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 Cardiothoracic 


Current positions

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 and Cancer at Imperial College London.

He was awarded a national ACCEA Silver Award (2021) being supported by the 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).

Aortic Research

Professor Athanasiou currently leads the London Aortic Mechanobiology Working Group. The vision of the group is to improve the diagnostic and treatment process  developing risk stratification tools  of patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms at risk of a life-threatening acute aortic syndrome. He reformed management algorithms to reduce the misdiagnosis of aortic dissection in A&E (Int J Cardiol. 2019). This has global implications for guidelines and infrastructure.This aortic research brings together advanced imaging technology with tissue biomechanics, genomics, metabolomics and computational modelling.

Clinical expertise

He specializes in Complex Aortic Surgery and Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) with modern techniques minimizing blood loss which are  suitable for elderly high-risk patients.He  serves his patients with excellent feedback, >4000 cases during the last 20 years. Last 5-year audited mortality of <1% (rank top 5% in UK).

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.

 Academic Performance

He ranks amongst the highest for academic surgeons in his specialty (cardiovascular sciences and cardiothoracic surgery) both nationally and internationally. Last year metrics include: >700 total to date(pubmed papers and book chapters),12 textbooks, h-index 83(citations more than 24000, 28 PhD/MD students(22 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).

Methodological Expertise

His current statistical expertise is on randomized controlled trials methodological aspects such as power analysis and selection of endpoinds, longitudinal data analysis such as PROMS and HRQOL with multilevel modelling, competing risk modelling,bayesian hierarchical modelling and Neural Networks.

Management Training 

He completed his MBA in Warwick and he specializes in High Performance Teams and Change Management following Mergers and Acquisitions for Knowledge  Management Organizations.

Professor's Athanasiou Team is developing frameworks  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.

Scientific interests 

Professor Athanasiou’s aims are to translate molecular cardiovascular research (metabolic syndrome, electrophysiological disorders, regenerative platforms and stem cells) and intergrate these 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 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(

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.

Leadership positions

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 (22 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.

Evidence Synthesis 

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:



Spiliopoulos K, Magouliotis D, Xanthopoulos A, et al., 2024, Surgical aortic valve replacement in patients aged <50 years and the choice of the prosthesis used: revisiting of the established practice based on convincing evidence or upon 'comparing apples to oranges'?, Eur J Cardiothorac Surg, Vol:65

Triposkiadis F, Briasoulis A, Kitai T, et al., 2024, The sympathetic nervous system in heart failure revisited., Heart Fail Rev, Vol:29, Pages:355-365

Arjomandi Rad A, Zubarevich A, Osswald A, et al., 2024, The Surgical Treatment of Infective Endocarditis: A Comprehensive Review., Diagnostics (basel), Vol:14, ISSN:2075-4418

Magouliotis DE, Xanthopoulos A, Athanasiou T, 2024, Y-incision aortic annular enlargement and the golden ratio: Nature leads the way., J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg

Bourazana A, Xanthopoulos A, Briasoulis A, et al., 2024, Artificial Intelligence in Heart Failure: Friend or Foe?, Life (basel), Vol:14, ISSN:2075-1729

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