Latest Stories

youtube channel

3D models of heart failure… stiffened hearts in diabetes…. saving infant lives

youtube channel

After a heart attack, this peptide protects the heart from further injury

Featured Event

youtube channel

Trainee Day 2022

Virtual Library

youtube channel

Visit our YouTube channel filled with world-class heart failure educational sessions on diverse topics

Team Members

** To request that someone be added to this list, please contact communications@trchr.ca.

Cardiac Precision Medicine Program

Paul Delgado

Paul Delgado is a scientist in the Translational Medicine Program at SickKids. His research focuses on combining genetic manipulation with phenotyping, genome-wide and molecular biology approaches to uncover the function of epigenetic regulators of gene expression in the development of cardiovascular cell lineages, as well as investigating fundamental aspects of cardiovascular disease. For more info, visit SickKids.

James Ellis

James Ellis is a senior scientist in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology at SickKids, as well as a professor in U of T’s Department of Molecular Genetics. His research focuses on reprogramming induced pluripotent stem cell for use in regenerative medicine to model human disease and test potential therapies for individualized medicine. To that end, the mission of the Ellis lab is to discover basic mechanisms that control gene expression and epigenetic reprogramming.

Mark Friedberg

Mark Friedberg is a staff cardiologist at SickKids. His research lab focuses on mechanisms of right ventricular dysfunction, fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension with the end goal of harnessing the elucidation of these mechanisms for therapeutic benefit utilizing techniques such as animal models, high frequency echocardiography, conductance catheter hemodynamics, immunohistochemistry, tissue and cell culture and genetically modified cell and animal models. For more info, visit SickKids.

Christoph Haller

Christoph Haller is a cardiac surgeon at SickKids. His overall research focuses on the preservation, recovery, and regeneration of cardiac function. In particular, his research applies stem cell therapy and new imaging technologies in various pediatric and adult research models to investigate the mechanisms of heart failure and therapeutic strategies to preserve or restore heart function. For more info, visit SickKids.

Robert Hamilton

Robert Hamilton is a cardiologist and senior associate scientist in the Translational Medicine Program at SickKids. His research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms behind inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathy and developing diagnostic biomarkers. He manages an inherited arrhythmia clinic. For more info, visit SickKids.

Osami Honjo

Osami Honjo is a staff surgeon and a surgical director at SickKids. His current research pursuits focus on ex-vivo heart perfusion for optimizing heart transplant donor hearts and development of a novel mechanical circulatory support for neonates and infants with single ventricle physiology for which he has obtained national funding, including through the Ted Rogers Centre. For more info, visit SickKids.

Emilie Jean-St-Michel

Emilie Jean-St-Michel is a staff heart function and transplant cardiologist at SickKids. Her main research interest is to improve our understanding of the long-term risk factors for morbidity and mortality in children with heart failure in order to promote the development of etiology-specific prevention and treatment strategies. For more info, visit SickKids.

Aamir Jeewa

At SickKids, Aamir Jeewa is a staff heart function and transplant cardiologist and medical director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program. His research interests include cardiomyopathies, ventricular assist devices (VADs), myocardial recovery, and pediatric heart failure and transplant outcomes. For more info, visit SickKids.

Caroline Kinnear

Caroline Kinnear is the lab project manager for the Cardiac Precision Medicine Program at SickKids working on disease modeling using induced pluripotent stem cells. The cells are used to model cardiomyopathy and vascular disorders and to search for new therapies. For more info, visit the Mital Lab.

Robert Lesurf

Robert Lesurf is a senior bioinformatician and data scientist with the Cardiac Precision Medicine Program at SickKids. His research focuses on the genomics of childhood heart disease with the aim to identify genomic causes of heart disease in children, understand how these variants affect disease severity and outcome, and to contribute towards clinical applications. For more info, visit the Mital Lab.

Mjaye Mazwi

Mjaye Mazwi is a staff physician in the Department of Critical Care Medicine, project investigator in the Translational Medicine Program, and co-chair of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine at SickKids. His research focuses on computational modeling of physiological data to create high resolution patient phenotypes and state-based characterization in critically ill patients. For more info, visit SickKids.

