Anne M Gillis, a heart specialist and clinician based in Calgary, Canada, was named the president of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) during the 33rd Annual Scientific Sessions, held in Boston, USA, last week.
The announcement was made at the Presidents’ Reception on Friday 11 May. Gillis now serves as the 34th president of HRS and the second international president preceded by Bernard S Goldman, (1982–1983). .
Gillis, professor of Medicine, is an internationally recognised clinician who has published many studies contributing to the world’s understanding of mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias and the development of new treatments for arrhythmias. Her current research interests focus on mechanisms of arrhythmogenesis in experimental models and the use of implantable device therapy for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
“I am honored and privileged to serve the Heart Rhythm Society this year and follow in the footsteps of many extraordinary leaders in our field,” said Gillis. “As the second international president of the Society, I not only look forward to placing emphasis on international collaboration and expanding global membership, but also increasing our opportunities in areas of research and guideline development to further advance the quality of care of our patients.”
During her term, Gillis plans to continue to stress the importance of the collaboration between physicians and allied health professions to build on the Society’s unique patient-centered approach. She also plans to work to strengthen the Society’s sudden cardiac arrest awareness campaign internationally, launch a new US public awareness campaign around device therapy, and implement new efforts in research, education and patient advocacy.
“As a global organisation with members representing more than 70 countries, it is important that we are led by those who can offer a diverse perspective as we aim to move forward,” said James Youngblood, CEO, HRS. “Anne Gillis is a practicing scientist and clinician working and living outside of the USA, and I cannot think of a better person to guide us through the opportunities and challenges we face today.”
Gillis has published more than 160 manuscripts and 20 book chapters. Her research has been supported by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Gillis received a medical degree from Dalhousie University and was a recipient of the school’s gold medal in 1979. She interned at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, was a resident in internal medicine at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, and subsequently completed training in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at Stanford University. Following a year of research in Germany, she joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary in 1986.