Dr. Jérôme Kalifa shares his passion for medicine and music

Jérôme Kalifa became passionate about music as a young boy growing up in France. At age 13, he developed a love of the violin and began his study of classical music, visiting his violin instructor in Paris on a monthly basis.Jerome_Kalifa_010 450x320 horizontal

“My life changed when I developed this passion,” he says. “In Paris, I was surrounded by people who were committed to the art of music. I began to appreciate the importance of musicians working together.”

At the age of 17, Jérôme moved to Switzerland, where he played violin with a group of classically trained musicians committed to creating “the best music possible,” he says. “These were formative years for me. I realized that you can only achieve something with the input of others. You need this input to achieve your aesthetic goals. You cannot advance without it.”

After three years of music studies, Jérôme decided to expand his horizons. At age 20, he turned his attention to medicine, attending medical school in Marseille, France.

Jerome_Kalifa_009 450x320 horizontalSlowly but surely, medical research became Jérôme’s new passion. He completed his residency in France and during his last year was able to divide his time between patients and research. “I realized that research was a natural path for creativity.”

He earned his medical degree and Ph.D. at the University of Marseille and completed his post-doctoral training in Montreal in 2001and in Syracuse, NY, in 2002.

As a researcher, he began to focus on the study of cardiac arrhythmia. “In this area of study, my passion revolves around the idea that in the realm of creativity, anything is possible. I’ve learned the benefits of challenging established protocols with the goal of improving patients’ health. I find it exciting in research that all concepts can be put on the table and something new can be created.

“Similar to creating music, creativity in medicine comes when you are working with others. While medicine’s overall goal is to help patients, there is a part of medicine that involves challenging what exists and forging new directions.”

Today, Dr. Jérôme Kalifa is assistant professor at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center’s 
Center for Arrhythmia Research. He feels fortunate to work with the CVC’s many talented researchers. “On a daily basis, I’m able to interact and collaborate with others in the study of cardiac arrhythmias — to take an existing idea and create something new from it.”

Take the next step:

  • For information about how you can get involved in cardiovascular-related research, contact Jennifer Maisch at 734-615-2441 or jjmaisch@umich.edu.
  • Listen to Kalifa and others discuss the synergy at the Cardiovascular Research Center.


Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is the top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.