Speakers

Kristen Aakre Moberg

Dr Kristin Moberg Aakre

M.D. Ph.D.

Professor, Consultant
University of Bergen / Haukeland University Hospital
Institute of Clinical Science / Department of Medical Biochemistry and Pharmacology Bergen, Norway

Dr. Kristin M Aakre is professor and medical doctor specialized in medical biochemistry. She was board certified in laboratory medicine in 2009 and completed her PhD in 2011 (University of Bergen).
She has published more than 85 articles in peer-reviewed international journals. Her main research interests are diagnostic and prognostic properties of cardiac biomarkers, with a particular focus on acute coronary syndrome. She has also published within biological variation and analytical quality specifications, mainly related to cardiac biomarkers. She is interested in guideline development, and has participated in several national and international working groups within laboratory medicine.

Fred Apple

Prof Fred S. Apple

PhD

Professor and Principal Investigator
Hennepin Healthcare/HCMC & University of Minnesota
Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Fred Apple PhD DABCC is on the Medical Staff, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, at Hennepin Healthcare/Hennepin County Medical Center, in Minneapolis, where he serves as Principal Investigator of the CLIA certified Cardiac Biomarkers Trials Laboratory at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute and Professor of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology at the University of Minnesota. Professor Apple’s applied research has focused in the area of cardiac biomarkers involving acute coronary syndrome, heart injury, and most recently COVID-19; serving as PI on five clinicaltrials.gov studies. He current serves as an Associate Editor of Clinical Chemistry, a member of the ‘Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction and Myocardial Injury’ Global Task Force, past chair and currently consultant to the IFCC Committee on Clinical Application of Cardiac Biomarkers.

Cass Li

Dr Ziwen (Cass) Li

Research fellow
University of Edinburgh
Centre for Cardiovascular Science Edinburgh, UK

Dr. Ziwen (Cass) Li is a postdoctoral data scientist at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh. She specializes in healthcare data analysis, proficient in R and Python, data wrangling, visualization, statistical modelling, machine learning, and developing Shiny applications. She is a certified Data Analyst with the Royal Statistical Society, and has recently been awarded the Advanced Data Science Professional Certificate. She completed her PhD in Developmental Neurobiology at the University of Edinburgh under Professor David Price. She then worked as the senior postdoc in Dr. Mairi Brittan’s group on cardiovascular regeneration and joined Professor Nick Mills’ group in 2023 as a data scientist, focusing on cardiac troponin in acute care. Despite her recent field transition, she has been involved in multiple projects and had a simultaneous publication in JACC of data presented at ACC.24 on sex-specific thresholds for ruling out myocardial infarction. Committed to undergraduate education, she teaches R programming and statistical modelling, and lectures on single-cell RNA sequencing in cardiovascular regeneration. She is eager to share her insights on risk stratification with high-sensitivity cardiac troponin in the Emergency Department and looks forward to engaging with fellow professionals.

Prof Ellie Dow

Consultant in Biochemical Medicine and Honorary Professor
NHS Tayside and University of Dundee, Blood Sciences, Dundee UK

Prof Dow has a longstanding interest in laboratory IT, the clinical laboratory user interface, and is co-inventor, with Prof John Dillon of the University of Dundee,  of the multi-award winning Intelligent Liver Programme (iLFT), providing earlier diagnosis of liver disease. She has a long standing interest in cardiac markers and has been on the steering committee of the cardiac markers scheme for a number of years. Prof Dow has held a number of senior NHS roles in NHS Tayside and regionally in Scotland, and is currently leading the implementation of a new laboratory information management system for NHS Tayside, as well as the clinical laboratory implementation of the University of Dundee led and Scottish Government funded iDiabetes precision medicine programme.

Dr. Allan Stanley Jaffe

Wayne and Kathryn Preisel Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Research
Mayo Clinic
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Rochester, USA

Dr. Allan Jaffe is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He received his house staff and Cardiology training at Washington University and continued there for 24 years rising to the rank of Professor of Medicine and Director of the Coronary Care Unit. He then moved to the State University of New York where he was Chair of the Cardiovascular Division, Associate Chair of Medicine for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Medicine.  After four years he moved to Mayo Clinic where he is presently Professor of Medicine in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and the Wayne and Kathryn Preisel Professorship for Cardiovascular Disease Research.  He is a noted authority on biomarkers of cardiac injury, inflammation, hemodynamic disturbance, and coagulation and particularly their clinical utility. He has published a large number of original manuscripts, book chapters, reviews, and sits on most of the prestigious editorial boards and guideline committees in the Cardiology and Clinical Chemistry communities.  He has been a principal for the Universal Definition of MI group.  He was recently award the 2024 IFCC award for contributions to cardiovascular diagnostics.

