Alumni

The Center for Molecular Cardiology grew out of the founding research laboratory on Vascular Physiology at the Center for Education and Research (Zentrum für Lehre und Forschung) at Basel University (1987-1993), the Research Division of the Department of Cardiology at the Inselspital Bern (1994-1996) and eventually the Cardiovascular Research Division of the Institute of Physiology of the University of Zurich at Irchel Campus (1997-2014). Since the early 1990s, the Center for Molecular Cardiology has contributed more than 1000 scientific publications and obtained over 70000 citations (retrieved 2017). Owing to the outstanding efforts made by the scientists working at the Center during the last decades, knowledge of the mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disorders has increased considerably and the quality of healthcare in the field has improved. Some of our alumni are now leaders in their field, in Switzerland and globally. For a more comprehensive overview, see The Center for Molecular Cardiology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Lukas Altwegg studied medicine in Basel and then completed a postdoctoral fellow in the cardiovascular research of the Department of Physiology, University of Zurich and worked on human connective growth factor. This was followed by further training in Internal Medicine at the Kantonsspital Baden under Prof. Hans-Jürg Beer and finally in cardiology under Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher at the University Hospital Zurich. After obtaining the FMH specialist in cardiology, he moved to Vancouver to work under Prof. John Webb, the pioneer of trans arterial valve implantation. After his return to Zurich he set up together with Prof. Willibald Maier the TAVI program. In 2012 he habilitated at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich and by 7 January 2013 he was elected to the St. Clara Hospital chief residency in cardiology.

Urs Arnet, Ph.D.

2

Urs Arnet started his career at the University of Basel where he studied pharmacy. He did his PhD in Prof. Lüscher’s Cardiovascular Research Group at the University Clinic Basel (Switzerland) on nitrate vasodilators. After his PhD he moved to the John Hopkins University (USA), where he investigated a protein that synthesizes endothelial nitric oxide. In 1995, he returned to Switzerland, where he continued his research at Prof. Lüscher’s Cardiovascular Research Group at the “Insel” Hospital Bern. In 1997 he assumed a position at Merck, Sharp & Dohme-Chibret AG.

Prof. Dr. Dan Atar

3

Professor of cardiology at the University of Oslo in Norway. Dan Atar studied medicine in Basel and was then trained in internal medicine and cardiology. This was followed by stays abroad: at John Hopkins University in Baltimore (1991–1994) and the University of Copenhagen, where he worked as a senior cardiologist. From 1997 to 1998 Dan Atar served as a senior physician, supported by the Cloëtta Foundation of Cardiology at the University Hospital of Zurich. His license to teach at University (Habilitation) was transferred from the University of Basel to the University of Zurich. In addition to clinical work Dr. Atar conducted experiments: he investigated ischaemia and reperfusion of the heart. After serving as senior physician at the University of Copenhagen, in Frederiksberg Hospital, in 2002 he was appointed head of the cardiology department at the University of Oslo in Norway. Here he worked with a large team of cardiologists and clinical researchers, especially in the field of cardiac markers, heart failure, and cardiovascular pharmacology.

Markus Béshir, M.D.

4

Markus Béchir studied medicine at the Universities of Zurich and Sydney, Australia. He wrote his dissertation at the Department of Cardiology (Prof. G. Noll) on muscle sympathetic nerve activity in vaso-vagal syncope. He then trained as a FMH Specialist in Internal Medicine and in Intensive Care at the Department of Cardiology at the University Hospital Zurich. Scientifically, Markus Béchir worked primarily to Transplant Critical Care Medicine and volume replacement therapy in intensive care patients. In 2010 he was Senior Consultant and Head of Visceral Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital Zurich. In 2011 he habilitated at the University of Zurich in the field of Intensive Care Medicine. Since 1.2.2013 chief physician of the range Intensive Care Medicine, Pain Medicine and Operative Medicine at the Swiss Paraplegic Center in Nottwil.

Dr. Chantal Boulanger

5

After studying pharmacy in Nancy (France), Chantal Boulanger continued her formation at the Mayo Clinic (USA) in cardiovascular biology. In 1988, she moved to Switzerland where she worked as a researcher in the Department of Cardiology at the University Clinic Basel. During this time, Chantal Boulanger published several important publications showing that the secretion of a protein causing hypertension was inhibited by nitric oxide but stimulated by oxidized lipids. Her publications are still one of the most cited papers in the prestigious medical journal Clinical Investigations. Later she accepted a senior research position at the Baylor Colleges in Houston, Texas (USA). Since the early 90’s she works at the Hôpital Lariboisière (INSERM) at the University of Paris, first in the role of research director (Directrice de Recherches) and since 2019 as Director of the Paris-Cardiovascular Research Center.

