Philipp Bonhoeffer Biography

Philipp Bonhoeffer is an expert in cardiac valve replacement interventions. He is also a violinist, violin builder and researcher.
Philipp Bonhoeffer grew up in Germany, trained in medicine in Milan, Italy and specialised in Cardiology in Pavia where he learned paediatric cardiac catheterisation. In 1996, he became the Director of the Catheterisation Laboratory at the Necker Hospital in Paris, France. In 2001, he moved to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London where he later became the Head of Cardiology, and then gained the position of Professor of Cardiology within the Institute of Child Health at University College London.
Philipp Bonhoeffer is a pioneer of the technology known as “Pulmonary valve replacement via a trans-catheter”. This method has the advantage of allowing one to completely avoid, or to delay, cardio surgical interventions on patients with special forms of congenital cardiac faults. Bonhoeffer invented his own valve and implanted it into a living human patient for the first time in the year 2000. It was then approved in 2006 for clinical use by the European Community and in 2010 by the North American “Food and Drug Administration” (FDA). The company Medtronic carries out worldwide sales of this valve, under the brand name “Melody”.
Philipp Bonhoeffer also concerns himself with questions of ethics in connection with the approval process of new medical equipment, the philosophy of innovation in general, and medical ethics in poorer countries.
He is author to a large number of publications, a recipient of numerous prizes and a member of several international societies, such as the Società Italiana di Cardiologia Paediatrica, the European Association of Paediatric Cardiology (AEPC) and the International Society of Invasive Cardiology and Congenital Heart Disease.
Philipp Bonhoeffer started to play the violin from an early age and played in many orchestras growing up. In the end, it was chamber music that he found most attractive. He counts several accomplished musicians amongst his friends and they often gather together to play, either in private chamber music sessions or for public concerts. After a rich history of concert activity during his medical studies, he today not only plays in concerts of varying composition, but also builds violins himself under the guidance of the renowned violin maker Stefan-Peter Greiner.
The insights gained during his research into cardiac valves prompted Philipp Bonhoeffer to co-operate with violin-makers and technicians in order to better understand the building principles and acoustic properties of violins. His passion is not just limited to playing and building violins however. He recently proved a key player in making available a music room in the town of Pisano, Italy, which he stated is a place that “belongs to the musicians”.

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