Bill McEvoy

Prof John William (Bill) McEvoy

MB BCh BAO MHS PhD

Established Professor of Medicine and Cardiology
University of Galway
Department of Cardiology Galway, Ireland

Bill McEvoy, MB BCh MHS PhD, is an academic cardiologist interested in all aspects of preventive cardiology. After graduating from University College Cork School of Medicine in 2004, he spent 4 years training in Ireland, mostly in the Mater Hospital in Dublin. In 2008 he undertook further internal medicine training in the Osler residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He stayed at Johns Hopkins for cardiology fellowship and was subsequently on the Johns Hopkins faculty for 3 years. He was recruited back to Ireland in 2018 as Professor of Cardiology at the University of Galway. Since then, he has also served as the Medical and Research Director for the Irish National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (www.nipc.ie). He has an active clinical practice that informs all aspects of his research. His interests include diastolic blood pressure, cardiovascular biomarkers, aspirin, subclinical atherosclerosis imaging, and implementation. With Liz Selvin and Rob Christenson, he took the lead on reference range papers stemming from the recently completed FNIH CV Biomarker Consortium study of the US nationally representative NHANES study. He is also co-PI for the ESC-EuroASPIRE-6 study and co-chair for the 2024 ESC guideline on arterial hypertension.

Mr Alan Reid

Consultant (Advisor)
UK NEQAS Cardiac Markers
Glasgow, UK

Alan was Principal Clinical Scientist within the Biochemistry Department, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Scheme Organiser of UK NEQAS Cardiac Marker Service until retirement in 0ctober 2022. He remains an honorary consultant with UKNEQAS Cardiac Markers.  He still maintains research interests in the use of cardiac biomarkers in acute coronary syndrome and heart failure. He was a former member of European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) project: Providing the measurement infrastructure to allow quantitative diagnostic methods for biomarkers of coronary heart diseases. This EMPIR initiative was co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This initial project has now been completed. A continuation of this project is currently being carried forward under the auspices  of the IFCC.

Catherine Ross

Prof Catherine Ross

Chief Scientific Officer for Scotland
Scottish Government
Edinburgh, UK

Catherine Ross is the Chief Scientific Officer for Scotland, Scottish Government’s most senior clinical advisor for Healthcare Science professional issues, and head of profession for the scientific workforce within the NHS in Scotland. She provides expert professional advice to Scottish Ministers and Policy Officials and leadership for all aspects of policy which impact on the scientific workforce including education, research and clinical practice.

Catherine is non-executive director of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Irelands largest health trust. Catherine is a Chartered Scientist and Chartered Biologist, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, the Academy of Healthcare Science, the National Institute of Prevention and Cardiovascular Health in Ireland and the European Society of Cardiology.  She is a Visiting Professor at Edinburgh Napier University, Manchester Metropolitan University and Honorary Research Consultant in NHS Lothian. Catherine holds a number of senior leadership positions Nationally and Internationally and has served as the President of the Professional Body for Cardiac Scientists. She is the current Vice-Chair of the Science Council, the international awarding body of Chartership in Science, as well as a member of the Science Council Board of Trustees and Chair of the Policy Advisory Committee. She is currently an executive Board member of the Association of Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions within the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and is the current Secretary/Treasurer of the Board and Member of the European Society of Cardiology Taskforce on Allied Professionals.

Martin Than

Prof Martin Than

Emergency Medicine Specialist and Director of Emergency Medicine Research
Christchurch Hospital
Emergency Department
Christchurch, New Zealand

Prof Martin Than is an Emergency Medicine Specialist and Director of Emergency Medicine Research at Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand. His profound interest in supporting and monitoring research that improves patient care safely and ethically drives him to participate in any forums with aligned aims. For the past 16 years his work on high-sensitivity cardiac troponin has led to the transformation of chest pain pathways throughout New Zealand. Professor Than has extensive international collaborative links and experience in undertaking and overseeing large research projects.  He has published 193 papers and 3 book chapters to date.

Wittfooth Saara

Assistant Prof Saara Wittfooth

Assistant Professor of Biotechnology
University of Turku
Department of Life Technologies
Turku, Finland

Dr. Saara Wittfooth is Assistant Professor of Biotechnology at the Department of Life Technologies, the University of Turku, Finland. She is the leader of the cardiovascular disease diagnostics research of the Department. She received her PhD in molecular biotechnology and diagnostics in 2009. In 2017 she conducted research at Boston Children’s Hospital as a visiting Fulbright Senior Scholar and in the spring of 2024 at Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study / Uppsala University Biomedical Center as a as a Visiting Fellow. Her research activities have been related to the development of highly sensitive immunoassays for biomarkers of various diseases and nucleic acid tests for pathogen detection. In the focus of her research interests are novel cardiac biomarkers, such as long forms of cardiac troponin T, free PAPP-A and cardiac troponin autoantibodies / macrotroponin, and development of innovative highly sensitive immunoassays for the detection of these molecules. In 2019 she received the EFLM Cardiac Marker Award for remarkable scientific work in the field of cardiovascular diseases.

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