Skip to content

Karen Sliwa

Prof Karen Sliwa is Director of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Professor in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences University of Cape Town, and Past President of the World Heart Federation (2019-2020). Karen Sliwa is widely recognized as a world expert in cardiovascular disease, with a particular interest in reducing mortality in women with cardiovascular disease in maternity. She has contributed to better understanding on the pathophysiology, treatment options and awareness of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a global disease particularly prevalent in African populations. She leads several inter-Africa research projects, which have had a major impact for creating knowledge about CVDs common in Africa, leading to changes in policy. Her considerable experience in setting up simple, cost-effective registries and web-based data entry platforms have had a major impact on planning several innovative research projects and has facilitated the training of physicians from several African countries, including Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda and Tanzania. Her translational research from bed-to-bench-to-bedside population studies have led to a much better understanding of CVDs in pregnant women and subsequently to improved patient care.  Professor Sliwa leads several high-profile special interest groups including a dedicated EORP Working Group on PPCM of the Heart Failure Association of European Society of Cardiology. Over her distinguished career she has served in many notable roles, including that of Chair of the South African Heart Failure Association, President of the South African Heart Association (2014-2016), President of the World Heart Federation (2019-2020), and Vice President, Southern Region of the Pan African Society of Cardiology (2016-2021). She holds numerous awards such as the German Cardiac Society Paul Morawitz Award for Exceptional Cardiovascular Research (2013), an Honorary Doctorate University Diderot-Sorbonne, Paris, France (2017), European Society of Cardiology Geoffrey Rose Award for Population Sciences (2019) and the South African Medical Research Council Gold Award (2021). She has authored more than 350 publications, trained more then 30 post graduate students, and her papers are highly cited (72,270 citations; h-index of 84, i10-index 239; accessed Feb 2021).