Luc Mertens

Luc Mertens is currently section head of echocardiography at SickKids. His research interests focus on studying cardiac function in children and applying AI methodology to cardiac imaging. For more info, visit SickKids.

Sandar Min

Project manager with the Cardiac Precision Medicine Program, Sander Min plays a critical role in data quality management and analysis for a broad range of projects. For more info, visit the Mital Lab.

Seema Mital

Seema Mital is head of cardiovascular research at SickKids, staff heart function and transplant cardiologist, senior scientist in Genetics and Genome Biology and scientific lead at the Ted Rogers Centre (full bio here).

Tanya Papaz

Tanya Papaz is program manager for the Cardiac Precision Medicine Program, where she is involved in managing the many activities of the program – including the Heart Centre Biobank Registry, which fuels many of the research activities of the program.

Abdo Said

Abdo Said is a research associate with the Cardiac Precision Medicine Program. He uses induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes to study the role of non-coding variants in cardiomyopathy. For more info, visit the Mital lab.

Ian Scott

Ian Scott is SickKids senior scientist in developmental and stem cell biology, and associate professor at U of T’s department of molecular genetics. His team focuses on using the genetic and imaging tools available in the zebrafish embryo to study the earliest molecular and cellular events associated with heart development. Ultimately, they hope to use these models to interrogate novel therapeutic approaches. For more, visit SickKids.

Rachel Vanderlaan

Rachel Vanderlaan is a cardiovascular surgeon at SickKids. Her research interests include surgical approaches to pulmonary vein stenosis and Tetralogy of fallot.

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson is a senior scientist in the Genetics & Genome Biology Program at SickKids. He leads a research group that uses genomic technologies, multi-species comparisons, bioinformatics and molecular biology to uncover gene and genome regulatory mechanisms that are relevant to developmental and disease processes with a particular focus on the cardiovascular system. For more info, visit SickKids.

*********************************

Cardiac Genome Clinic

Rajiv Chaturvedi

Rajiv Chaturvedi is a cardiologist at SickKids and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto. He earned his MB BChir and MD at the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of London. Dr. Chaturvedi’s research interests include cardiovascular physiology.

Iris Cohn

Iris joined SickKids in 2013 as clinical research pharmacogenetics advisor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. There, she developed a clinical pharmacogenetics research pilot study as part of her ongoing work toward an optimized design for a full pharmacogenetics service comprised of many technology platforms that will advance this area of testing into daily patient care. A graduate of Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf and previous member of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Iris is a registered pharmacist in Canada, Germany and the U.S.

Andy Ding

Andy Ding is a Cardiac Genome Clinic research associate/genome analyst who analyzes and interprets genome sequencing data of patients with cardiac diseases. He is broadly interested in clinical laboratory genetics, especially the implementation of next-generation sequencing in patient care. Before joining SickKids, Andy received his PhD in genetics from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Kirsten Farncombe

Kirsten Farncombe is a research associate for the Cardiac Genome Clinic and assists in grant writing. She joined the team in 2019 after earning her PhD in population genetics from the University of Reading in England. Kirsten is positioned at UHN where her research focuses on hereditary cancer syndromes.

Robin Hayeems

Robin Hayeems is a scientist in Child Health Evaluative Sciences (CHES) at SickKids, and associate professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. Robin is trained in genetic counselling, public health and bioethics, health policy research and health services research. She leads a team that uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand the impact of new genomic technologies and new models of care on families, health-care providers, health-care systems and society in order to optimize how they are implemented and used in clinical care. Involved in many genomics-related policy advisory committees, her work both informs and is informed by policy development in this area.

