Speakers EiM2020 smacktop

Speakers at the 8th seminar on Exercise in Medicine – the Webinar edition

Ross Arena

Ross Arena


Head of Department of Physical Therapy 
University of Illinois at Chicago 
Founder of Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection  
Chicago, Illinois, USA (UTC-6h)

The Global Path Forward - Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection (HL - PIVOT) 

Dec 15 at 16:05-16:30 UTC.

Exercise; Nutrition; Physical Activity; Movement; Chronic Disease

About Ross Arena

Ross Arena is Professor and Head of the Department of Physical at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Arena received his B.S. in Human Performance from Southern Connecticut State University in 1993.  He went on to receive his M.S. in Physical Therapy in 1997 and Ph.D. in Physiology in 2001 from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University.   

Dr. Arena is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, European Society of Cardiology and American College of Sports Medicine. He has led the successful implementation of several innovative healthy living initiatives in the academic, clinical and community settings.   

In 2020, he founded the Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection (HL-PIVOT) Network.

Dr. Arena’s scholarly interests include: 1) Exercise testing and training in patients diagnosed with cardiopulmonary disease/dysfunction; and 2) Healthy living initiatives that promote the health span.  Dr. Arena has published extensively in these areas with over 900 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and book chapters.


Amy Bantham


CEO/Founder of Move to Live More
Greater Boston, MA (UTC-5h)

The Role of Wearables in Physical Activity Behavior Change

 Digital and Wearable Health Care

Dec 16 at 17:45-18:35 UTC.

Wearables; Behavior change; Exercise; Physician referrals


Dr. Bantham has 20 years of experience working in consulting, health & fitness, and healthcare. She is the CEO and Founder of Move to Live More, a research and consulting firm addressing physical inactivity and chronic disease through cross-sector collaboration and innovation.

She holds a Doctor of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with concentrations in Health Communication and Obesity Epidemiology & Prevention. Her research focuses on physical activity prescription, health equity, and health technology.

She is a certified group exercise instructor, personal trainer, and health & wellness coach.

Kaare Harald Bønaa

Kaare Harald Bønaa


Clinic for Heart Disease, St. Olavs University Hospital
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim, Norway (UTC + 1h)

The Norwegian Trial of Physical Exercise After Myocardial Infarction (NorEx)

Dec 16 at 17:15-17:40 UTC.

RCT; Study design; Statistical power; Clinical end points  


Bønaa is professor in cardiovascular epidemiology and senior consultant in interventional cardiology. He has extensive experience as executive leader for large population surveys and multicenter RCTs.

Bønaa initiated and was PI for three randomized trials that were all published in the NEJM with editorial comments. He contributed significantly to the development and clinical documentation of the drug Omacor™, the first therapeutic drug for humans developed in Norway.

Bønaa has published more than 120 original scientific papers in high-ranked scientific journals such as NEJM, Lancet, BMJ, JAMA, and Circulation. The NORVIT paper from 2006 is the most cited Norwegian scientific paper during the first 5 years after publication.

Tim Chico

Tim Chico


Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine
Head of Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease
University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
Sheffield, UK (UTC)

The ECHOES Consortium; Applying Real-world Data and a Digital Twin to Cardiovascular Healthcare

Digital and Wearable Health Care

Dec 16 at 17:45-18:35 UTC.

Real-world data; Digital technology; Digital twin; Cardiovascular Disease

About Tim Chico

Tim is a clinical cardiologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, one of the largest tertiary cardiac centers in the UK. He leads a University Department of over 300 staff and students applying basic science, novel imaging, mathematical modelling, and translational clinical research approaches to improve human health and wellbeing.

Tim is the UK coordinator of the international ECHOES consortium, which has been shortlisted for the British Heart Foundation £30million Big Beat Challenge and seeks to provide a "giant leap" in cardiovascular medicine.

Robert Copeland

Robert Copeland

CPsychol, PhD

Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre 
Sheffield Hallam University 
Sheffield, UK (UTC) 

The Role of Digital Technologies in Creating 100 Years of Healthy Active Life

A Long Life with a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind (Dec 14 at 19:05-19:50 UTC)

Dec 14 at 17:45-18:10 UTC.

