Successful conclusion of CATCH ME project: "The best is yet to come"

  • by Doreen Haase - Tue, 2019-05-07 14:36

CATCH ME Colloquium "Minds to Minds, Hearts to Hearts"



The CATCH ME consortium convened in the Edgbaston Conference Centre of the prestige University of Birmingham for the 48 months meeting at the end of the funding period.
CATCH ME had been funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 633196 from May 2015 to April 2019.

Close to 50 clinicians and scientists from the consortium members University of Birmingham, University of Barcelona, University of Maastricht, University of Munich, University of Oxford, University of Paris, the Atrial Fibrillation NETwork (AFNET), European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and associated partner Roche met to present and discuss the outcomes of the CATCH ME project.

In addition, the members of the CATCH ME advisory board

  • Donald Bers (University of California, USA)
  • John Camm (University of London, UK),
  • Dobromir Dobrev (University of Essen, DE),
  • Stephan Lehnart (University of Göttingen, DE) and
  • Renate Schnabel (University of Hamburg, DE)

attended and chaired the scientific sessions. In the discussions ensuing each talk, they offered valuable input for the implementation of the CATCH ME results and future directions for the work.

The collaborations within the CATCH ME consortium have been productive already, but the meeting in Birmingham highlighted novel findings that are awaiting publication. “The best is yet to come” as coordinator Professor Kirchhof observed.

During the meeting special sessions were dedicated to

  • Personalized AF therapy (e.g. by reflecting the role of fatty infiltrations, exercise, height and atrial fibrosis in atrial fibrillation (afib))
  • Genetics in AF with regards to age-related afib, genetic markers (e.g. PITX2) and atrial gene expression
  • Integrating best science in clinical practice by the implementing the CATCH ME health apps and educational modules
  • Modelling AF with clinical data and biomarkers for clinical outcomes
  • AF research in the Big Data Era

All CATCH ME outcomes can be found summarized here.

Furthermore, this meeting provided junior scientists the opportunity to present posters of their work after introducing their topic in a rapid fire poster session.

The best posters were selected by the poster judges Monika Stoll (University of Münster, DE) and Donald Bers (University of California, USA). The latter presented the awards for the best poster to Joris Winters and Karina Bunting who shared the first prize.

Karina Bunting (left picture, University of Birmingham, UK) received the shared first prize for her poster:
"A simple method to improve the reliability of echocardiography in patients with atrial fibrillation".

Joris Winters (right picture - left, University of Maastricht, NL) received the shared first prize for his poster:
"Persistent AF is the dominant driver of endomysial fibrosis in left but not right atrial appendages: results of the CATCH ME consortium".


After very lively and fruitful discussions, the meeting concluded with an outlook for ongoing research and future collaborations arising from the CATCH ME consortium.

Coordinator Paulus Kirchhof summarized: “Two days of science, discussions, and new data. The 48 months CATCH ME meeting was so successful that the participants decided to meet again next year, hosted by Professor Ulrich Schotten in Maastricht.”