Meet our talented global team of experts
Senior Advisor to the Emerging Leaders Programme
Prof Amitava Banerjee is Associate Professor in Clinical Data Science at University College London, and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at University College London Hospitals and Barts Health NHS Trusts. He is a researcher, educator and clinician with interests spanning data science, cardiovascular disease, global health, training and evidence-based healthcare. After qualifying from Oxford Medical School, he trained as a junior doctor in Oxford, Newcastle, Hull and London. His interest in preventive cardiology and evidence-based medicine led to a Masters in Public Health at Harvard (2004/05), an internship at the World Health Organisation (2005) and DPhil in epidemiology from Oxford (2010). He was Clinical Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Birmingham, before moving to UCL in 2015. He works across two busy tertiary care settings with both inpatient and outpatient commitments. Although he is subspecialised in heart failure, he has ongoing practice in acute general cardiology and a keen interest in the diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation. His clinical work very much informs his research and vice versa, whether in the evaluation of medical technology or the ethics of large-scale use of patient data. Amitava chairs the Emerging Leaders Programme at the World Heart Federation. In addition, he is Trustee of the South Asian Health Foundation, and Deputy Editor at Global Heart journal. Amitava is a member of the 2014 Emerging Leaders cohort.
Prof Mark Huffman is the Quentin D. Young Professor of Health Policy and Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Medicine-Cardiology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Global Cardiovascular Health within the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern. He has a secondary appointment as an Associate Professor at The George Institute for Global Health at University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Mark is a practicing cardiologist, researcher, and teacher interested in global cardiovascular health epidemiology, clinical trials, implementation science, health systems and policy research and training. He aims to improve global cardiovascular health and health care, especially in low- and middle-income countries, and to bring lessons learned back home to the United States.
Dr Pablo Perel is a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Director of the Centre for Global Chronic Conditions at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is a cardiologist and epidemiologist with expertise on implementation research, clinical trials, evidence synthesis, and prognostic models. His main research interest is global cardiovascular research, particularly in limited resource and humanitarian settings. He conducts research in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. He is the Deputy Editor of the Global Heart Journal and Associate Editor of the BMC Diagnostic and Prognostic Journal. He has co-authored over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals. He divides his time between London and Geneva where he works as Senior Science Advisor for the World Heart Federation.
Prof David Wood is a cardiologist committed to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and holds joint emeritus academic appointments at Imperial College and the National University of Ireland-Galway. He has contributed to international policy and guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention through the World Health Organisation, World Heart Federation and the European Society of Cardiology. He was a founder and President of the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, a Board member of the European Society of Cardiology and most recently President of the World Heart Federation (2017-18). He is the principal investigator for the ASPIRE and EUROASPIRE studies across 27 European countries, evaluating standards of preventive cardiology practice in hospital and primary care. He led the EUROACTION and EUROACTION+ trials in preventive cardiology evaluating nurse-led models of preventive care in hospital and general practice across 8 European countries. He was Course Director for the Imperial College Masters degree programme in Preventive Cardiology (2008-18) and is now working for the National Institute of Prevention and Cardiovascular Health at the National University of Ireland-Galway to support the development of research in all aspects of cardiovascular prevention and health. He is Senior Editor of the European Society of Cardiology Textbook of Preventive Cardiology and founded the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (now European Journal of Preventive Cardiology) and served as the first Joint Editor in Chief.
Prof Salim Yusuf, D. Phil, FRCPC is a Distinguished University Professor of Medicine at McMaster University, Director of the Population Health Research Institute, and is Chief Scientist at Hamilton Health Sciences. He holds a Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Chair, was a Senior Scientist of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (1999-2004), and has received (among others) the Lifetime Research Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Paul Wood Silver Medal of the British Cardiac Society, the European Society of Cardiology gold medal, the American Heart Association Clinical Research Award,the Canada Gairdner award and over 35 other international and national awards for research, induction into the Royal Society of Canada and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has led over 50 major international studies in over 100 countries and several of these have changed medical practice. He has published over 1000 articles in refereed journals, was the second most cited researcher in the world for 2011, is in the top 0.01%of scientists and has the 15th highest H factor in history. He is the Past President of the World Heart Federation, where he initiated the Emerging Leaders programme, which has now trained about 150 people from all inhabited continents of the world.