Alexander Breitenstein, M.D.

6

Alexander Breitenstein is a specialist in internal medicine and cardiology and has additionally trained in congenital heart defects, cardiac surgery and cardiovascular research. From January 2011 to June 2012 he served as assistant physician and from July 2013 to December 2013 as a senior physician p.p. in the cardiology ambulatory, in the echocardiography laboratory and in the heart failure clinic at the Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Zurich. In 2014 he moved to the Arrhythmia Unit of St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London to Prof. Richard J. Schilling.

Rémy Chenevard, M.D.

7

Rémy Chenevard studied medicine in Zurich and then joined Professor Georg Nolls’ research group. He received his training in internal medicine in Glarus and Lucerne. In 2006 he returned to the clinic of cardiology and served here as assistant physician. In 2009 he was promoted to the post of a senior physician at the Medical Clinic of Altstätten Hospital (for the region of Rheinthal Werdenberg Sarganserland). From 2010 to 2012 he worked as a senior physician at the Cantonal Hospital Frauenfeld, and then finally joined a private practice.

Prof. Dr. Francesco Cosentino

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Francesco Cosentino studied medicine in Rome and then specialised in internal medicine. He served as a post-doctoral fellow in anaesthesia and pharmacology research, and was head of the section of nitric oxide synthesis and tetrahydrobiopterin in endothelial function, at Mayo Clinic Foundation. Together with Professor Zvonimir Katusic he published a large number of notable studies. In 1993 he jointed Professor Thomas F. Lüscher’s cardiovascular research group at the department of cardiology, Inselspital in Bern, as a post-doctoral Fellow. He then served as a university assistant at Università la Sapienza in Rome and conducted cardiovascular research at the Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich. In 2004 he completed a clinical sabbatical at the Clinic of Cardiology, University Hospital of Zurich. In 2005 he was appointed Associate Professor of Cardiology at Università la Sapienza in Rome. Professor Francesco Cosentino still works part-time as head of a cardiovascular research group at the Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich. Thanks to the collaboration between Zurich and Rome, a large number of Fellows could be trained in molecular cardiology in Zurich and have several publications to their credit. Due to his work in Zurich, he was appointed Professor of Cardiology by the Karolinska Institutet and Universitetssjukhuset in Stockholm, Sweden, on December 1st, 2013.

Prof. Dr. Yasuaki Dohi

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Yasuaki Dohi is Professor of Medicine at Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan. He studied medicine in his hometown of Nagoya and then specialised in internal medicine, specifically hypertension. In 1989 he joined Professor Thomas F. Lüscher’s research group which was in Basel at the time and returned to his own university two years later. In Nagoya he worked as a specialist in internal medicine at the University Hospital and was particularly interested in cardiovascular diseases, especially hypertension. In April 2015 Yasuaki Dohi became Professor of Medicine in Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Nagoya Gakuin University.

Prof. Raghvendra K. Dubey, Ph.D.

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Raghvendra K. Dubey has studied at the Lucknow University, India, and completed his PhD in 1985. Thereafter, until 1994 he had several postdoc positions in the US and stayed as a visiting scientist at the Department for Vascular Research of the University Hospital Basel. From 1994 to 2010 he was assistant and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, USA. In 2000 he became research director at the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at the University Hospital Zurich and lecturer at the University of Zurich. Since 2007 he is an associate professor and since 2014 professor for molecular reproductive endocrinology at the University of Zurich.

