• Cardiovascular Disease
    Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Foundation
    Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Foundation
    • Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Foundation

    Steven Nissen, MD, is the Chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. He was appointed to this position in 2006 after serving nine years as Vice Chairman of the Department of Cardiology and five years as Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Coordinating Center (C5), an organization that directs multicenter clinical trials.

    Dr. Nissen’s research during the last two decades has focused on the application of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging to study the progression and regression of coronary atherosclerosis. He has served as International Principal Investigator for several large IVUS multicenter atherosclerosis trials.

    Specialty/Clinical interests: General cardiology, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), diabetes and the heart, drug safety, coronary intensive care

    Experience: Dr. Nissen has more than 35 years of experience as a physician. He is world-renowned for his work as a cardiologist, patient advocate and researcher. Equally as significant is his pioneering work in IVUS technology and its use in patients with atherosclerosis.

    Publications and Speaking: Dr. Nissen has written more than 350 journal articles and 60 book chapters, including many published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. In recent years, he has also written on the subject of drug safety and was the author of manuscripts highlighting concerns about medications such as Vioxx™, Avandia™, and muraglitazar.

    He has testified in both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the topic of drug safety as well as the need to reform the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    As a physician/scientist, Dr. Nissen is often called on by pharmaceutical companies to consult on the development of new therapies for cardiovascular disease. He maintains a long-standing personal policy that requires these companies to donate all related honoraria directly to charity.

    Dr. Nissen is currently the editor of Current Cardiology Report.  In 2007, he was listed as Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People in the World – Scientists and Thinkers."

    He is heavily involved with the American College of Cardiology (ACC), serving as President from March 2006 to March 2007, a member of the ACC Executive Committee from 2004 to 2008, and spending 10 years as a member of the organization’s Board of Trustees. In addition, Dr. Nissen has served several terms on the Program Committee for the ACC Annual Scientific Sessions.

    Dr. Nissen served as a member of the CardioRenal Advisory Panel of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for five years, and as chair of the final year of his membership. He continues to serve as a periodic advisor to several FDA committees as a Special Government Employee.

    Dr. Nissen frequently lectures at national and international meetings. He has served as visiting professor, or provided Grand Rounds, at nearly 100 institutions.

    About Dr. Nissen: “I am fiercely independent and don't accept compensation from industry for consulting or speaking.

    Leisure time activities: In his leisure time, Dr. Nissen likes to bicycle whenever possible. He is also an advanced amateur photographer.

    • Cardiovascular Disease

    David Crossman is Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of St Andrews, is an honorary consultant cardiologist at NHS Fife and practices cardiology at the Victoria Infirmary, Kirkcaldy Scotland. He has a long standing interest in the inflammatory basis of cardiovascular disease, in particular the role of the IL-1 cytokine. He is Chair of the EME Translational Research Board which is funded by both MRC and NIHR

    • Head of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

    Ron Nathan Apte, PhD is the chairman of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics. He is also the Head of the Basic Sciences Division in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Ron Apte is focused on the biology of the cytokine Interleukin-1 (IL-1) in inflammation and its detrimental role in the tumor microenvironment. Due to his contributions, Ron has been considered as an international expert in the field of IL-1 biology and its role in inflammation and cancer. The Apte lab has performed experiments on these issues in animal models and was the first to provide proof of concept to IL-1 neutralization in cancer therapy. 

    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Professor of Cardiology & Director of Education, Research and Development at Royal Brompton Hospital and Imperial College London

    Professor Lüscher studied medicine at the University of Zurich and obtained the board certification in internal medicine and cardiology. He trained in cardiovascular research and in echocardiography at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA and was later Pro- fessor of Pharmacotherapy at the University of Basel, then Professor of Cardiology at the University of Berne, before assuming a position as Professor and Chairman of Car- diology and Director of the University Heart Center at the University Hospital Zurich and Director of the Center for Molecular Cardiology at the University of Zurich, Switzer- land. He is now Director of Research, Education & Development and Consluting Car- diologist at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital Trust and the Imperial College in London Professor Lüscher is an active general and interventional cardiologist and mentor of numerous physicians and scientists. His research is translational in nature and focuses on vascular disease, specifically on the role of endothelium-derived mediators in the regulation of vascular tone and structure, platelet-vessel wall interactions, coagulation in aging, hypertension, lipid disorders and atherosclerosis. More recently, inflammatory pathways in these conditions and particularly in acute coronary syndromes has been at the center of his interest. Professor Lüscher has published extensively, authoring or co-authoring over 500 original research articles and more than 200 reviews, book chapters and monographs including the ESC Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. By the Institute for Scientific Information he has been rated as one of the 0.5% most cited scientists worldwide. He has obtained numerous research prizes and prestigious lecturerships worldwide. He is a member of many editorial boards and was Associate Editor Europe of Circulation from 2004 to 2008. Since 2009 he is chairman of the publi- cations committee of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and an ex-officio member of the ESC board as well as editor-in-chief of the European Heart Journal.

