Speaker Biographies AICC 2023
Prof Perry Elliott
Perry Elliott is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of the Centre for Heart Muscle Disease at University College London (UCL) and a consultant cardiologist in the Centre for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease at St. Bartholomew's Hospital London, UK. He is Chairman of the ESC Heart Academy and the ESC Council on Cardiovascular Genomics. He is past Chairman of the ESC Working Group on Myocardial and Pericardial Diseases (2010–2012), the Executive Committee for the European Outcomes Research Programme (EORP) registry on cardiomyopathies and the ESC Guideline Task Force on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. He is President of Cardiomyopathy UK, Europe’s foremost charity for patients with heart muscle disease. Over the past 25 years, Prof. Elliott has established an international reputation in the field of heart muscle disease, authoring more than 500 peer-reviewed papers on the subject. He develops diagnostic standards, risk stratification tools and clinical service models.
Dr Christian van der Werf
Dr. Christian van der Werf is a Consultant Cardiologist at Amsterdam University Medical Centers in the Netherlands. Besides implanting cardiac implantable electronic device, his clinical work focuses on patients with inherited cardiac conditions. He studied at Utrecht University, and completed his PhD on sudden cardiac death in the young, Cardiology training and a fellowship at Amsterdam University Medical Centers. His research interests focus on inherited arrhythmia syndromes, in particular catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and resuscitation science.
Prof Juan Pablo Kaski
Juan Pablo Kaski is Professor of Paediatric Inherited Cardiovascular Medicine at the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, where he leads the UCL Centre for Paediatric Inherited and Rare Cardiovascular Diseases, and Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), London, UK. He is the Director of the GOSH Centre for Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases. His clinical and research interests are focused on the clinical and genetic characterisation of inherited cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac death in childhood.He is immediate past-Chair of the Association for European Paediatric Cardiology (AEPC) Working Group on Genetics, Basic Science and Myocardial Disease and sits on the Executive Board of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Cardiomyopathy and Myocarditis Registry Programme and the ESC Council on Cardiovascular Genomics. He leads an international paediatric HCM consortium of over 45 centres, which was responsible for the development of the first sudden death risk prediction model for childhood HCM. He is Chair of the Task Force for the 2023 European Society of Cardiology Cardiomyopathy Guidelines.
Dr Antonio de Marvao
Dr Antonio de Marvao is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at King's College London. Clinically, he works as a Consultant in Inherited Cardiac Conditions and Maternal Cardiology, and as an Obstetric Physician, with a special interest in Hypertension in Pregnancy. His clinics are at St Thomas' and King's College Hospitals.
His research programme aims to understand the genomic and physiological underpinnings of cardiovascular dysfunction in pregnancy, in particular gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and heart failure, and its impact on maternal and fetal health. Genomic data, deep maternal and fetal cardiovascular phenotyping and machine learning analysis of longitudinal population-scale clinical data enables the characterisation of the biological pathways that lead to healthy cardiovascular adaption in pregnancy or pathological remodelling. This offers the potential for improved risk stratification, personalised management strategies and targeted therapies, not only during pregnancy but during the life course of cardiovascular disease.
Prof Rick Steeds
Rick Steeds is a Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospitals in Birmingham, specialising in the management of cardiovascular complications of metabolic cardiomyopathy, including Fabry, and valvular heart diseases. He is the Lead for Cardiovascular Imaging. He is an Honorary Professor and Deputy Clinical Director at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Birmingham. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research articles, with an h-index of 56, and has lectured nationally and internationally.
Dr Robert Pitceathly
Robert Pitceathly is a Professor of Clinical Neurology and Mitochondrial Medicine at University College London. He leads a research group that studies mitochondrial disease and dysfunction at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. He is also a Consultant Neurologist at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where he co-leads an NHS England nationally commissioned Rare Mitochondrial Disorders Service. His research combines clinical observations with laboratory approaches to better understand the molecular basis and pathophysiological mechanisms of primary mitochondrial diseases, with the ultimate aim of developing treatments.
Dr Konstantinos Savvatis
Konstantinos Savvatis is a Consultant Cardiologist with special interest in Inherited and Acquired cardiomyopathies and advanced cardiovascular MRI and echocardiography. He works in the Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases Unit at Barts Heart Centre in London and is honorary Associate Professor in University College London and Queen Mary University London.