Innovation; Physical Activity; Behavior Change

About RobertCopeland

Rob is Director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine in Sheffield and Professor of Physical Activity and Health at Sheffield Hallam University. A Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rob’s research focuses on supporting people and populations to increase their physical activity.

Rob has worked internationally to drive change in multiple clinical and non-clinical populations and continues to be fascinated by how to create the conditions to make it easier for people to move more. 

Patrick Dunn

Patrick Dunn


Program Director of Connected Health
Center for Health Technology and Innovation,
American Heart Association
Dallas, Texas, USA (UTC-6h)

Digital Health Care in Your Pocket – the American Heart Association's Perspective

Digital and Wearable Health Care

Dec 16 at 17:45-18:35 UTC

Health technology; Digital health literacy; Digital cardiac rehabilitation

About Patrick Dunn

Patrick Dunn, PhD, MS, MBA, FAHA is the Program Director for Connected Heart Health and the architect of the Intelligent Health Solutions for the American Heart Association’s new Center of Excellence for Health Technology and Innovation.

Patrick has a unique blend of knowledge and experience in healthcare, business development, software engineering, quality and research.

Dr. Dunn is a clinical exercise physiologist and health educator with 35 years of experience in cardiac rehabilitation, preventive cardiology and wellness with specific expertise in digital health literacy and digital coaching methods.

Øyvind Ellingsen

Øyvind Ellingsen


Professor of Cellular Cardiology Consultant Physician in Internal Medicine
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Clinic of Cardiology, St. Olav´s University Hospital
Trondheim, Norway (UTC +1h)

Implementing Exercise as Medicine in Clinical Practice and Society – From Now On (Dec 15 at 17:50-18:30 UTC)

About Øyvind Ellingsen

Dr. Ellingsen is a collaborating partner of the Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG). His research focus has been to identify the cellular mechanisms of the beneficial effects of exercise in cardiovascular disease, and to translate them into better programs for prevention and rehabilitation.

He is the Principal Investigator and Steering Committee Chair of the SMARTEX Study on interval training in heart failure patients and is involved in the HUNT survey of physical activity, aerobic capacity, and endothelial function in Nord-Trøndelag County, Norway.


Leonard A Kaminsky


John & Janice Fisher Distinguished Professor of Wellness
Fisher Institute of Health and Well-Being
Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory,
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana, USA (UTC-8h)

It is (Past) Time to Make Cardiac Rehabilitation a Global Priority

Dec 16 at 16:30-16:55 UTC

Cardiovascular Disease, Secondary Prevention, Quality of Life, Healthy Lifestyle


Dr. Lenny Kaminsky directed the Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory and the Adult Physical Fitness Program at Ball State University for more than 25 years. He is one of the primary collaborators of the Ball State Longitudinal Lifestyle Study (BALLST) and one of the co-founders of the Fitness Registry for the Importance of Exercise National Database (FRIEND) Registry for Cardiorespiratory Fitness.

He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention (JCRP) and of the ACSM Sports Medicine Bulletin (SMB). He has served as editor of multiple ACSM publications, and regularly contributes to scientific writing groups including the AHA Statement supporting Cardiorespiratory Fitness as a Vital Sign.

Miia K Kivipelto

Miia K Kivipelto


Senior Geriatrician
Center for Alzheimer Research,
Department of Clinical Geriatrics,
Karolinska Institutet
Theme Aging, Karolinska University Hospital
Stockholm, Sweden (UTC+1h)
University of Eastern Finland
Kuopio, Finland

Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Lifestyle Factors and Cognition in the FINGER Study

Dec 14 at 16:15-16:40 UTC

Exercise; Cardiovascular fitness; Lifestyle; Multidomain intervention; Cognition; Clinical trial

A Long Life with a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind (Dec 14 at 19:05-19:50 UTC)


Miia Kivipelto, MD, PhD, is Professor in Clinical Geriatrics at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Center for Alzheimer Research and senior geriatrician and Director for Research & Development of Theme Aging at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Part of her Nordic Brain Network multidisciplinary research team (around 100 researchers and clinical staff) is located at University of Eastern Finland and Imperial College London, UK, where she has part time position as Professor.

