Dr. Béla Merkely

Dr. Béla Merkely

Rector, Semmelweis University Hungary

Professor Béla Merkely obtained his medical degree with Summa Cum Laude honours in 1991 at Semmelweis University’s Faculty of Medicine in Budapest, Hungary. He became board certified in cardiology in 1998 and obtained his PhD in ventricular arrhythmias in 1999. He also holds a Transthoracic Echocardiography Certification and was the first Hungarian clinical cardiac electrophysiologist to earn the Cardiac Pacing and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators Certification issued by the European Heart Rhythm Association. In 2006, he became a Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Since 2007, Professor Merkely has been Chairman and Director of Semmelweis University’s Heart and Vascular Centre. This Clinic has a wide profile, including cardiology, heart surgery, vascular surgery, cardiac imaging and interventional radiology. Besides of widespread clinical investigations, also translational aspect is present with small and large animal experimental labs and stem cell research. As a clinician, Professor Merkely performs one thousand diagnostic coronarographies and PCIs on a yearly basis as well as pacemaker, ICD, CRT, TAVI and Mitraclip implantations.

In 2015, Professor Merkely became President of Semmelweis University’s Hospital and Vice-Rector for Clinical Affairs. In 2018, he was appointed Rector of Semmelweis University.

He is the Honorary President and former President of the Hungarian Society of Cardiology, the Hungarian Heart Rhythm Association; former President of the Hungarian Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Intervention, and President of the Cardiology Section of the Professional College.

Professor Merkely has held functions in the different bodies and associations of the European Society of Cardiology for more than 20 years. Between 2014 and 2016 he was Councillor, between 2016 and 2018 he was Vice-President of the ESC. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

His major research interests are the non-pharmacological treatment of heart failure; new techniques in interventional cardiology; invasive and non-invasive imaging in heart failure; arrhythmias and acute coronary syndromes; sport cardiology, cardiac remodelling of elite athletes.

He has authored and co-authored five books, 44 book chapters, has contributed to 14 university coursebook chapters and two university textbooks, and has signed over 650 articles in international and Hungarian medical journals. His cumulative impact factor is 2194,01, the number of his independent citations is 20.333.

He has earned numerous awards and honours, including the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Commander Cross in 2016, the Honorary citizenship of Budapest in 2013, the Elite Reviewer of the Europace Journal in 2012, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Officer’s Cross in 2011, the Nivou Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2009. Semmelweis University Heart Center gained the title “FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence” under his management in 2011.