Professor Behr is a recognised national and international expert and researcher in the field of arrhythmias. He is Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist specialising in Electrophysiology at St George's, University of London and St George's Hospital, London.
He is also Consultant Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, London. He is Head of the Cardiology Research Centre and Director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Academic Group as St George’s where he leads a research group with interests in the causes and mechanisms underlying of sudden death, and its prevention. He co-leads the Inherited Cardiac Conditions clinic at St George's, coordinating a multi-disciplinary team that provides a single one-stop service to families including children.
His research and clinical interests include:
families with unexplained sudden deaths, the Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
genetic risk for sudden death
ion channel diseases including the long QT and Brugada syndromes
drug-induced arrhythmia and QT prolongation
hypertrophic, dilated and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathies.
management and treatment of arrhythmias and sudden death risk
ablation and complex device therapy.
Professor Behr was educated at the Manchester Grammar School and studied medical sciences at St John's College, University of Cambridge from 1987. His undergraduate training was completed with distinction in 1993 at Guy's Hospital, London. His general medical training continued at Guy's and Lewisham Hospitals and he was then appointed to the South-West London Specialist Registrar Cardiology Training Programme in 1997. Professor Behr completed training at St George's Hospital in 2007, sub-specialising in clinical electrophysiology under the supervision of Dr Edward Rowland, Dr David Ward and Dr Vince Paul. He was appointed at St George’s as Senior Lecturer and Consultant Cardiologist in 2007 with subsequent promotions to Reader and Professor in the University where he now leads the Cardiology Research Centre and Cardiovascular Clinical Academic Group.
From 1999 to 2003 he undertook research at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London under the supervision of Professor William McKenna, studying the epidemiology, pathology, genetics and phenotype of unexpected and unexplained sudden death victims (SADS) and their families, an area in which he is now considered an international expert. He was also supervised by Professor John Camm in the non-invasive and genetic study of the electrophysiological effects of drugs, developing the British Heart Foundation (BHF) funded program grant: the Drug-induced Arrhythmia Risk Evaluation (DARE) study.
These early areas of research interest in cardiac genetics and sudden death risk have developed and attracted further grant awards as principal and co-applicant from the British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, European Union (FP7), Australian Medical Research Council, the international Serious Adverse Events Consortium (iSAEC), and the Robert Lancaster Memorial Fund.
He has authored and co-authored papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, British Medical Journal, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, European Heart Journal, Nature Genetics, Nature Cardiology Reviews, Heart, Circulation AEP, Circulation GPM and Heart Rhythm amongst others. He has given invited lectures at many national and international meetings including the American Heart Association, Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), European Society of Cardiology (ESC) & Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), British Cardiovascular Society (BCS), and Heart Rhythm Congress (British Heart Rhythm Society, BHRS).
Professor Behr is the founder and first Chair of the European Cardiac arrhythmia Genetics (ECGen) Focus Group, EHRA and sits on the EHRA Board and the Nucleus of the ESC Council of Cardiovascular Genomics. He co-leads the arrhythmia syndrome subdomain of the UK 100,000 Genomes Cardiovascular Genome England Clinical Interpretation Partnership and is Chair of the national collaboration: the Rare Arrhythmia Syndrome Evaluation (RASE) consortium.
He is an expert advisor on the NHS England Clinical Reference Groups for Genomics and Cardiovascular Services and is the Chairperson of the Steering Group for the BHF NHS and Coronial Sudden Unexpected Death Pilot.
He is past-president of the Association for Inherited Cardiac Conditions (AICC) having been president secretary and council member over the first ten years of its life. He was the St George’s Health Care Partner lead for the European Rare Disease Reference Network GUARD-HEART up until Brexit.
Professor Behr is an editorial board member of the Heart Rhythm journal. He co-wrote international guidelines for diagnosis and management of arrhythmia syndromes published in 2013, and followed up section lead of the 2020 APHRS/HRS Expert Consensus Statement on the Investigation of Decedents and Patients with Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and of Their Families.
Professor Behr has acted as an expert advisor to: the charities Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and the BHF; the European Medicine Agency; the Human Genome Strategy Group (HGSG) Service Development Working Group; the Inherited Cardiac Condition Services Steering Group; the Public Health Genome Foundation Working Group for National Services for Inherited Cardiac Conditions; and the Committee for Implementation of Chapter eight of the National Service Framework.
He also has education and training responsibilities to junior doctors including acting as an educational supervisor, academic representative and interviewer for the Pan London Specialty Training Committee for Cardiology. He has supervised or continues to supervised seventeen post-graduate degrees students.
