Professor Derek Yellon
Derek M Yellon PhD, DSc (UK), DSc (SA), FRCP (Hon), FACC, FESC, FAHA, is Professor of Molecular & Cellular Cardiology at University College London (UCL) and Director of the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute at UCL Hospitals & Medical School. He is also Programme Director (Cardiology & Diabetes) for the NIHR-UCLH Biomedical Research Centre.He is immediate past Vice President of the British Cardiovascular Society and past Chairman of the Cellular Biology Working Group of the European Society of Cardiology as well as past member of the World Council of the International Society for Heart Research. He was recently elected to Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) as a Senior Investigator as well as a member of the College of Senior Investigators.In 1994 he was awarded a DSc from the University of Bath for his “substantial contribution to the knowledge of cardiovascular disease and treatment”. In 2013 he was awarded a second Doctor of Science (honorius causa) degree from the University of Cape Town in recognition of his distinguished basic and clinical research in the mechanisms underlying the phenomena of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury and cardioprotection,
Professor Yellon was instrumental in establishing a second Hatter Cardiovascular Institute at the Medical School of the University of Cape Town. In recognition of these achievements he was, in 1997, made an Hon Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town. He also holds Honorary Chairpersons at the University of South Alabama in the USA, and the North China Coal Medical University in China.
He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; the American College of Cardiology; the European Society of Cardiology; the International Society for Heart Research and the American Heart Association.
He is on the editorial board of a number of major Cardiovascular Journals and has published in excess of 480 peer review papers and edited 23 books. He runs a translational research Institute with his main area of interest including; myocardial protection, the pathophysiology of cardioprotection in setting of diabetes, ischaemia/reperfusion injury, molecular aspects of adaptation to ischaemic injury and myocardial pre and postconditioning in both the basic and clinical arena.
Professor Lionel Opie
Lionel H. Opie, MD, DPhil, DSc, FRCP is Professor of Medicine Emeritus, Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town.
After graduating from the University of Cape Town, he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and later worked with Sir Hans Krebs, Nobel Laureate. With Richard Bing, he established the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Cardiology in 1970. After the first Heart transplant by Barnard, Opie was invited back from London in 1971 to develop basic heart research in Ischaemic Heart Disease, for which he received a MRC Unit (1976-1998). He was Visiting Professor (1984-1998) at Stanford University, California. From 2003-February 2010, he was Director, Hatter Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Medicine.
His major book, “Drugs for the Heart”, Elsevier, was first published as six articles in the Lancet with the 8th edition co-edited with Gersh in 2013. The British Medical Journalists gave first prize to “Living Longer, Living Better” (Oxford University Press, 2010).
In 2006 he received the highest Presidential award in South Africa, the Order of Mapungubwe, being cited as internationally the best known cardiologist in Africa after Barnard. In 2011 he became Senior Scholar at the University of Cape Town. In 2012 he received top (A1) research grading and grant support from the National Research Council of South Africa. In 2012 he received the Honorary DSc degrees from the University of Stellenbosch, “for his contributions as an internationally acclaimed cardiologist, his formidable and virtually unequalled research output, for his pioneering work on the energy metabolism of the heart, and for his exceptional talent as author and lecturer to translate complex scientific processes into comprehensible concepts.”
He has had the on-going honour of developing Cardiology at the Limits with Derek Yellon, at whose suggestion they initiated the series in 1997.
In 2012 they were cited on The Lancet front cover as “fostering the exchange of science and medicine between African and European continents”.
Professor John Cunningham is a clinician-scientist holding positions as Professor of Nephrology at University College London Medical School and The Royal Free Hospital and an Honorary Fellowship at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, both in the UK. His early training was in Cambridge (pre-clinical) and Oxford, UK (clinical), with postgraduate training at The University of London and Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, USA under Drs Louis V Avioli and Eduardo Slatopolsky. He has remained an active frontline clinician in both nephrology and internal medicine.
Academically, Professor Cunningham’s work includes: characterisation of the effect of acidosis on the bioactivation of vitamin D; the description of hysteresis in the parathyroid response to calcium; identification of factors mediating bone loss following renal transplantation and preventative strategies; control of parathyroid function in vivo, including effects of new vitamin D metabolites and calcimimetic agents. On these and other subjects, John Cunningham frequently lectures nationally and internationally, as well as serving on numerous international expert panels and working groups. He is a founding co-chairman of the Nephrology At The Limits series held under the auspices of University College London, The University of Cape Town, and The Lancet.
