Africa as funded by the Department of Science and Innovation and the National Research Foundation.

He is the current President of the Childhood Hypertension Consortium in South Africa (CHCSA), the Chair of the Next Generation Committee of the Southern African Hypertension Society and holds fellowship status with the International Society of Hypertension.

He serves on several institutional as well as national and international scientific committees including the International Congress on Hypertension in Children and Adolescents and the International Paediatric Hypertension Association. He further holds professional memberships with the European Society of Cardiology, PASCAR, the International Paediatric Hypertension Association, the International Society of Hypertension and Southern African Hypertension Society. He is an Editorial Board member of the journal Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine and Associate Editor for the journals Frontiers in Pediatics and Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine.

 

He is a recognised international published author and supervised more than 40 postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He is the Principal Investigator of the Arterial Stiffness in Offspring Study (ASOS) as well as the Swiss-collaborative Exercise, Arterial Modulation and Nutrition in Youth South Africa (ExAMIN Youth SA).

Dr David Kloeck

Dr David Kloeck

South Africa

Dr Dave Kloeck, Paediatric Cardiologist and Critical Care Specialist. Qualified in paediatric critical care in 2012 and has been part of the intensive care team at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for over 10 years. Paediatric cardiology has been a major interest for many years (seeing as I have a bicuspid aortic valve) and was privileged to complete my paediatric cardiology fellowship at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in 2021, under Professor Antoinette Cilliers.

As a “Kloeck”, Emergency Medicine flows through our veins and therefore the ‘Chairman of the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa’ with active membership on the ILCOR Paediatric Task Force is a further honour to be involved in. 

Currently, we are developing the paediatric intensive care unit and paediatric cardiology service at the new Netcare Alberton Hospital and I remain as the paediatric consultant for Netcare 911 Aeromedical and Critical Care Services.

Dr Lindsay Lambie

Dr Lindsay Lambie

South Africa

Dr Lindsay Lambie is a Paediatrician and Clinical Geneticist. Lindsay worked at the National Health Laboratory and the University of the Witwatersrand in the Human Genetics Division as a lecturer and consultant Clinical Geneticist for 10 years, before moving to the Private sector, at Ampath’s National Reference Laboratory in Centurion in 2018.

The genetics department at Ampath comprises a Genetics Laboratory, performing cytogenetic, molecular and NGS testing as well as a Clinical consultation/Genetic counselling service. Lindsay has particular interests in paediatric genetics, reproductive genetics and neurogenetics, and the use of new molecular genetic techniques in the diagnosis of these conditions.

Dr Mamaila Lebea

Dr Mamaila Lebea

South Africa

Dr Mamaila Lebea is a private Paediatric Cardiologist in Johannesburg. She is the current General Secretary of the Johannesburg Branch of SA Heart and serves as the General Secretary of the Paediatric Cardiac Society of South Africa. Dr Lebea’s main interest area is Paediatric Echocardiography.

Dr Lebea has presented her research at local and international congresses and has been acknowledged for her work by reputable organisations in the community. She was recognised as part of the Emerging Leaders in Cardiovascular Medicine as well as Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans, in 2014.

Dr. Ruan Louw

Dr. Ruan Louw

South Africa

Dr. Ruan Louw is a Electrophysiologist at the Mediclinic Midstream Hospital in Centurion, South Africa. He obtained certifications as EHRA Certified Electrophysiology Specialist (ECES) and Cardiac Device Specialists (ECDS) in 2014.

After completing a fellowship in Electrophysiology at the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, as well as a fellowship in Advanced Interventional Electrophysiology at the St Jan Hospital, Bruges, Belgium, he established the Electrophysiology service at Mediclinic Midstream with the help of a dedicated Electrophysiology team. 

Dr. Louw completed his training as cardiologist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand.

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. 

Dr Farouk Mamdoo

Dr Farouk Mamdoo

South Africa

Dr Farouk Mamdoo graduated with and MBBCh from the University of Witwatersrand Medical School and obtained the FCP(SA) and Certificate in Cardiology(SA).