Prof Karen Sliwa is Director of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Professor in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences University of Cape Town, and President of the World Heart Federation (2019-2020). Karen Sliwa is widely recognized as a world expert in cardiovascular disease, with a particular interest in reducing mortality in women with cardiovascular disease in maternity. She has contributed to better understanding on the pathophysiology, treatment options and awareness of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a global disease particularly prevalent in African populations. She leads several inter-Africa research projects, which have had a major impact for creating knowledge about CVDs common in Africa, leading to changes in policy. Her considerable experience in setting up simple, cost-effective registries and web-based data entry platforms have had a major impact on planning several innovative research projects and has facilitated the training of physicians from several African countries, including Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda and Tanzania. Her research from bed-to-bench-to-bedside population studies have led to a much better understanding of CVDs in pregnant women and to improved care. Professor Sliwa leads several high-profile special interest groups including a dedicated EORP Working Group on PPCM of the Heart Failure Association of European Society of Cardiology. Over her distinguished career she has served in many notable roles, including that of President of the South African Heart Association (2014-2016) and, currently, as President of the World Heart Federation (2019-2020). Prof Sliwa has also published more than 300 publications.
Prof Metin Avkiran was appointed as BHF Associate Medical Director for Research in 2016, on secondment from King’s College London. At King’s, he is Professor of Molecular Cardiology and served as Deputy Head of the Cardiovascular Division and on the steering committee of the BHF Centre of Research Excellence from 2004 to 2016. His laboratory’s research focuses on investigating the molecular signalling mechanisms that regulate cardiac function in health and disease. Professor Avkiran has previously served as Chairman of the British Society for Cardiovascular Research and President of the International Society for Heart Research.
Martin Cowie is Professor of Cardiology and Chair of Cardiology at Imperial College London, and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. He is a Non-Executive Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and a Trustee of the Atrial Fibrillation Association. Professor Cowie’s research interests focus on health technology assessment and delivery of efficient and effective care for patients with cardiovascular disease, with a particular focus on diagnostics, drugs, or devices. Professor Cowie is a founding member and past-Chairman of the British Society for Heart Failure, in addition to being a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). He chairs the Digital Health Committee of the ESC. Professor Cowie was shortlisted for the NHS Digital Champion (Leadership) Award in 2017, and was awarded the MacKenzie Medal by the British Cardiovascular Society in 2019.
Jean-Luc Eiselé has worked in the field of medical association management for almost 20 years. He was trained as a biochemist working at the Biozentrum in Basel and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. In 1999, he joined the European Respiratory Society as Scientific Affairs Manager in charge of the Annual Congress and was offered to develop the educational activities, in particular the online portfolio. In 2001 he was nominated Deputy Executive Director and in 2007 ERS Executive Director. In 2011, he was appointed by FDI World Dental Federation as Executive Director, developing, in particular, its advocacy work and launching successfully the World Oral Health Day. He joined the World Heart Federation (WHF) as Chief Executive Officer in May 2017, strengthening the business model and membership engagement.
Dr Natalie Banner is the Lead for Understanding Patient Data (UPD), an initiative hosted at the Wellcome Trust to support better conversations about how patient data is used for care and research. UPD works with patients, charities and health professionals to champion responsible uses of data, feeding into policy development, creating accessible resources and horizon scanning for emerging issues that may affect public confidence in the use of health data. Natalie formerly led Wellcome’s policy work on GDPR and data protection, seeking to ensure UK legislation and regulation creates a supportive, trustworthy environment for health research using patient and health-related data. In 2018 she was named in BioBeat’s “50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness”. Prior to joining Wellcome, Natalie was a postdoctoral research fellow in philosophy at King’s College London.
Prof Harry Hemingway is a clinician scientist with over 25 years of leadership in using rapidly changing patient and population data resources for research. Harry has contributed to establishing, growing and critically evaluating the field of data science for health nationally and internationally. In recognition of his contribution to advancing medical science and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society, Harry was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019. Harry’s aim is to mobilize insights gained from increasing scale and detail of data for health and healthcare within a framework of public trust. He seeks to execute science and innovation, develop tools and infrastructure and develop new careers, disciplines and talent in data science for health. Harry is currently Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Institute Director at the UCL Institute of Health Informatics. Since 2018, Harry is also Research Director at Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) London, bringing together 5 London universities (UCL, Imperial College London, Kings College London, Queen Mary University London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) in partnerships for data science for health.