Rebekah Jobling

Rebekah Jobling is co-director of the Ted Rogers Centre Cardiac Genome Clinic. She holds a dual position medical geneticist in the Division of Clinical and Metabolic Genetics at Sickkids and a molecular geneticist in the Genome Diagnostics Molecular Laboratory at SickKids. Dr. Jobling uses this unique combination to pursue personalized genomic medicine in both the clinical and research settings. During her training and work at SickKids she has developed expertise in the analysis and interpretation of data from whole exome and genome sequencing, and the translation of these findings into the clinical setting.

Kelsey Kalbfleisch

Kelsey Kalbfleisch is a genetic counsellor with the Cardiac Genome Clinic.  In her role, Kelsey meets with patients and families enrolled in the CGC to discuss the option of pursuing genetic testing on a research basis and to help them make sense of their genetic results. She earned a degree in biology from the University of Waterloo, and a master of science in genetic counselling from the University of Toronto.

Raymond Kim

Raymond Kim leads the Cardiac Precision Medicine Program. He is a scientific lead for the Ted Rogers Centre (full bio here).

Roozbeh Manshaei

Roozbeh Manshaei is a bioinformatician with expertise in clinical/genomics/proteomics data analysis and visualization ranging from small biochemical pathways modeling to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). He specializes in analyzing large-scale data problems by using linear/nonlinear modelings and network theory which employs the concepts and methods from machine learning, optimization, signal processing and network science. For the Ted Rogers Centre, Roozbeh identifies, develops, and maintains bioinformatics tools for efficient data integration and for mining diverse types of genomic sequence data. He collaborates closely with cardiologists, human geneticists, genetic epidemiologists, pharmacogeneticists, and computer scientists to identify opportunities for NGS data analysis. Roozbeh builds interactive interfaces for data integration and automated data exploration and interpretation while working closely with end users to identify, analyze, and solve bioinformatics resourcing and application.

Cherith Somerville

Data analyst for the Cardiac Genome Clinic, Cherith Somerville is involved in the analysis and clinical interpretation of genome sequencing data. Cherith earned a M.H.Sc. in medical genomics from the University of Toronto.

Marci Schwartz

Marci Schwartz is the program manager for the Ted Rogers Centre Cardiac Genome Clinic. She earned her master of science in genetic counseling through the Johns Hopkins University and the National Human Genome Research Institute Genetic Counseling Training Program. Prior to this role, she worked she worked at Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania on their MyCode Genomic Screening and Counseling Program, where she provided patient care and assisted with research surrounding the return of genetic results to biobank participants.

Kaitlin Stanley

Kaitlin Stanley is a clinical research project coordinator for the Cardiac Genome Clinic. She facilitates the recruitment of patients and their families for research and supports the integration of genetics and whole genome sequencing into the cardiac population. She has a bachelor of science in molecular biology and genetics from McMaster University.

*********************************

Cardiotoxicity Prevention Program

Husam Abdel-Qadir

Husam Abdel-Qadir graduated from medical school at U of T with the Silver Medal in 2007. He has gone on to complete internal medicine and cardiology training at U of T, and an advanced echocardiography fellowship at St. Michael’s Hospital. During his residency training, Dr. Abdel-Qadir developed an interest in the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease among patients with non-cardiovascular co-morbidities. He completed a PhD in clinical epidemiology and health-care research at U of T’s Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation. His thesis focused on the cardiovascular health of breast cancer survivors. He has earned the 2017 European Society of Cardiology Young Investigator Award, the first Global Cardio-Oncology Summit Young Investigator Competition, and the 2021 Canadian Cardiovascular Society Young Investigator Award.

Scott Adams

Dr. Adams is an exercise scientist within the Ted Rogers Cardiotoxicity Prevention Program whose research focuses on: characterizing the pathogenesis of cancer-related cardiovascular toxicity and cardiovascular disease; and evaluating the impact of exercise therapy to prevent, mitigate, and treat organ-specific and systemic cardiovascular dysfunction in cancer survivors.