Prof. Dr. Livius d’Uscio, PharmD

11

Livius d’Uscio has studied pharmacy in Bern from 1988 to 1994 and then joined the cardiovascular research division of the Department of Cardiology at Inselspital Berne, Switzerland. During his stay, he made seminal contributions to the understanding of the role of circulating peptides including endothelin and angiotensin II in the control of blood vessel tone and pathogenesis of hypertension and submitted his work as a PhD thesis in pharmacy at the University of Berne. For his work, he received first prize for the best PhD thesis of that year of the University of Berne. In 1997, he moved to the cardiovascular research division of the Institute of Physiology at the University of Zurich to continue his work. He published extensively in peer-reviewed journals on endothelial regulation of resistance arteries and their alterations in hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. In 1999, he joined Prof. Zvonimir Katusic’s vascular molecular biology laboratory in the Department of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as a Research Fellow, and he has progressed to his current appointments as Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Professional Associate in research. He has since continued his work on the role of GTP-cyclohydrolase I and tetrahydrobiopterin in vascular endothelium and he has performed pioneering research regarding alterations of vascular tetrahydrobiopterin metabolism in cardiovascular disease.

Prof. Dr. Masato Eto

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Masato Eto is Professor of International Research Center for Medical Education, University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. During the stay in Zurich, he worked in Prof. Thomas F Luscher's Cardiovascular Research Team to identify signalling pathways leading to endothelial dysfunction from 1999 to 2004. Since coming back to Tokyo, he has continued endothelial research to identify the molecular mechanisms of endothelial cellular ageing (ATVB 2008;28:1634, JACC 2009;53:2298, Endocrinology 2010;151:1822, ATVB 2010;30:2205). For teaching activities, Prof Eto is a program director of clinical clerkship for medical students at the University of Tokyo. He is also a national committee member of Japanese Examination for Medical Doctor License and Japanese Model Core Curriculum for Undergraduate Medical Education.

Ivan O. Haefliger, M.D., FEBO

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Ivan O. Haefliger, MD, FEBO is a professor in ophthalmology at the University of Basel. He is trained both as a basic scientist and clinician ophthalmologist. After having completed his residency in ophthalmology in Geneva, he has been trained in basic research, glaucoma, and oculoplastic surgery in Basel (Zentrum für Lehre und Forschung), London (Moorfields Eye Hospital), Miami (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute), and Belohorizonte (UFMG/Bresil). He has published numerous original and review papers in the ophthalmological literature and has served as a reviewer for many prestigious journals in ophthalmology. He has been very much involved in different European associations. For many years he has acted as chairman of the section of ocular pharmacology and physiology of the European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER). He has also been chairman of the EBO Education Committee of the European Board of Ophthalmology (EBO). He is presently vice-president of the European Union of Medical Specialist (UEMS) section of ophthalmology. He is also working in his private clinic in Basel, with a special focus and emphasis on lacrimal and eyelid related issues.

Prof. Dr. Walter E. Häfeli

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Walter Häfeli studied medicine in Basel (Switzerland) followed by further training as a medical specialist in inner medicine and clinical pharmacology at the Department of Inner Medicine at the State Hospital of Basel. Between 1990 and 1992 he conducted research at Stanford University (USA) investigating the regulation of venous tone in hand veins. In 1993 he returned to Switzerland where he assumed an Assistant Medical Director position under Prof. Lüscher. In 1995 he was appointed Professor in Clinical Pharmacology at the University Heidelberg (Germany) and Director of the University Clinic in Heidelberg.

Matthias Hermann, M.D.

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Matthias Hermann studied medicine in Göttingen and subsequently trained in Cardiovascular Research at the Institute of Physiology and the Department of Cardiology in Zurich. He has earned merits, especially in the field of heart failure clinically and scientifically. In March 2009 he was appointed chief physician of the cardiology department at Höhenklinik Wald in Zurich and continues as a guest senior physician to 20% at the Department of Cardiology in Zurich. In 2011 he habilitated at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich for Cardiology.

Prof. Dr. Keiichi Hishikawa

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Keiichi Hishikawa studied at the University School of Medicine in Keio, Japan, and graduated at this institution in 1989. After his studies, he became a resident at the Division of Internal Medicine of the University Hospital in Keio. In 1993 Dr Hishikawa returned to the -University School of Medicine in Keio where he worked as a specialized resident and then moved to Switzerland in 1995 as Postdoctoral Research Fellow, initially at the University of Bern at the Department of Cardiology of the Inselspital and thereafter at the Cardiovascular Research Division of the Institute of Physiology of the University of Zürich. He worked mainly on the effects of pulsatile stretch in endothelial and coronary artery smooth muscle cells. He published seminal papers in Circulation and Circulation Research. In 1997 Dr Hishikawa returned to Japan initially as a fellow and as of 1998 as an Associate Professor in Pharmacology at Teikyo University School of Medicine in Tokyo.
Since 2002 Keiichi Hishikawa is an Associate Professor at the Departement of Internal Medicine as well as at the Department of Clinical Renal Regeneration at the University of Tokyo, Japan. His research interests encompass regenerative medicine, stem cell biology as well as ES- and inducible progenitor cells.

