Level 1 Examiners Writing Panel

  Eduard Quintana

Eduard Quintana MD PhD FETCS, is a Consultant Cardiovascular Surgeon at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, University of Barcelona Medical School.

Eduard completed a 2-year clinical fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN after a 5-year residency in Cardiac and Vascular Surgery in Hospital Clínica de Barcelona.

He is a Board Member of the EBCTS and is currently Chairman of the Level 1 examination – Membership of the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery (MEBCTS).

His main clinical interests are aortic surgery, surgery for infective endocarditis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, valve repair and cardiovascular surgery critical care. He is an active member of the Vascular Domain of EACTS.

Eduard is currently the Program Director for the Advanced Cardiovascular Surgery Fellowship and Cardiovascular Surgery Surgery Critical Care Fellowship at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

For further details: https://www.ctsnet.org/home/eqobra

 Pietro Bajona

Pietro Bajona, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

He earned his medical degree at the University of Ferrara School of Medicine in Italy.

He then completed a 5-year cardiac surgery residency at the University of Pisa; a 2-year research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and 2-year cardiovascular surgery clinical fellowship at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Bajona received advanced training in cardiovascular surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

His main clinical interests are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic surgery, valve repair and total arterial revascularization.

Dr. Bajona’s research interests include heart physiology and innovative approaches to cardiac surgery. He is currently a PhD candidate at Sant’Anna School of Advanced studies in Pisa, Italy

He is certified by the European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons, the United States Medical Licensing Examination and a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Italian Society of Cardiac Surgery and the American Heart Association.

He is currently Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program and adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Pietro is also currently serving as Deputy Chairman of the Level 1 examination – Membership of the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery (MEBCTS).

Victor Bautista-Hernandez

Victor Bautista-Hernandez is a Cardiovascular Staff Surgeon at Hospital A Coruña since 2009. There, he is currently Director of The Congenital Heart Surgery Program and Head of The Congenital and Structural Heart Disease Research Group. He also holds an academic appointment as Associate Professor of Surgery at Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. He is a visiting paediatric cardiac surgeon at Hospital de Santiago de Compostela and Hospital San Joao of Porto.

He graduated from Universidad de Murcia (1999) and did his surgical training in Madrid and Murcia (2000-5). He performed a 1-year research fellowship (2004-5) and a 2-year clinical fellowship at Boston Children´s Hospital/Harvard Medical School (2007-9). He read his PhD in 2008 on surgical outcomes of complex form of transposition of the great arteries.

Regarding EACTS, he is an active member cooperating with the official EACTS journals, the annual EACTS meeting and residents’ education (jeopardy competition). He has recently been appointed collaborator of the Section 1 Cardiothoracic Surgery European Board Exam.

His main clinical interests are paediatric and congenital heart surgery, structural heart disease, heart and lung transplant and assist devices.

 Mustafa Cikirikcioglu

Mustafa Cikirikcioglu is a board certified cardiovascular surgeon. Since 2007, he has been working as staff surgeon and since 2013, as Deputy Head in the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland. He is also Private Docent in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva. Since 2008, he is Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery in Istanbul, Turkey. His main interest is adult cardiac surgery and he represents the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery in the Heart Team and Endocarditis Team of the University Hospitals of Geneva.
Mustafa is an academic surgeon who acts as a doctor-surgeon, instructor-mentor and scientist-researcher. He is the author of more than 200 articles published in peer reviewed medical journals. From 2013 to 2015, he was the President of the European Society of Surgical Research (ESSR). Currently, he is the Panel Member in the European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (EBTCS) and also an Associate Editor, peer-reviewer in many medical journals in the field of cardiovascular surgery. He received several awards, such as Gore-Tex Best Young Investigator Award in 2005 and Denber-Pinard Prize of the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva in 2009.

 Francesco Di Chiara

Francesco Di Chiara MD, MS Thor (Hons), FETCS, is a Consultant Thoracic Surgeon Surgeon at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, U.K.

