Imperial College London

Professor Thanos Athanasiou MD PhD MBA FECTS FRCS

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences







1022Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Wing (QEQM)St Mary's Campus





ProfeSsor of Cardiovascular Sciences & Cardiac Surgery, Consultant Cardiac

Professor Thanos Athanasiou is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Hammersmith and St Mary's Hospitals and a Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences & Cardiac Surgery in the Division of Surgery at Imperial College London .


He was awarded a national ACCEA Bronze Award (2016) being supported by the Cardiothoracic Society, Royal College of Surgeons and IC.


He specializes in Complex Aortic Surgery and Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) with modern techniques minimizing blood loss and suitable for elderly high-risk patients.


As a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon he is performing operations with less than 2% overall mortality during the last 350 procedures. (Source URL:


His clinical interest is in Minimally Invasive Cardiac Valve Surgery and Robotic Assisted Cardiothoracic Surgery and his institutional responsibility is to lead academic cardiac surgery.


He ranks amongst the highest for academic surgeons in his specialty (cardiovascular sciences and cardiothoracic surgery) both nationally and internationally.


Last year metrics include: 76 papers, total to date over 530 and 70 book chapters, h-index 62(citations 14200,21 PhD students-18 have completed, 4 Wellcome Trust Fellowships, currently authoring/editing two specialized textbooks on patient reported outcomes (one in surgery and the other in cardiothoracic surgery)(Google Scholar and Research Gate).

His current statistical expertise is on longitudinal data analysis, multilevel modelling, competing risk modelling, bayesian hierarchical modelling and Neural Networks.


Professor Athanasiou’s aims are to translate molecular cardiovascular research (metabolic syndrome, electrophysiological disorders, regenerative platforms and stem cells) with clinical and epidemiological evidence-synthesis studies.


At least 200 of his papers have been published in journals with an impact factor above 5 and in the majority of them he is the first, second or last author. Every year his h-index increases 3-5 points.


He has also spearheaded the department’s research on business models, which will change clinical practice including virtual clinics, and shared medical appointments in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic and London Business School.


He recently developed with his team the metric of implementation and diffusion of innovation named “structural virality” through a novel social network framework (Submitted to Plos).


His managerial research focuses on innovative models of service delivery through the development, translation, improvement and dissemination of value-based technologies to enhance the quality of healthcare in the NHS.


He has co-led and completed the program grant of WHO initiative checklist (NIHR funded) and published in Annals of Surgery. Its adoption and better quality completion may increase safety globally.



As a clinician-consultant he has built up a research team supported by departmental laboratories aiming to link the clinic to basic science and best evidence. His work has been highlighted on the front cover of journals such as the BMJ and the Lancet. This contribution has been considered as important evidence for NICE generated guidelines. Professor Athanasiou has accrued over £4.5 M in research funding through 22 grants.


He completed his MBA in Warwick and he specializes in High Performance Teams, Change Management especially following Mergers and Acquisitions as also in Leadership, Personal Coaching and Mentoring in relationship to benchmarking and performance. His MBA dissertation was focusing on social networks, mentoring attributes and academic performance.


He holds the following leadership roles within Imperial College London: 1.Clinical Lead of Complex Aortic Disease; 2.Academic Lead of Cardiovascular Metabonomics; 3.Academic Lead of Surgical Ablation Program; 4.Academic Lead of Cardiac Surgery Research; 5.Academic Lead of Metabolic Surgery; 6.Deputy Head of Academic Performance in the Department of Biosurgery and Cancer; 7.Director of Health Informatics Module in the Health Policy MSc of Imperial College London; 8.Lead of Surgical Quality and Epidemiology; 9.Academic Lead of Robotic Cardiac Surgery 10.Research Project Lead for Cardiac Applications of i-Snake  Robotic translational Program  funded by the Wellcome Trust.


He has been a member of NICE  and Health Technology Assessment Committees and Module Director of MSc of Health Policy and Tutor in MRES of Surgical Robotics at the IC.


Within the last five years he has successfully supervised more than 70 researchers including undergraduates, postgraduates, PhD (12 completed theses), MD, MSc, MRes, BSc students. Professor Athanasiou supervises bioengineers, economists, clinicians and scientists. Currently he has 6 PhD students. He was awarded the “Best Supervisor Award” in the department of Department of Surgery  at Imperial College London and twice his students have received the “Highest impact Factor Award” of the year. The CVs of his PhD researchers are progressing in such way that most of them have academic positions, national training numbers, funded research fellowships and fast career progression with some of them achieving of h-index of 12 before the age of 30 years old and more than 50 publications. As a result, his trainees (80% of them) have achieved NIHR academic clinical fellow and lecturer status. This demonstrates that his team network has particular characteristics demonstrating coherence and efficiency in collaboration between team members. He also provides clinical teaching and mentoring to his surgical registrars, preparing them for the next level of the clinical responsibility and offering them the opportunity to be trained in modern and minimally invasive surgical techniques.


His team of 50 individuals is amongst the most productive in the world of methodological research and evidence synthesis in surgery with a specific focus on cardiovascular surgery. As a result Professor Athanasiou has generated academic impact during the last three years by authoring and editing two academic textbooks, the first is the most comprehensive methodological handbook in surgery entitled "Key topics in Surgical Research and Methodology" (more than 1000 pages) and the second "Evidence Synthesis in Healthcare" (350 pages) which reveals his academic involvement in health policy and health technology assessment.

He has trained members of his team in meta-analysis, decision analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, network meta-analysis, multi-parameter evidence synthesis and diagnostic accuracy tests meta-analysis.


Link to the personal web page and textbooks:



Salmasi MY, Chien L, Hartley P, et al., 2019, What is the safety and efficacy of the use of automated fastener in heart valve surgery?, J Card Surg

Jarral OA, Tan MKH, Salmasi MY, et al., 2019, Phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging and computational fluid dynamics assessment of thoracic aorta blood flow: a literature review, European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery, ISSN:1010-7940

Salmasi MY, Hartley P, Hussein M, et al., 2019, Diagnosis and management of acute Type-A aortic dissection in emergency departments: Results of a UK national survey., Int J Cardiol

Garas G, Darzi A, Athanasiou T, 2019, Comment on: Relationship between surgeons and industry, British Journal of Surgery, Vol:106, ISSN:0007-1323, Pages:1560-1560

Garas G, Darzi A, Athanasiou T, 2019, Author response to: Resection margin status in pancreatic cancer surgery: is it really less important than the N status?, British Journal of Surgery, Vol:106, ISSN:0007-1323, Pages:1559-1560

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