Dr. Phyllis Billia, a UHN clinician-scientist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre has witnessed fruitful collaborations first-hand at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, where she’s working with scientists Craig Simmons and Anthony Gramolini in our Translational Biology and Engineering program.

With Gramolini, an expert in cardiovascular proteomics, she is aiming to discover new biomarkers in patients who have inherited cardiomyopathy. This is vital to understanding why heart failure develops and to detecting the progression of the disease in patients.

Her partnership with Simmons – an expert in tissue and biomedical engineering – resulted from a chance encounter at a Ted Rogers Centre event, where over lunch they started chatting about their respective research interests. It was soon clear to Dr. Billia that Simmons’ work with a microfluidic platform could help model heart disease in a dish.

Such an instrument is key to testing new therapies safely and efficiently – and is a major advance toward individualized heart failure treatment.

Dr. Billia co-manages an important biobank that the Ted Rogers Centre helps to fund.