Francesco was appointed Consultant Thoracic Surgeon after completing 3-year UK-based training in Cardiothoracic surgery at the London Brompton Hospital and Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and 5-year thoracic surgery and Lung transplantation training program at Padua University, Italy.

He is a Fellow of the EBCTS and is currently involved in the the Section 1 for the Membership Examination of the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

His main clinical interests is advanced minimally invasive thoracic surgery, he introduced uniportal VATS lobectomy techinque at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and Oxford John Radcliffe Hospital. He is involved with the EACTS VATS Academy.

Francesco is a contract Professor of Anatomy at Oxford University Medical School and has been increasingly involved with the teaching for the clinical years medical student.

  Ilka Ilonen

Dr Ilkka Ilonen, MD/Ph.D
Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, Heart and Lung Centre, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki,Finland

Dr Ilonen graduated M.D from University of Helsinki in 2008. He completed surgical common trunk training in 2013 from Päijät-Häme Central Hospital, after which he started as cardiothoracic trainee surgeon at Helsinki University Hospital in 2014. He became board certified cardiothoracic surgeon in December 2016. As of 2017, he was appointed as consultant surgeon in general thoracic and oesophageal surgery in Helsinki University Hospital. He underwent Advanced Thoracic Surgical Oncology Fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center between 2017-2018.

He finished Ph.D studies in 2011, in “Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer”. His thesis consisted of five peer-reviewed publications and prof. Heikki Joensuu served as an opponent. Since then, he has continued research in thoracic malignancies as principal investigator.

Dr Ilonen has been an active member at EACTS since 2013, serving as a member in Residents Committee. He was a member of EACTS council and thoracic domain 2015-2017, and the chair of the Residents committee 2016-2017. He has also been European Junior Doctor member in UEMS section of Thoracic surgery between 2014-2017. Also, he was member in Resident’s committee at New England Journal of Medicine, between 2008-2010. In 2016 he received diploma in university pedagogy from Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki (10 ECTS).

  Fabian Kari

Fabian A. Kari, MD, is a cardiac surgeon at Heart Center Freiburg University, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery. He spent a year at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City, doing experimental research on neuroprotection strategies during thoracic aortic procedures in 2007. In 2012, he spent a year as a clinical postdoctoral researcher on valve-sparing aortic root surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Fabian accomplished two years of training as a congenital cardiac surgeon in Freiburg after five years of cardiovascular surgery residency. His clinical focus is on congenital cardiac surgery, grown-ups with congenital heart disease, thoracic aortic surgery and aortic root surgery for cardiovascular connective tissue disease. He serves as the delegate director of the Marfan-Clinic of the Heart Center Freiburg University.

Fabian also serves as Associate Editor of Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and is an active member of the EACTS Vascular Domain. He currently also serves as the Head of the Residents Committee of the EACTS.

For further details: https://www.ctsnet.org/home/fakari

  Wojciech Mrowczynski

Wojciech Mrówczyński – born in 1972 – Poznań, Poland. Languages: English, French, Italian. Education: Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poland and Faculty of Medicine – University of Perugia, Italy. Undergraduate training: Department of Neurology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Rennes, France and Department of Orthopedics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Liege, Belgium – TEMPUS scholarship. Medical doctor diploma: 1997. Postgraduate training: Charles Dubost Department of Cardiac Surgery, S. Matteo Hospital, Pavia, Italy; Department of Cardiovascular Surgery of Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany. PhD degree: 2002. Fellowship: Department of Cardiovascular Surgery – University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland. National cardiac surgery board: 2011. Actual employment: Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Poznań University of Medical Sciences – associate professor – since 2012. Clinical practice: pediatric cardiac surgery and postoperative intensive care. Research interests: valve reconstruction in children; pediatric ECMO support; in-vivo tissue engineering with the use of biodegradable materials; R-project based biostatistics; application of information technology in cardiac surgery: data bases and expert systems; surgical simulation based training. Teaching: national and foreign language students; responsible for students’ interest group. Memberships: EACTS. Other activities: local and national educational ECMO symposia convener. Hobbies: arts, literature, computers, biking, jogging.

