The European Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECRI) is honored to welcome Dr. Juan Iglesias to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). ECRI is a non-profit foundation that brings together top clinical researchers and supporting grant-givers in order to perform clinical studies that improve cardiovascular health care and to perform these clinical studies according to international regulations and within pre-defined timelines.
Dr. Juan F. Iglesias is an interventional cardiologist at Geneva University Hospitals, and Privat Docent and Lecturer at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He is board certified in general cardiology at Lausanne University Hospital and he specialized in interventional cardiology with a focus on complex and high-risk percutaneous coronary interventions including chronic total occlusions, intravascular imaging, and invasive coronary physiology.
Dr. Iglesias works as consultant in interventional cardiology at Geneva University Hospitals. He is fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC) and the American College of Cardiology (FACC). He has authored and co-authored more than 150 articles, book chapters and scientific reviews. Dr Iglesias’ areas of research are wide and include novel coronary stent technologies, invasive coronary physiology, acute coronary syndromes, transradial coronary interventions, antiplatelet therapy during and after PCI and renal denervation.
With the addition of Dr. Iglesias to its SAB, ECRI aims to increase its efforts in designing and executing large and relevant randomized controlled trials in coronary revascularization strategies. With the advent of innovative technologies, both for treatment as well as for invasive assessment of coronary lesions, an accelerated global collaboration is warranted to expedite innovation and bring better therapies to patients. Switzerland is an strategic geography for ECRI as well, given the forward-looking implementation of regulations for medical devices, including established collaborations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"Dr. Iglesias has a precise vision for the intricate management of coronary artery disease, derived from his daily practice as well as from conceptual frameworks, that once tested in clinical trials, may lead to groundbreaking strategies to treat this condition" - Ernest Spitzer, Chairman of the Board at ECRI Foundation.
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The European Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECRI) is honored to welcome Prof. Philippe Pibarot to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). ECRI is a non-profit foundation that brings together top clinical researchers and supporting grant-givers in order to perform clinical studies that improve cardiovascular health care and to perform these clinical studies according to international regulations and within pre-defined timelines.
Prof. Pibarot is full professor at the Department of Medicine of Laval University and he holds the Canada Research Chair (Level I) in Valvular Heart Disease (VHD) at the Québec Heart & Lung Institute. He is the head of Cardiology Research at Québec Heart & Lung Institute. He obtained a doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM) in 1987 at the University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France and a PhD degree in biomedical sciences from the University of Montreal in April 1995. He has received the FACC, FAHA, FASE, FESC, FASE, FCCS credentials.
The objective of his research program is to develop and validate novel patient-oriented approaches to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of VHD. He is currently the principal investigator of several multicenter studies and trials funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research through a 7-year Foundation grant. He is director of the Echocardiography Core Laboratory at the Québec Heart & Lung Institute. He has published more than 650 articles and presented >900 invited conferences in the course of his career. He is associate editor for Structural Heart and Eurointervention journals and Imaging section editor for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. He received the Annual Achievement Award of the Canadian Society of Echocardiography (2010), the Research Achievement Award, Canadian Cardiovascular Society (2010), and the Feigenbaum Lecture Award, American Society of Echocardiography (2012), and a Doctorate Honoris Causa of University of Liège, Belgium (2017). He is an ex-officio member of the nucleus of the Council in Valvular heart Diseases of the European Society of Cardiology. He is a founding member of Heart Valve Voice Canada. He is among the most influential scientists in the field of Medicine according to the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
With the addition of Prof. Pibarot to its SAB, ECRI aims to increase its efforst in designing and executing large and relevant structural heart disease trials in which imaging has a decisive role, with a European and Global reach, increasing collaboration with Canadian investigators.
"Prof. Pibarot is a star in his field, not only because of his vast expertise and track-record, but especially because of his unusual charisma, dedication, and passion for moving the field forward. We are honored to start this collaboration" - Ernest Spitzer, Chairman of the Board at ECRI Foundation.
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ECRI was founded in 2012 as a collaborative effort to perform investigator-initiated studies in the field of cardiology and became one of the leading Academic Research Organizations in the field of interventional cardiology in Europe. ECRI provides a structure facilitating the design and conduct of clinical trials according to ICH/GCP/ISO/MDR guidelines and standards. This unique initiative between thought leaders in the field of cardiology and Cardialysis, with its expertise in the field, creates an opportunity for multicenter, multinational investigator-initiated studies. Several multicenter randomized clinical trials sponsored by ECRI are currently being conducted by means of scientific grants from leading industries.
