AATS Graham Foundation and AtriCure announce James L Cox Fellowship in atrial fibrillation surgery


AtriCure a leading innovator in technologies for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and left atrial appendage management, together with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Graham Foundation has announced the inaugural James L Cox Fellowship in atrial fibrillation surgery.

The multi-year commitment will provide newly graduated cardiothoracic surgeons with a highly engaging educational experience at leading surgical atrial fibrillation centres across the USA. Eight nationally-recognised experts in atrial fibrillation surgery will act as host surgeons, providing one-on-one mentoring and formalised training to award winners over the course of three months. The fellowship will also include a didactic training course led by James Cox, whose pioneering work established the field of atrial fibrillation ablation, and his protégé, Ralph Damiano, who chairs the atrial fibrillation fellowship programme on behalf of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Graham Foundation and AtriCure.

“I am very pleased that AATS Graham Foundation has recognised the need for this kind of programme,” said Damiano, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Washington University in St Louis, USA. “I believe that this will provide an excellent opportunity for interested fellows to increase their understanding of how to treat the growing epidemic of atrial fibrillation and to better understand the surgical treatment of this common arrhythmia.”

In future years, the company hopes to expand the number of host surgeons and training sites and to offer this fellowship to surgeons outside the USA. The goal of this educational programme is to identify and cultivate the next generation of leaders and researchers in the field of atrial fibrillation surgery, providing them with the tools, experience, and guidance to provide safe and effective treatment. The announcement coincides with the AATS annual meeting (25–29 April, Seattle, USA) and the naming of Cox as recipient of the 2015 AATS Scientific Achievement Award, the society’s highest scientific award recognising extraordinary contributions to the field of cardiothoracic surgery.

Mike Carrel, president and chief executive officer of AtriCure, said, “James Cox is widely recognised as the leader in our field, and we are pleased that this programme has come to fruition as recognition of his contributions, as well as AATS’ commitment to education and furthering the practice of surgically treating atrial fibrillation.”

James L Cox is a leading pioneer in the development of solutions to treat atrial fibrillation. Cox has been working on educating surgeons globally for decades to reduce the global epidemic of atrial fibrillation. “I am honoured to be a part of this inaugural program,” said Cox. “I am confident that this will provide interested surgeons with the ability to train under some of the best arrhythmia surgeons in the world. It is a very exciting time to be involved in the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation.”