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.