He underwent training in Interventional Cardiology at the Washington Hospital Centre, (USA), Advanced Echocardiography at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Centre,(USA), Cardiac Synchronisation Therapy at Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, (Italy).

He was Director of the Transoesophageal Echocardiography Unit and began the 3D Echocardiography Service at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital publishing the TORCH Registry Data and various other publications/presentations in journals such as Circulation, the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging and the SA Heart Journal.

Dr Mamdoo is a Lecturer and Co-Ordinator for the Graduate Entry Medical Program in the Unit for Undergraduate Medical School Education at the University of the Witwatersrand.

He is a Director for The Cardiovascular Research and Training Unit in Johannesburg and the Structural Heart Centre at the Netcare Alberton Hospital.

He is the current Convener for the SA Heart Annual Congress.

Dr Vijay Mammen

Dr Vijay Mammen

South Africa

Dr Vijay Mammen is a Paediatric Cardiologist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at Wits University.

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 Jane Moses

Dr Jane Moses

South Africa

Dr Moses completed her undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town in 2004, following which she spent 4 years at Worcester hospital before undertaking her training as a Specialist Physician (2012) and later Cardiologist (2015) at Stellenbosch University.

After completing her training as a Cardiologist, Dr Moses began a fellowship in electrophysiology. She spent time at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Hospital in Berlin, at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, and at the John Radcliffe Hospital in

Oxford. During her fellowship Dr Moses attained the European Heart Rhythm Association certification in both invasive electrophysiology and cardiac pacing and implantable cardioverter defibrillators. She currently runs the electrophysiology service at Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University and has a part-time private practice at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial hospital.Her fields of interest include supraventricular as well as ventricular arrhythmias and complex device management

Dr Martin Mpe

Dr Martin Mpe

South Africa

Dr Martin Mpe works as a private cardiologist at Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria and Netcare Pholoso Hospital in Polokwane. He is also a session cardiologist and acting HOD of the Heart Unit at No. 1 Military Hospital in Thaba-Tshwane where he assists in interventional cardiology and cardiac- pacing, including cardiac resynchronisation therapy and ICD implants .

Dr Mpe is the President of the Heart Failure Society of South Africa, a board member and Chairman of the Social and Ethics Committee of SA Heart., Immediate past-President and Advisory board member of the SA Hypertension Society, and a member and past Chairman of the Aero Medical Committee of the SA Civil Aviation Authority.

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.

Professor Benedicta  Nkeh-Chungag

Professor Benedicta Nkeh-Chungag

South Africa

Professor Benedicta Nkeh-Chungag is Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Professor of Physiology in Walter Sisulu University. She obtained a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MPH from Walter Sisulu University.

Professor Nkeh-Chungag is an NRF rated researcher, Fellow of the International Society of Hypertension and Deputy Chairperson of the South African National Council for the International Society of Physiology. She also serves as the Deputy President of the Childhood Hypertension Consortium of South Africa and Chairperson of the Cardiometabolic Research Niche Area in Walter Sisulu University. Professor Nkeh-Chungag is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging and the Journal of Bioinformatics. She serves as a reviewer for both local and international journals.

She has published over 100 scientific works and presented her research findings at both national and international conferences. Professor Nkeh-Chungag has supervised many post-graduate students and mentored several post-doctoral fellows. She also has a wide network of international partners and participates in internationally funded research projects. Her current research projects include the investigation of cardiorespiratory health in 6-8 year old children, cardiovascular disease risk in children exposed to various in utero conditions and cardiovascular disease risk in SARS-COV disease. These projects are all carried out in collaboration with both national and international partners from six countries.

Prof Nkeh-Chungag’s research focuses on exploring cardiovascular disease risk factors in people of African ancestry to determine the cardiovascular disease risk profile in this population. During her studies it became clear to her that the normative reference values used in classifying people of African ancestry as obese or hypertensive were not based on scientific evidence in the African population. One of her current missions is to participate in scientific efforts to decolonise these normative reference values and to develop relevant normative reference values in this population

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.

