Sanjeev Saksena1

Professor of Medicine & Past President, North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, Warren, New Jersey (USA)

Dear colleagues

Henrick Joan Joost Wellens, Emeritus Professor of Cardiology, was born November 13, 1935 in The Hague, and passed away on June 9, 2020 in Mastricht, His cardiology training was under the tutelage of Professor Dirk Durrer at the Cardiology Department of the University of Amsterdam. Durrer had begun epicardial mapping studies in humans with Wolff Parkinson White syndrome in this period. Wellens completed doctoral thesis there on the subject of " Electrical stimulation of the Heart in the study and treatment of tachycardias' in 1971 This work started his journey to seminal contributions in clinical electrophysiology of both supraventricular and ventricular tachycardias. He described his methods of programmed electrical stimulation for initiation of ventricular tachycardia and its termination by electrical stimulation in landmark articles in the seventies and they are still in routine clinical use today.

Wellens became Professor and Head of Cardiology at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands and completed his career there remaining as Emeritus Professor of Cardiology till his death. He was known as a remarkable and accessible teacher, training electrophysiologists from all over the world, many of whom are eminent leaders of our field today. He was awarded the Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology Award of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology in 1995 and the Distinguished Teacher Award in 2000. He was later knighted for his contributions by the Queen in The Netherlands. His scientific interests focused on the physiology of tachycardias and antiarrhythmictherapies. He was widely published author of original articles, book monographs and remained a globally travelled lecturer and teacher till his passing. He leaves behind his wife Inez and four children Floor, Willimijn, Maarten and Jooske.


Hein J.J. Wellens, MD, Ph.D.

13-Nov-1935 to 9-June-2020