Thursday, 23 July 2015

Philipp Bonhoeffer Biography

Soon after his graduation from the “Universit√† degli Studi” of Milan, Philipp Bonhoeffer started developing highly innovative ideas in the area of paediatric cardiology.


His first approach consisted in the training of the left cardiac chamber in preparation for transposition interventions into the large arteries. It is in the course of this research activity that he came into contact with Allen Tower, with whom he developed a “multi-track” system for mitral valves dilatation - an affordable and efficient procedure that is particularly suitable for use in poor countries with high incidence of sickness and limited financial resources.

The ongoing research finally produced an implantable cardiac valve that is put into place via a catheter, for patients in need of a new pulmonary valve. This valve, originally known as the "Bonhoeffer Valve", was introduced into the market by the company Medtronic, under the name “Melody”. The "Melody" cardiac flap, which at the outset, was implanted exclusively at the clinic of "Great Ormond Street Hospital" in London by Philipp Bonhoeffer, is now implanted around the world.

In 2012, the cardiac valve, “Melody” (Medtronic Inc.), won the prestigious “Galien” Prize for Excellency in scientific innovation and for humanitarian engagement. It is recognised as being the first ever trans-catheter cardiac valve implantable into humans as well as (after award of the CE designation) the first ever commercially available trans-catheter cardiac valve. It is also the first trans-catheter valve to receive an approval in the U.S.A. (in 2010, through the program “Humanitarian Device Exemption” of the FDA).

Time and again, Philipp Bonhoeffer has been invited to talk about his experience at the most important congresses and international training events in cardiology. Philipp Bonhoeffer and his collaborators have been awarded numerous prizes and important scientific distinctions for their work and merits.

One of the most important of such distinctions is the “Grand Scientific Prize Foundation of Lefoulon-Delalande” which the “Institut de France” awarded to Philipp Bonhoeffer in 2006 together with Professor Francis Fontan.


Philipp Bonhoeffer is not just a Professor of Cardiology, but also a gifted musician. He plays the violin and viola and ever since childhood has been nurturing his passion for the art of violin making. Today, together with masters of the art of violin making and expert technicians, he devotes his time to the building of violins and the research into their design materials and sounds.