International scientific symposium on heart failure begins today in Toronto

TORONTO, May 12, 2016 – Leading the way in collaborative cardiovascular research, the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research holds its first scientific symposium May 12-13 at the Park Hyatt Hotel. Leading scientists from Oxford, Stanford, Duke, UC Berkeley and Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute join local experts from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), University Health Network (UHN) and University of Toronto (U of T) to explore the latest advances in heart failure.

This is the first major public event stemming from the largest private gift in Canadian health-care history by the Rogers family in late 2014 – and will feature the collaborative work underway at SickKids, UHN and U of T.

The symposium is anchored by three world-renown keynote speakers: Dr. Hugh Watkins (University of Oxford), Dr. Adrian Hernandez (Duke University), and Dr. Mikhail Kosiborod (Saint Luke’s). In probing personalized heart failure care, improved outcomes and the escalating problem of cardiotoxicity (other diseases whose progression and treatment can lead to heart failure), the event will feature unique genetic and molecular research, advanced clinical practice, stem cell research and the science behind repairing and regenerating failing hearts.

“The Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research is taking a sharp, progressive approach to changing how we manage one of Canada’s most prevalent and costliest chronic diseases,” said Dr. Mansoor Husain, executive director of the Centre. “Key to supporting the one million Canadians who live with heart failure is uniting expertise in different specialties and practices. This is what makes our first symposium so unique and so full of potential.”

Heart failure is the country’s fastest-rising cardiovascular disease. It carries an average survival rate of just two years, and costs the nation’s health-care system up to $3 billion a year. The Centre seeks to provide new diagnoses, treatments and tools to better prevent and manage the disease in adults and children. It is led by a team of clinicians and investigators at its three world-renowned partners, who operate inter-related programs designed to make major advances in science and meaningfully reduce the burden of heart failure.

The Symposium will illustrate how cross-collaborative work by clinical researchers, genetic scientists and a range of biomedical engineers is opening doors to treatments never before thought possible.