Béla Merkely obtained his MD in 1991 from the Semmelweis University, Faculty of Medicine, in Budapest, Hungary, after which he performed a fellowship at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Germany. He was board certified in cardiology in 1998 and obtained his PhD in ventricular arrhythmias in 1999. In 2006, he became a Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (DSc). Since 2007, he has been Chairman and Director of the Semmelweis University Heart and Vascular Center.
The following year, he was appointed as Professor at Semmelweis University, in 2015, became President of Semmelweis University Hospital and Vice-Rector for Clinical Affairs, and in 2018, was appointed as Rector of Semmelweis University.
Professor Merkely is Honorary President of the Hungarian Society of Cardiology, Honorary President and former President of the Hungarian Heart Rhythm Association, former President of the Hungarian Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Intervention, and President of the Cardiology Section of the Professional College.
Professor Merkely has been holding functions in the different bodies and associations of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) for more than 20 years. Between 2014 and 2016 he was Councillor, between 2016 and 2018 he was Vice-President of the ESC. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC).
Professor Merkely is an editorial board member of several journals, including the Journal of Cardiovascular Emergencies, Journal of Hungarian Interdisciplinary Medicine, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, Advances in Interventional Cardiology, World Journal of Cardiology and Clinical Research in Cardiology. He has authored or co-authored five books and 44 book chapters, contributed to 14 university coursebook chapters and two university textbooks, and signed over 650 articles in international and Hungarian medical journals.
His major research interests are the non-pharmacological treatment of heart failure; new techniques in interventional cardiology; invasive and non-invasive imaging in heart failure; arrhythmias and acute coronary syndromes; experimental and clinical investigations of the mechanisms of arrhythmias; and endogen vasoactive arrhythmogenic factors.