PD Dr. med. Roland Klingenberg

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Roland Klingenberg, MD FESC studied medicine at the universities of Tubingen and Freiburg (thesis) with clinical training at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas and the University of South Florida, Tampa. Subsequently, he did his residency in internal medicine (board certificate) with a focus on cardiovascular medicine at the University Hospital Heidelberg (Prof. Dr H. A. Katus). He continued with a postdoctorate period in experimental vascular inflammation at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm with Prof. Dr G. K. Hansson. Acceptance into the Special Programme University Medicine - Inflammation and Acute Coronary Syndromes (SPUM-ACS) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation enabled him to pursue a variety of projects with a focus on inflammation and biomarkers in ACS patients in close collaboration with colleagues at four university centres in Switzerland. He obtained his board-certification in cardiology (FMH) following a residency at University Hospital Zurich and was attending physician in Acute Cardiology from 2013 - 2015 (Prof. Dr T. F. Lüscher) with habilitation in 2015. Early 2015 he moved to the Kerckhoff-Klinik in Bad Nauheim (Prof. Dr C. W. Hamm) for special training in Interventional Cardiology and has been working there as attending physician since 07/2018.

Nicolle Kränkel, Ph.D.

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Nicolle Kränkel graduated in biotechnology and completed her scientific doctorate at the Heart Center Leipzig. Supported by the Marie Curie Fellowship, she investigated during her postdoctoral at the University Bristol (2006 - 2009) the role of bradykinin receptors in angiogenesis. In Zurich, she continued her research on this topic with the support of the "Ambizione" Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Since October 2014 Mrs Kränkel is a junior group leader at the Charité in Berlin. Mrs Kränkel deals there with the interactions between inflammation and regeneration in vascular disease.

Adelheid Kratzer, Ph.D.

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Adelheid Kratzer has worked during her PhD on nuclear receptors, especially liver X receptor, and its impact on atherosclerosis, especially on macrophages. Thereafter she changed her focus towards one of the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, namely smoking, specifically passive smoking. Theses studies led her interest towards immunology, inflammation and inflammatory signalling and back to cardiovascular research as atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease. Having started her second Postdoc in Prof. Ulf Landmesser's research group at the Center for Molecular Cardiology in Zurich in July 2012 she started focusing on the differences in Caspase-1 recruiting inflammasomes, their activation and regulation in monocyte subgroups from stable and acute coronary artery diseases patients. Here, she also started looking into the impact of microRNA as well as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) on the regulation and activation of these subgroups. In this respect, she also tried to set up a screening for miRNA and mRNA targets within the different monocyte subgroups using next-generation sequencing technology with the support of the functional genomics centre at the University of Zurich (FGCZ). In the future, she plans to investigate gender differences in this novel way of target search. Additionally, she is trying to decipher the impact of protease inhibitors on the pro- /anti-inflammatory effects of HDL and possible implications in the treatment of CAD. Finally, she is also working on a humanized mouse model in order to study the impact of lipoproteins on the formation of monocyte subgroups. She also has also successfully set up collaborations with companies, for whom we measure HDL-mediated NO release. Since October 2014 she is working as a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Landmesser's group at the Charite Campus Benjamin Franklin in Berlin.

David Kurz, M.D.

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David Kurz is Head of the Department of Cardiology at Triemli Hospital. From 2004 to the end of 2008, 20 per cent of his working hours consisted of serving as head of a research group at the Institute of Physiology. On 27th October 2008, he held his inaugural lecture on "When cells change: relevant for age-associated cardiovascular disease?" in the assembly hall of the University of Zurich.

Prof. Dr. Ulf Landmesser

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Specialist in Internal Medicine and Cardiology trained at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. From 2007 to 2014 he was Director of Coronary Care and Chest Pain Unit as well as Medical Director of Interventional Cardiology focusing acute cardiology. In 2012 he received the Frederick Goetz price of the University of Zurich for his research on HDL cholesterol. In the winter semester, 2014/2015 Ulf Landmesser was appointed Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Medical Clinic Cardiology - Pulmonology - Angiology of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the University Hospital Benjamin Franklin.

