Zoom On: Frans Van de Werf, Chair European Affairs Committee

Dr. Frans Van de Werf is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium. He has served as visiting professor at several institutions including Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Van de Werf is widely published with more than 600 publications to his credit. He has served on the editorial boards of many journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, Nature Clinical Practice, International Journal of Cardiology, and Coronary Artery Disease. He was the editor-in chief of the European Heart Journal between 2003 and 2009. He is a past recipient of the International Roche Chair in Cardiology and has previously served as President of the Belgian Society of Cardiology.  He has also been awarded the 2005 Joseph Maisin prize for €100000.

Dr. Van de Werf's research focuses on acute coronary syndromes, thrombolysis and antithrombotic treatments. Specifically, his work on thrombolytic therapy for myocardial infarction played an important role in initiating a new era in patient management and outcomes. Dr. Van der Werf is considered to be an expert in fibrinolytic therapy and the treatment of acute MI. It is mainly because of the success of his work and his research that Dr. Van de Werf has received several research grants and honoraria from companies involved in the development of lytic and antithrombotic agents for acute coronary syndromes.

Dr. Van der Werf lists his main research interests as coronary reperfusion, antithrombotic therapies, left ventricular function and cardiac imaging. His clinical interests include ACS and thrombolysis. He has been involved with multicentre trials including the GUSTO ((Global Utilization of Streptokinase and Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Occluded Coronary Arteries) and ASSENT (Assessment of the Safety and Efficacy of New Thrombolytic Regimens) studies, conducted in Leuven and involving more than 40,000 subjects. 

Dr. Van der Werf believes that the highlight of his career so far is the progress in the management of STEMI patients in hospital. Mortality rates or patients fell from 13 to just 4 percent in a few years. He is actively involved in Leuven's stem cell programme which is reported to have a beneficial effect of stem cell therapy on infarct size.

Dr. Van der Werf's work is recognized both nationally and internationally. In fact, his work can be considered as one of the success stories of modern medicine. Dr. Van der Werf has announced several scholarships supported by money set aside from clinical trials. These will be used to fund two or three research fellowships into cardiovascular medicine.

Sources: European Heart Journal, European Society of Cardiology, PracticeUpdate, Wikipedia

Image Credit: PracticeUpdate                

Published on : Wed, 11 Mar 2015

Dr. Frans Van de Werfis Professor and Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the UniversityHospitals Leuven, Belgium. He has served as visit

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