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Editorial introductions

Section Editor(s): Roberts, Robert; Birnie, David; Vetter, Victoria L.

doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000033
Editorial introductions

Current Opinion in Cardiology was launched in 1985. It is part of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of cardiology is divided into 14 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Editor and the Section Editors for this issue.

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Robert Roberts

Robert Roberts is the President and CEO of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and founding Director of The Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre. He received his M.D. from Dalhousie University, Canada, and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology at the University of Toronto, Canada. Funded by a Canadian Heart Foundation Scholarship, he pursued research in heart disease at the University of California, USA. He was recruited to Washington University in St. Louis, USA, as Director of the Coronary Care Unit and rose to the rank of Associate Professor of Medicine. In 1982 he accepted the position of Chief of Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, USA. As a cardiologist, educator and scientist, he developed the MCBK Test, which has been used to diagnose heart attacks for the past three decades. Dr Roberts’ research led him to molecular biology and genetics, during which time he discovered many genes responsible for heart disease. Dr Roberts is generally regarded as one of the founders of molecular cardiology.

Dr Roberts has had a distinguished and prolific career as a cardiologist, educator and scientist having published over 850 scientific articles and received many awards including the 2012 Distinguished Fellowship Award from the International Academy of Cardiology; Canadian Cardiovascular Society 2012 Research Achievement Award; McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada and the Albrecht Fleckenstein Memorial Award from the International Academy of Cardiology in 2008; Citation for Highly Cited Researcher from ISI Thomson Scientific in 2002; the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology in 1998; and recently was honored by his alma mater, Dalhousie University, with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (2012 October).

Dr Roberts currently serves on several international committees: Medical Advisory Board, Gairdner Foundation (2009–2014); Impact Review Panel 2013 UBC Margolese National Brain and Heart Disorders Prizes; Scientific Advisory Committee Member, Fondation Leducq, Paris, France (2009–2014); Board of Directors, The Fields Institute, Research in Mathematical Science (2010–2015); Basic Science Advisory Task Force, American College of Cardiology 2013; Inter Society Task Force for Genetics, American College of Cardiology 2013; Board of Directors, Ontario Genomics Institute, Toronto, Ontario (2011–2015); Governing Board, International Society of Cardiovascular Translational Research, ACC (2010–2016).

Dr Roberts has also served many leadership roles in research, including: Chair, CANNeCTIN–Pharmacogenomics Technology Working Group (2008-present); Chairman, Data & Safety Monitoring Board of the NHLBI–sponsored, Rule–Out Myocardial Infarction Using Computer Assisted Tomography II (ROMICAT II) Trial, Washington, DC (2008–2012); Chairman, Awards Committee for Grant Reviews of the American College of Cardiology (2003–2006); Chairman of the Research Awards Committee American College of Cardiology (2002–2006); Chairman, Review Committee, ACC/Merck Fellowship Awards Program (2000–2006); Co–Chairman of the NIH Symposium on Gene Therapy and Safety, American College of Cardiology; Chairman, Joint ACC–ESC–AHA Committee Taskforce to Develop Molecular Genetics Curriculum (2000–2003); Vice–President, National American Heart Association (2001–2002); Board of Directors, National American Heart Association (1999–2002); Chair, ACC Task Force 7: Training in Cardiovascular Research (2002); Chairman, RPEC, National American Heart Association (1999–2001); Chairman, AHA Research Program and Evaluation Committee (1999–2001); Board of Trustees Member, American College of Cardiology (1996–2001); Chair, Training in Cardiovascular Research, American College of Cardiology (2000); and Board of Directors, American Heart Association (1999).