Prof. Dr. Peter Meyer

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Peter Meyer completed his medical studies in Basel in 1987 and followed with a year of speciality training in Internal Medicine. Until 1993 he undertook speciality training in Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Surgery at the Eye Clinic of the University of Basel. Between 1991 and 1994 he worked in basic research at the University Hospital Basel within a Swiss National Foundation project under Professor Lüscher about ophthalmic vascular physiology.
Peter Meyer developed a novel perfusion system in animal experiments for the evaluation of ocular microcirculation. With this, different substances and drugs that are of significance to ophthalmic circulation could be tested. The results built the foundation of his postdoctoral lecture qualification (2001; „Untersuchungen an isolierten Blutgefässen und am perfundierten Auge – ein Beitrag zur Physiologie der okulären Perfusion“).
In 1995 Peter Meyer undertook further speciality training under Professor Daicker at the Eye Hospital in Basel and took over direction of the department after he retired. In 1998 he absolved further speciality under Professor Naumann at the Clinic Erlangen in ophthalmic pathology and oncology for ophthalmology. Besides the direction of the Department of Ophthalmic Pathology, Peter Meyer is also clinically active and undertakes conciliar oncologic consultations.
In 2008 Peter Meyer became associate professor of the University of Basel. His current research activities include neurodegenerative diseases of the optic nerve, especially glaucoma, with basic research on meningothelial cells of the optic nerve sheath, as well as clinical pathological studies with eye tumours.

Prof. Dr. Pierre Moreau Dean

23

Pierre Moreau studied pharmacy at the University of Montreal (Canada). Subsequently, he engaged in basic research. From 1994 to 1996 he was involved in cardiovascular research at the “Insel” Hospital in Bern (Switzerland). He conducted an impressive number of research projects investigating the remodelling of small arteries under experimental hypertension. He published his results in reputable scientific journals such as Circulation, Stroke und Hypertension. In 1997, Pierre Moreau returned to Montreal where he was appointed Professor of Pharmacy. Later, he was promoted to sub-dean at the faculty of pharmacy at the University of Montreal.

Prof. Dr. Eduardo Nava

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Eduardo Nava studied at the Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain, where he completed his degree in Medicine as well as a PhD with the doctoral dissertation In vitro study of the internal carotid system. In 1990, he continued the scientific career as a post-doctoral fellow within the framework of the prostaglandin and nitric oxide research leader, Prof. S. Moncada, by then at the Wellcome Research Labs in London, UK. In 1993, he was recruited by Professor Thomas F. Lüscher at the University Hospital Berne where they studied the role of nitric oxide in high blood pressure and developed several techniques for the determination of nitric oxide synthase in the heart and resistance vessels of hypertensive animals. In 1995 he returned to Spain at the University of Murcia with prof. Salazar to keep on the research in the field of the biology of nitric oxide in hypertension, ageing and septic shock.
In 1999, Dr Nava was appointed as a Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain and in 2019 he was appointed as a professor in this university.
His current research includes the role of perivascular adipose tissue in microvascular function in metabolic syndrome and hypertension as well as the paracrine roles of perivascular adipose tissue in the control of vasomotion.

Elena Osto, M.D., Ph.D., FESC

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Elena Osto is a physician-scientist. She trained as MD and board-certified cardiologist at the University of Padova, Italy, where she also obtained a PhD in cardiovascular science (2007-2010). Her research focuses on the pathophysiology of vascular dysfunction and atherosclerosis in dysmetabolic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Her research projects explore the multi-organ crosstalk in cardio-metabolic disease, combining a multidisciplinary approach with a strong translational aspect. Elena Osto was awarded prestigious career grants (“Forschungskredit”, a Fellowship of the University of Zurich; first the "AMBIZIONE" followed by the “PRIMA” Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation, which allowed her to establish her independent research group in 2015. Dr Osto is the Head of the research group on Cardio-metabolic disease at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry (University and University Hospital of Zurich) and is affiliated with the Laboratory of Nutritional Research (ETH Zurich). Her group maintains successful collaborations with the Institute of Veterinary Physiology (University of Zurich, led by Prof. Dr Thomas Lutz), the Department of Cardiology (University Hospital of Zurich, led by Prof. Dr Frank Ruschitzka) amongst others. Dr Osto has earned merits and awards in the field of cardio-metabolic disease, for instance, the Cardiovascular Biology Prize of the Swiss Society of Cardiology in 2009 and 2015; the Swiss Lipid Research Award of the Working group on Lipids and Atherosclerosis (Swiss Atherosclerosis Association) in 2016; the Research Award of the Union of Vascular Societies of Switzerland and the Scholar of the Italian Society of Cardiology in 2018. In May 2018 the University of Zurich awarded Elena Osto the Venia legendi as a senior lecturer in the field of Cardiology. She has received the title of Fellow and is currently also Nucleus Member of the Working Group on Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology of the European Society of Cardiology.