Cardialysis is a Dutch-based, quality-oriented, independent cardiac imaging Core Laboratory and a cardiology-focused Contract Research Organization (CRO) leveraging from 40 years in the field. It specializes in full-service, multi-national Device(+Pharma) Randomized Clinical Trials. Cardialysis facilitates coordination of expert committees, including Clinical Events Committees & Data and Safety Monitoring Boards in collaboration with Top European and Global experts. Cardialysis is founding member of the Academic Research Consortium and EU-MDR Cardiovascular Research Collaboratory. It operates with global reach in compliance with European, US FDA, PMDA, and CFDA regulations.
Clinical Research Fellowship (CRF) Program in Interventional Cardiology
The CRF program is a clinical research fellowship in cardiology, which targets outstanding early- or mid-career physicians with research focus, who have the potential to excel in their field. The CRF program fosters diversity in clinical trials in line with ECRI’s DIVERSIFY Program, which creates an inclusive academic environment where women and men from different ethnical backgrounds work together to address unmet medical needs in cardiology.
Two Core Themes:
Learning about designing, planning, executing, and reporting top quality clinical trials in cardiology, predominantly on coronary interventions, atherosclerosis, structural heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, and hypertension.
Learning about cardiac imaging quantitative analysis (invasive and non-invasive); independent committees (endpoint adjudication, data and safety monitoring boards; and safety oversight).
Requirements to apply to the ECRI-Cardialysis CRF Program:
Call for Action to Grant-Givers and Donors
The European Cardiovascular Research Institute accepts grants and donations for advance clinical research training of high-achieving academic physicians. For more information, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The European Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECRI) announces that enrolment is now completed for the OPTIMAL trial. OPTIMAL is a randomized controlled, multicenter, international, strategy trial. Its hypothesis is that an IVUS-guided approach is superior to an angio-guided approach when treating patients requiring percutaneous coronary intervention for left main coronary artery disease.
Observational studies and subgroup analyses from clinical trials, have suggested a possible benefit from the use of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) guidance when performing unprotected left main coronary artery percutaneous coronary intervention. However, the value of imaging with IVUS has never been proven in an appropriately powered randomized clinical trial. The OPtimizaTIon of Left MAin PCI With IntravascuLar Ultrasound (OPTIMAL) trial is an ambitious program aiming to provide a definite answer, potentially impacting clinical guidelines as well as reimbursement in European countries. The primary endpoint of OPTIMAL is the Academic Research Consortium (ARC) patient-oriented composite endpoint (PoCE) which includes all-cause death, any stroke, any myocardial infarction and any repeat revascularization at 2 years follow-up.
The sponsor wishes to acknowledge the tremendous partnership among the participating centers, the steering committee, and the coordinating cardiovascular research organization. Enrollment started in July 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic peaked in Europe and underwent significant challenges during the subsequent two years, for reasons known to the cardiovascular and clinical trial communities that can be summarized as follows: delays in regulatory reviews, staffing issues at the hospitals, hesitance of patients to attend hospitals, national restrictions including limited availability for monitoring visits, among other important factors. Despite these challenges, Investigators and Research Teams in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy, who are highly passionate about evidence-based medicine, continued efforts until achieving 100% enrollment today.
An especial recognition to the Research Teams and Interventionalists let by Dr. Daniel Jones (St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, England), Prof. Luca Testa (IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Milan, Italy), and Dr. Pablo Piñón Esteban (Complexo Hospitalario Universitario A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain), who completed the study as largest contributors. Every individual contribution has been significant and appreciation is shared with all participating centers. Similarly, ECRI wishes to acknowledge the passion and commitment of the Steering Committee members, including Prof. Adrian Banning (Heart Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, United Kingdom), Prof. Luca Testa (IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Milan, Italy), Dr. José M. de la Torre Hernández (Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain), and Giovanni Luigi De Maria (Heart Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, United Kingdom).
Cardialysis, a scientifically-driven cardiovascular research organization with full European coverage, partners in the full-service execution of the trial. Congratulations for this milestone to Anita van der Wal (OPTIMAL Project Manager) as well as to Céline Woltjes (Lead CRA) for the precise oversight and appreciated collaboration with the full study Team at Cardialysis and expert local monitors in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain. The follow-up of OPTIMAL continues and the primary endpoint results are expected in 2025.