Eitan Amir

Eitan Amir is a medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and associate professor of medicine at U of T. He is the Executive Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Medical Oncology and Hematology Fellowship program, and serves as the Cancer Care Ontario Systemic Therapy Lead for Toronto Central South and as vice-chair of the Cancer Research Ethics Board at UHN. Dr. Amir’s clinical interests are the treatment of breast cancer and toxicities of anti-cancer drugs. His academic interests include clinical trial methodology, meta-analysis and outcomes research.

Linda Belford

Linda Belford is a Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research nurse practitioner at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, specializing in heart failure since 2008 at UHN. As of September 2015, she also practices half time in the cardio-oncology program. Linda is a regular presenter and expert member of such forums as the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario Heart Failure Working Group and the Health Quality Ontario Best Practice Guidelines. She is an advocate for heart failure patient care and for advancing the nurse practitioner practice overall.

Phyllis Billia 

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 Cardiovascular Biobank. A Toronto General Research Institute scientist, Dr. Billia leads a team that studies the molecular mechanisms involved in heart failure, toward a mission of improving the prognosis and quality of life for patients. For more, visit UHN.

Oscar Calvillo

Oscar Calvillo is a cardiologist, cardio-oncologist, and advanced heart failure/heart transplant specialist who currently practices in Sudbury, Ont. He was a key early resident at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre for the Ted Rogers Cardiotoxicity Prevention Program.

Diego Delgado

At UHN, Dr. Diego Delgado is heart failure and transplant cardiologist and Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Failure lead on clinical trials. Associate professor of cardiology at U of T’s faculty of medicine, he is the author of publications in the area of transplantation and mechanical assist devices. Dr. Delgado’s interests are immunologic aspects of advanced heart failure and transplantation, myocardial recovery post mechanical assist devices and decision analysis in cardiac transplantation. He is president of the Interamerican Society of Cardiology. Follow him on Twitter.

Jason Fish

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.

Mark Iwanochko

Mark (Robert) Iwanochko is cardiologist and clinical imaging specialist at UHN’s Toronto Western Hospital as well as investigator at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute.

Coleen Power

Coleen is a nurse practitioner in cardio-oncology at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and clinician in the Ted Rogers Centre Cardiotoxicity Prevention Program.

Dinesh Thavendiranathan 

A renowned expert in cardio-oncology and medical imaging, Dr. Dinesh Thavendiranathan leads the Ted Rogers Cardiotoxicity Prevention Program at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. He is clinical researcher at the Toronto General Research Institute and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Thavendiranathan received his cardiology training at the University of Toronto and subsequently advanced cardiac imaging training at both the Ohio State University Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. For more, visit UHN.

Bernd Wintersperger

Bernd Wintersperger is professor of cardiothoracic imaging at U of T and head of cardiac imaging at UHN/Mount Sinai Hospital/Women’s College Hospital. Affiliate scientist at UHN’s Techna Institute, Dr. Wintersperger’s research focuses on cardiovascular CT and MR imaging as well as therapy response biomarkers in antio-angiogenic tumor therapy. 

*********************************

Comprehensive Program in Heart Function

Carolina Alba

Carolina Alba, a cardiologist from Argentina, is clinician-scientist in the heart failure and transplant program at UHN. Her research interests are related to predictors of prognosis in heart failure, using both clinical and laboratory research. Dr. Alba has developed a prognostic model for more accurate prognosis assessment in contemporary heart failure patients. She is also evaluating outcomes on patients undergoing a mechanical hear implantation or heart transplant.

Mitesh Badiwala 

Mitesh Badiwala is surgical director of the heart transplant program at UHN and cardiac surgeon at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. He is assistant professor of surgery at U of T’s faculty of medicine. Dr. Badiwala’s main areas of clinical interest are heart transplantation, mechanical circulatory assistance, mitral valve repair and minimally invasive valve surgery. His research interests center on donor organ protection strategies, and he is working on an ex-vivo heart perfusion system to resuscitate and evaluate donor hearts. Learn more in this 2015 story.