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Ton Rabelink received his medical degree in 1986 at the University of Utrecht (cum laude). After obtaining a PhD degree in renal physiology he subsequently received board qualifications in internal medicine (1993) and nephrology and vascular medicine (1995). He was awarded a career stimulation grant by the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1993. Within the framework of this grant, he was given the opportunity to work in the lab of professor Lüscher and become experienced in molecular biology. After his return to Utrecht, he subsequently became chairman of medicine in 2000. In 2004 he moved to Leiden University to become head of Nephrology and Transplantation. Since 2010 he is Chairman of Medicine in Leiden University Medical Center. He has served in several professional organizations such as the Kidney Foundation (Chairman of the scientific board), member of the National Committee on adult stem cell research (ZonMW, TAS) and chairman of the council of the pathogenesis of the scientific board of the Dutch Heart Foundation. He has published over 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His current research interest is focused towards vascular biology and in particular the role of the endothelium in vascular biological processes and cell therapy. In the latter, the focus is on the clinical development of MSC and beta-cell therapy.

Prof. Dr. Vincent Richard

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Vincent Richard studied pharmacy in Rouen (France) where he continued his formation under Prof. Christian Thuillez. In 1988, he moved to Switzerland where he conducted research at the Department of Cardiology at the University Clinic Basel (Switzerland). From this research, he was able to publish a series of highly influential research papers on the effect of nitric oxide in coronary arteries. In 1995, Vincent Richard returned for a small sabbatical to Basel, where he conducted an experiment using ultrasound and the Doppler effect to investigate the effect of nitric oxide on vasodilation in the lower arm. With more than 800 citations he received with his publication in the medical journal Circulation, this article constitutes one of the most cited scientific publications in this field. Today, Vincent Richard is Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Rouen

Prof. Dr. Yi Shi

28

Yi Shi studied medicine at Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University (CHN) and did her PhD study at the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy of the University of Hong Kong. After that, she joined Professor Thomas F. Lüscher at the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory in Zurich as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2012 Yi Shi was appointed Associate Professor at the Fudan University. Currently, she is working at the Biomedical Research Laboratory of the Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai. Her research interest includes the cardiovascular pharmacology of natural products including Chinese medicine, in particular the modulatory actions on vascular reactivity as well as the effects of endothelial function on allograft rejection and tolerance.

Prof. Timo Speer, M.D., Ph.D.

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Timo Speer studied medicine at the University of Saarland (D). From 2010 to 2012 he was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Cardiology of the University Hospital Zurich and the Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich under Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher and Prof. Ulf Landmesser. In 2013 finished his experimental thesis entitled "Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) transforms high-density Lipoprotein (HDL) into a Noxious Particle linking endothelial dysfunction, hypertension and Innate Immunity". Since 2012 he is Head of the Working Group on Vascular Biology and lipoprotein Metabolism at the University Hospital Saarland (D).

Remo D. Spescha, Ph.D.

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Remo Spescha studied biology at the University of Zurich and for his master’s thesis he worked in cardiovascular research at the Institute for Physiology. After graduating in human biology he investigated between 2011 and 2014 new molecular mechanisms involved in stroke for his doctoral thesis at the Center for Molecular Cardiology of the University of Zurich in the research group of Giovanni G. Camici, Ph.D. Remo Spescha plans to specialize himself in the field of laboratory medicine.

Grzegorz Sumara, Ph.D.