ECRI is a non-profit Foundation that brings together a community of top clinical researchers, industry partners, and private/public funding partners in order to (1) perform clinical investigations that improve cardiovascular healthcare and, (2) perform these clinical investigations according to international regulations with strict monitoring of budgets and timelines. ECRI received research grants from Boston Scientific and Philips. Without these generous programs, regulated by the MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business, the OPTIMAL trial would not have been possible.
The partnership among Investigators and Research Teams, Cardialysis, ECRI, and the Grant-Givers - Boston Scientific and Philips, represents the infrastructure to execute the investigation. The contribution of patients that consent trial participation is what makes it possible. The OPTIMAL program deeply thanks the participation of each patient in the trial, aiming to improve clinical outcomes and healthcare overall.
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The European Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECRI) is honored to welcome Prof. Robert Byrne to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). ECRI is a non-profit foundation that brings together top clinical researchers and supporting grant-givers in order to perform clinical studies that improve cardiovascular health care and to perform these clinical studies according to international regulations and within pre-defined timelines.
Prof. Byrne is Director of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Mater Private Network, Dublin, Ireland, and Professor of Cardiovascular Research at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The Cardiovascular Research Institute Dublin (CVRI Dublin) is based in Eccles Street, Dublin and is a collaboration with the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. Its research focus is on outcomes research, clinical trials, core laboratory and systematic reviews.
Prof. Byrne’s specialty interests are in the field of general and interventional cardiology, coronavirus and heart disease. Specific areas of expertise and main research interests include acute coronary syndromes, antithrombotic therapy, clinical trials, coronary restenosis and stent failure, drug-eluting stent and drug-coated balloon technology, intravascular imaging, meta-analysis and systematic review, patient outcomes research, radiation exposure, valvular heart disease and structural heart interventions.
His research awards include the European Society of Cardiology Atherothrombosis Research Fellowship (2008), the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Thomas J. Linnemeier Young Investigator Award (2009) and the Andreas Grüntzig Research Prize of the German Cardiac Society (2016).
His leadership roles include Secretary and Executive Committee member of the European Association of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (2022-2024) and past Chair of its Patient Initiatives Committee and Scientific Documents and Initiatives Committee. He is Co-Chair of the European Society of Cardiology Guidelines on Acute Coronary Syndrome 2023. He is Deputy Editor at EuroIntervention and Guest Editor at Circulation. Prof. Byrne was a scientist of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research and has published more than 360 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters on coronary intervention, including in in leading journals (NEJM, the Lancet, JAMA, Circulation, JACC and the European Heart Journal).
With the addition of Prof. Byrne to its SAB, ECRI aims to increase its efforts in designing and executing large and relevant investigations to improve management of coronary artery disease and structural heart interventions.
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The European Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECRI) is thrilled to welcome Dr. Victoria Delgado to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). ECRI is a non-profit institute that brings together top clinical researchers and supporting grant-givers in order to perform clinical studies that improve cardiovascular health care and to perform these clinical studies according to international regulations and within pre-defined timelines.
Dr. Victoria Delgado is senior cardiologist, head of the cardiovascular imaging department at the University Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, in Badalona (Barcelona, Spain) with specific focus on multimodality imaging. She has served as councilor of the ESC board from 2020-2022, twice as councilor of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, one of the terms as chair of the Scientific documents, member of the EURObservational Research Programme (EORP) and committee of the Clinical practice Guidelines. She is Associate Editor of Circulation.
With over 750 publications in peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Delgado is one of the leading experts in the field of cardiovascular imaging worldwide, addressing advances and innovation in echocardiography, cardiac computed tomography, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, among other imaging techniques. Within investigations of the heart, Dr. Delgado has major contribution in both myocardial and valvular disease, with landmark publications. List of publications available here. Notably, Dr. Delago has participated in over 50 consensus and guideline documents within cardiology societies, including the European Society of Cardiology.
With the addition of Dr. Delgado to its SAB, ECRI aims to increase its efforst in designing and executing large and relevant structural heart disease trials in which imaging has a decisive role.
"It is a true privilege to work with Dr. Delgado and we look forward to learning from her and understanding research priorities in structural heart disease towards improving quality of life and patient care" - Ernest Spitzer, Managing Director of ECRI.
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In line with its vision, the European Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECRI) welcomes Prof. Luca Testa to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). ECRI is a non-profit institute that brings together top clinical researchers and supporting grant-givers in order to perform clinical studies that improve cardiovascular health care and to perform these clinical studies according to international regulations and within pre-defined timelines.