    • Pediatric Rheumatology
    • Senior Scientist at Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation

    Nicolino Ruperto, MD, MPH, is Senior Scientist of the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation (PRINTO) in Genova, Italy. Dr. Ruperto earned his medical degree from the University of Pavia in Pavia, Italy, with a specialization in pediatrics. He also has a specialization in pediatric rheumatology from the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Ruperto earned his master of public health degree from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts and his Executive Master in Health Management from the Bocconi University in Milan. Dr. Ruperto is among the founders of the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation (PRINTO at, where he has managed all collaborative international academic research projects conducted by the network. He was awarded the 2005 Gerolamo Gaslini Prize for Excellence in Research from the Gerolamo Gaslini Foundation. Dr. Ruperto has authored 250 peer reviewed papers on pediatric rheumatic diseases: h‐ index 60, citation > 13,000; impact factor 1500, Ranked among the Top Italian Scientist.

    • Postdoctoral Researcher, Helsinki Rheumatic Diseases and Inflammation Research Group at University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital

    Research focus on understanding the role of interleukin-1beta and the inflammasome pathway in cardiovascular and rheumatic diseases. PhD completed in 2015 at Wihuri Research Institute (Helsinki, Finland) studying the activation mechanisms of NLRP3 inflammasome in atherosclerosis. Currently working at Helsinki Rheumatic Diseases and Inflammation Research Group at University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, studying innate immune activation and the inflammasome pathway in rheumatic diseases.

    • Professor of Medicine at Department of Medicine at University of California, San Diego

    Dr. John Y-J. Shyy is a Professor of Medicine at Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. Trained as a vascular biologist, Dr. Shyy has been working on the effects of hemodynamic forces, in particular, shear stress on the endothelium with emphasis on the etiology of atherosclerosis. His lab has established a wide range of the experimental approaches encompassing molecular, cellular, and bioengineering techniques coupled with multiple knockout and transgenic animal models to study endothelial response to various physiological and pathophysiological flows. Dr. Shyy has published 120 peer- reviewed papers on the related topics and he has continuously been funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) since mid-90’s. Dr. Shyy and his colleagues has recently reported that atheroprone flow, like many other vascular insults such as oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and angiotensin-II induces NACHT, LRR and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome via sterol regulatory element-binding protein 2 (SREBP2), leading to atherosclerosis. This work demonstrates that atheroprone flow can increase endothelial innate immune response through the SREBP2-NLRP3 inflammasome pathway with an increase in the end product of activated interleukin-1 (IL-1). Further study shows that statins may exert inhibitory effect on this pro-inflammatory pathway in the endothelium.

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine
    Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine
    • Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine


    Dr. Fuster is an Assistant Professor at the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute of Boston University School of Medicine. His research is focused on the evaluation of new mechanisms that link aging and/or obesity to cardiovascular disease (CVD), with an especial interest in vascular inflammation and the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. Within this setting, his current main line of research is aimed at investigating new pathophysiological mechanisms that are shared between cancer and atherosclerotic CVD. He recently reported the first experimental evidence supporting that acquired mutations in blood cells that lead to clonal hematopoiesis may be causal contributors to atherosclerosis (Fuster et al. Science 2017).


    • Principal Investigator in the Immunology Laboratory CNRS UMR 5164 at University of Bordeaux

    Dr. Faustin is a biochemical/cell biologist who obtained his PhD in Life Sciences and Metabolism from the University of Bordeaux, and investigated the biochemical deregulation of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) with implications in mitochondrial diseases and apoptosis in cancer. Then, he was posdoctoral fellow in John C Reed laboratory between 2004-2009 at Sandford-Burnham Prebys Medical Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) to investigate the biochemical activation of inflammasomes in innate immunity and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Faustin joined GlaxoSmithKline (Collegeville, PA) as Principal Scientist in Discovery immunology, and was Director R&D of a french-based CRO company in Bordeaux. He is currently Principal Investigator in the Immunology laboratory CNRS UMR 5164 at the University of Bordeaux since 2012. Dr. Faustin’s group focuses on identifying basic mechanisms underlying the metabolic control of immune responses, which have broad implications in major human diseases including cancer, age-associated diseases, and inflammatory diseases. These immune related mechanisms particularly comprise innate immune responses and T cell activation. In addition to cancer, his group also investigates the deregulation of immunometabolic mechanisms underlying chronic inflammation-associated diseases such as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

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