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Grzegorz completed biology study at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. He started his scientific training in 2002, in Prof. Erwin F. Wagner’s laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria. In 2003 he moved to the University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland to the laboratory of Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher. At the end of 2004, he started his PhD in Prof. Romeo Ricci group at the ETH Zürich. After completion of his PhD study, he moved to the laboratory of Prof. Gerard Karsenty at the Columbia University, New York, USA. Currently, he is leading his own research group at the Rudolf Virchow Zentrum (RVZ) at the University of Würzburg in Germany sponsored by the Emmy Noether Programme from the German Research Foundation and the ERC starting grant. His research focuses on the identification of signalling cascades promoting metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis. He is an author of a number of high impact research publications in such journals as Science, Cell, Cell Metabolism, Cell Stem Cell and Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Prof. Dr. Hiroyuki Takase, MD, PhD

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Hiroyuki Takase studied medicine at the Nagoya City University (Japan). From 1993 to 1995 he conducted research at Prof. Lüscher’s Cardiovascular Research Group at the “Insel” Hospital Bern. Since 1995, Hiroyuki Takase is Head of Cardiology at the Enshu Spital in Hamamats (Japan). His research centres on hypertension, ischemia (including catheterization, coronal tomography, nuclear cardiology, and cardiac MRI), heart failure, echocardiography, chronic kidney insufficiency, and arrhythmia.

Marcel R. Tschudi, M.D., Ph.D.

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Marcel Tschudi studied medical biology at the University of Basel (Switzerland). Subsequently, he began a PhD in Prof. Lüscher’s Cardiovascular Research Group at the University Clinic Basel on endothelial regulation of coronary arteries. In 1998 Marcel Tschudi assumed a research assistant position at the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory located at the Institute of Physiology at the University of Zürich. A year later he accepted a position at the Swiss National Science Foundation followed by a position at Merck Sharp & Dohme-Chibret AG. Currently, Marcel Tschudi works as a project leader at the Medical Tribune in Basel.

Prof. Dr. René R. Wenzel

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

René Wenzel studied medicine in Essen (Germany) where he subsequently specialized in internal medicine and nephrology (the study of the function and diseases of the kidney). Between 1995 and 1996 he worked in the research group of Prof. Noll at the “Insel” Hospital Bern (Switzerland) investigating cardiovascular diseases. In his research, he showed for the first time the mechanisms of endothelin antagonists in the human skin and in the coronary circulation. He also characterized how calcium antagonists and an ACE inhibitor interact with the sympathetic nervous system in patients with high blood pressure. Subsequently, René Wenzel became Assistant Medical Director at the University of Essen, followed by an appointment to Head of Department for Inner Medicine at Zell am See (Austria).

PD Dr. Edward Wight

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Edward Wight van Dyke studied medicine in Zurich. From 1979 to 1980 he completed the post-doctoral program in Experimental Medicine and Biology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich. From 1980 onwards, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Prof. J. Lindenmann and Prof. H. Binz at the Institute of Immunology and Virology at the University of Zurich in the field of Experimental Immunology. From 1981 to 1982 Dr Wight van Dyke worked with Dr P. Frey at the Institute for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at the Triemli Hospital in Zurich. He then moved to the Clinic for Gynaecology and Gynaecological Oncology at the University Hospital Zurich, where he worked with Prof. G. Duc, Prof. U. Haller and Prof. E. Hochuli, among others, until 2000. Between 1994 and 1995 Dr Wight van Dyke joined Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher at the Inselspital in Berne with a fellowship in the field of experimental cardiology.
Since 2000, Dr Wight van Dyke has been Director of Gynecology and Gynecological Oncology at the Clinic for Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University Hospital Basel. In 2003 Dr Wight van Dyke habilitated at the University of Basel.

Prof. Dr. Zhihong Yang

PD Dr. Lukas Altwegg

Zhihong Yang studied medicine in Wuhan in the People’s Republic of China. In 1987 the Swiss Confederation awarded him a federal scholarship for advanced studies. At the University of Basel, he served as a research assistant in the vascular physiology group (under Professor Thomas F. Lüscher) and later as a senior assistant in cardiovascular research at the Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich As a staff member of the cardiovascular research teams in Basel, Bern and Zurich, Zhihong Yang was able to develop his scientific abilities and publish in the best journals of medicine and science. In 1999 he received his license to teach at university (Habilitation) at the University of Zurich in the field of cardiovascular physiology, and in 2001 he was appointed Professor of Physiology at the University of Fribourg.