Realheart Medical Advisory Board

Realheart's Medical Advisory Board is a panel of experts with relevant specialist skills that advises the company on research and product development issues, such as preclinical and clinical studies. They also advise on topics of more commercial nature through their connections to the market and very good insight into the marketing and sales channels. This leads to a safer and faster journey towards the goal of commercializing the Realheart®️ TAH.

Henrik Casimir Ahn, professor emeritus

Prof. Ahn is a specialist and professor in thoracic surgery. He has extensive clinical experience of heart pumps as a thoracic surgeon at Östergötland University Hospital and long academic research experience in the field from Linköping University. He was the doctoral supervisor for Dr. Urban Lönn, who was Medical Director at Abbott SH- the largest international manufacturer of heart pumps.

Prof. Ahn led Realheart’s animal studies on pigs, developed the surgical implant method and has also been engaged in the sheep animal studies.

Prof. Ahn’s good understanding of the customer perspective, his great industrial network and knowledge of the clinical profile for different patient target groups are tremendous assets for Realheart and will be of great help in the preclinical and clinical aspects of the research work.

Robert D. Dowling, MD

Prof. Robert D. Dowling is a thoracic surgeon and an established name in the community of surgeons who work with total artificial hearts. His current position is as Surgical Director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Christ Hospital and Lindner Research and Education Center, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was previously a professor of surgery and Director of research in Surgery Research, Applied Biomedical Engineering Research, and Research in Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in the United States. Penn State is one of the largest TAH centers in the world with extensive experience in end-stage heart failure surgical options. Prior to that, Prof. Dowling was director of the Heart Transplant and Cardiac Assistance Program at the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital in Louisville, USA.

Prof. Dowling has been involved in over 100 published research results with regards to, among other things, heart failure and thoracic surgery and is a co-author of several articles concerning artificial hearts.

Prof. Dowling, with his expertise and decades of experience in the industry, is an invaluable addition to the Realheart scientific advisory board.

Here you can read more about Prof. Dowling’s work and publications:

Zoltán Szabó, MD, PhD

Prof. Szabó has extensive clinical experience in thoracic anesthesia as a professor of anesthesiology at the Östergötland Region and extensive research experience in side effects of heart pumps from Linköping university. He also has specialist expertise in anesthesia protocols for large animals.

Prof. Szabó has been involved in developing the implementation of Realheart’s animal studies in pigs and participated in the sheep animal studies.

Prof. Szabó understands the development point of view and his expertise will be very important in the preclinical and clinical phase.

Ulf Kjellman, PhD

Dr. Kjellman is a specialist and surgeon in cardiothoracic surgery with over 35 years of experience. He was the surgeon who performed the first implantation in Scandinavia in 2008.

Dr. Kjellman has been deeply involved in initiating and developing the heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support (MCS) program at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Uppsala University Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, King Faisal Specialist Hospital Riyadh Saudi Arabia and National Guard Hospital Riyadh Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Kjellman has authored numerous scientific papers in the field of cardiovascular disease and transplantation and his experience extends to the field of MCS, both LVAD/RVADs with single ventricle support and TAH.

Dr. Kjellman’s expertise, broad experience and vast network of contacts will be of great importance for the company’s further development work.

Prof. Bart Meyns

Prof. Bart Meyns is a Belgian cardiac surgeon who is known for his pioneering work in heart transplantation and ventricular assist devices (VADs). He is currently head of the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the University Hospital UZ Leuven and a professor at the Faculty of Medicine at KU Leuven. Bart Meyns has been President of both the European Society of Artificial Organs, ESAO, and the International Society of Mechanical Circulatory Support, ISMCS, of which Realheart’s CEO, Dr Ina Laura Perkins, is a board member. He has also published more than 350 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals.

Prof. Meyns has been involved in the development of VADs since the early 1990s and has conducted numerous studies on their effectiveness in treating heart failure patients. He has also performed over 500 heart transplants and has conducted research on improving the outcomes of this procedure. He has studied the use of donor hearts from older patients and from patients who died from non-heart-related causes.

Prof. Meyns has been involved in numerous clinical trials related to cardiac surgery. He has served as the principal investigator for several clinical trials, including a study on the use of a VAD in patients with advanced heart failure. Professor Bart Meyns is part of the surgical team performing the implantations in Realheart’s ongoing animal study, paving the way for clinical trials scheduled to begin in 2024.

Prof. Meyns is one of the most skilled and experienced cardiac surgeons available for heart pump implantations, and his knowledge will be a very valuable addition to the competent medical board.