"Morning" Coffee

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"Morning" Coffee


On Tuesday, Jan. 18th, 2022, at 14:30 there was another Integration Coffee meeting. We had the opportunity to listen to an interview with two outstanding clinicians and researchers: Prof. Paul F. Gründeman – profesor of the University of Utrecht, lecturer, scientist and innovator in the field of cardiovascular medicine and medical devices used therein, who has been GUMed visiting profesor since 2018, cooperating with the MUG’s Centre of Translational Medicine; and Prof. Krzysztof Narkiewicz – Head of the Department of Hypertension and Diabetology, as well as the creator and Chairman of the Scientific Board of the MUG’s Centre of Translational Medicine. The interview was carried out by Dr. Jacek Kaczmarek, MUG’s International Alumni Relations Officer.

The interview addressed the following topics: the key factors and turning points in the Speakers’ academic/research careers; the friendship and cooperation between the Guests’ Parents – Prof. Mirosława Narkiewicz and Prof. Antonius M. Gründemanem and between their teams, at the Medical University of Gdańsk and Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis in Amsterdam, respectively; potential and reputation of the University of Utrecht and the Medical University of Gdańsk; young talents in science and interdisciplinary research teams; the role and importance of internationalization of a University; and federalization of the universities and research centers, in the context of the recent establishing of the Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk.


Professor Krzysztof Narkiewicz
Head of the Department of Hypertension and Diabetology, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland

Krzysztof Narkiewicz graduated in medicine from the Medical University of Gdansk, Poland in 1988, and obtained his PhD from the same University in 1993. He was a visiting scientist of the National Institutes of Health at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, USA (1996-1998). He is the head of the Department of Hypertension and Diabetology. He has established the Translational Medicine Centre serving as the platform linking several research groups. This core facility focuses on functional and structural analyses of the heart and vessels in humans to explore cardiovascular system control and cardiovascular morbidity.
His research has been focused on the role of the sympathetic nervous system and metabolic factors in regulation of cardiovascular function in physiological and pathological states, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and obstructive sleep apnea. Much of his activity is related to prevention and treatment of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, congestive heart failure and diabetes.
Professor Narkiewicz has published over 450 full-text papers mainly in the areas of hypertension, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders (total Impact Factor >1250, total number of citations > 29 000, h-index: 60). He is the editor of Blood Pressure – journal endorsed by the European Society of Hypertension. He was the President of the Scientific Council of the European Society of Hypertension (2009-2011). He was a member of the Task Force for the Management of Arterial Hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) preparing the 2007, 2013 and 2018 Guidelines for the Management of Arterial Hypertension. He is the member of the Polish Academy of Science, Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Academia Europaea.

Professor Paul F. Gründeman
Associate Professor Experimental Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht Visiting Professor Cardiovascular Surgery, Center of Translational Medicine, Medical University of Gdańsk

Paul F. Gründeman obtained his Master’s degree in clinical perfusion and extracorporeal circulation at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam in 1976 and graduated in medicine from the University of Amsterdam in 1992. In 1994 he obtained his doctoral degree in medicine at the same university.
Prof. Gründeman’s research focus is on innovation in the field of cardiovascular diseases and development of novel devices and therapies thereof. He has extensive experience in (experimental) cardiovascular surgery, especially in the field of minimal invasive surgeries and technologies. He is co-inventor of the Octopus® tissue stabilizer (US patent 9,927,284 + full extensions), invented for (closed-chest) beating heart coronary surgery (no heart lung machine required) and currently commercialized by Medtronic Inc. The Octopus® is designed to stabilize any target area of the heart surface and then work with unimpeded view as the bypass is sutured in place. He has played a significant role in the invention, development of the Octopus, teaching and clinical introduction worldwide (>2.1 million uses in 2020). Currently, as inventor of the Spacemaking device and suction knife device (facilitating manoeuvrability for endoscopic instruments patent ES229770, device of making a cut in a tissue US2016120531 (A1), respectively), (pre)clinical feasibility is being explored for intrapericardial therapies. In an open innovation track, which started in 2012, he initiated a multi-year collaboration with DSM, a Dutch based multinational company, for the development of a minimally invasive novel deployable polymeric heart valve for life made of Dyneema Purity® UHMWPE fiber technology (principal inventor, pending patents: BR112016025723 (A2)/US2017189172 (A1)/ CN106572907 (A)/ CN106535824 (A)).
In his career Prof. Gründeman has been active at several healthcare and medical research institutions, in the Netherlands, including the OLVG and Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam and University Medical Center Utrecht (Senior Investigator and Associate Professor in Experimental Cariothoracic and Vascular Surgery, currently Guest Associate Professor), and abroad – Beijing Peoples Liberation Army Medical school and Hospital, China, and Gdanski Uniwersytet Medyczny (Visiting Professor Cardiovascular Surgery, Center of Translational Medicine.
Prof. Gründeman has been a member and the secretary of the International Society of Minimal Invasive Cardiac Surgery (ISMICS) and a member of the Animal Ethical Experimentation Commission at the University of Utrecht/UMCU.
Prof. Paul Gründeman is a holder of the Medtronic Customer-focused quality Star of Excellence award for distinguished performance (first foreign physician laureate for Octopus development). In his honour the ISMICS named one of their awards Gründeman Scientific Innovation Award. Prof. Gründeman also holds honorary medals of merit awarded to him by the Medical University of Gdansk for contributions to development of the Gdansk Heart Surgery Center, fostering continued collaboration between the MUG and the Dutch partners, and active support to joint research projects in the area of cardiovascular medicine.
Prof. Gründeman is the author or co-author of more than 70 ISI publications and principal investigator in several high-profile grants and projects on innovations in cardiovascular surgery.
Personal credo’s: Imagination is more important than knowledge (after Einstein).