Professor Paulus Kirchhof

Professor Paulus Kirchhof

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine

Contact details

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

Professor Paulus Kirchhof is the Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham. He is a Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Birmingham and works as a consultant cardiologist at the Departments of Cardiology at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Kirchhof researches novel molecular mechanisms of heart disease that can be leveraged to develop personalised treatment approaches to common cardiovascular diseases '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 (General Medical Council-registered)
  • Cardiologist (General Medical Council-registered)
  • Zusatzbezeichung Intensivmedizin ('intensive care', Ärztekammer Westfalen-Lippe)


Professor Kirchhof 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 trained in Internal Medicine (Specialist Registration 2004), Cardiology (Specialist Registration 2006) with specialisation in coronary and electrophysiological interventions, and Intensive Care Medicine (“Zusatzbezeichnung Internistische Intensivmedizin”, 2011) in the Department of Cardiology and Angiology at the University of Münster.

Professor Kirchhof worked in the University Hospital Münster as a senior interventional cardiologist until accepting a Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at University of Birmingham in 2011. He has been Deputy Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at University of Birmingham since its foundation in 2015 and became Institute Director in 2018, and works as a Consultant Cardiologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

He was a stipendiate of Cusanuswerk, Germany, and has received several prizes, including the prize for the best medical thesis from Heart Center Münster (1998), the Woldemar-Mobitz Prize (2004) and the Bruno-Kisch Prize (2006), the Sibylle Hahne Prize for Medicine and Sciences from the University of Münster (2005) and the Loogen Prize (2016).

Professor Kirchhof 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) and the Education Committee of the European Society of Cardiology.  He sits on the Board of the European Heart Rhythm Association and 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

Professor Kirchhof has successfully supervised over 20 MD and PhD students in Germany. Three students won prizes with their theses in the past, and many of his MD and PhD candidates are developing their careers as successful clinicians, clinician-scientists and scientists. He supervises MD and PhD students in Birmingham. Current students are listed on the cluster webpage.


Professor Kirchhof has published over 300 papers in biomedical journals such as the Lancet, BMJ, Circulation, JACC, European Heart Journal, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Nature Methods, or 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 cluster 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 leads several investigator-initiated clinical trials as Chief Investigator and sits on other trials as committee member.

The work of Professor Kirchhof is currently centred on deciphering the mechanisms causing atrial fibrillation and sudden death in a translational approach spanning wet lab research, team science, analyses of clinical registries, and controlled clinical trials. The ultimate aim of "team science", his partners in Birmingham and his wider network of research partners 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.

A main funder of Professor Kirchhof is the British Heart Foundation, but Professor Kirchhof’s research is also supported by the Leducq Foundation and the German Centre for Heart Research (DZHK).

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For the full list of Professor Kirchhof's publications, please click here.

More information about Professor Kirchhof can be found here

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Atrial Fibrillation