Gaetano Thiene

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Gaetano Thiene (born July 1, 1947) is an Italian Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Pathology at the University of Padua[1] where he graduated in 1972. He is in the list of the Top Italian Scientists.[2][3] He achieved post-graduate Diploma both in Cardiology and Pathology, which allowed him to better understand the physiopathology of morbid entities, as Consultant at the University hospital.[4]

Gaetano Thiene
Gaetano Thiene in October 2022
Born July 1st, 1947
Longare, Vicenza, Italy
Nationality Italian
Education University of Padua
Fields Cardiovascular Pathology
Cardiac Surgery
Sudden Death
Institutions Emeritus Professor
Cardiovascular Pathology
University of Padua
Top Italian Scientist in Biomedical Sciences[2][3]

Dr. Thiene set up an interdisciplinary research team, from basic sciences to clinical wards ("from bench to bed"), with Cardiovascular Pathology playing the leading role, thus promoting translational medicine.[5] He implemented a Ph.D. course, entitled "Translational Medicine G.B. Morgagni".

Another significant step forward in applied pathology was the origin of Surgical Cardiovascular Pathology,[6] first in Europe, namely the histopathological examination of cardiovascular specimens removed at surgery for a precise nosological identification of the underlying disease. The role blew up after the first cardiac transplantation performed in Padua and first in Italy, with the cardiac rejection monitoring with endomyocardial biopsy.[7]

Last but not least, congenital heart disease had been the first research interest of Dr. Thiene, after the advent of angiography and echocardiography as diagnostic tools and of extracorporeal circulation for open heart surgery. A registry of specimens, with heart malformations, was set up since the '70s for teaching and research purposes. It now consists of 2.000 specimens, preserved in single jars, with all the date and pictures recorded in electronic files. Nowadays it is probably the best existing worldwide.[8][9]

Education and career

Curriculum studiorum

  • 1966 Scientific Lyceum Diploma, Paolo Lioy, Vicenza
  • 1972 Graduation in Medicine cum laude, University of Padua, Italy
  • 1975 Post-Graduate Specialization in Cardiology, cum laude
  • 1978 Post-Graduate Specialization in Pathology, cum laude [10]

Positions and Honors

  • 1990- Professor of Pathology
  • 1991 Ordinary Fellow, Olympic Academy, Vicenza, Italy
  • 1995-1998 Member, Administrative Council, University of Padua, Italy
  • 1998-2006 Director, Institute of Pathological Anatomy, University of Padua, Italy
  • 2002 Honorary Fellow, Royal College of Physicians, London-UK
  • 2003 Foreign Fellow, Serbian Academy of Sciences, Beograd (SERBIA)
  • 2007-2010 Vice-Director, Department of Medico-Diagnostic Sciences and Special Therapies, University of Padua, Italy
  • 2008 Active Fellow, Galileian Academy, Padua, Italy
  • 2016- current President, Olympic Academy, Vicenza, Italy[10]

Academic and Professional career

  • 1972-76 Assistant Professor, Pathology, University of Padua
  • 1976-80 Chief Assistant Professor, Pathology, University of Padua
  • 1980-90 Associate Professor, Pathology, University of Padua
  • 1990-2017 Full Professor, Pathology, University of Padua
  • 1994-2017 Director, Ph.D. School, Cardiovascular Sciences
  • 1995-2007 Director, Institute of Pathology, University of Padua
  • 2000-2017 Director, Cardiovascular Pathology Registry, Veneto Region
  • 2007-2010 Vice-Dean, Department of Medico-Diagnostic Sciences and Special Therapy, University of Padua[10]

Current and anticipated grant support

Overall in the last 20 years Prof. Thiene collected about 5 million Euros in grants from the European Commission,[11] the Italian Ministry of Health[4] and Italian Ministry of Education, Charity Foundations,[12][13] Veneto Region[14] and University of Padua.[4] He carried out several experimental animal studies supported by Companies in the field of bioprosthetic valves. At present, he has no current or pending grant in this issue.


He coordinated, within the 5th research EC program, a project on AC which resulted in the discovery of 5 disease genes of the desmosome.

Dr. Thiene has a longstanding experience in the study of valve disease and bioprosthetic structural valve deterioration. The University of Padua started implanting glutaraldeide fixed porcine xenografts in the 1970. It soon became apparent that dystrophic calcification was the major cause of failure and that the mechanism was due to deposits of calcium phospate upon due cell membrane debris full of phospholipids.[7]

The huge burden of devices, both porcine and pericardial, implanted in Padua as valve substitutes, allowed Prof. Thiene and his group to set up the largest pathology registry in the world (>1000 explants). Several experimental and clinical investigations were carried out on second- and third-generation valve xenografts, pretreated with anticalcific agents (detergents, alchool, detoxyfing agents) with evidence of mitigation of mineralization to improve durability up to 15-20 years.[15]

