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Looking back and thinking forwards — 15 years of cardiology and cardiovascular research


The first issue of Nature Reviews Cardiology was published in November 2004 under the name Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine. To celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2019, we invited six of our Advisory Board members to discuss what they considered the most important advances in their field of cardiovascular research or clinical practice in the past 15 years and what changes they envision for cardiovascular medicine in the next 15 years. Several practice-changing breakthroughs are described, including advances in procedural techniques to treat arrhythmias and hypertension and the development of novel therapeutic strategies to treat heart failure and pulmonary arterial hypertension, as well as those that target risk factors such as inflammation and elevated LDL-cholesterol levels. Furthermore, these key opinion leaders predict that machine learning technology and data derived from wearable devices will pave the way towards the coveted goal of personalized medicine.

The contributors

J.M.K. leads both clinical and research groups in the Department of Heart Rhythm Disorders at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. He has an international reputation as a leader in the field of atrial arrhythmia research and has authored >380 peer-reviewed publications. He serves on the editorial board of 12 international cardiology journals and is an associate editor of JACC Clinical Electrophysiology. He is the immediate past president of the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society and served as scientific chair of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand for 6 years.

S.L. is Professor in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences and Professor in Cell & Molecular Biology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile in Santiago, Chile and adjunct professor in the Cardiology Division, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, USA. He is also the director of the Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases (ACCDiS) in Santiago, Chile. He has published >260 articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as book chapters. He is the current president of the Latino-American section of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) and an associate editor for Circulation. His research interests include cell signalling in the cardiovascular system, specifically the molecular mechanisms that regulate energy metabolism, hypertrophy, and death and survival of the heart, as well as important processes in the development of diseases, such as myocardial infarction, hypertension and heart failure (HF). Recently, his work has focused on the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and function in the heart, inter-organelle communication in chronic diseases, primary cilia and polycystins in heart function, the non-canonical renin–angiotensin system and mechanisms in the genesis and development of HF with preserved ejection fraction (EF).

F.M. is Professor of Medicine and deputy director of the Department for Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Saarland University Hospital, and visiting professor at Harvard–MIT, Biomedical Engineering, Boston, MA, USA. He holds board certifications in internal medicine, cardiology, intensive care medicine, emergency medicine and hypertension. He serves as vice-chair of the Working Group for Interventional Hypertension Treatment of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH), a board member of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Council on Hypertension and a writing committee member of the 2018 ESC/ESH hypertension guidelines.

M.N. is a professor at Harvard Medical School and principal investigator at the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. His laboratory examines the cellular and molecular processes in atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction, with a particular focus on myeloid cells and the haematopoietic system.

M.H.Y. is Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, and founder and director of research at the Harefield Heart Science Centre (The Magdi Yacoub Institute), London, UK, overseeing >60 scientists and students in the areas of tissue-engineered heart valves, myocardial regeneration, novel left ventricular assist devices, stem cell biology, end-stage HF and transplantation immunology. He established the largest heart and lung transplantation programme in the world. He founded the Chain of Hope in 1995 to treat children with correctable cardiac conditions from war-torn and developing countries and established training and research programmes in local cardiac units. He also founded the Aswan Heart Centre in 2009, offering medical services free of charge to all patients and advancing basic science and biomedical research in Egypt.

D.Z. is a professor at the Capital Medical University, Beijing Anzhen Hospital in Beijing, China. She is a member of the China National Expert Committee for Cardiovascular Diseases, the Chinese Society of Preventive Cardiology and the Cardiology Society of Chinese Medical Doctors Association. She is also on the advisory or editorial board of journals including Nature Reviews Cardiology, International Journal of Cardiology and Chinese Journal of Cardiology. She has been involved in writing several international or China-specific guidelines for various topics of preventive cardiology, including management of dyslipidaemia and hypertension.

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Fig. 1: Evolution of AF ablation procedural care.
Fig. 2: Artificial intelligence for cardiovascular medicine.
Fig. 3: Potential non-blood-pressure-related indications for sympathetic modulation by renal denervation.
Fig. 4: Different causes of pulmonary hypertension in resource-rich versus resource-limited areas.


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F.M. is supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB TRR219), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kardiologie and Deutsche Hochdruckliga. S.L. is supported by Fondo de Financiamiento de Centros de Investigacion en Areas Prioritarias (FONDAP) grant 15130011 from Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica (CONICYT), Chile. M.N. is supported by grants from the NHLBI HL139598 and HL142494.

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All authors researched data for the article, contributed to discussions of content, wrote the manuscript, and reviewed and edited the manuscript before submission.

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Correspondence to Jonathan M. Kalman or Sergio Lavandero or Felix Mahfoud or Matthias Nahrendorf or Magdi H. Yacoub or Dong Zhao.

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Competing interests

J.M.K. has received fellowship and research grants from Abbott, and from Biosense Webster and Medtronic in the form of unrestricted grants to the Royal Melbourne Hospital research directorate. F.M. has received speaker honoraria and consultancy fees from Berlin Chemie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Medtronic and ReCor. M.N. has been a paid a consultant fee or received research support from Alnylam, GlaxoSmithKline, IFM Therapeutics, Medtronic, Molecular Imaging, Novartis, Sigilon and Verseaux. The other authors declare no competing interests.

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Kalman, J.M., Lavandero, S., Mahfoud, F. et al. Looking back and thinking forwards — 15 years of cardiology and cardiovascular research. Nat Rev Cardiol 16, 651–660 (2019).

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