Faculty

I) Planning Committee

 

Mansoor Husain (chair), MD, FRCPC

Dr. Mansoor Husain is executive director of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and director of the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. Professor of medicine at U of T, Dr. Husain is attending physician in the cardiac intensive care unit and nuclear cardiology laboratories of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (UHN). His extensive research focuses on elucidating the molecular bases of cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure and diabetes, and identifying therapeutic targets involved in pathophysiology.

Phyllis Billia, MD, PhD, FRCPC

At UHN, Dr. Phyllis Billia is director of research at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, medical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, and co-director of the PMCC Cardiovascular Biobank. A Toronto General Hospital Research Institute scientist, Dr. Billia leads a team that studies the molecular mechanisms involved in heart failure. She is also assistant professor at U of T's Faculty of Medicine.

Michael Farkouh, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, FAHA

Dr. Michael Farkouh is the Peter Munk Chair in Multinational Clinical Trials at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at UHN. He was recently appointed as vice-chair, research in the Department of Medicine and directs the Heart and Stroke Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research, both at U of T. Dr. Farkouh leads numerous international cardiovascular clinical trials and is associate editor for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Anthony Gramolini, PhD

Anthony Gramolini is professor at U of T's Department of Physiology and scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. His heart research lab at the Ted Rogers Centre carries a primary interest in investigating the cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of calcium cycling at the level of sarcoplasmic reticulum and its role in cardiac disease. He employs cell and molecular biology, molecular imaging, and mass spectrometry approaches to investigate these problems. He is formerly the Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Proteomics and Molecular Therapeutics.

Peter Lin, MD, CCFP

A frequent contributor to CBC News, Dr. Peter Lin is director of primary care initiatives at the Canadian Heart Research Centre. The Toronto family physician is associate editor of Elsevier's PracticeUpdate Primary Care, as well as medical director of LinCorp Medical Inc. Dr. Lin was medical director at the Health & Wellness Centre at U of T Scarborough for seven years. He lectures and speaks throughout the world and maintains two busy family practices in Toronto.

Michael McDonald, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Michael McDonald is a cardiologist at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and a member of the cardiovascular investigations unit and heart function, heart transplant, and ventricular assist device clinics. His clinical focus is the management of patients with advanced heart failure, implantable devices and cardiac transplantation. Dr. McDonald’s areas of academic interest include clinical guideline development and knowledge translation, multilevel medical education, and quality improvement in heart failure.

Seema Mital, MD, FAAP, FACC, FAHA, FRCPC

Scientific lead for the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, Dr. Seema Mital is head of cardiovascular research at SickKids. There, she is principal investigator for the Heart Centre Biobank – one of the world’s largest biorepositories for childhood-onset heart disease. She is also professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mital’s research targets cardiac precision medicine including genomics, pharmacogenomics and stem cell applications to model childhood heart disease and discover new therapies.

Conall Morgan, MD

Dr. Conall Morgan is a staff cardiologist at SickKids with a subspecialty in echocardiography. He is pursuing a master’s degree in medical education through U of T, and is resident supervisor. Dr. Morgan has won multiple teaching awards, both during his time as a fellow and, recently, as faculty for his contribution to the education of pediatric residents.

Zainab Najarali, MD, BSc

Dr. Zainab Najarali is a first-year resident in U of T’s Department of Family and Community Medicine. She recently completed her medical school at McMaster University and has a strong interest in cardiology.

Heather Ross, MD, MHSc, FRCP (C), FCCS, FACC

Dr. Heather Ross is one of Canada's most prominent and respected experts in heart failure. She is division head and fellowship program director of cardiology at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and scientific lead for the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. A professor of medicine at U of T, Dr. Ross currently holds the Loretta A. Rogers Chair in Heart Function. She is past president of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Daniel Szulc

Daniel Szulc is a PhD candidate at U of T’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. His current research focuses on the development of molecular imaging probes and materials for stem cell tracking and scaffold monitoring in tissue engineering applications. 

Karen Tu, MD, MSc

Dr. Karen Tu is a professor in U of T's Department of Family and Community Medicine, Toronto Western Hospital Family Health Team physician, and clinical researcher at UHN's Krembill Research Institute. Her interests include primary care EMR research, hypertension and diabetes management, health informatics, and measuring primary care disease quality indicators.

II) Presenters - May 3

Junichi Sadoshima, MD, PhD

Dr. Junichi Sadoshima is a world leader in cardiac growth and survival signalling. He is chair and professor of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Sadoshima was the first to establish the importance of myocyte-generated angiotensin and auto-activation of AT1 receptor-signaling and hypertrophy in response to mechanical stretch. This landmark discovery led to more seminal research into the regulators of cell death, survival, and growth.

Jason Fish, PhD

Canada Research Chair in Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology, Jason Fish studies the molecular mechanisms controlling endothelial cell biology. He is associate professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology at U of T and senior scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. His lab seeks to decipher the signaling pathways and downstream transcriptional mediators that control responses to differentiation signals as well as pro-inflammatory factors. His lab has identified key roles for noncoding RNAs, such as microRNAs, in modulating signaling pathways in endothelial cells.

