Education Fund drives 11 projects in 2021

Each year through our Education Fund, the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research awards promising research from young investigators working within our partner ecosystems at SickKids, University Health Network and the University of Toronto.

With this funding effort, our Centre helps ensure that novel ideas connected to heart failure get the early support they need to be tested for their potential translational impact. The Education Fund is set up to support post-doctoral and graduate trainees in basic and applied sciences, engineering and clinical health sciences across a range of disciplines.

Amidst this deep pool of talent, many past winners have been able to publish key studies in high-impact journals, present at major conferences, and even launch startup businesses to commercialize the innovation.

In 2021, we are pleased to offer 11 Education Fund awards that include 37 collaborating investigators outside of each awardee’s principal investigator. Here are the winning researchers and projects:


Datta Goolaub, post-doctoral fellow (PI: Christopher Macgowan, SickKids)

“Volumetric flow mapping in fetal congenital heart defects”


Fernando Scolari, post-doctoral fellow (PI: Phyllis Billia, UHN)

“Evaluation of clonal hematopoiesis in advanced heart failure”


Leanna Lee, post-doctoral fellow (PI: Dinesh Thavendiranathan)

“Precision cardiovascular disease profiling & risk prediction in cancer survivors (PROGRESS): A prospective cohort study”


Rasha Al Attar, post-doctoral fellow (Michael Laflamme, UHN)

Gene-edited hPSC-Cms as a novel strategy to eliminate graft-related arrhythmias”


Bahar Behrouzi, PhD (PI: Jay Udell, U of T)

“Investigating viral respiratory infections (VRI) in patients with/at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) using newer epidemiological techniques”


Mengyi Song, PhD (PI: Ian Scott, SickKids)

“Dissecting the conserved gene regulatory mechanism underlying the reactivation of the fetal gene program in heart failure”


Robert Lao, PhD (PI: Osami Honjo, SickKids)

“Limiting heart failure by enhanced surgical cardioprotection with GLP-1 peptides”


Dakota Gustafson, PhD(PI: Jason Fish)

“Integrative diagnostic approaches for the prediction of cancer therapy-related cardiac dysfunction in HER2+ breast cancer patients”


Homaira Hamidzada, PhD (PI: Slava Epelman, UHN)

“Development of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiac macrophages for cardiac regeneration”


Jaykumar Patel, PhD (PI: Graham Wright, U of T)

“MRI-guided respiratory motion correction for catheter-based therapy delivery in myocardial infarction”


Rysa Zaman, PhD (PI: Slava Epelman, UHN)

“An unexpected role for type I interferon underlies cardiac adaptation to stress and prevents heart failure”