Zouhair at the AHA 2015 in Orlando

The American Heart Association (AHA) is an annual international meeting that brings people from all over the world together with one focus “Cardiac Care”. The task is to work together, exchange knowledge and methods, and share best-selected new data worldwide in the field. This year it took place in Orlando, Florida at the orange county convention center

After a long flight from rainy Hamburg starting at 09:00 am, I finally arrived at sunny/warm Orlando, FL via Newark at around 06:00 pm local time (means minus 6 hours German time).

This year I was the only one representing the IIEG with 2 selected posters. One poster together with Maria about Gucy1a3 and atherosclerosis in mice: “Reduction of atherosclerosis in Gucy1a3 deficient mice “ and the second with Steffie about Nexilin and cardiac transcription factors: “Nexilin is involved in early postnatal cardiac development by differential regulation of cardiac development transcription factors”

Similar to all other meetings you can download the mobile meeting guide using either the QR code or App Store by searching for “AHA Events”. I started navigating easily through the educational sessions and marked interesting talks. One can browse by Day, Session Type or Tracks. For me the Tracks of interest were Atheroclerosis, vascular Biology and Disease; Genetics and Genomics; and Vascular Disease. All 5 days were packed with highly interesting talks, seminars and new data. Some times you even have to switch between sessions because some interesting talks take place in parallel sessions.

Such conferences give you also the opportunity to meet colleagues (Jana and Prof. Schunkert) and collaborators (Olivier & Chris from Hawaii), exchange ideas, talk about projects and discuss new data.

Or just enjoy dinner and drink in such a nice area close to the convention center, which is known by the diversity of its restaurants especially Mexican and Cuban cuisine. Other specialities are also of choice including Grill and Burgers, Italien and Asian kitchen are also among those but for me Mexican or Cuban kitchen are more interesting. I can enjoy the other later specialities also in Germany.

My Hotel was 2 miles away from the convention center, so every day I enjoyed buildings, parks and gardens long the International Dr.: Wonderworks (http://www.wonderworksonline.com/orlando/), Ripley's Believe It or Not (http://www.ripleys.com/orlando), Orlando Eye (https://www.officialorlandoeye.com), Mini-Golf in Pirate parks, and others.

I must say I enjoyed exciting 5 days with highly interesting talks, nice people, nice weather and delicious Mexican food.

and finally pssst…high privacy…I enjoyed for the first time a private Helicopter tour around Orlando over the seaworld (http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando/)  and Universal Studios (https://www.universalorlando.com). Because of the exciting talks and packed program I didn’t have time to visit those exciting places, so I decided to have a look at those places directly from the “cockpit” with thrill feeling at 1000 ft. in the air.



  1. Sounds like a lot of fun both inside and outside the AHA :)

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