Dr. Peter Libby is the Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA., USA. He also serves as the Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His current major research focus is the role of inflammation in vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.
Concepts that have evolved from his scientific work have changed thinking about how this common disease begins, the mechanisms that link risk factors to altered biology of the arterial wall, and the pathophysiology of the thrombotic complications of atherosclerosis including myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Clinical application of these discoveries has led to tests that can predict cardiovascular events and identify individuals who can benefit from therapies not otherwise indicated. His areas of clinical expertise include general and preventive cardiology. He is perennially named as one of America’s Top Doctors in the Castle- Connelly rankings, and was one of 25 cardiologists listed as a Top Doctor in 2010 by Boston Magazine.
An author and lecturer on cardiovascular medicine and atherosclerosis, Dr. Libby has published over 300 original research reports in journals including Circulation, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, and Nature. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Eighth edition of Braunwald’s Heart Disease. Dr. Libby has also contributed the chapter on the pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of atherosclerosis to many editions of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. He has held numerous visiting professorships and has been selected to deliver over 70 major named or keynote lectures throughout the world. Dr. Libby has received numerous awards and recognitions for his research accomplishments including the Distinguished Scientist award (basic domain) from the American College of Cardiology in 2006. Recent major recognitions include the Fernandez-Cruz Prize in 2008 (Madrid), the inaugural International Teacher Award from the Brazilian Society of Cardiology in 2009, the Lucian Award for Circulatory Diseases from McGill University and the International Okamoto Award for Basic Research on Vascular Diseases in 2010. He has been awarded the Gold Medal of the European Society of Cardiology and the Basic Science Prize from the American Heart Association in 2011.
Dr. Libby’s professional memberships include the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and elected honorary memberships in the British Atherosclerosis Society and the Japan Circulation Society. He has served as the President of the Association of University Cardiologists. He also served in many roles as a volunteer for the American Heart Association, including chairman of several research committees and member of the executive committees of the Councils on Arteriosclerosis, Circulation, and Basic Science. He has frequently served as a consultant to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), including a 5-year term on the Board of Scientific Councilors. He was the recipient of a MERIT Award from the NHLBI.
Professor Brian Rayner
Brian Rayner is Head and Director of Research of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, and is the immediate past President of the Southern African Hypertension Society. He graduated in M.B.Ch.B. from University of Cape Town in 1978, obtained Fellowship of the College of Medicine (SA) in 1986, and has a Master of Medicine and PhD from the University of Cape Town. His doctoral thesis studied salt sensitivity and salt sensitive hypertension in indigenous South African people. He received the World Hypertension League Award for Notable Achievement in Hypertension in 2014 in his work related to his doctorate.
Brian Rayner’s active research interests are therapy of hypertension, mutations in the ENaC, genetic determinants of salt sensitivity, HIVAN, vascular calcification and chronic kidney disease, primary aldosteronism, assessing adherence in hypertensive patients, ethics of rationing dialysis therapy, AKI and genetics of severe hypertension in blacks. He has a major interest in hypertension guidelines, and together with Profs Seedat and Veriava wrote the 2014 South African Hypertension Practice Guideline. He has 91 publications in peer reviewed journals, is on the editorial board of the CVS Journal of Africa, and Nephron Clinical Practice, and acts as a reviewer for many peer reviewed international journals, has made over 100 presentations at local and international congresses and has written 6 chapters in books.
Professor Mpiko Ntsekhe
Mpiko Ntsekhe MD PhD F.A.C.C currently serves as the Hellen and Morris Mauerberger Professor and Chair of Cardiology, at the University of Cape Town and Head of Clinical Cardiology at Groote Schuur Hospital. Prior to this he was Director of the Catheter Laboratory Senior Consultant in the Division of Cardiology at the same hospital. His interests include the interface between infectious diseases and the cardiovascular system with a focus on HIV and tuberculosis. Prof Ntsekhe has a well established publication track record including several book chapters, numerous peer reviewed articles in high impact journals such as Circulation, Nature Cardiology Reviews and the European Heart Journal. He is a regular reviewer for a number of prestigious journals also serves as an editoral board member for a few. He is a frequent speaker at local and international congresses and society meetings