Leonard A. Cobb, MD, Hemeritus Professor, American College of Cardiology, Seattle WA, USA;
Hemeritus Professor, American College of Cardiology, Seattle, WA, USA.
He is Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Member of the Cardiology Faculty at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA, United States.
Dr Cobb has had a sustained interest in Sudden Cardiac Death and pre-hospital emergency care since the late 1960's. He became the director of cardiology at Harborview in 1963 and professor of medicine in 1971.
Dr Cobb was the principal investigator and founding medical director for Seattle's Medic I Program and served in that role for nearly 25 years.
Over this period he investigated service and patient factors affecting the outcome of resuscitation and has directed considerable effort to a better understanding of Sudden Cardiac Death.
Dr Cobb and his colleagues were among the first to advocate the application of a tiered response for medical emergencies, community CPR instruction, and the application of advanced airway techniques in the EMS system. Additionally, a number of out-of-hospital interventions have been evaluated in randomized clinical trials.
The Seattle database encompasses over 30 years of experience in managing cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction, and all patients who have survived out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are followed up regularly. These endeavours have led to an improved understanding of Sudden Cardiac Death and its prevention.
Dr Cobb, a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, received postgraduate training at the University of Iowa, University of California, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital(Boston) and Stanford University.
He served as Chief of Cardiology at Harborview Medical Center for over 25 years.
He serves as president of the Medic One Foundation and has primary responsibility for oversight of cardiac arrest treatment in Seattle.
Peter J. Schwartz, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Cardiology, Policlinico San Matteo IRCCS, Pavia, Italy
Professor and Chairman, Department of Cardiology, Policlinico San Matteo IRCCS, Pavia, Italy.
Dr Peter J. Schwartz, MD, graduated in Medicine in 1967 at the University of Milan (Italy).
He is Professor and Chairman of Cardiology at the University of Pavia, Chief of the Coronary Care Unit at Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia (Italy), Professor of Physiology andBiophysics at the University of Oklahoma (OK, USA), Extraordinary Professor in Internal Medicine at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and Honorary Professor in Internal Medicine at the University of Capetown, South Africa. From January 1999 to December 2000 he was the President of the Italian Society of Cardiology and from 1988 to 1992 the Chairman of the Working Group on Arrhythmias of the European Society of Cardiology.
Dr Schwartz's main area of research has always been Sudden Cardiac Death, from different angles including pathophysiology, risk stratification, therapeutic approaches, and genetic mechanisms.
Dr Schwartz has extensively investigated the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and life-threatening arrhythmias. Beginning with his first article in 1969 he has contributed to the study of cardiac reflexes, has developed the concept of sympathetic imbalance and has extensively studied the pathophysiologic effects and the therapeutic efficacy of left cardiac sympathetic denervation, which he has proved to be a powerful tool for the prevention of ventricular fibrillation triggered by sympathetic activation.
Dr Schwartz has pioneered the study of autonomic markers (especially baroreflex sensitivity) for the identification of individuals at high risk for sudden death.
His experimental findings of the early eighties have evolved in a landmark prospective clinical trial (ATRAMI) involving 1,300 patients. This study has provided the first evidence that autonomic reflexes can indeed contribute to post myocardial infarction risk stratification. His concepts and findings have paved the way for the now innumerable studies on the prognostic value of autonomic markers.
For 35 years he has relentlessly investigated in detail the congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS), of which he is regarded by many as the leading expert. In 1979, in partnership with Dr Arthur Moss, he initiated the International Registry for LQTS which - over 25 years of continued efforts - has contributed to define the multiple clinical characteristics of the disease and its natural history, and has made possible the identification of the major disease genes by providing the molecular biologists with clearly defined clinical phenotypes of affected and unaffected individuals from large families. In 1980 he advanced the unorthodox hypothesis that some patients affected by LQTS might have had a normal QT interval, thus stretching to the limits the concept of phenotypic heterogeneity; almost 20 years later molecular studies by his own group proved the existence of "low penetrance" in LQTS and confirmed his original hypothesis.