Professor Fathima Paruk

Professor Fathima Paruk

South Africa

Fathima Paruk is Professor in Critical Care as well as the Clinical and Academic Head of the Department of Critical Care at Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She previously held the position of Head of the Cardiothoracic ICU at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, University of Witwatersrand.

Professor Paruk is President of the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa. She is also a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Witwatersrand and Chairs the Critical College Committee for the College of Medicine of South Africa. She has served on several Ministerial appointed committees including the National Health Research Committee, Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in South Africa. Currently she is appointed to the EXCO of the regulatory Board of the Health Professionals Council of South Africa.

Professor Paruk has authored several guidelines, book chapters, reviews and research publications and is regularly invited as a speaker at various national and international meetings.

Dr Alfonso Pecoraro

Dr Alfonso Pecoraro

South Africa

Dr Pecoraro is a cardiologist pursuing an academic career in South Africa. My career objectives are to contribute to the accessibility of advanced health care for all people of South Africa, and to improve the outcome of patients through locally relevant research. My special interests include echocardiography, the management of acute coronary syndromes and infective endocarditis

Dr Lervasen Pillay

Dr Lervasen Pillay

South Africa

Dr Pillay qualified with a MBChB from the University of Pretoria and MSc(Med)Sports Medicine from Witwatersrand University. He has 3 private sports and exercise medicine practices around Johannesburg where he cares for different levels of athletes in Football, Cricket, Rugby, Gymnastics and Athletics for over 18 years

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 Tarylee Reddy

Dr Tarylee Reddy

South Africa

Tarylee Reddy is the Director of the Biostatistics Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council.

She holds a BSc degree in Actuarial Science (2008), a BSc Honours (summa cum laude, 2009) and Masters in Statistics (cum laude, 2011) from the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and a PhD in Statistics (2017) from the University of Hasselt in Belgium.

Dr Reddy  has a 15 years’ experience in the analysis of clinical trials and surveys. In her current position at the South African Medical Research Council, she serves as co-investigator and lead statistician on several COVID-19, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis studies.

Her research interests include the design and analysis of clinical trials, complex surveys as well as the analysis of longitudinal data. She is also actively involved in Biostatistics capacity development in the country and region through collaboration with SSACAB (Sub-Saharan African Consortium for Advanced Biostatistics Training), SUSAN-IBS (The Sub-saharan Network of the International Biometrics Society) and the UKZN School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. Dr Reddy has authored more than  90 peer-reviewed publications. She was a 2021 winner of the InspiringFiftySA award, an initiative in collaboration with #cocreateSANL which, aims to showcase inspiring female role models in the STEM industry in South Africa

Dr Sylvia Rodrigues

Dr Sylvia Rodrigues

South Africa

Dr Sylvia Rodrigues graduated from medical school at the University of Pretoria in 1997 and received her training in Radiation Oncology at the same institution. Since 2007 she has worked in private practice in Alberton as a Clinical oncologist.

Dr Sundeep Ruder

Dr Sundeep Ruder

South Africa

Dr Ruder is a Clinical Endocrinologist at Life Fourways Hospital - Johannesburg. He is a Honorary Consultant at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, an Honorary Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, School of Clinical Medicine.

Dr Ruder has attended courses in Advanced Diabetes at the University of Leuven, Belgium, the University of Cardiff, Wales and the University of St Andrews, Scotland.  He has presented at numerous international and local congresses and meetings and served as an executive member of SEMSDA from 2016 – 2021.

Dr Ruder is a student of philosophy at theVedanta Academy, India

Howard Sackstein

Howard Sackstein

South Africa

A lawyer by training and entrepreneur by profession, Howard Sackstein is the self-proclaimed King of social media, , ringmaster of Zoom and official photographer of life itself.

Howard Sackstein  has a BA in Law and International Relations, an LLB degree from Wits and a Master degree from Brandeis University (Boston) in Political Advocacy and International Conflict Resolution. He studied International Conflict Resolution under the world-renowned Professor Herb C. Kelman at Harvard University.

He was Executive Director of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission in its transition to democracy and served there from 1994 – 2000, responsible for much of the 1994 and 1999 elections.

In 2006, he undertook the initial research which resulted in the creation of the CAP security project which now covers 120 000 households in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg and which has reduced crime by over 90% in those areas.

