Plenary speakers

Charalambos Antoniades

Oxford, UK

Tuesday 01 June Future CVD management: from gene to phenotype to treatment

Atherosclerosis affecting fat: What can we learn by imaging perivascular adipose tissue?

Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine
Director, Acute Vascular Imaging Centre
Deputy Head, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine University of Oxford
Consultant Cardiologist Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Chair-Elect, British Atherosclerosis Society

Charis Antoniades is a full Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist. He was awarded his
PhD title with hons on the genetics of premature myocardial infarction, and during his PhD studies he won multiple
Young Investigator award competitions, including those of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) twice, the ISHR
and others. He has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award of the basic Cardiovascular Science Council of
the European Society of Cardiology in 2016, a National clinical excellence award in 2020 and has given various
named lectures. He is the Head of Acute Vascular Imaging Centre of the University of Oxford, the Deputy Head of the
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of the Oxford Academic cardiovascular CT programme (and Oxford
Academic Cardiovascular CT Core Lab). He is also the Chair-Elect of the British Atherosclerosis Society.
His research is focused on the study of the cross-talk between adipose tissue and the cardiovascular system, with
specific interest in the non-invasive imaging of inflammation. He directs the Oxford Heart Vessels and Fat programme,
and coordinates large national flagship programmes (such as the UK C19-CRC) and international multicentre studies
(e.g. ORFAN study). His research has led to the development of novel imaging biomarkers using Computed
Tomography, with major role in cardiovascular risk prognosis.
He is also deputy editor of
Cardiovascular Research, one of the editors of British Journal of Pharmacology and
associate editor of
Hellenic Journal of Cardiology. He has published more than 300 peer review scientific papers in
high impact journals like the Lancet, Science Transl Med, Circulation, JACC, EHJ and others. He is one of the
founders of the Scientists of Tomorrow of the ESC and vice chair in the Marie Curie Fellowships panel of the
European Commission. He is also founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Caristo Diagnostics, a university of Oxford
spinout company.

Jan Borén

Gothenburg, Sweden

Monday 31 May Atherosclerosis: metabolism dysfunction drives inflammation in the vessels

Metabolism and atherogenicity of apoB-containing lipoproteins

Rory Collins

Oxford, United Kingdom


The Anitschkow Lecture - About Professor Sir Rory Collins's research

Professor Collins is the British Heart Foundation Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, the Head of the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. He trained in Medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, London University, and in Statistics at George Washington and Oxford Universities.

Professor Collins is an epidemiologist who studies how to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease in large population-based studies. Over his 40-year career in Oxford, Professor Collins has driven the establishment of large-scale epidemiological studies on the causes, prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction, other vascular disease, and cancer. These studies have changed medical practice.

Mark Daly

Helsinki, Finland

Tuesday 01 June Future CVD management: from gene to phenotype to treatment

From genetic discovery to clinical interventions to combat atherosclerosis

Mark Daly, PhD, was appointed Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) in February 2018. He retains also his affiliations in Boston at the Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and as an institute member of the Broad Institute and co-director of the Program in Medical and Population Genetics.

Daly received his B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in human genetics from Leiden University, Netherlands. He received the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics in 2014 and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine
in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded Aarhus University’s Honorary Doctorate at the Faculty of Health. His research primarily focuses on the development and application of statistical methods for the discovery and interpretation of genetic variation responsible for complex human disease. In addition to foundational work in human genetics methodology, his lab has made major contributions to gene
discovery in inflammatory bowel disease, autism and schizophrenia – primarily through catalyzing global collaborative research efforts which he continues to help lead. He is a co-architect of the FinnGen project, a landmark public-private effort to integrate decades of medical registry data with genomic data in 10% of the Finnish population.

Dr Daly coordinates the leadership team of the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative (HGI) ( The purpose of the initiative is to bring together the human genetics research community to generate, share, and analyse data to define the genetic determinants of COVID-19 susceptibility, severity, and outcomes.

Mark Daly is an author of 478 peer-reviewed manuscripts (PubMed 8/2020) with a total of more than 290,000 citations, has an h-index of 201 (Google scholar 8/2020), and has been listed by Thompson ISI/Science Watch in 2008 and 2010 as one of the top ten authors ranked by number of high-impact papers.

DeLisa Fairweather

Baltimore, USA

Wednesday 02 June The rise of cardiometabolic disease as global health threat: towards the UN 2030 goals

Gender and cardiovascular disease

DeLisa Fairweather, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Immunology and Clinical Translational Science at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida and Director of Translational Research in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine. Dr. Fairweather’s research focuses on mitochondrial dynamics and the regenerative potential of extracellular vesicles to prevent cardiovascular and chronic inflammatory diseases including myocarditis which she has been studying for 25 years receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Heart Association (AHA). She is also an expert in understanding the role of sex differences in promoting health and disease. She is a co-founder of the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Clinic at Mayo Florida where she is researching the mechanism leading to sex differences in hypermobility and a leader of the Mayo Clinic-led US Expanded Access Program for the use of convalescent plasma for patients with COVID-19 which enrolled 105,000 and transfused over 90,000 patients with severe and life-threatening COVID-19 and showed that plasma was safe to administer. Ongoing studies are examining the efficacy of convalescent plasma in reducing mortality in COVID-19.

