Interview with Prof. Pierre Dos Santos, newly appointed Director of Education at the Liryc Institute. He shares with us his vision of the challenges of the IHU’s teaching program.

Prof. Pierre Dos Santos is a cardiologist, professor of physiology and head of the cardiology department specialized in the treatment of heart failure at the Bordeaux University Hospital. He is also director of the Technological and Biomedical Innovation Platform of the University of Bordeaux.

On the research purpose, he is dedicated to the bioenergetic control of cardiac function at the Inserm Unit 1045 “Cardio-Thoracic Research Center of Bordeaux” and at the Liryc Institute.

Former vice-president of the University of Bordeaux in charge of research, he now puts his expertise at the service of Liryc building training programs of excellence with an international scope.

What are the ambitions of Liryc’s training program for the next five years?

The first ambition of the training program is to make the IHU a key player in international education in the field of cardiac electrophysiology and cardiac pathologies involving an electrophysiological component.

Our goal in putting together this program is to ensure that students and professionals in the field, anywhere in the world, who might be looking for training in electrophysiology know about the IHU and its training programs and wish to enroll. As we deal with a very specific and focused field we must be visible internationally.

By extension, this would also mean contributing to the University of Bordeaux’s ambition in terms of attractiveness and international visibility.

As we are addressing a wide range of audiences, our work is also to compose this training offer in a coherent manner to address cardiac pathologies to as many targets as possible:

  • Master students from various disciplinary backgrounds,
  • Post-graduate students in science doctorate,
  • Health students,
  • Engineering students,
  • Paramedical staff,
  • Physicians,
  • Pharmaceutical and medical device industry professionals,
  • The general public.

With regard to the general public, it is our responsibility to make them aware of science, the heart and heart rhythm diseases. Let’s first recall that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, which makes those a major societal issue. As such, public education is essential. The current world health crisis has also highlighted the large need for public and media education in science. We will therefore have to think about this training axis in the future, but we need time to be innovative.

The ambition of the program is also to build training courses that reflect the research at Liryc: interdisciplinary and translational. Research at the Liryc IHU provides a roadmap with an identity marked by interdisciplinarity to address cardiac rhythm diseases. It is with this vision that Prof. Michel Haïssaguerre built the Institute, wholly dedicated to this heart rhythm diseases, with interdisciplinarity in its DNA, mixing mathematics, computer sciences, physics, biology, and clinic.

We must extend the interdisciplinary brand image of the IHU and that of the University of Bordeaux.

By extending Liryc’s image of scientific excellence we will have a positive impact on research also facilitating the recruitment of the best young researchers in a scientific environment that is already very opened to international collaborations.

In your opinion, what are the challenges in terms of education for the IHU Liryc in the coming years?

One of the first challenges will be to involve the entire Liryc community, researchers, engineers, doctors, as well as our industrial partners, in the transmission of the education project.

The teaching team must include both teachers and researchers but also others. The integration of trainers recruited from among the IHU’s main industrial partners will also allow to set up more concrete training programs, in line with the reality of the job market, with more cross-disciplinary skill components. This is also a way to prepare students for professional integration.

Our role is also to transmit a taste for knowledge and research by developing a training program entirely delivered in a research environment.

The equipment of the premises will require an additional effort to be more adapted to training.

Beyond that, training through research is also a way to value “useful knowledge”, problem-based learning by mixing lectures and theory to teach from a concrete problem in interdisciplinarity. At the same time, there is also the challenge of giving students a taste for entrepreneurship, innovation and risk-taking, in connection with the involvement of industrial partners.  The training program must also transmit the fiber of invention.

What are the values you wish to convey as Director of Training?

Among the values that motivate me, I would like to promote teamwork to emphasize mutual aid, respect, listening and critical thinking.

I would also like to build a training program of international excellence, where interdisciplinarity is the key to scientific culture.

I would also like to cultivate a taste for science and research by offering students the possibility to open up to the philosophy of biological and medical sciences.

Finally, a last key word would be accompaniment. We must accompany students with proximity and responsibility.

How do you plan to gather and involve the Liryc’s members?

To address this major challenge of bringing everyone together, I will rely on the IHU brand image that stakeholders must embody.

The training policy must be supported by a fully committed team that embodies the diversity and interdisciplinarity of the IHU.

It is also a question of attracting renowned international teachers to convince motivated students to join our benches.


Juliette a été victime d’une mort subite cardiaque provoquée par un dysfonctionnement de son coeur. Grâce aux découvertes et aux innovations scientifiques de l’Institut Liryc, elle a pu être sauvée. Ne laissons pas les maladies du rythme cardiaque emporter des vies.

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