Peter Caravan, PhD

Peter Caravan is the director of the Institute for Innovation in Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. He leads a multidisciplinary and translational molecular imaging lab focused on the invention of novel molecular probes and their broad applications in cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, and hepatic diseases as well as in cancers.  His research spans novel chemistry technologies to advanced MRI and PET imaging in animal models to applications in patient populations.

Christine Seidman, MD

Dr. Christine Seidman is founding director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Thomas W. Smith Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Harvard, and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Her lab aims to discover genes, mutations, and mechanisms for human heart muscle disorders. She has identified genetic causes for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy, defined the consequences of mutations on biophysical properties of sarcomeres, and described cell and molecular responses to these abnormalities. Her genetics studies of congenital heart malformations have uncovered transcriptional pathways that are critical for normal heart development.

Edward Hickey, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Edward Hickey is a cardiac surgeon at The Hospital for Sick Children and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. He has won many awards including the Zane Cohen Fellowship Award (2011), U of T Postgraduate Leadership Award (2010), Richard Rowe Award (2008, 2007) at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress and a Young Investigator Award (2008) from the Chicago Children’s Heart Foundation.

Patrick Lawler, MD

A cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Dr. Patrick Lawler’s research is focused on using molecular and systems epidemiology to develop precision medicine approaches in cardiac care. He was previously the Eugene Braunwald Scholar at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where he also trained clinically, a Fulbright Scholar at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and an award-winning teacher at both Harvard and McGill.

Jason Maynes, MD, PhD

Wasser Chair in Anesthesia and Pain Medicine at SickKids, Dr. Jason Maynes studies molecular medicine at the SickKids Research Institute and is associate professor of medicine at U of T. The mission of the Maynes lab is to link patient disease with molecular mechanisms and generate new therapeutic avenues in the pediatric population.

Phyllis Billia, MD, PhD

Dr. Phyllis Billia is director of research at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, medical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, and co-director of the Cardiovascular Biobank. A member of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Billia studies the molecular mechanisms involved in heart failure, toward a mission of improving the prognosis and quality of life for patients.

Paul Santerre, PhD

Paul Santerre is a professor in U of T’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and Faculty of Dentistry, principal investigator at the Ted Rogers Centre, and global leader in the field of cardiovascular biomaterials. Baxter Chair in Health Technology & Commercialization at UHN, Prof. Santerre is a commercial technology entrepreneur and scientist focused on tissue regeneration with immunity inspired polymers, and has been concentrating on nanotechnology drug delivery and novel scaffold biomaterial innovations for cardiac tissue repair.

Brian Courtney, MD, FRCPC, MSEE

Dr. Brian Courtney is an interventional cardiologist and clinician-scientist at Sunnybrook's Schulich Heart Center and Sunnybrook Research Institute. Assistant professor of medicine at U of T, Dr. Courtney has been actively involved in the development of new medical technology for 15 years and is founder and CEO of Conavi Medical. He is director of a new Sunnybrook Medventions Program that delivers a grassroots approach to supporting the next generation of Canadian medtech entrepreneurs and industry professionals.

Jessica Caterini, M.Sc.

Jessica Caterini is a doctoral student in the Cardiovascular Sciences Collaborative Program, through the Department of Exercise Sciences, and a graduate trainee in Translational Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children. Her current doctoral research in the Wells’ lab focuses on the use of MR imaging post-exercise to explore the pathophysiology of exercise intolerance in cardiorespiratory diseases. In 2018, she was recognized for her outstanding work and awarded the CSCP Bigelow Prize.

Sandra Black, MD, FRCP(C) 

Dr. Sandra Black is a renowned cognitive and stroke neurologist who holds the inaugural Brill Chair in Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook. A leading clinical trialist in dementia, she executive director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance and site director of the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery and the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute. In 2011 she was named to the Order of Ontario, cited as an assiduous physician leader and influential architect of the Ontario Stroke System. In 2015 she received the U of T Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award and was appointed an Officer to the Order of Canada for her contributions to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and vascular dementia.

Robert Rosenson, MD, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FESC

Dr. Robert Rosenson is professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Director of Cardiometabolic Disorders at Mount Sinai Heart (New York). He earned the Simon Dack Award for outstanding scholarship by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2016, he received the Jan J. Kellerman Memorial Award by the International Academy of Cardiology for distinguished contributions in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention. As a principal investigator, he's led many studies funded by the NIH and industry-funded multicenter drug trials including PLASMA I, PLASMA II, FRANCIS, BANTING and METCHNIKOFF. 

Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD

Dr. Sanjay Rajagopalan is a widely-respected physician investigator whose work has helped transform perceptions and facilitate understanding of the global impact of chronic diseases including diabetes. He has made seminal contributions in developing next-generation therapeutic modalities for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and is a leading authority in advancing newer and innovative non-invasive approaches for the diagnosis of complex cardiovascular disorders. Dr. Rajagopalan’s laboratory has been continually funded by the NIH. 