Her frontline research findings have been published in leading journals (330+ publications, H-index 73) and she has received numerous prestigious awards. Dr. Kivipelto’s translational research focuses on the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cognitive impairment, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Through epidemiological studies, Prof. Kivipelto has identified various lifestyle and vascular risk factors for dementia and interactions with genetic factors and clarified underlying mechanisms. She is the PI of the landmark FINGER trial and founder and scientific leader of World-Wide FINGERS network.  Professor Kivipelto is often invited to leading global dementia conferences and task forces.


Carl Lavie

Carl “Chip” J. Lavie


Professor of Medicine
John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute
Ochsner Clinical School
The University of Queensland School of Medicine
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (UTC-6h)

Obesity and Outcomes in COVID-19: When an Epidemic and Pandemic Collide – Improving Cardiorespiratory Fitness for the Next Pandemic

Implementing Exercise as Medicine in Clinical Practice and Society – From Now On (Dec 15 at 17:50-18:30 UTC)

Dec 15 at 16:30-16:55 UTC.

COVID-19; Obesity; Coronavirus; Cardiovascular Disease; Fitness

About ChipLavie

Dr. Lavie attended medical school at LSUMC in New Orleans and did his Internal Medicine training at Ochsner and cardiology at the Mayo Clinic. He is currently Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention and Director of the Exercise Laboratories at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School - The University of Queensland School of Medicine in New Orleans.

He has authored over 1000 medical publications and two cardiology textbooks, and serves on 40 editorial boards, including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the American Journal of Cardiology, and is Associate Editor and Cardiovascular Section Editor of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases and is the author of the book The Obesity Paradox.

Jan Pål Loennechen

Jan Pål Loennechen 

PhD, MD 

Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, 
Norwegian University of Science and Technology 
Clinic of Cardiology, St. Olav’s Hospital
Trondheim, Norway (UTC+1h) 

Is It Nothing but a Heartache? – the Effect of Exercise on Atrial Fibrillation and Ventricular Arrhythmias

Exercise and Cardiac Remodeling

Dec 15 at 19:10-19:55 UTC

Exercise in cardiovascular disease; Electrophysiological remodeling

About Loennechen

Dr. Jan Pål Loennechen works full time as a cardiologist with a specialty in arrhythmias and electrophysiology.

Loennechen's research has been focused on effect of exercise on cardiovascular diseases with special emphasis on atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias.

Jose Bianco Moreira

Jose Bianco N Moreira


Cardiac Exercise Research Group
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim, Norway – São Paulo, Brazil (UTC-3h)

Exercise Reveals Potential Targets for Drug Discovery

Dec 15 at 18:45-19:10 (UTC)

Genes; Proteins; Exercise; Molecular; Mechanism


Jose Bianco N. Moreira investigates the biological mechanisms of exercise in the heart and skeletal muscles. Given the obvious health benefits of physical activity, exercise has become an important biological question.

In this sense, Moreira work to understand how the body translates movement into better health, by searching for biomolecules underlying the benefits of physical activity. Revealing these molecules and discovering their actions are fundamental challenges that may have major implications for biomedicine and therapeutics.

Jonathan Myers

Jonathan Myers


Health Research Scientist
VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Stanford University
Stanford, California, USA (UTC-8h)

The Global Path Forward - Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection (HL - PIVOT)

Dec 16 at 16:05-16:30 UTC.

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Cost effectiveness  

About Jonathan Myers

Dr. Myers is a Health Research Scientist at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System; a Clinical Professor at Stanford University, and a Research Career Scientist Award recipient through the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Program.

His >30-year body of research has focused on clinical applications of exercise testing and training in patients with cardiovascular disease and the epidemiology of cardiopulmonary exercise test responses, physical activity patterns, and other lifestyle factors. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, his master’s degree from San Diego State University, and his doctorate from the University of Southern California.

He is a former board member of the AACVPR, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, a recipient of the Michael Pollock Established Investigator Award through the AACVPR, a recipient of the Steven N Blair Award for excellence in physical activity research from the American Heart Association (AHA), and a fellow of the AACVPR, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American College of Cardiology, and the AHA.

