ISACB Birthday Celebration


The successful transplantation of Denise Darvall’s heart into the chest of Louis Washkansky revolutionized cardiovascular medicine, and the procedure thrust Dr. Christiaan Barnard and Groote Schuur Hospital into the international spotlight. This past December, cardiovascular researchers from around the world gathered at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first heart transplant. At a similar anniversary celebration at the same location in 1987, a group of cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, and vascular biologists formed the International Society of Applied Cardiovascular Biology (ISACB). Therefore, ISACB members attended the Cape Town event with two purposes: to commemorate a landmark medical achievement and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our society.

More about the history of ISACB and the Cape Town meeting can be found at the following link:

Webinar recordings of two portions of the ISACB-centric session entitled; “ISACB is 30 YEARS OLD: The era of Repair, Replacement and Regeneration”, can be viewed at the following links:  

Elena Aikawa, MD, PhD and Peter Zilla, MD PhD- click to view recording

Maximilian Emmert, MD PhD- click to view recording


Per ISACB tradition, the Cape Town meeting was filled with world-class science and good times with friends. The picture essay below highlights this extraordinary event. We hope that you will join us in Bordeaux to create more memories.




Cape Town provides a breathtaking setting…

Cape Town viewed from Table Mountain

Looking out from Table Mountain

The colors of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

The African penguin loves ISACB



… and a rich history in cardiovascular medicine.

Louis Washkansky and Dr. Christian Barnaard

A recreation of the first heart transplant at Groote Schuur



The meeting was highlighted by a dinner gala at the University of Cape Town.

Jameson Hall at the University of Cape Town

Inside the meeting gala

ISACB members gather at Jameson Hall


ISACB gathered to discuss the past, present, and future of cardiovascular research.

Dr. Elena Aikawa presents an award to Dr. Peter Zilla

Dr. Peter Zilla discusses his pioneering work in tissue engineering

Dr. Elena Aikawa discusses mechanisms of cardiovascular calcification

Dr. Masanori Aikawa discusses macrophage biology

Dr. Luke Brewster discusses work on peripheral arterial disease

Mike Wolf gives an industry perspective on translation

Dr. Magdi Yacoub discusses aortic valve replacement and repair

Dr. Dan Simionescu discusses regeneration of living valves

Dr. Carlijn Bouten discusses heart valve tissue regeneration

Dr. Nico L’Heureux discusses tissue engineered blood vessels

Dr. Glenn Gaudette discusses the use of spinach leaves for heart regeneration

Dr. Tim Pennel gives a clinician scientist perspective on vascular research

Dr. Cynthia St. Hilaire discusses telomerase in aortic valve calcification

Dr. Josh Hutcheson discusses the role of melanocytes in aortic valve maintenance


ISACB members also spent time preparing for the upcoming meeting in Bordeaux!

Drs. Craig Goergen, Josh Hutcheson, Claudia Goettsch, and Carlijn Bouten

Drs. Josh Hutcheson, Cynthia St. Hilaire, and Craig Goergen

Drs. Elena and Masanori Aikawa

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