He is non-executive chairperson of the SA Jewish Report Newspaper & chair of the Jewish Achiever Awards. He was a founder of Burning Bush Marketing, he a is non-executive Trustee of the Afrika Tikkun Investment Trust and an advisor to the Moshal Scholarship Foundation.

Howard spent much of 2017 working on the CR17, Cyril Ramaphosa, election campaign.

During the Covid-19 Lockdown he has run the Melrose North Community Action Network feeding in excess of 250 000 meals to the people of Kliptown, Soweto and hosting more than 140 public Zoom Panel shows watched by over 2.5m people ranging from Medical Panels, Psychologists, Health and Fitness experts, Nutritionists, Kick-starting the economy, Entrepreneurs pivoting their businesses, storytelling ….

He has written for News24, PoliticsWeb and a large number of international publications.  

Most importantly he is a passionate traveller having visited 77 countries.

Until Howard finds someone to fund his lavish lifestyle, he remains a director of a number of technology start-up businesses including Indian Ocean Telecoms, Saicom Voice Services, Tariffic, Mayuva Telecoms, HMS Hotels and Lucid Hotel Ventures.

Professor Jacques Scherman

Professor Jacques Scherman

South Africa

Associate Professor Scherman is a cardiothoracic surgeon and head of clinical unit in the Chris Barnard Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. He has a special interest in structural heart valve disease.

He completed his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Pretoria, followed by a Diploma in Occupational Medicine (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch and his general surgical training whilst serving in the South African Military Services. He completed his cardiothoracic surgical training at the University of Cape Town, obtaining both a Masters degree in Cardiothoracic Surgery (thesis awarded cum laude) and the Fellowship of the Colleges of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of South Africa.

He then proceeded to further his training in minimally invasive cardiac surgery and catheter based heart valve interventions, being appointed as a full time senior staff surgeon at the University Hospital of Zurich in Switzerland, between 2011 and 2012 and in 2015.

Professor Scherman’s niche area of expertise and current research focuses on less-invasive surgical and catheter-based solutions for structural heart valve disease. He established and heads the largest university hospital based minimally invasive cardiac surgical programme in South Africa and also the first university based transcatheter aortic valve insertion (TAVI) programme in the country, serving as co-Principal Investigator for the national South African TAVI registry.

Dr Gunter K Schleicher

Dr Gunter K Schleicher

South Africa

Dr Scheichler is a Specialist Physician and Pulmonologist, Academic Head Critical Care and Pulmonology, Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

He qualified at the University of the Witwatersrand 1991, DTM&H (University of the Witwatersrand 1995), FCP(SA) 2000, M.Med (University of the Witwatersrand 2002), Cert. Pulmonology (CMSA 2003), FCCP (American College of Chest Physicians 2007), PG Cert. Clin. US (The University of Melbourne 2012).

Dr Schleicher has more than 30 published papers in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at local and international scientific meetings.  

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

Dr Y T Singh

Dr Y T Singh

South Africa

Dr Y T Singh (Trishun) is an interventional cardiologist of 36 years’ experience based at Netcare Umhlanga Hospital South Africa. He graduated from the University of Natal Medical School in 1977, specialising in Internal Medicine and then Cardiology. He is ICOS certified in Cardio-Oncology and President of COSOSA (Cardiology Oncology Society of Southern Africa)

Lisa Joshua Sonn

Lisa Joshua Sonn

South Africa

Lisa Sonn is currently the owner and CEO of RestoreSA, a for-purpose and for profit company. The company handles recycling fabrics, sustainable fashion and strive to replace single use plastic with cotton bags. Through this we have created a circular economy, we strive to serve people and our planet. We have have a not-for-profit organisation called Royal Kids.

Melanie Stahl

Melanie Stahl

South Africa

Melanie Stahl is a registered nurse, currently stationed at Vincent Palotti Hospital in Cape Town. Her nursing career started in September 1986, followed by an amazing and liberating journey over the past 36 years.