Gretchen Reynolds

Gretchen Reynolds

“Phys Ed" Columnist for the "Well" Blog
The New York Times
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA (UTC-7h)

A Journalist’s Perspective on Exercise as Medicine

Dec 15 at 17:40-17:50 UTC

Implementing Exercise as Medicine in Clinical Practice and Society – From Now On (Dec 15 at 17:50-18:30 UTC)

Digital and Wearable Health Care (Dec 16 at 17:45-18:35 UTC)


Gretchen Reynolds is a renowned writer and freelance journalist on physical activity and personal wellness. Her “Phys Ed” column is one of the most read and shared columns in The New York Times.

With her New York Times bestseller The First 20 minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer, she showed her prowess in making exercise science understandable for everyone. Gretchen also contributes to O: The Oprah Magazine, Elle, Outside, Parade, Popular Science, and other publications.

As a previous fitness and health reporter for Runner’s World and Bicycle magazine, she is both an avid runner and biker, and has participated in two marathons, countless bike rides and mountain bike races. During her long and distinguished journalist careers she has multiple awards for both her writing and reporting.

Robert Sallis

Robert Sallis


Director; Sports Medicine Fellowship
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
Clinical Professor of Family Medicine
UC Riverside School of Medicine
Chief Medical Officer
Los Angeles Football Club
Fontana, California, USA

Exercise is Medicine – the Past, the Present and the Future

Dec 15 at 17:10-17:35 UTC.

Exercise is Medicine; Physical Activity Vital Sign; Healthcare

 Implementing Exercise as Medicine in Clinical Practice and Society – From Now On (Dec 15 at 17:50-18:30 UTC)


Dr. Sallis is a family medicine physician practicing at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, California, where he serves as Director of their Sports Medicine Fellowship program. He is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) School of Medicine.

He is a Past-President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and currently chairs Exercise is Medicine™, a joint initiative of ACSM and the American Medical Association. He also chaired the Healthcare Sector for the U.S. Physical Activity Plan.

Dr. Sallis received his Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy (where he played intercollegiate basketball) and his Medical Degree from Texas A&M University. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, CA, where he served as chief resident.

He is also the Chief Medical Officer for the Los Angeles Football Club and Chairs the Ironman Sports Medicine Conference in Kona, Hawaii. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine.

Norman Swan

Norman Swan


Host of RN’s Health Report,
Co-host of Coronacast,
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Commentator on ABC Television
Sydney, Australia (UTC+11h)

If a Long Life with a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind is our Goal…  Are We Inflating Exercise Beyond its Importance?

Dec 14 at 18:50-19:05 UTC

A Long Life with a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind (Dec 14 at 19:05-19:50 UTC)

About Swan

Dr Norman Swan hosts RN’s Health Report for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It is the longest running health program in the English-speaking world. Norman also co-hosts Coronacast, a daily podcast on the coronavirus. Norman is also a reporter and commentator on ABC Television.

He has won four Walkley Awards, Australia’s equivalent of the Pulitzers, including the Gold. In the early 90s he created Invisible Enemies, a documentary series on pandemics and civilization for Channel 4 UK and 27 countries.

Norman has the medal of the Australian Academy of Science, an honorary MD from the University of Sydney and this year’s Australian Skeptics Journalism Award. Norman trained in Medicine and Pediatrics in Aberdeen, London and Sydney.

Dorthe Stensvold

Dorthe Stensvold


Professor in Exercise Medicine
Cardiac Exercise Research Group 
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim, Norway (UTC +1h)

The Effect of 5-year of Exercise Training on All-Cause Mortality in Older Adults - The Generation 100 Study. A Randomized Controlled Trial. 

Dec 14 at 18:10-18:35 UTC.

Generation 100; HIIT; Older adults; Mortality

A Long Life with a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind (Dec 14 at 19:05-19:50 UTC)



Dorthe Stensvold is a professor in Exercise Medicine, and the principal investigator of the Generation 100 Study. Her key research area is exercise physiology with a special interest in the physiological adaptation to aerobic exercise.