II) Presenters - May 4

 

Michael McDonald, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Michael McDonald is a cardiologist at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and is the medical director of the cardiac transplant program and the director of the Ted Rogers Centre of Excellence in Heart Function. His clinical focus is the management of patients with advanced heart failure, implantable devices and cardiac transplantation. Dr. McDonald’s areas of academic interest include clinical guideline development and knowledge translation, multilevel medical education, and quality improvement in heart failure.

Kim Connelly, MD, PhD

Dr. Kim Connelly is a researcher at Keenan Research Centre (St. Michael’s Hospital), and director of the Krembil Stem Cell Facility where he uses stem cell-based therapies to improve cardiac and renal dysfunction as a result of diabetes. He is nationally recognized as an expert in human and rodent echocardiography, cardiovascular MRI and the impact of diabetes upon cardiac function.

David Cherney, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Dr. David Cherney is associate professor of medicine at U of T, clinician-scientist at UHN and Mount Sinai Hospital, where he is director of the Renal Physiology Laboratory. His research program focuses on physiological factors that initiate cardiovascular and renal disease in patients with diabetes, such as renal hyperfiltration and inflammatory pathways.

Douglas Lee, MD, PhD

Dr. Douglas Lee is Ted Rogers Chair in Heart Function Outcomes. He is cardiovascular program lead at the Toronto General Research Institute, cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, associate professor of medicine at U of T, and senior scientist at ICES. Dr. Lee’s research interests include heart failure epidemiology and outcomes, implantable cardioverter defibrillator utilization, and cardiovascular disease prevention and care. In 2014, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society recognized him for research carrying the greatest potential impact.

Clare Atzema, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Clare Atzema is emergency physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, associate professor of medicine at U of T, and scientist at both Sunnybrook Research Institute and ICES. Dr. Atzema's research focuses on the quality of care provided to patients with cardiovascular illness when they are in the emergency department. She uses linked Ontario databases to examine the relationship between early care in the emergency department and outcomes in cardiac patients.

Jeremy Kobulnik, MD

Dr. Jeremy Kobulnik is advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist at UHN and Mount Sinai Health System. He is also assistant professor of cardiology at the U of T Faculty of Medicine. A clinician teacher, he currently attends in the heart failure clinic and echocardiography laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital and on the advanced heart failure and cardiac transplant service at UHN and Mount Sinai. 

Gillian Nesbitt, MD

Dr. Gillian Nesbitt is a cardiologist at UHN and Mount Sinai Hospital, where she is a clinician-teacher at the Daryl A. Katz Centre for Urgent and Critical Care. Her clinical interests focus on the effective use of cardiac imaging, and her outpatient practice covers conditions such as arrhythmias, systolic and diastolic heart failure.

Stephanie Poon, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Stephanie Poon is a cardiologist and assistant professor at U of T. She is now the medical co-director of the heart function and rapid cardiology assessment clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and is a member of the CorHealth Cardiac Leadership Council, as well as co-chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Heart Failure Quality Indicators working group. Her research is focused on improving, standardizing, and evaluating the quality of care that heart failure patients receive, by developing innovative models of care which: 1) incorporate HF quality based procedures and quality indicators, 2) promote patient engagement and partnerships with other health care providers across the province and nation. Dr. Poon is a recipient of the 2018 Ontario AHSC AFP Innovation Fund for her research in this area.

Phyllis Billia, MD, PhD

Dr. Phyllis Billia is director of research at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, medical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, and co-director of the Cardiovascular Biobank. A member of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Billia studies the molecular mechanisms involved in heart failure, toward a mission of improving the prognosis and quality of life for patients.

Aamir Jeewa, MD, FAAP, FRCP(C)

Dr. Aamir Jeewa heads the cardiomyopathy and heart function program at SickKids and is assistant professor of pediatrics at U of T. A SickKids Research Institute investigator, Dr. Jeewa focuses on cardiomyopathies, ventricular assistant devices, myocardial recovery, pediatric heart failure, and transplant outcomes.

Melanie Care, MSc, CCGC

Melanie Care is a genetic counsellor in the Fred A. Litwin Family Centre in Genetic Medicine, a combined adult genetics program at UHN and Mount Sinai Hospital. Having developed a clinical and research interest in the area of cardiac genetics, she has been working with inherited arrhythmia clinic at Toronto General Hospital since its inception in 2012. Melanie is president-elect of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors and is a clinical instructor and lecturer in the MSc genetic counselling program at U of T.

Husam Abdel-Qadir, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir is cardiologist at UHN and Women's College Hospital, and scientist at ICES and Women's College Research Institute. He has earned numerous young investigator awards in the realm of cardiotoxicity, as his research focuses on the cardiovascular health of breast cancer survivors. He recently won a 2018 Polanyi Prize from the Council of Ontario Universities.