ProfeSsor of Cardiovascular Sciences & Cardiac Surgery, Consultant Cardiac
Professor Thanos Athanasiou is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Hammersmith/St Mary's/St Bartholomew'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 Imperial College. He is elected member of the Adult Cardiothoracic Committee of the Cardiothoracic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He is also Internal Clinician in Cardiovascular Device Certification (CE Mark) Notified Body in Europe (BSI).
Professor Athanasiou currently leads the London Aortic Mechanobiology Working Group. The vision of the group is to improve the diagnostic and treatment process of patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms at risk of a life-threatening type A aortic dissection. This research brings together advanced imaging technology with tissue biomechanics, genomics, metabolomics and computational modelling.
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. His clinical interest is in innovative techniques including Minimally Invasive Cardiac Valve Surgery and Robotically 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: 605 (pubmed papers, total to date and book chapters),12 textbooks, h-index 72(citations more than 20000, 22 PhD/MD students(20 have completed), 4 Wellcome Trust Fellowships, currently authoring/editing two specialized international textbooks on patient reported outcomes (one in surgery and the other in cardiothoracic surgery).His current statistical expertise is on longitudinal data analysis, multilevel modelling, competing risk modelling,bayesian hierarchical modelling and Neural Networks.
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
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 highlighted as highly cited in Plos ONE and Future of Surgery Report(Page 98) from RCS(https://futureofsurgery.rcseng.ac.uk).
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 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 (20 completed theses), MD, MSc, MRes, BSc students. Professor Athanasiou supervises bioengineers, economists, clinicians and scientists. Currently he has 4 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 10 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:
et al., 2020, Toll-like receptor 9 and the inflammatory response to surgical trauma and cardiopulmonary bypass, Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vol:15, ISSN:1749-8090
et al., 2020, The risk of misdiagnosis in acute thoracic aortic dissection: a review of current guidelines, Heart, Vol:106, ISSN:1355-6037, Pages:885-891
et al., 2020, Colorectal tumour characteristics and oncological outcome in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, Surgical Practice, ISSN:1744-1625
et al., 2020, Surgical innovation in the era of global surgery: a network analysis, Annals of Surgery, Vol:271, ISSN:0003-4932, Pages:868-874
et al., 2020, Minimal Access Versus Sternotomy for Complex Mitral Valve Repair: A Meta-Analysis, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Vol:109, ISSN:0003-4975, Pages:737-744