 Patrick Myers

Doctor Patrick Myers is a congenital cardiac surgeon at the Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland, Privat Docent at the Geneva University Medical School and associate of the chief of cardiac surgery. Born in Geneva, Switzerland, he studied medicine in Geneva and specialized in general and then cardio-vascular surgery from 2003 to 2009, before senior fellowships in adult cardiac surgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 2009-2010 and congenital cardiac surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2010-2011. He was appointed instructor in surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School from 2011 to 2012, before returning as attending surgeon in adult and congenital cardiac surgery in Geneva, Switzerland in 2012.

His main research interests are centered around complex heart valve reconstruction (for which he received the congenital young investigator award 2012 of the EACTS) and the use of biodegradable materials in these repairs. He is an active member of the EACTS, having served on the surgical training and manpower and the congenital domain committees, and now associate editor for congenital cardiac surgery of the MMCTS and editorial board member of ICVTS. He is also a member of the board of directors of CTSNet.org, as well as congenital associate editor.  Patrick is currently serving as the Secretary of the European Board of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.

  Francesco Onorati

Francesco Onorati is a cardiac surgeon working at Verona University Hospital, Italy. He was trained at Second University of Naples, Italy, were he focused his researches on myocardial protection strategies and heart transplantation; afterwards, he moves to University Magna Graecia, Italy, as staff surgeon, where he specialized in heart failure surgery, left ventricular assisting devices, arterial grafting, pulsatile cardiopulmonary bypass, heart failure surgery and atrial fibrillation surgery. During the last years he specialized in minimally invasive cardiac surgery and transcatheter procedures. He gained his PhD at Second University of Naples, Italy, working on cardiopulmonary bypass biocompatibility. He served as lecturer in both Medical School and Cardiovascular Perfusion School of Medicine at Magna Graecia University and Verona University Hospital. He is reviewer of more than 30 international peer-reviewed Journals of the field, and he is active member of the Editorial Board of 4 international peer-reviewed Journals of cardiothoracic surgery. He is Author of more than 170 papers and 12 chapters in books, and has given more than 160 lectures. He is actually coordinating several multicenter European clinical studies dealing with different topics of adult cardiac surgery.

  Pala B Rajesh

Pala Rajesh qualified from Madras Medical college in 1974 and then trained in the U.K in general surgery and obtained his FRCSEd in 1982. Pala’s cardio-thoracic training continued between Hull and Sheffield and obtained his FRCSEd (CTh) in 1994. In May 1995 he was appointed as a consultant thoracic surgeon in Birmingham. He is an elected member of council of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the European Association of Cardio-thoracic Surgery. Pala sits on the board of the European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons and is interested in education and surgical training.

  J Rafael Sádaba

Dr Sádaba graduated from the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain) School of Medicine. Following this, he completed his basic and higher Cardiothoracic surgical training at the Yorkshire Deanery (Leeds, UK) and Sir Charles Gairdner hospital (Perth, Western Australia). During his training, he was awarded an MSc degree at the University of Leeds.

He is a Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and member of the Spanish Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the European Society for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

He serves as a member of the Education Committee of the ESC and Associate Editor of the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and previously served as Secretary of the European Board of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.  Currently he is working at the Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra in Pamplona, (Northern Spain) as an adult cardiac surgeon and Clinical Associate Professor (University of Navarra). He is the lead clinician of the “Translational Cardiology Research Group” at the NavarraBiomed Research Centre.

  Thomas van Brakel

Thomas van Brakel is a cardio-thoracic surgeon and senior staff member at the Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands. He has special interests in aortic surgery, arrhythmia surgery, and general thoracic surgery. He completed his medical training in Maastricht, The Netherlands, followed by a PhD on ‘Epicardial Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation’ at the department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Physiology. Part of this research he performed at the Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, Greenville, US. He completed his training as a cardio-thoracic surgeon at the Radboud Universitair Medical Center Nijmegen in 2014. Besides his clinical and research work he is secretary of the Dutch Society of Thoracic Surgeons