From an early age, Professor Nicolas Maria Van Mieghem decided to pursue a career that would help others. “I enjoy the feeling of being able to help someone or do something important for them. I wanted to enter a profession that would channel my energy— I was always a busy child,” he says.
A budding athlete, he was a member of Belgium’s national swimming team but soon realized that medicine was his true calling. His father was a general cardiologist and one of his biggest influences early in his career.
Professor Van Mieghem initially intended to train as a cardiac surgeon but decided to specialise in interventional cardiology instead, following advice from a mentor. This decision was cemented when he read the first-in-human case report of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) in Circulation by Alain Cribier in 2002.
His mantra is mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body). He remains an avid swimmer and cyclist and follows a number of professional sports. “Like all Belgians, I love to watch the big cycling events—the classic cycle races, the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España,” he says.
Van Mieghem believes that a great cardiologist genuinely cares for their patients. He names Gary Roubin, Dr Manu Malbrain and Professor Patrick Serruys among his mentors.
In 2007, Professor Van Mieghem obtained his medical and cardiology degrees at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He completed fellowships in interventional cardiology in Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg Genk, Belgium, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, US and Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.2 His PhD focused on transcatheter valve therapies.3
His current research focuses on cerebral embolic protection during TAVI and the search for improved large bore closure devices. He works actively in expanding TAVI indications, most notably TAVI as a means to further unload the left ventricle in heart failure patients with moderate aortic stenosis (the TAVR UNLOAD trial). Professor Van Mieghem is also involved in the development and dispersion of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices as well as transcatheter mitral and tricuspid repair techniques. In terms of imaging and preprocedural planning, his research has covered computed tomography (CT)-derived 3D modelling and printing.
Professor Van Mieghem has received institutional research grant support from Abbott Vascular, Boston Scientific, Edwards Lifesciences, Medtronic, Daiichi-Sankyo, PulseCath BV and Abiomed.7
After his fellowships, Professor Van Mieghem joined the department of interventional cardiology at the Thorax Centre, Erasmus Medical Center, as a senior staff member in February 2010. He is now working there as a Full Professor of Interventional Cardiology.2
As well as his involvement in the percutaneous coronary interventions and structural heart programs, he has published and co-authored over 350 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.4 Professor Van Mieghem is a principal investigator and steering committee member in multiple ongoing international trials, evaluating various coronary and transcatheter valve technologies.3 He is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC) and is currently Medical Director of the department of Interventional cardiology at the Thorax Centre.3
- 2008 - 2009: Fellow, Interventional Cardiology, Lenox Hill Hospital
- 2010: Joined the senior staff, Interventional Cardiology, Thorax Centre, Erasmus MC
- 2014: Clinical Director, Interventional Cardiology, Erasmus MC
- 2019 - Present: Full Professor, Interventional Cardiology, Erasmus MC
- Present: Medical Director, Interventional Cardiology, Thorax Centre
Areas of Speciality4
- Interventional Cardiology
- Transcatheter Heart Valve Interventions
Prof Van Mieghem is on the ICR3 Editorial Board.