Douglas Packer takes office as new HRS president


Richard L Page passed the ceremonial gavel to Douglas L Packer, the new president of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) during the Presidents’ Reception on 14 May 2010 at Heart Rhythm 2010 in Denver, USA.

In addition to serving as the Society’s immediate past president, Page has been a member and volunteer since 1990. Page holds the Robert A Bruce Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research and is chair, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Page’s areas of clinical expertise include atrial fibrillation, sudden cardiac death and syncope. He is also known for his research in asymptomatic atrial fibrillation, drug therapy for atrial fibrillation, and automated external defibrillators. He has been widely published in leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, the Annals of Internal Medicine and HeartRhythm. He serves on the editorial boards for the American Heart Journal, the American Journal of Cardiology, PACE, the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, HeartRhythm and Circulation.

He passes the presidency on to Packer, who has been a member of the HRS since 1988. During this time he has held numerous volunteer positions, most recently as president-elect.

Packer is a consultant in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA. In addition, he is the Director of Heart Rhythm Services and Director of Translational Electrophysiology Research Laboratory. Packer is recognised with the academic rank of Professor of Medicine, and is internationally known in cardiac electrophysiology. Packer’s areas of clinical expertise include translational work focused on mechanisms and ablation of atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmias, and autologous fibroblast modulation of electrical impulse propagation in the heart. His clinical work investigates 4/5- dimensional integrated image-guided ablation, and the development of new energy sources for the modification of cardiac tissue. His work has been funded in part by private foundations, the American Heart Association, and the National Institutes of Health.

Packer also holds two US patents and one European patent. He is an active teacher, mentor, lecturer, and writer or co-author of more than 175 publications. He has served on the executive committee of a number of NIH multicentre, randomised clinical trials, including the MUSTT, SCD-HeFT, and HAT trials. Packer is also the international principal investigator of the NIH CABANA pivotal study and leads the consortium of centres directing the trial.

Packer has served on the editorial boards for the HeartRhythm Journal, American Heart Journal, Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology and the American Journal of Cardiology.