Dr Roberts is the Editor of Current Opinion in Cardiology and a member of the Editorial Board of several prestigious cardiology journals. He has lectured throughout the world including several notable plenary addresses, including: The Royal Canadian Institute for Advancement of Science, co-sponsored by the Gairdner Foundation, ‘Medicine: A Glimpse of the Future’, Toronto (2013); Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, 2012 CCS Research Achievement Award Presentation, Toronto, (2012); Plenary Speaker and Plenary Session Chair, International Academy of Cardiology, 17th World Congress on Heart Disease, Annual Scientific Sessions Toronto 2012, “A Glimpse To The Future – Genetics of Heart Disease”; Plenary Speaker, AACC Annual Meeting 2012 and Clinical Lab Expo, “9p21 DNA Variants Associated with Coronary Artery Disease”, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Los Angeles, California; Keynote Speaker, ACVIM Forum 2012, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, “Therapy for HCM in Genetic Animal Models” New Orleans, Louisiana; Endowed lectureship, Visiting Professor, Washington University 2011 “Genes and the Comprehensive Prevention of Heart Disease”, St Louis, Missouri; Endowed lectureship, Anandi L Sharma Visiting Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, New York, NY (2011); Endowed lectureship, Anna and Harry Borun Visiting Professor, California (2011); Opening Plenary Speaker, Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology (1995); Japanese College of Cardiology (1995); Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (1995); Japanese Circulation Society (1997); Simon Dack Presidential Address at the ACC Scientific Sessions (2002) and State-of-the-Art Lecture, Canadian Cardiovascular Society (2005).

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David Birnie

Dr David Birnie was appointed Staff Cardiac Electrophysiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) in May 2002. He was educated in Scotland and received his medical degree (MB ChB) from Glasgow University, UK, in 1990. After completion of internal medical training at Aberdeen University, UK, he gained his MRCP (UK) in 1993. He spent three years as a cardiology research fellow at Glasgow University from 1993 studying the immunology of atherosclerosis and was awarded his PhD equivalent (MD) in 1996. Between 1996 and 2001 he did cardiology training at Glasgow University and received his Certificate of Completion of Specialist Cardiology Training in 2001. In addition he spent a year in 1999–2000 as a Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellow at the Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada. Dr Birnie is the Director of the Arrhythmia Services at UOHI. His clinical focus is on all aspects of cardiac electrophysiology including arrhythmia pharmacotherapy and radiofrequency ablation of simple and complex arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation. He also has a major clinical interest in all aspects of implantation and follow-up of device therapy for arrhythmias. To date he has been involved in over 285 peer-reviewed presentations, publications, and book chapters. His major ongoing research interests are selection and optimization of CRT for heart failure patients, investigating optimal strategies for stroke reduction around device surgery/AF ablation and arrhythmias related to cardiac sarcoidosis.

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Victoria L. Vetter

Dr Victoria L. Vetter graduated from the University of Kentucky, USA, with her undergraduate degree. She received her medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, USA. She received her pediatric training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Vanderbilt University Hospital, USA, and trained in pediatric cardiology and electrophysiology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, USA, where she has been since her training. Dr Vetter is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, USA and was the Director of Electrophysiology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for over 3 decades, having established that Section in 1978. She became the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology in 1993 and served in that capacity for over 14 years. She was the principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health/ National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH/NHLBI) supported Pediatric Heart Disease Clinical Research Network (at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) from 2001–2011. She has a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and a Master of Science in Health Policy (MSHP) degree from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and teaches in the University of Pennsylvania Public Health Program. She was recently awarded the Edward S. Cooper, MD Award from the American Heart Association (2013) of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Her clinical practice has focused on children with cardiovascular conditions including congenital heart defects, primary arrhythmias, and acquired heart disease including many with conditions leading to sudden cardiac arrest and death. She is the Medical Director of the Youth Heart Watch (YHW) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, an affiliate of Project ADAM®, a national program aimed at public access defibrillation and automated external defibrillator (AED) implementation within schools. Additionally, she directs the YHW Heart Health Screening Study to evaluate the best methods to identify children at risk for sudden cardiac death. She has worked in leadership positions with a number of community and national organizations including the Cardiac Arrest Research and Education Foundation (CARE), Parent Heart Watch, Philadelphia Safe Heart Coalition, the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, American Academy of Pediatrics, Heart Rhythm Society, and the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society. Her research interests have been in the evaluation and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms in children and in the prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, especially from a population perspective. Additionally, her public health interests involve determining the factors that originate in childhood and result in the development of cardiovascular disease in adults, and finding the best preventive solutions. She is interested in applying the knowledge base of the public health field to health policy to effect changes that will improve the health of children.

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