Cape Town


Almost 50 years ago, on the 3rd of December 1967, the world's first human to human heart transplant was performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard at Groote Schuur Hospital. This was, and probably will remain, the most publicized medical event of all time, headlining nearly every international newspaper, magazine and tabloid within days of the transplant. The idea of transplanting a heart from one human to another captured the minds and imaginations of the public like no other medical event before or since. The only other iconic event in that era which was equally well-publicized was Apollo 11’s landing on the moon 18 months later.  Two decades on, a small group of cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, and vascular biologists met in Cape Town to commemorate the 20th anniversary celebration of this historic event. It was at this meeting that the International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology (ISACB) was conceived with the election of Allan Callow as the first president of the Society.

Since this first meeting, ISACB has grown into an international society with a diverse membership of physician scientists and researchers across the cardiovascular spectrum and has held 15 biennial meetings throughout North America and Europe.  ISACB is unique among cardiovascular societies in both its applied mission and international scope.  ISACB exists to promote the development and implementation of applied cardiovascular biology discoveries and to encourage international collaborations. Sub-committees within North America, Europe, and Asia facilitate our international efforts.  The biennial ISACB meetings offer intimate settings and feature premier cardiovascular researchers as invited speakers along with junior researchers from around the globe, promoting mentorship and networking opportunities. Quarterly webinars allow researchers within the society to reach a large global audience and bridge the discussions between the biennial meetings. Members of ISACB include academic scientists and engineers, clinicians, and industry representatives.  This diverse membership allows vertical integration of session in webinars and meetings that highlight the strengths and differences in approach from basic research to industrial development to clinical implementation.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the world’s first heart transplant, Groote Schuur hospital and the University of Cape Town are hosting a celebratory event entitled “Courage and Innovation”, which has received tremendous interest and support from some of the world’s major cardiothoracic surgery societies and journals who will be contributing to the program; European Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS), the Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS), the American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATs) and the International Society of Heart-Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) and these various societies’ affiliated Journals.  Furthermore, the leading Cardiovascular Device- and Pharmaceutical companies, CEO’s or senior staff will be joining us in the debate around modern cardiovascular interventions role in providing for the large areas of the world where such therapy does not exist.

Pictured at the 20th Anniversary Celebration: Una Ryan, Tom Macaig, Peter Libby, Steven Schmidt, and Manfred Deutsch.

The ISACB is proud to announce that in collaboration with this historic event, the society will be celebrating three decades since the founding event entitled; “ISACB is 30 YEARS OLD: The era of Repair, Replacement and Regeneration”, to be held at Groote Schuur hospital on the 4th of December.  This off-year meeting will focus on the progress made since the society was first conceived with a round table discussion focusing on “The Role of Failure in Life, Clinical Practice, and Translational Research”.  It is clear that cardiovascular biology has taken a more convoluted path in solving the challenges of tissue engineering and regeneration than initially proposed three decades ago.  This off year meeting provides an excellent opportunity to engage with an experienced and distinguished faculty to discuss:

·       Aneurysmal degeneration: The interaction of Nature and Nurture

·       Valve replacement and repair

·       Tissue engineering and regeneration

We look forward to hosting a memorable off year meeting, which commemorates a significant date in heart transplantation as well as the birth of the ISACB

See below the full program, and look for announcements on how to access portions of the meeting through our webinar platform.



“ISACB is 30 YEARS OLD: The era of Repair, Replacement and Regeneration”

Lecture Theatre 2, Groote Schuur Hospital

(Host Society:  International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology (ISACB)



    07:00 - 08:00                                              Introduction


7:00-7:30: Registration and Speaker Ready assistance

7:30-7:40: Introduction and welcome address by Elena Aikawa, ISACB President

7:40-8:00: Welcome Lecture: Peter Zilla MD. PhD "The Surgeon Scientist"


Morning Session

Pathologic Arterial Remodeling and Aneurysmal Degeneration-The interaction of Nature and Nurture


08:05 - 09:55  
Pathologic Arterial Remodeling and Bioengineering Solutions

Chairs: Beat Walpoth, Toshi Shinoka, Tim Pennel


8:05-8:25: Plenary

Toshi Shinoka: History of Vascular Tissue Engineering Research and Long-term Clinical Results of Tissue Engineered Vascular Grafts


