Thomas van Brakel is a cardio-thoracic surgeon and since 2014 senior staff member at the Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands. He has special interests in arrhythmia surgery, aortic surgery and minimally invasive thoracic surgery. He completed his medical training in Maastricht, The Netherlands, followed by a PhD on ‘Epicardial Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation’ at the department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Physiology under supervision of prof Jos Maessen and Maurits Allessie. Part of this research he performed at the Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, Greenville, US. He completed his training as a cardio-thoracic surgeon at the Radboud Universitair Medical Center Nijmegen in 2014. Besides his clinical and research work he is secretary of the Dutch Society of Thoracic Surgeons.