Atefe R Tari


PhD Candidate
Cardiac Exercise Research Group
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Department of Neurology, St. Olavs Hospital
Trondheim, Norway (UTC +1h)

Exercised Plasma – The Key to Prevent and Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

A Long Life with a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind (Dec 14 at 19:05-19:50 UTC)

Dec 14 at  17:05-17:30 UTC

Alzheimer's disease; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Dementia; Exercise-induced blood-borne    factors


In our studies, we aim to test the hypothesis that blood borne factors induced by exercise are responsible for the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain.

To date there is no cure available for dementia, and the field calls for novel therapeutic targets. A rapidly growing body of literature suggests that regular endurance training and high cardiorespiratory fitness attenuate cognitive impairment and reduce dementia risk. Such benefits have recently been linked to systemic neurotrophic factors induced by exercise. These circulating biomolecules may cross the blood-brain barrier and potentially protect against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Identifying exercise-induced systemic neurotrophic factors with beneficial effects on the brain may lead to novel molecular targets for maintaining cognitive function and preventing neurodegeneration.

Henriette van Praag

Henriette van Praag


Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
Brain Institute and Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Jupiter, Florida, USA (UTC-5h)

Exercise and Brain Function

A Long Life with a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind (Dec 14 at 19:05-19:50 UTC)

Dec 14 at  16:40-17:05 UTC

Exercise; Learning and memory; Hippocampus; Adult neurogenesis; Myokines


The hippocampus is important for learning and memory. The number of newborn hippocampal neurons is strongly upregulated by voluntary wheel running in rodents. Enhanced adult hippocampal neurogenesis is correlated with changes in synaptic plasticity, new neuron networks, spatial navigation and pattern separation in rodents.

We aim to investigate the peripheral triggers that may mediate exercise induced changes in the brain. Using proteomic analyses, we identified lysosomal enzyme Cathepsin B (Ctsb) as a novel myokine that influences brain function. Analyses across species in mice, monkeys and humans showed that this factor upregulated in plasma with exercise. In humans, these changes correlated with improved fitness and hippocampus-dependent memory function.

Laurie Whitsel

Laurie Whitsel


Vice President of Policy Research and Translation
American Heart Association
Washington DC, USA (UTC-5h)

Implementing Exercise as Medicine in Clinical Practice and Society – From Now On (Dec 15 at 17:50-18:30 UTC)

About Laurie Whitsel

Laurie Whitsel, Ph.D. is currently the Vice President of Policy Research and Translation for the American Heart Association (AHA), helping to translate science into policy at a national level in the areas of cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention and health promotion.

She also serves as senior advisor to the Physical Activity Alliance. The mission of the Physical Activity Alliance is to lead efforts to create, support, and advocate policy and system changes that enable all Americans to enjoy physically active lives.

Ulrik Wisløff

Ulrik Wisløff


Cardiac Exercise Research Group
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim, Norway (UTC+1)

Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) – Every Heartbeat Counts

Digital and Wearable Health Care 

Dec 16 at 17:45-18:35 UTC

Physical activity score; Cardiovascular disease; Self-monitoring


Ulrik Wisløff is a researcher, professor and an entrepreneur in the field of exercise physiology, and he is the Head of the Cardiac Exercise Research Group at the Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is also a Honorary Professor at University of Queensland Australia.

He was appointed professor in 2008 and quickly built up an international, transdisciplinary and competitive group, as documented by >300 peer-reviewed publications and ~79 000 citations. According to Google Scholar, he figures among the world’s four most cited scientists in the broad field of “exercise” and the most cited Exercise Physiologist.

Many of his publications demonstrate his group’s capacity to translate basic experimental research into clinical use in a short timeframe. Wisløff is the creator of a calculator to estimate fitness and so predict death in the general population. The calculator is free and available on the web and all app stores. To date more than 12 million users have used the fitness calculator, and The American Heart Association now advocates the use of our fitness calculator in clinical practice (Circulation, 2016).

Wisløff is also the inventor of the Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI), a metric that calculates how much physical activity a person needs to undertake per week in order to reduce the associated risk against life-style related disease and premature death. The PAI app is free and available in all app stores, and is used by more than 55 million users worldwide.