8:25-9:55: Invited Speakers and Abstracts

1.      Masanori Aikawa: New Mechanisms for Macrophage Activation as Therapeutic Targets for Vascular Disease

2.      Luke Brewster: Translational Models of PAD—a voyage or an important destination?

3.      Mike Wolf: Novel Treatments for Cerebrovascular Aneurysms

4.      Claudia Goettsch: Protein Sorting in Cardiovascular Calcification

5.      Beat Walpoth:  Bioengineering Solutions for Vascular Tissue Engineering

6.      Ulf Hedin: Molecular Remodeling Mechanisms in Carotid Atherosclerosis—lessons learned from carotid plaque biobanking


09:55 - 10:15                                                        Coffee Break


10:15 – 12:05  

Aneurysmal degeneration: The interaction of Nature and Nurture

Chairs: David Vorp, John Curci


10:15-10:25: Plenary

Helena Kuivaniemi: Genetics of Aortic Aneurysms


10:35-10:50: Invited Speakers and Abstracts

1.      John Curci: The Unique Challenges of Developing Novel Tehrapies for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

2.      Fred DeBeer: Serum Amyloid A Exacerbates Acute Vascular Events by Activation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome

3.      Giovanni Ferrari: Advanced Glycation End Products: Pathophysiologic Role and Therapeutic Target in Ascending Aortic Disease

4.      Craig Goergen: Ultrasound Imaging and Hemodynamic Simulations of Murine Dissecting Aneurysms

5.      David Vorp: Aortic Aneurysm Biomechanics


11:50-12:05: Round Table with Moderators and Speakers


12:05 - 13:00                                                        Lunch


Afternoon Session

Cardiac and valve repair, remodeling and regeneration


13:00 - 15:05

Valve replacement and repair

Chairs: Dan Simionescu, Magdi Yacoub


13:00-13:20: Plenary

Magdi Yacoub


13:20-15:05: Invited Speakers and Abstracts

1.      Dan Simionescu: In Vitro Regeneration of Living Aortic and Pulmonary Valve Roots and Preclinical Testing

2.      Elena Aikawa: Calcific Aortic Valve Disease: From calcifying Exosomes to Systems Biology

3.      Teddy Fischlein: Aortic Valve Repair Using Geometric Ring Annuloplasty

4.      Carlijn van Bouten: Growing Heart Valves Inside the Heart: from immunomodulatory scaffolds to long-term follow-up

5.      Cynthia St. Hilaire: A Role for Telomerase in Valvular Calcification

6.      Max Emmert: Tissue-engineered Matrices to Regenerate the Heart

7.      Joshua Hutcheson: Aortic Valve Melanocytic Cells Control Valvular Elastogenesis


15:05 - 15:20                                                          Coffee Break


15:20 - 17:40

Tissue engineering and regeneration

Chairs: Simon Hoerstrup, Agneta Simionescu


15:20-15:40: Plenary

Simon Hoerstrup: Translational Challenges in Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering


15:40-17:00: Invited Speakers and Abstracts

1.      Agneta Simionescu: Mitral Valve Tissue Engineering-a model for investigating valve degeneration

2.      Jo Meinhardt: 30 Years of Endothelial Cell Transplantation on Vascular Grafts

3.      Nico L’Heureux: Building Completely Biological, Human Tissue Engineered Blood Vessels

4.      Glenn Gaudette: Spinach Leaves for Regenerating Function in the Heart

5.      Bernard Gersh: Cardiac Cell Repair Therapy: current status

6.      Tim Pennel: Wrong models, wrong questions, no healing and still no change


17:00-17:15: Round Table with Moderators and Speakers from Afternoon Session


17:15 - 18:30

“The Role of Failure in Life, Clinical Practice, and Translational Research”


Discussion/round table - sponsored by the Industry Working Group of ISACB:

Moderators: David Williams and Mike Wolf


17:15-17:45: Cocktails and Poster viewing

17:45-18:30: Expert panel discussion with audience participation


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