Jean-Charles Fruchart

Lille/Basel, France

Tuesday 01 June Future CVD management: from gene to phenotype to treatment

SPPARM alpha agonist as for nutrient and energy metabolism - mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities

Professor Fruchart is currently Professor in Pasteur Institute, President of R3i Foundation and a member of the International Atherosclerosis Society board.

Professor Fruchart has served as President of the Association for Research on Cholesterol, President of the Scientific Council of Lille University; President-Founder of Genfit; President of the International Atherosclerosis Society; President of the International Task Force for Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease.

Professor Fruchart has received many awards and honors: Member of the Academy of Medicine (1991); “Great Gold Medal of Pasteur Institute” (1994); Member of the Academy of Pharmacy (1995); “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur” (1995); Honoris Causa Doctor of the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina-1997) and of the University of Bucharest (Romania-2003); Visiting Professor of the University of Concepcion, (Chili-1997); “Officier des Palmes Académiques (1998); “Grand Prix Kuhlmann” (1998); “Galien” of Pharmaceutical Research (1998). “Gold Medal of Foundation Giovanni Lorenzini” award (2003); “Officier de la Légion d’Honneur” (2005); Anitschkow Prize (2008); Honorary membership of the Polish Atherosclerosis Society (2010) and awarded for the “Memorial lecture of Arturo Fernandez-Cruz Foundation in Spain (2010).

He has published more than 900 original research papers in peer-reviewed journals. He discovered the molecular mechanism of action of fibrates through activation of PPAR-alpha and developed with Kowa the first SPPARMalpha K-877.


Thomas F. Lüscher

Zürich, Switzerland

Wednesday 02 June The rise of cardiometabolic disease as global health threat: towards the UN 2030 goals

Atherosclerosis management: will the future look smarter?

Training and Current Position

Professor Lüscher studied medicine at the Univer-sity of Zurich and obtained the Swiss board certi-fication in internal medicine and cardiology. He trained in cardiovascular research and in cardio-l-gy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA and was later Professor of Pharmacotherapy at the University of Basel, then trained in interventional cardiology and was nominated Professor of Car-diology at the University of Berne, before assu-ming a position as Professor and Chairman of Car-diology and Director of the University Heart Center at the University Hospital Zurich and Director of the Center for Molecular Cardiology at the Univer-sity of Zurich, Switzerland. He is now Director of Research, Education & Development and Con-sulting Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton & Hare-field Hospital Trust and Professor of Cardiology at the National Heart and Lung Institute of Imperial College and at Kings College in London, United Kingdom.


Clinical Competence and Activity

Professor Lüscher is an active general and interventional cardiologist with a broad clinical scope and large experience in prevention, coronary and valvular heart disease, percutaneous interventions and heart failure.



Professor Lüscher has been a mentor of numerous young physicians and scientists from around the world. His research is translational in nature and focuses on vascular disease, specifically on the endothelium in the regulation of vascular tone and structure, platelet-vessel wall interactions, inflammation and coagulation. His team has characterized the effects of aging, hypertension, lipid disorders and atherosclerosis on endothelial function both experimentally and clinically. More recently, inflammatory pathways in acute coronary syn-dromes has been at the center of interest. He has published extensively, original research articles, reviews, editorials, book chapters and monographs including the ESC Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, Oxford University Press.


Recognition and Awards

By the Institute for Scientific Information he has been rated as one of the 0.5% most cited scientists worldwide (current h-Index 133; Scope). He has obtained numerous research prizes and prestigious lecturerships worldwide.

He is a member of many editorial boards and was Associate Editor Europe of Circulation from 2004 to 2008 and editor-in-chief of the European Heart Journal and chairman of the ESC Publications Committee from 2009-2020. Beforehand, he has served the European Society of Cardiology as chairman of the congress programme committee and vice-president of the working groups and now holds the position of Secretary/Treasurer in the ESC Management Committee.



Esther Lutgens

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Monday 31 May Atherosclerosis: metabolism dysfunction drives inflammation in the vessels

The interface of immune and metabolic responses in atherosclerosis

Esther Lutgens (1975) did an MD/PhD trajectory in Experimental Vascular Pathology (1994-2001) at the University of Maastricht (the Netherlands), with Prof. Mat Daemen, and subsequently did post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University in Boston, MA, with Prof. Peter Libby, and at Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH, with Prof. Michael Simons.

After her return to the Netherlands in 2003, she set up her laboratory on Experimental Vascular Immuno-pathology within the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht. She became an ‘Established Investigator’ of the Dutch Heart Foundation in 2009, and obtained a Sofja Kovalevskaja fellowship in Germany in 2008, which enabled her to open a second laboratory within the ‘Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention’ (LMU, Munich) headed by Prof. Christian Weber. In 2011, she was appointed as a full professor at the Amsterdam University Medical Center (the Netherlands).

