AFNET has elected new board of directors


The German Atrial Fibrillation Network (AFNET) has elected a new board of directors on 9ro April 2015. The new leaders of the research network are the four cardiologists Prof. Paulus Kirchhof (Birmingham, UK, and Münster, Germany), Prof. Andreas Goette (Paderborn, Germany), Prof. Michael Näbauer (Munich, Germany) and Prof. Ulrich Schotten (Maastricht, The Netherlands).


The new and the previous AFNET board members (from left to right): Prof. Michael Näbauer, Munich, Germany (new treasurer, board member since 2012), Prof. Günter Breithardt, Münster, Germany (previous chairman, resigned from the board), Prof. Paulus Kirchhof, Birmingham, UK, and Münster, Germany (new chairman, board member since 2012), Prof. Ulrich Schotten, Maastricht, The Netherlands (new board member), Prof. Andreas Goette, Paderborn, Germany (new board member), Prof. Gerhard Steinbeck, Munich, Germany (previous treasurer, resigned from the board)


The previous chairman of the board Prof. Günter Breithardt (Münster, Germany) and the previous treasurer Prof. Gerhard Steinbeck (Munich, Germany) had previously decided to step down from the board after many successful years of working on the AFNET board of directors. Both have continuously contributed to the development of AFNET since its foundation 12 years ago. They will remain members of the AFNET steering committee, thus providing advice to the board.

The incoming board of directors was elected for the term 2015 to 2018 by the AFNET general assembly on 9th April in Mannheim, Germany. The new chairman is Prof. Kirchhof. Professor Näbauer will serve as treasurer in the new board. They have both been AFNET board members since 2012. Prof. Goette and Prof. Schotten are newly elected board members.

The new board members agree: “The elections to the board give a clear signal of continuity and rejuvenation. We want to thank the AFNET members for their trust, and look forward to working with the AFNET steering committee to lead our association to further strengths.”

Prof. Kirchhof, who holds a chair in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Birmingham, has taken part in establishing the AFNET from its foundation: He has been a member of the AFNET steering committee since 2003. As principal investigator of the ongoing international EAST – AFNET 4 and AXAFA – AFNET 5 trials, he will be responsible for clinical trials in the board. He is also involved in several international activities of AFNET, e.g. as main organizer of the biennial AFNET/EHRA consensus conferences.

„The Atrial Fibrillation Network has made headways in its development into an academic research organization. The support funding from the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), the involvement in a horizon2020 project, or the successful start of the AXAFA – AFNET 5 trial are good examples for such steps. I am confident that we can build on these AFNET successes and develop AFNET into an internationally recognized academic research organization in the field of arrhythmias in Europe.”

Prof. Näbauer, University Hospital Großhadern, Munich, has wide experience in clinical registries. Together with Prof. Steinbeck he has managed the AFNET central patient registry in which the data of more than 10.000 patients with atrial fibrillation are documented. He is also the principal investigator of the AFNET-EORP AF registry (the German contribution to the EURObservational Research Programme Atrial Fibrillation General Registry) that has enrolled patients since 2014.

Prof. Goette, St. Vincenz Hospital Paderborn, has been a member of the AFNET steering committee since 2003. In his scientific activities comprising clinical trials to optimize therapy as well as basic science projects on the mechanisms of atrial fibrillation he combines clinical and basic research.

The physiologist and physician Prof. Schotten, University of Maastricht, is also a long-standing member of the AFNET steering committee. As a specialist on basic and translational research on the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation he participates in several large-scale international research projects.



The Atrial Fibrillation Network association (AFNET) is an interdisciplinary research network comprising scientists and physicians from hospitals and practices dedicated to improving the management of atrial fibrillation through coordinated research in Germany and Europe. Its main objective is to conduct high quality investigator-initiated clinical trials and registries on a national and international level. The AFNET continues the long-term activities of the network which has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education over a decade. Since January 2015, specific projects and infrastructures of the AFNET are funded by the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).



Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern e.V. (AFNET)
Mendelstraße 11
48149 Münster, Germany


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