Sacha Bhatia

Sacha Bhatia is director of the Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care at Women’s College Hospital – an innovation laboratory that develops and tests new ideas, programs and policy approaches for ambulatory care. Cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital and UHN, Dr. Bhatia is assistant professor of medicine at U of T and the Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation, as well as adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. He chairs the UHN department of medicine quality committee and the heart failure quality committee for the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. He has deep expertise in health policy and quality of care. For more, visit U of T.

Phyllis Billia 

At UHN, Phyllis Billia is director of research at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, medical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, and co-director of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Cardiovascular Biobank. A Toronto General Research Institute scientist, Dr. Billia leads a team that studies the molecular mechanisms involved in heart failure, toward a mission of improving the prognosis and quality of life for patients. For more, watch her Cardiac Connections video.

Joseph Cafazzo 

Joseph Cafazzo is lead for the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, a state-of-the-art research facility devoted to the evaluation and design of healthcare technology. A biomedical engineer, he observes health care delivery within hospitals and creates self-care technologies that are well-designed and effective, to help keep patients at home. Such technologies are key to improving the patient experience. Joseph is associate professor at U of T in the areas of clinical engineering, human factors, and health informatics. He has received the career scientist award by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. His key mission has been to develop the Medly, a heart failure management program.

Robert James Cusimano

Robert James Cusimano is widely considered one of Canada’s most skilled cardiac surgeons, operating at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and a member of its transplant team. He is also associate staff cardiovascular surgeon at SickKids, assistant professor of surgery at U of T, and a member of the Adult Congenital Network in Toronto. Additionally, a pacemaker implanter and lead extraction expert, Dr. Cusimano’s major research interest is the development of minimally invasive techniques of cardiac surgery, as well as methods to increase collateral blood vessel formation in ischemic myocardium. For more, see these National Post, Toronto Star and CBC Radio stories.

Diego Delgado

At UHN, Dr. Diego Delgado is heart failure and transplant cardiologist and Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Failure lead on clinical trials. Associate professor of cardiology at U of T’s faculty of medicine, he is the author of publications in the area of transplantation and mechanical assist devices. Dr. Delgado’s interests are immunologic aspects of advanced heart failure and transplantation, myocardial recovery post mechanical assist devices and decision analysis in cardiac transplantation. He is president of the Interamerican Society of Cardiology. Follow him on Twitter.

Mike Farkouh

Dr. Michael Farkouh is the Peter Munk Chair in Multinational Clinical Trials 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 the U of T. Dr. Farkouh leads numerous international cardiovascular clinical trials including the FREEDOM and TAILOR trials and in 2015 was recognized by the International Academy of Cardiology for achievements in cardiovascular disease prevention. For more, visit UHN.

Jeremy Kobulnik

Jeremy Kobulnik is advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist at UHN and Mount Sinai Health System. He is also assistant professor of cardiology at U of T’s 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. His academic interests are in heart failure education, bioethics education, and ethical approaches to resource allocation.

Douglas Lee

Douglas Lee is Ted Rogers Chair in Heart Function Outcomes. He is cardiovascular program lead at the Toronto General Research Institute, staff cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, and senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. 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. For more, visit UHN.

Meredith Linghorne

Meredith Linghorne is a Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research nurse practitioner who helps ensure the Comprehensive Program for Excellence in Heart Function achieves high-quality patient care. She currently divides her time between inpatient and outpatient settings. Meredith’s non-clinical priorities include quality improvement, the rollout of the Medly remote heart failure patient monitor, the application of CardioMems technology, and developing a standardized heart failure admission order set for UHN.

Adriana Luk

Adriana Luk is an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, as well as a cardiac intensivist at UHN.  She completed her cardiology and critical care training at U of T, and her heart failure fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her academic interests include quality improvement and patient safety for the critically ill patients admitted with heart failure.

Michael McDonald 

Michael McDonald is Martha Rogers Chair in Heart Failure Training and Education, UHN cardiologist, 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. For more, visit UHN.