The focus of her research is the role of immune-modulation in atherosclerosis, especially on the role of co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory immune checkpoints and she has published numerous papers in this field in established journals such as ATVB, Circulation, Eur Heart J, Cardiovasc Res, JACC and Nat Med.

In 2013, she obtained the prestigious Vici grant (NWO), and in 2016, she was awarded the J. Hoeg award from the ATVB council (AHA), and in 2018 she received the outstanding achievement award for basic science from the European Society of Cardiology, and in 2020 the Arteriosclerosis recognition award from the AHA. In 2016, she received a European Research Council consolidator grant. Esther is part of many consortia.

Esther has guided over 30 master students, and 21 PhD students. She has mentored 13 postdocs and helped them pursue their career in science or in pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, Esther is a dedicated teacher who lectures on cardiovascular disease in (post)-graduate and PhD courses worldwide.

Esther is married and has 2 children, Willemijn (14) and Jasper (12).

Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez

Pamplona, Spain

Wednesday 02 June The rise of cardiometabolic disease as global health threat: towards the UN 2030 goals

The Mediterranean diet, its components, and cardiovascular disease

Gerard Pasterkamp

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Monday 31 May Atherosclerosis: metabolism dysfunction drives inflammation in the vessels

New phenotypes for stratification and modeling of atherosclerosis

Gerard Pasterkamp, MD,  is Professor of Experimental Cardiology and his research is embedded in the laboratory of clinical chemistry, UMC Utrecht, the Netherlands. The laboratory houses researchers and technicians that cover a broad range of activities. His research interests are in the field of cardiovascular biology and more specifically innovation in biomarkers and drug targets. The research group houses the largest atherosclerotic plaque biobank worldwide: Arhero-Express including >4000 patients  This biobank has generated new insights into determinants of plaque destabilisation. For example, it has been demonstrated that local plaque characteristics are strongly associated with long term outcome but also that plaque characteristics have rapidly changed in the last decade. The laboratory now invests in the excavation of genetic determinants of atherosclerotic plaque characteristics. Recent insights in the mechanisms of atherosclerosis progression have been obtained by executing whole genome SNP analyses and plaque DNA methylation as well as single cell sequencing.

Private public research projects are one of the main core-activities within the laboratory of experimental cardiology. Within the laboratories spin off activities are stimulated. He coordinates national and EU based consortia with the aim to unravel biomarkers and mechanisms of atherosclerotic disease. His translational profile is noted in the private public consortia he is involved in. He is supervising three public private grants that have been rewarded with the aim to develop novel biomarkers and imaging technology to detect cardiac ischemia and endothelial dysfunction. In 2018 he obtained a LeDucq grant together with Prof G Owens (Virginia University) on the role of smooth muscle cell plasticity in the atherosclerotic plaque.    

Renu Virmani

Baltimore, USA

Monday 31 May Atherosclerosis: metabolism dysfunction drives inflammation in the vessels

Coronary artery calcification and its progression: what does it really mean?

Dr. Renu Virmani currently serves as the President of CVPath Institute, an independent non-profit organization in Gaithersburg, MD dedicated to the study of cardiovascular diseases from its inception in January 2005.  Dr. Virmani’s primary experience remains working in the field of cardiovascular pathology, atherosclerosis and sudden coronary death, which extends well over 30 years with over 850 publications in peer-reviewed journals.  Dr. Virmani received her M.D. from Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi University, in New Delhi, India in 1973. She lectures at many scientific meetings and conferences, both nationally and internationally.  She is responsible for multiple research grants in the field of cardiovascular pathology. Dr. Virmani has edited more than 7 books and written over 100 book chapters, and serves a manuscript reviewer for many scientific journals.

Juleen Zierath

Stockholm, Sweden

Wednesday 02 June The rise of cardiometabolic disease as global health threat: towards the UN 2030 goals

Exercise, inactivity, and circadian rhythms - re-setting the clock in metabolic disease

Juleen R. Zierath was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1961. She received a B.S. from UWRF in 1984, a M.A. from Ball State University in 1986, and a Ph.D. from Karolinska Institutet in 1995. Her research focuses on the development of insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes. She is Professor of Experimental Physiology and leads the Section of Integrative Physiology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. She is also Professor of Integrative Physiology and Executive Director at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. 

In 2006 she was appointed to the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet and since 2008 she is member of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine. She is previous Vice-chair and Chair of the Nobel Committee, previous Chair of the Board of Directors of the Keystone Symposia, and Past President of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. She is currently a board member of Nobel Media and Keystone Symposia. She is member of Academia Europaea and member of the Royal Swedish Academy.

She has received several distinctions, including the Minkowski Prize from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the Datta Lectureship Award for outstanding achievement in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology from the Federation of European Biochemical Society, the Knud Lundbeck Award from the Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes, the J.B. Wolffe Memorial Lectureship Award from the American College of Sports Medicine, an Honor Award from the International Research Group on Biochemistry of Exercise, the Nordic Medicine Prize for Research in Diabetes from the Foundation for the Nordic Medicine, an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, and a Distinguished Professorship from Karolinska Institutet. In 2019, she received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from UWRF.

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