Sarah Kraus completed her undergraduate medical training at the University of Cape Town. She returned to Cape Town to do specialist training in Internal Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital, graduating as a Fellow of the College of Physicians of South Africa in 2013. In 2014, she was awarded the Helen and Morris Mauerberger Scholarship to do her PhD at the University of Cape Town. Her clinical and research interests are focused on the clinical diagnosis and management of cardiomyopathy, myocarditis and heart failure in the African setting, cardiogenetics with focus on the genetic cardiomyopathies, and cardiovascular magnetic imaging in cardiomyopathy and myocarditis. She is affiliated with the Molecular Genetic Laboratory at the Hatter Institute, University of Cape Town, where she worked in the field of cardiogenetics research. Sarah is a 2017 World Heart Federation Emerging Leader and is currently doing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford.
Dr Adrianna Murphy is Assistant Professor of Health Systems Research and Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She currently holds a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Society and Ethics. Adrianna’s Fellowship research focuses on the impact of treatment costs for cardiovascular disease on healthcare-seeking behaviour and risk of impoverishment among households in low-income countries. She is also involved in research on CVD treatment access in conflict-affected settings. Adrianna has a PhD from LSHTM, an SM from the Harvard School of Public Health and is a 2017 World Heart Federation Emerging Leader.
Prof Ellen Nolte has a background in public health, with a Masters degree (MPH) from the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and a PhD at the LSHTM. She previously led the two London offices of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies at the LSHTM and the LSE, and before that, she led the Health and Healthcare Policy Programme at RAND Europe, Cambridge, where she also co-directed the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research. She is co-editor of the Journal of Health Services Research and Policy.
Dike Ojji graduated in 1995 from Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan, and subsequently had his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University College Hospital, Ibadan and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. He joined the young College of Health Sciences of University of Abuja as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Internal Medicine in 2014, and is also an Honorary Consultant Physician/Cardiologist, at University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Lead Investigator, Cardiovascular Research Unit, University of Abuja and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria and the Co-Chair, Pan-African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR) Hypertension Task Force. His areas of interest include pharmacotherapy of hypertension especially in native Africans, spectrum of hypertensive heart disease, hypertensive heart failure, co-morbid risk factors in hypertension and echocardiography. He has over 67 manuscripts in PubMed central published in peer reviewed journals including those with high and very high impact factors like New England Journal of Medicine, American Heart Journal, European Journal Heart Failure, European Heart Journal, Journal Human Hypertension, Journal American Medical Association and the Lancet. Dike is a member of the 2014 Emerging Leaders cohort and Science Committee.
Dr Dorairaj Prabhakaran is a cardiologist and epidemiologist by training. He is an internationally renowned researcher and is currently the Vice President- Research & Policy, Public Health Foundation of India, Executive Director of Centre for Chronic Disease Control, New Delhi, India and Professor (Epidemiology) London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. He heads the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions at PHFI which a joint initiative of four leading institutions is (Public Health Foundation of India, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and Emory University). His work spans from mechanistic research to understand the causes for increased propensity of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) among Indians, to developing solutions for CVD through translational research and human resource development. Prof Prabhakaran is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, UK, Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, and an Adjunct Professor at the Emory University. He has mentored over 50 post-doctoral and doctoral students so far. He has over 500 publications with more than 60000 citations, H-index of 74 and average impact factor of 8. He is also the Chair of the WHF Science Committee.
Borjana Pervan is a journalist by training and a senior communications professional who likes to ask questions and tell stories. Before joining the other side of media, she worked for a daily paper and a national TV in her country of origin, Bulgaria. She did investigative reports, including about human trafficking and corruption. Borjana also worked for an ad agency in Croatia and as communications expert for environment and human rights organizations in Switzerland. After leading the global communications efforts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), Borjana has taken up the role of Communications Director at the World Heart Federation in October 2019. Her new mission is to profile WHF as the global advocate for heart health.
Prof Fausto Pinto is the President-Elect of the World Heart Federation and the Past-President of European Society of Cardiology. He graduated from Lisbon University Medical School in 1984. He did his Cardiology fellowship at Santa Maria University Hospital – CHLN, E.P.E. (Lisbon, Portugal), and Stanford University Medical School (CA, USA), where he was a Clinical Fellow. He was then Clinical Attending in the Echocardiography laboratory and underwent an Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at the same institution. He is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (Lisbon, Portugal), and Full Professor of Cardiology. He is also the Head of the Cardiology Department and of the Heart and Vascular Department of Santa Maria University Hospital, CHULN E.P.E.