Prof. Testa, MD, PhD, is an interventional cardiologist at the Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Policlinico San Donato in Milan, Italy, where he works as Head of the Coronary Revascularization Unit and Head of the Clinical Research Unit within the Department of Cardiology. Prof. Testa is also Contract Professor of Cardiology for the International MD program at the “Vita e Salute” University of San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy. He has published more than 200 peer reviewed articles, covering several subjects especially in the field of transcatheter aortic valve replacement, with the manuscripts he authored/co-authored, he provided a significant contribution to the widespread diffusion of the TAVR technologies. List of publications available here.
Prof. Testa is academic editor, section editor and member of the board of several peer-reviewed journals. He is medical proctor for TAVR, CTOs, coronary imaging, and coronary physiology both in Europe and Middle East/Asia.
ECRI has a long-standing and outstanding partnership with Prof. Testa, who is Co-Principal Investigator of the OPTIMAL Trial (NCT04111770), a landmark investigation in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention for left main disease. Through his leadership, and in collaboration with his Co-Principal Investigator, Prof. Adrian Banning, the Steering Committee of the Trial, and the Team at Cardialysis, OPTIMAL went through the tremendous challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic but continued with passionate work with all participating centers. OPTIMAL is actively enrolling with consistent participation of up to 30 European interventional centers.
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Following a recent announcement of the Steering Committee Mentee Program, ECRI is proud to introduce Dr. Alessandra Scoccia as the first Steering Committee Mentee at our Institute, working together with Dr. Joost Daemen as Mentor and Dr. Ernest Spitzer as Program Director. Her appointment is an important first step for ECRI’s DIVERSIFY Program in promoting female leadership and multi-generational collaboration in CV research.
Dr. Scoccia is a cardiologist and researcher in Interventional Cardiology. She graduated with honors in Medicine and Surgery at Università degli Studi di Milano in 2016. Subsequently, in 2016 she was resident at the department of Intensive Care at Western Health Hospital in Melbourne. Between 2017 and 2021 she completed her Cardiology residency at the University of Ferrara, progressively focusing her attention on Interventional Cardiology. During her cardiology training, Dr. Scoccia performed the initial steps of complex percutaneous coronary intervention, participating in a total of over 300 coronary and peripheral procedures. At present, she is active in cardiovascular research with a specific focus on innovations in the area of coronary physiology and its application on patients with coronary artery disease, with a particular interest in non-hyperemic pressure ratios and Angiography Based Vessel Fractional Flow Reserve. She has co-authored over 25 peer reviewed publications. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam.
“It is a great opportunity to be part of this project. I feel honored in being trusted by internationally-standing researchers, and I am eager to contribute to the FAST III Trial”
- Dr. Scoccia said when accepting the invitation.
The objective of FAST III (NCT04931771) is to determine the safety and effectiveness of an angiography-based vessel-Fractional Flow Reserve guided strategy versus an invasive FFR guided strategy to guide coronary revascularization in patients with intermediate coronary artery stenosis. This randomized controlled, open-label, multicenter, international, non-inferiority, strategy trial aims to enroll a total of 2228 patients, in 7 European countries and approximately 35 hospitals. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Joost Daemen (Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands).
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Overseeing the execution of clinical trials requires clinical, academic, methodological, and operational expertise. Consequently ECRI has defined as a priority the need for supplementing clinical and academic profiles with exposure to ongoing clinical trials within a Steering Committee in order to accelerate the expertise required for designing, planning, and overseeing large scale clinical investigations.
In compliance with GCP and formal requirements, a Steering Committee Mentee at ECRI formally joins the committee with a Mentor within the Committee. While ideally the Mentee would join the committee until the completion of the study and participate in its reporting, the duration of this experience is planned for a minimum of 12 months.
ECRI works together with the Mentor and Mentee in reviewing critical trial execution literature and regulations, as well as fostering methodological and operational dialogue. Importantly, best practices on confidentiality, firewalls among clinical trial processes, considerations on endpoint adjudication, data safety monitoring boards, and safety reporting procedures are studied.
The program is designed for early or mid-career physicians who have experience in the relavant trial field and have a genuine interest in clinical trials. Mentees are selected based on an academic profile supported with at least 4 articles published in peer-reviewed journals.
The ECRI’s Steering Committee Mentee Program fosters diversity in clinical trials in line with ECRI’s DIVERSIFY Initiative. The ECRI's DIVERSIFY Initiative creates an academic environment where women and men from different ethnical backgrounds work together to address unmet medical needs in cardiology.