More recently, the Padua group discovered the arrhythmic mitral valve syndrome leading to the risk of sudden death in the young.[16]

Notable publications

Awards and honors

  • 2003-2005 President, Society for Cardiovascular Pathology[17]
  • 2004-2006 President, Association for European Cardiovascular Pathology, Bern, Swiss[18]
  • 2008 Andreas Grüntzig Lecture and Award, Swiss Society of Cardiology[18]
  • 2010 John Hopkins Hospital Lecture and Award of Excellence in ARVC/D, Baltimore-MD[19]
  • 2011 Distinguished Achievement Lecture and Award, Society for Cardiovascular Pathology, San Antonio-TX, US[17]
  • 2013 Paul Dudley White International Lecture and Award, American Heart Association, Dallas- TX, US[19]
  • 2013 Leonardo da Vinci Lecture and Award, Italian Society of Cardiology, Rome-Italy[19]
  • 2014 Rene Laennec Lecture and Award, European Society of Cardiology¸ Barcelona-Spain[19]
  • 2015 Commencement Lecture, 250th Anniversary of the Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, U.S.A., Philadelphia-PA[19]
  • 2015 Ruysh Lecture, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam-The Netherlands[19]
  • 2016 Stella Van Praagh Lecture, 5th Scientific Meeting of the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, Abu Dhabi[19]
  • 2017 The Lady Estelle Wolfson Lecture, Royal College of Physicians, London-UK[19]
  • 2017 Luigi Condorelli Lecture and Award, Italian Society of Cardiology, Rome-Italy[19]
  • 2018 Michael J. Davies Lecture and Award distinguished achievement award, Lausanne-Swiss[19]
  • 2019 Lecture and Award, Italian Society of Echocardiography and Imaging, Padua-Italy[19]
  • 2019 Lecture and Award, Italian Society of Sport Cardiology, Rome-Italy[19]
  • 2022 John Goodwin Lecture Award, European Society of Cardiology, Turin-Italy[2]

Scientific Publications

Books (author, editor):[20] 24
Lectures: 627
Number index papers:[21] 1,028
Overall Impact Factor: 4,220
Hirch-index (H-index):[21] 135
Citations:[21] 101,178

External links


  1. Gaetano Thiene - Emeritus Professor - University of Padua
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gaetano Thiene - Top Italian Scientist in Biomedical Sciences
  3. 3.0 3.1 Top Italian Scientists in Biomedical Sciences
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Gaetano Thiene - Azienda Ospedale - Università Padova
  5. Gaetano Thiene, The research venture in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy: a paradigm of translational medicine, European Heart Journal, 7 April 2015
  6. C. Basso, M. Valente, A. Poletti, D. Casarotto, G. Thiene, Surgical pathology of primary cardiac and pericardial tumors, European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 1 November 1997
  7. 7.0 7.1 M. Valente, U. Bortolotti, G. Thiene, Ultrastructural substrates of dystrophic calcification in porcine bioprosthetic valve failure, The American Journal of Pathology, April 1985
  8. G. Thiene, C. Frescura, R. M. Bini, M. Valente, V. Gallucci, Histology of pulmonary arterial supply in pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect, Circulation, 1 November 1979
  9. Cristina Basso, Barry J. Maron, Domenico Corrado, Gaetano Thiene, Clinical profile of congenital coronary artery anomalies with origin from the wrong aortic sinus leading to sudden death in young competitive athletes, Journal of the American College of Cardialogy, May 2000
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Gaetano Thiene - University of Padua
  11. Gaetano Thiene - European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
  12. Gaetano Thiene - The Cardiothoracic Surgery Network
  13. Gaetano Thiene - Cardiatic Risk in the Young
  14. Gaetano Thiene - Veneto Region
  15. Elena Pettenazzo, Marialuisa Valente, Gaetano Thiene,Octanediol treatment of glutaraldehyde fixed bovine pericardium: evidence of anticalcification efficacy in the subcutaneous rat model, European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, August 2008
  16. Cristina Basso, Martina Perazzolo Marra, Stefania Rizzo, Manuel De Lazzari, Benedetta Giorgi, Alberto Cipriani, Anna Chiara Frigo, Ilaria Rigato, Federico Migliore, Kalliopi Pilichou, Emanuele Bertaglia, Luisa Cacciavillani, Barbara Bauce, Domenico Corrado, Gaetano Thiene, Sabino Iliceto, Arrhythmic Mitral Valve Prolapse and Sudden Cardiac Death, Circulation - AHA/ASA Journal, 9 July 2015
  17. 17.0 17.1 Gaetano Thiene - 2011 DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER
  18. 18.0 18.1 Gaetano Thiene - AHA Journals
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 19.11 Gaetano Thiene - Curriculum Senior - University of Padua
  20. Gaetano Thiene - Books
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Professor Gaetano Thiene - Google Scholar