He trained at the Department of Cardiology at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, Germany, one of the largest centres in Europe focusing on dilated and inflammatory cardiomyopathy and acquired his PhD in the pathophysiology of inflammation in myocarditis.
His main clinical and academic interests include prevention of sudden death, risk assessment and therapy in heart muscle diseases, myocarditis and neuromuscular conditions and advanced cardiac imaging.
His work has been published in several high impact journals, such as Nature Communications, Circulation, Circulation Research, JACC and the European Heart Journal.
Prof Marianna Fontana
Marianna Fontana is the Director of the UCL CMR unit at the Royal Free Hospital. She is Professor of Cardiology and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the National Amyloidosis Centre, Division of Medicine, University College London, where she is deputy head of Center and deputy clinical lead. She obtained her Medical degree (MD) and qualifications as a cardiologist at the University of Pisa. She was appointed Director of the UCL CMR unit at the RFH in 2015, which she founded, and Professor of Cardiology at UCL in 2020. She was awarded with an intermediate fellowship from the British Heart Foundation in 2018. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Michael Davies Early Career Award in 2021 and the BHF Fellow of the year award in 2022. Her major clinical and research interests are in the delivery of efficient and effective care for patients with amyloidosis, with a particular focus on new technologies: imaging and drugs.
Prof Hugh Watkins
Hugh Watkins is the Radcliffe Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant in Cardiology at the John Radcliffe Hospital. He is lead investigator of CureHeart, a programme aiming to create genetic therapy cures for cardiomyopathy, funded by the BHF Big Beat Challenge.
Professor Watkins has contributed to the understanding of the molecular genetic basis of cardiovascular disease, using genetic approaches to define disease mechanisms and to improve diagnosis and treatment of patients and families with inherited diseases. Through both his Mendelian and complex trait genetics work, Professor Watkins has defined some of the most medically important disease genes affecting the cardiovascular system. He has built up a specialist clinical and laboratory genetic service in Inherited Cardiac Conditions in Oxford.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Prof Julie de Backer
Julie De Backer, MD, PhD, FESC, is a genetic cardiologist at Ghent University Hospital, Belgium. She heads the Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) clinic and spearheads interdisciplinary programs for ACHD & Heritable Thoracic Aortic Disease (HTAD) patients, emphasizing top-tier patient care.
Her translational research focuses on in-depth cardiovascular profiling in Marfan syndrome and HTAD, exploring geno/phenotype relationships. Dr. De Backer and her team employ genetic animal models to uncover novel treatment targets.
She is an active member of VASCERN, ESC's Aorta and Peripheral Vascular Disease Working Group, and the Montalcino Aortic Consortium. She co-chaired the 2020 ESC ACHD guidelines and chairs the 2025 ESC pregnancy guidelines and serves as an associate editor for JACC.
Explore her contributions here: https://biblio.ugent.be/person/801001584995
Dr Stephen Page
Dr Stephen Page is a Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at Leeds General Infirmary. He is the clinical lead for the regional ICC Service for West and North Yorkshire.
He is the President of the AICC, having served as a Council member for the last three years, and led the development of the AICC National Survey. He is on the Writing Group for the new ICC Service Specification and is on the Clinical Advisory Group for CardiomyopathyUK. He is research active with collaborations with Bart’s Heart Centre, Imperial College and St George’s Hospital, London. His main interest is in service development and he hopes to strengthen the ability of the AICC to promote and support equitable service delivery across the UK.
The AICC aims to drive forward clinical standards for ICCs through education, national guidance and networks of care which facilitate equitable access to quality care irrespective of postcode.
Guidelines, Papers and Publications
The AICC hopes to publish National guidelines on the management of AICCs to facilitate the benchmarking of quality standards across the UK for ICCs. It endorses peer reviewed publications, reviews and scientific papers.
The AICC hopes to promote innovative research and to bring together partners to pioneer novel research in this field of cardiology and to translate these findings back into clinical practice.
Education and Training opportunities
The AICC is keen to impart knowledge to help others learn and excel. Our educational activities aim to train the next generation of doctors to ensure that patients and their families with ICCs receive the very best of care they deserve.
I would like to thank the AICC for an excellent conference which was inspiring and educational.
Thank you for the opportunity to be part of the AICC journey.
I can't begin to thank you enough for everything you have done to help improve care for families such as ours.
A massive thank you for signposting us to the critical information.