Dr Schwartz has recently contributed to the understanding of the relation between genotype and phenotype in LQTS, providing the basis for the development of gene-specific therapy and, with his partners, has just identified the first genetic modifier for the clinical severity of LQTS. He remains entirely committed to the elucidation of this unique disease and continues to manage personally the patients affected by LQTS.
In 1976 he hypothesized that one of the causes of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) could be a life-threatening arrhythmia due to mechanisms similar to those present in the long QT syndrome. To test the hypothetical correlation between prolonged QT interval and SIDS he designed and initiated a prospective study based on ECG recordings in newborns, which was carried out without funding and lasted 18 years.
This study demonstrated that a QT interval prolongation in the first week of life constitutes a major risk factor for SIDS. Subsequently, Dr Schwartz and his research group provided the first demonstration of the molecular link between LQTS and SIDS, which represented the "proof of concept" for this relation. His most recent data on 200 SIDS victims suggest that LQTS mutations are present in approximately 10-12% of SIDS victims.
As these deaths could be prevented by therapy with beta-blockers, if early diagnosis is made, the findings support the idea - championed by Dr Schwartz for many years - of widespread neonatal ECG screening, another controversial concept.
Over the years Dr Schwartz has received a large number of major recognitions. In 1993 he gave the "Grüntzig lecture", traditionally offered to a member of the European Society of Cardiology who has made special contributions to Cardiology.
In 1994 the American Heart Association invited him to give the "Paul Dudley White International Lecture", 41 which is regarded as the greatest sign of recognition given to non-American investigators. In 1995 he became the 4th Fourth Gordon K. Moe Visiting Professor at the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, Utica, NY in recognition of his "outstanding contributions to science and medicine in the fields of clinical and basic cardiology". On May 1999 he gave the keynote talk at the opening plenary session of the 20th Annual Scientific Sessions of NASPE. In 2001 he received the "Michel Mirowski Award" for his work on sudden cardiac death, and on May 5 during NASPE's 22nd Annual Scientific Session in Boston he received the "Distinguished Scientist Award 2001" for his "contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the field of cardiac electrophysiology".
Dr Schwartz is the only European investigator with uninterrupted funding for his research activity from the National Institutes of Health (NIH); his first grant was funded in 1974 and the last goes through 2006.
Dr Schwartz serves the leading cardiology journals as a member of the Editorial Board or as a reviewer. He is the author of more than 1100 publications including 346 original articles, 12 books, and 141 chapters. His Impact Factor in the last seven years was 734.
Hein J.J. Wellens, MD, Honoré Retired Professor, University of Maastricht; Director of Arrhythmology, Interventional Electrophysiology and Cardiology, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands, were the winners of the 2005 Edition of the Arrigo Recordati International Prize.
Honoré Retired Professor, University of Maastricht; Director of Arrhythmology, Interventional Electrophysiology and Cardiology, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Professor Wellens attended the Medical School of the Leiden University (1954-1962) and did his Internship at the Mercy Hospital in Baltimore (1960-1961).
He took his Residency in Internal Medicine at the Sint Antoniushove, Voorburg and the Residency in Cardiology at the Wilhelmina Gasthuis, Amsterdam under the guidance of Prof. Durrer.
He specialized in Cardiology in 1967, was Professor of Cardiology at the Amsterdam University from 1973 to 1977 and Visiting Professor of the Chair Franqui Internationale, University of Liège (1976-77).
Professor of Cardiology and Chairman of the Department of Cardiology, Academic Hospital Maastricht and University of Maastricht from 1977 to 2000, he was also Medical Director and Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Interuniversity Cardiological Institute of the Netherlands (ICIN), an Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He collected many honours such as:
He has been also a Former Associate Editor of Circulation till 2004, and a member of the Editorial Board of various relevant magazines, some of which he is still working with, such as:
Many Awards and Named Lectures established Professor Wellens' contribution to Cardiology, such as:
Dr Wellens has authored more then 540 peer reviewed international scientific publications, wrote 250 book chapters and has published 15 books on cardiology.