Melanie Stahl’s career started at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town where she will forever be grateful for the foundation that was laid.   After many years in the vascular unit and intrigued by cardiology her curiosity led her to the Cath lab.

 

Melanie is now one of the senior and more experienced Sisters within the unit, and along with her passion and skills, she is now trained to perform all Cath lab interventional procedures. 

Prof Hans Strijdom

Prof Hans Strijdom

South Africa

Hans Strijdom is a clinician-turned-academic, and currently Professor and Head of the Division of Medical Physiology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa at Stellenbosch University, South Africa

His broader research focuses on the physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system, with a particular interest in vascular and endothelial biology.

Whilst initially conducting mainly laboratory, cell, tissue and organ-based research, he has since 2015 shifted his attention to clinical and epidemiological studies. In 2015 he was awarded funding via the ERAfrica programme (EU FP7) and became the international project co-ordinator of the EndoAfrica study consortium that included researchers from Stellenbosch University, North-West University and Walter Sisulu University in South Africa, as well as research groups from Austria and Belgium. The EndoAfrica study investigated vascular endothelial changes in people living with HIV (PLWH) and people exposed to air pollution.

For the past number of years, he has published extensively on the interaction between HIV and cardio-metabolic changes in PLWH. Hans, a C2-rated scientist with the NRF, has published 52 peer-reviewed articles and presented over 80 papers at national or international scientific meetings, including 13 as an invited speaker. He has supervised 17 doctoral candidates, 17 Masters candidates and hosted 6 post-doctoral fellows. Apart from his research activities, Hans is a full-time lecturer in under-graduate and post-graduate human physiology in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University . He has won several general performance (research, teaching and service) and under-graduate teaching awards in his Faculty and University.

Dr Pieter van der Bijl

Dr Pieter van der Bijl

South Africa

Pieter 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 (MMed, Stellenbosch University, 2011), Anaesthetics (Diploma, Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, 2007), General Cardiology, Imaging Cardiology (Adult Transthoracic Echocardiography, European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, 2021), Interventional Cardiology and Pacing Cardiology (Certificate in Cardiology, Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, 2014), Radiology (Cardiac Computed Tomography, British Society of Cardiac Computed Tomography, 2017; Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging, European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, 2018) and Cardiac Research (PhD, Leiden University, 2020) at hospitals in South Africa, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. He 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 21, 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

Professor Liesl Zühlke

Professor Liesl Zühlke

South Africa

Professor Liesl Zühlke is the Vice-President of the South African Medical Research Council- Extramural Research and Internal portfolio (ER-IP), a paediatric cardiologist in the Division of Paediatric Cardiology at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and director the Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit focused on family-centred research into Children’s Heart Diseases of relevance in Africa.

Her research projects span Congenital and Rheumatic Heart Disease, HIV in adolescents, Grown-up Congenital Heart Disease and cardiac disease in women of childbearing age.  She was the 2018 recipient of the MRC/Dfid African Research Leader Award, a finalist in the 22nd National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)-South32 Awards for the category: TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher and is designated one of the top three international scholars in RHD research. She was the 2020 recipient of the NRF award for public engagement with research. In addition to her medical degrees, Liesl holds an MPH in clinical research methods and PhD both from the University of Cape Town as well as an MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management of Cardiovascular Sciences from the London School of Economics.  

Professor  Zühlke is a past-president of the South African Heart Association, past-president of the Paediatric Cardiac Society of South Africa, and outgoing chair and co-chair of the PASCAR PANPACH (Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology) and Rheumatic Heart Disease Task Forces respectively. Internationally she serves as President of Reach (Rheumatic Heart Disease, Evidence, Advocacy, Communication and Hope), is a board member of the World Heart Federation, a medical advisory committee member of Children’s Heart Link, an international advisory committee member of Global ARCH as well as an executive member of SAVAC, the global Strep A vaccine consortium. 

Liesl is passionate about the prioritisation of women and children in the Global health agenda, both as co-creators and recipients of efforts to improve the lives of women and children across the world. She was the only commissioner from Africa included in the Lancet Commission for Cardiovascular Disease in women, and has published over scientific 160 papers, reports and book chapters with over 40 000 citations. 

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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