Acknowledgment and tribute to Dr. Sanjeev Saksena, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology (JICE)
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Our colleague and friend Dr. Saksena (Warren, NJ, USA) has decided to step down from his role as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology (JICE) which he founded and led for 24 years. As member of the Editorial Board of the Journal and Guest Editor for 13 years of the Special Issue of the Scientific Program and the selected Abstracts of the Annual Congress of ECAS (European Cardiac Arrhythmia Society), I have personally witnessed the efforts he deployed to increase the scientific quality and impact of the Journal. He surrounded himself with an Editorial Board of the most prominent experts in the field that he selected carefully. I personally feel that we cannot let him go without thanking him warmly for all what he did for the official journal of ECAS.
Dr. Saksena is certainly a leader and a pioneer in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. I know Dr. Saksena since 1982 when I organized an Arrhythmia Congress in Marseille as he was recommended to me by Dr. Agustin Castellanos Jr. (for us “Tino”) from the University of Miami, who was a teacher and a mentor for both of us. Tino recognized in him a talent that he developed over the years into a number of contributions and publications, which prepared him to become the Editor-in-Chief of JICE. When ECAS was co-founded in 2004 by 24 opinion leaders from 11 European countries, we needed an official journal. Instead of creating an additional electrophysiology journal for ECAS, we elected to ally ourselves to JICE and to its Editor-in-Chief. This cooperation has been very fruitful for both organizations, and at this important moment for JICE, we would like to convey not only our own thanks, but also on behalf of all ECAS members for this successful joint venture.
For most readers, Dr. Saksena is well-known and needs no presentation. I would like just to take this opportunity to remind young electrophysiologists of some of his achievements.
The contributions of Dr. Saksena to our field are impressive, as he was a pioneer in several scientific areas. He got interested very early on in his career in the prevention of sudden cardiac death and studied implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy. He pioneered the technique and implanted successfully in 1986, the first transvenous-subcutaneous defibrillator . He was among the first arrhythmologists in the world to be interested in atrial fibrillation prevention by electrical therapy and to apply dual-site right atrial pacing as part of its management . In order to understand the mechanisms of atrial fibrillation in a given patient, he, very early on, mapped atrial fibrillation using simultaneous bi-atrial mapping in man to identify pulmonary vein and extra-pulmonary sites of origin in both right and left atrium [3, 4]. He was also among the first electrophysiologists to use radiofrequency and laser ablation in cardiac arrhythmias [5, 6]. He has authored and co-authored more than 360 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 450 scientific presentations, and 85 book-chapters.
He trained a number of fellows in electrophysiology who are now Directors of EP Programs in USA, Europe, or Asia. He served as the President of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (now known as the Heart Rhythm Society) and, during his tenure, commenced the restructuring of NASPE to evolve into the present day society. He contributed to reinforce its position as the leading society in the field of cardiac arrhythmias. He contributed to develop the friendship between colleagues of various continents.
Dr. Saksena has devoted his life to try to advance the management of arrhythmia patients and will certainly continue this mission. On a personal point of view, he is also an incredible human being, which I appreciate and admire. He was devoted to his wife Diane, who passed away after a long and heroic illness in 2016, and to his family and friends.
Thank you Sanjeev, and best wishes for the years to come!