Translational Cardiovascular Pathology and Inherited Cardiac Conditions, SGUL:
Mary Sheppard, Sanjay Sharma, Michael Papadakis, Maite Tome-Esteban, Angeliki Asimaki, Mark Specterman, Marta Futema, Alan Pittman
Rare Arrhythmia Syndrome Evaluation (RASE) Consortium, UK
Pier Lambiase (UCL/Barts), Amanda Varnava (Imperial), Alison Muir, Pascal McKeown (Belfast), Rachel Bastiaenen (St Thomas’), Jan Till, James Ware (Royal Brompton), Steve Page (Leeds), Catherine Mercer (Southampton), Derrick Todd (Liverpool), Luigi Venetucci (Manchester), Stephen Lord (Newcastle), Manish Kalla (Birmingham)
Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome
- SGUL: Mary Sheppard, Sanjay Sharma, Michael Papadakis, Maite Tome-Esteban,
- UK: Stuart Cook, James Ware, Jan Till (Royal Brompton)
- Denmark: Michael Christiansen, Jacob Tfelt-Hansen.
- Netherlands: Arthur Wilde, Connie Bezzina,
- Australia: Chris Semsarian
- New Zealand: John Skinner
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – Trans-Atlantic SIDS Collaboration
- USA: Dave Tester, Mike Ackerman (Mayo Clinic), Orrin Devinsky (NYU)
- Denmark: Jacob Tfelt-Hansen
- UK: David Fitzpatrick (Edinburgh), Peter Fleming (Bristol), Marta Cohen (Sheffield), Mike Simpson (KCL), Iona Jeffery and Emma Matthews (SGUL), Sanjay Sisodiya and Paul Gissen (UCL)
- Australia: Chris Semsarian
- SGUL: John Camm, Steve Jeffery, Yalda Jamshidi
- DARE study (BHF): Saad Shakir (DSRU, Southampton)
- ARITMO EU FP7 group led by Miriam Sturkenboom, Erasmus, Holland
- International SAEC led by Mr Arthur Holden and Professor Munir Pirmohammed, UK.
- Leducq network alliance against SCD led by Professor Dan Roden, Vanderbilt, US.
Genomics of Unexplained Cardiac Arrest (GenUCA) Investigators
- Amsterdam, NL - AUMC Connie Bezzina, Arthur Wilde
- Mannheim, DE Martin Borggrefe
- Munich, DE Stefan Kääb
- Copenhagen, DK Jacob Tfelt-Hansen
- Utrecht, NL Rutger Hassink
- Paris, FR Antoine Leenhardt
- Nantes, FR Vincent Probst
- Bordeaux, FR Michelle Haissaguerre
- Mayo Clinic, USA Michael Ackerman
- Muenster, DE Eric Schulze-Bahr
- Leeds, UK Stephen Page
- Canada: Andrew Krahn
- SGUL: Mary Sheppard, Sanjay Sharma, Michael Papadakis, Yalda Jamshidi, Irina Chis Ster
- UK: Pier Lambiase, Amanda Varnava, Pascal McKeown, Alison Muir
- Netherlands: Arthur Wilde, Connie Bezzina, Hanno Tan
- Thailand: Koonlawee Nademanee, Gum Veerakul
- Denmark: Michael Christiansen, Jacob Tfelt-Hansen, Morten Olesen
- France: Vincent Probst, Pascale Guicheney, Richard Redon, Julien Barc
- USA: Dan Roden, Mike Ackerman, Al George, Dawood Darbar
- Brugada gene discovery QRS Consortium
Collaborations in Cardiac Genetic Disease Including E1784K Consortium
- SGUL: Mary Sheppard, Sanjay Sharma, Michael Papadakis, Maite Tome-Esteban, Yalda Jamshidi, Steve Jeffery, Irina Chis Ster
- UK: Stuart Cook, James Ware (Royal Brompton) Jan Till, Pascal McKeown Chris Denning (Nottingham), Andrew Tinker (QMUL)
- Japan: Naomasa Makita, Takeshi Aiba, Minoru Horie, Seiko Ono, Wataru Shimizu
- Italy: Peter Schwartz, Lia Crotti
- USA: Dan Roden, Mike Ackerman, Al George
- Denmark: Michael Christiansen, Jacob Tfelt.
- Netherlands: Arthur Wilde, Connie Bezzina, Michael Tanck
- Canada: Andrew Krahn, Jason Roberts, Shubhayan Sanatani
- UK Biobank CM Consortium: Harry Hemingway, Dan Roden, Chris Nelson (Leicester), Hugh Watkins (Oxford), Mary Sheppard, Irina Chis Ster, Adam Witney (SGUL)
- Early Repolarisation Consortium: Yalda Jamshidi, Patricia Munroe (QMUL), Nilesh Samani (Leicester), Christian Hengstenberg (Munich), Harold Snieder, Ilja Nolte (Holland).
- QT-IGC consortium