Professor Paulus Kirchhof

Professor Paulus Kirchhof

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine
Deputy Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (Clinical)

Contact details

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Paulus Kirchhof has recently joined the University of Birmingham as Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. His appointment includes a position as consultant cardiologist at the Department of Cardiology, SWBH NHS Trust. He works on the understanding of novel molecular mechanisms of heart disease “from bench to bedside”. His scientific interests encompass basic science studies to identify novel molecular mechanisms of heart disease as a basis for a translational approach to cardiology. He works on translation through controlled, investigator-initiated clinical trials and the generation of guidelines.


  • Internist (GMC-registered)
  • Cardiologist (GMC-registered)
  • Zusatzbezeichung Intensivmedizin (“intensive care”, Ärztekammer Westfalen-Lippe)


Paulus graduated from Münster Medical School, Münster, Germany in 1997 after studying Medicine at the Universities of Heidelberg, Germany; Münster, Germany; Lille, France; and Georgetown University, Washington, USA. He received postgraduate training in Internal Medicine (Specialist Registration 2004), Cardiology (Specialist Registration 2006), and Intensive Care Medicine (“Zusatzbezeichnung Internistische Intensivmedizin”, 2011) in the Department of Cardiology and Angiology at the University of Münster. He worked there as a senior interventional cardiologist until accepting a Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at University of Birmingham in 2011. He continues an appointment as researcher at University of Münster. He currently is a senior member of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at University of Birmingham, and works as Consultant Cardiologist at SWBH and UHB NHS trusts.

Paulus was a stipendiate of Cusanuswerk, Germany, and has received several prizes, including the prize for the best medical thesis from Heart Center Münster in 1998, the Woldemar-Mobitz Prize (2004) and the Bruno-Kisch Prize (2006) from the German Cardiac Society, and the Sibylle Hahne Prize for Medicine and Sciences from the University of Münster (2005).

Paulus is an active member of several research consortia and professional organisations. Among others, he chairs the board of the German Atrial Fibrillation competence NETwork (AFNET), chairs the unit on University Courses of the European Heart Academy, sits on the Board of the European Heart Rhythm Association and works in several committees of the European Society of Cardiology. He is Deputy Editor of Heart, an Editorial Board Member of BMC Medicine, Heart Rhythm, and Europace, and serves as Editorial Consultant to The Lancet. 

Postgraduate supervision

Paulus has successfully supervised over 20 MD and PhD students in Germany. Three theses won prizes in the past, and many successful MD and PhD candidates are developing into successful clinicians, clinician-scientists, and scientists. He supervises MD and PhD students in Birmingham (details can be found on the group web page). Paulus is also Head of the Unit University Courses of the European Heart Academy, a platform to deliver courses in cardiovascular medicine leading to university degrees.


Paulus has published in recognised journals including the Lancet, Circulation, JACC, European Heart Journal, but also the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Nature Methods, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He started his research career during a research year at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. At University of Münster, where he trained and worked as a cardiologist and cardiovascular researcher, his translational cardiovascular research group worked on molecular mechanisms of heart disease with a special interest in sudden death and atrial arrhythmias. In parallel, he has initiated investigator-initiated controlled clinical trials to translate pathophysiological insights into new therapies for heart disease. He chairs the board of the German Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern, an academic research organization that sponsors investigator-initiated trials and leads several investigator-initiated clinical trials as Chief Investigator.

In Birmingham, he continues to work on deciphering the mechanisms causing atrial fibrillation and sudden death in a translational approach spanning wet lab research, analyses of clinical registries, and controlled clinical trials. The ultimate aim of Paulus is to develop tools for a personalised approach to prevention and therapy of patients with heart diseases, especially to prevent AF and its complications, and to prevent sudden death.

His research is currently supported by several independent funding agencies. A main funder is the British Heart Foundation, but Paulus’ research is also supported by the Leducq Foundation “Deciphering the genomic topology of atrial fibrillation”, the European Union through the European Network for Translational Research in Atrial Fibrillation (EUTRAF, FP7) and through the horizon2020-funded CATCH ME project, and the German Centre for Heart Research (DZHK) through a grant to the German Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern.

His research group at University of Birmingham has been growing since 2011, so look out for job opportunities if you have an interest in the field!

Find out more


Kotecha D, Holmes J, Krum H, Altman DG, Manzano L, Cleland JG, Lip GY, Coats AJ, Andersson B, Kirchhof P, von Lueder TG, Wedel H, Rosano G, Shibata MC, Rigby A and Flather MD, on behalf of the Beta-Blockers in Heart Failure Collaborative G (2014) Efficacy of beta blockers in patients with heart failure plus atrial fibrillation: an individual-patient data meta-analysis. Lancet [Epub ahead of print]

Kirchhof P, Sipido K, Cowie MR, Eschenhagen T, Fox KAA, Katus H, Schroeder S, Schunkert H, Priori S (2014) The continuum of personalized cardiovascular medicine: A position paper of the European Society of Cardiology. Eur Heart J [Epub ahead of print]

Yu TY, Syeda F, Holmes A, Osborne B, Dehghani H, Brain KL, Kirchhof P and Fabritz L (2014) An automated system using spatial oversampling for optical mapping in murine atria. Development and validation with monophasic and transmembrane action potentials. Prog Biophys Mol Biol [Epub ahead of print]

Le Heuzey JY, Ammentorp B, Darius H, De Caterina R, Schilling RJ, Schmitt J, Zamorano JL and Kirchhof P (2014) Differences among western european countries in anticoagulation management of atrial fibrillation. Data from the PREFER IN AF Registry. Thromb Haemost 111(5)833-41

Grond M, Jauss M, Hamann G, Stark E, Veltkamp R, Nabavi D, Horn M, Weimar C, Kohrmann M, Wachter R, Rosin L and Kirchhof P (2013) Improved detection of silent atrial fibrillation using 72 hours Holter ECG in patients with ischemic stroke. Stroke 44(12):3357-64

Kirchhof P, Breithardt G, Camm AJ, Crijns HJ, Kuck KH, Vardas P and Wegscheider K (2013) Improving outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation: Rationale and design of the Early treatment of Atrial fibrillation for Stroke prevention Trial (EAST). Am Heart J 166(3):422-8

Heidbuchel H, Verhamme P, Alings M, Antz M, Hacke W, Oldgren J, Sinnaeve P, Camm AJ and Kirchhof P (2013) EHRA Practical Guide on the use of new oral anticoagulants in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation: executive summary. Eur Heart J 34(27):2094-106

Kirchhof P, Andresen D, Bosch R, Borggrefe M, Meinertz T, Parade U, U. R, Samol A, Steinbeck G, Treszl A, Wegscheider K and Breithardt G (2012) Short-term versus long-term antiarrhythmic drug treatment after cardioversion of atrial fibrillation (Flec-SL) - a prospective, randomised, open-label, blinded endpoint assessment trial. Lancet 380(9838):238-46

Click on this link for a full list of publications. 

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