Atrial Fibrillation | UMCG | Isabelle C. Van Gelder, MD, PhD
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Isabelle C. Van Gelder, MD, PhD

Professor Dr. Isabelle C. Van Gelder attended medical school at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands and received her MD in 1986. She obtained her PhD at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands (Atrial fibrillation in the nineties) in 1991. She completed her cardiology training at the University Medical Center Groningen in 1994, followed by training as electrophysiologist. Isabelle C van Gelder is Professor at the University of Groningen since 2006, and cardiologist-electrophysiologist at the University Medical Center Groningen since 1995, specialized in electrophysiology and atrial fibrillation. She is a visiting professor of the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. She is Board member of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and Chair of the EHRA membership pillar. She is member of the European Society of Cardiology Stroke council.


She was awarded with a Post Doc Netherlands Heart Foundation grant in 1994, and an Interuniversity Cardiology Institute Netherlands (ICIN) post doc molecular biology grant in 1995 (University of Cologne Prof.dr. E. Erdmann and Prof.dr. M. Böhm). She received > €10 million research grants for research on atrial fibrillation and heart failure. Recently, she was awarded together with Prof.dr. U. Schotten (University of Maastricht) with a prestigious grant for the RACE-V program funded by the Netherlands Cardiovascular Research Initiative: an initiative with support of the Dutch Heart Foundation (€ 5.000.000).


She is a promotor of > 15 PhD students including Associate Professor Dr. Michiel Rienstra. She is principle investigator of >15 studies including the atrial fibrillation guidelines changing RACE I and and RACE II studies (both published in the New England Journal of Medicine 2002 and 2010, respectively). She was and is a respected steering committee member of >10 international trials including the ASSERT trial (Asymptomatic atrial fibrillation and stroke evaluation in pacemaker patients and the atrial fibrillation reduction atrial pacing trial, New England Journal of Medicine 2012), the EAST study (Early treatment of Atrial fibrillation for Stroke prevention Trial, a European trial of the EHRA/ AF-NET consortium, PI Prof. P. Kirchhof), AXAFA (Anticoagulation using the direct factor Xa inhibitor apixaban during Atrial Fibrillation catheter Ablation: Comparison to vitamin K antagonist therapy, a European trial of the EHRA/ AF-NET consortium, PI Prof. P. Kirchhof), and RASTA-AF (Reversal of Atrial fibrillation Substrate To prevent Atrial fibrillation). She is fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA). She is a respected member of the nucleus of the ESC Council on Stroke –Secretary. She also is an esteemed member of the EHRA. She is Associate Editor or Europace for more than 10 years. She is reviewer for all important cardiology journals and the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine as well. She gave > 100 invited presentations at Cardiology congresses including the American Heart Association congress, American College of Cardiology congress, European Society of Cardiology congress, Heart Rhythm congress, congress of the Asian Pacific Heart Rhythm Association, Europace and Cardiostim. Her research focuses on the understanding the susceptibility to atrial fibrillation and comorbidities including heart failure and stroke, and exploring novel management strategies of atrial fibrillation and prevention of stroke including upstream therapies and lifestyle management.

Her research consists of clinical studies to improve atrial fibrillation management, epidemiological studies of atrial fibrillation and its risk factors, and approaches to improve atrial fibrillation (progression) risk prediction.


She has longstanding collaborations with H. Crijns, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands; J. Healey, Mc Master University Hamilton Ontario Canada; R. Parkash, Halifax Infirmary, Canada; P. Kirchhof, Birmingham, UK; G. Lip, Birmingham UK; J. Camm, London UK; C. Blomstrom Lundqvist, Uppsala, Sweden; AF-NET Germany (chair P. Kirchhof), the European Heart Rhythm Association network D.G. Wyse, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, Calgary, Canada; SH Hohnloser, Goethe University Frankfurt; B. Olshansky, University of Iowa Hospital Iowa USA; E. Hylek, Boston, USA.