Professor Paulus Kirchhof

Professor Paulus Kirchhof

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Honorary Professor

Contact details

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

Paulus Kirchhof is Director of the Department of Cardiology at the University Heart and Vascular Center UKE Hamburg and is Honorary Professor at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Birmingham. He is listed in the Clarivate list of highly cited researchers.

Professor Kirchhof researches translational mechanisms and management of cardiovascular diseases with a special interest in atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathies, and heart failure. He closely works with a network of collaborators and friends around the world. His research aims to translate new mechanistic findings into patient benefit, covering mechanistic research, translational studies, and large clinical trials. Professor Kirchhof chairs the Board of Atrial Fibrillation Network (AFNET) and sits on the Board of the European Society of Cardiology. He is an enthusiastic teacher, regular supervisor and examiner for MD and PhD students, and a sought-after speaker. He also contributes to guidelines, curricula, and textbooks. Professor Kirchhof sees amazing opportunities for personalised medicine in cardiovascular and other chronic diseases, particularly through the integration of “omics” information and other large data sets with clinical outcomes.


  • Internist (General Medical Council-registered)
  • Cardiologist (General Medical Council-registered)
  • Zusatzbezeichung Intensivmedizin ('intensive care', Ärztekammer Westfalen-Lippe)


Professor Kirchhof studied Medicine at the Universities of Heidelberg and Münster in Germany, with internships and exchange years in Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA, Lille, France, Concepcion, Chile, and Zurich, Switzerland. He trained and practiced as a cardiologist and electrophysiologist at the University of Münster from 1997 to 2011 and continued his career as Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Birmingham and as consultant cardiologist at UHB and SWBH NHS trusts from 2011 to 2020. In Birmingham, he co-founded the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and was its Director until moving to Hamburg.

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). He is listed in the Clarivate list of highly cited researchers.

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 the 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 a 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).

Look out for job opportunities if you have an interest in the field!

Find out more


Please see the PubMed page for the full list of Professor Kirchhof's publications.

View all publications in research portal


Atrial Fibrillation