Juan Duero Posada

Juan Duero Posada is as a cardiologist in UHN’s heart failure and transplantation program. He completed his residency and fellowship training (advanced heart failure and transplantation) at U of T. During his training, Dr. Duero Posada was chief cardiology resident (Sunnybrook) and then chief fellow both for the heart failure/transplant and multi-organ transplant fellowship programs. He has a strong interest in the area of quality improvement (QI) — among several initiatives, he is leading a project to improve the screening rates and management of iron deficiency among ambulatory patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. His long-term plan is to optimize the use of information technology for daily care and to facilitate ongoing QI initiatives.

Valeria Rac

Valeria Rac is a Ted Rogers Centre scientist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Toronto General Hospital Research Institutive, and associate program director and director of clinical research at the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative (THETA). She is also assistant professor at U of T’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Dr. Rac is an expert in health services research and health technology assessment, in the area of the design, implementation and evaluation of the complex interventions and pan-provincial programs for chronic disease management in the community (heart failure, COPD, chronic kidney disease, diabetes). Her research has evolved to focus on system-level effects of health technologies and how they impact healthcare delivery.

Vivek Rao

Vivek Rao is Munk Chair in Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics, head of cardiovascular surgery and director of mechanical circulatory assistance at UHN. He is also professor of surgery at U of T’s faculty of medicine (becoming the youngest faculty member ever in this division), as well as senior scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. Rao spearheaded Canada’s largest advanced heart failure program at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. His areas of research interest are in myocardial preservation for heart transplantation; ventricular recovery during mechanical circulatory support; influence of aortic valve size on survival following AVR; cell transplantation for end-stage heart disease; and molecular mechanisms underlying transplant coronary artery disease. For more, visit UHN.

Dr. Heather Ross

Heather Ross oversees all Ted Rogers Centre activities at UHN, and leads this comprehensive program in heart function. She is scientific lead for the Ted Rogers Centre (full bio here).

Emily Seto

Emily Seto is assistant professor and lead for the health informatics programs at U of T’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. She is a research scientist at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, UHN, and the TECHNA Institute (UHN/U of T). Her research interests include the development, evaluation, and sustained implementation of mobile healthcare technology to facilitate patient self-care and clinical decision support for chronic disease management.

Danna Spears

A cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Danna Spears is clinical director of UHN’s heritable arrhythmia program. There, patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, Brugada syndrome, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, idiopathic ventricular fibrillation, and long QT syndrome are evaluated and managed. Dr. Spears is also cardiologist in U of T’s pregnancy and heart disease program where she manages arrhythmia disorders in expecting mothers.

Nadia Thomson

Nadia Thomson is a nurse practitioner in the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. In addition to her clinical work, she has an interest in advancing educational resources for patients living with heart failure. Nadia is an adjunct faculty member at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg faculty of nursing at U of T. She is a course instructor in the nurse practitioner program and teaches pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics.

Terry Yau

At the Toronto General Hospital, Terry Yau is director of research in the division of cardiovascular surgery. He is the Angelo and Lorenza DeGasperis Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery Research, director of the cardiac stem cell therapy program, professor of surgery at U of T’s faculty of medicine and cardiac surgeon at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. Affiliate scientist at Toronto General Research Institute, his research focuses on a range of topics including heart failure, cardiac and cell transplant, angiogenesis, and gene therapy. For more, visit UHN.

*********************************

Translational Biology and Engineering Program

Michelle Bendeck

Michelle Bendeck is professor and director of research in the U of T’s department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology. Principal investigator for Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, she runs a vascular biology lab that investigates molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Best known for pioneering work in vascular matrix biology, Michelle is a Heart and Stroke Foundation Career Investigator and past president of the Canadian Society of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. For more, visit U of T.

Steffen-Sebastian Bolz

Steffen-Sebastian Bolz is associate director of the Heart and Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research and professor at the U of T’s department of physiology. A principal investigator for the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, he focuses research on uncovering molecular mechanisms that regulate resistance artery function in health and disease. His lab has developed novel concepts that advance our molecular and functional understanding of microvascular dysfunction in heart failure, stroke, diabetes, and hearing loss. The team has also developed a portfolio of innovative methodological and technological approaches including a new microfluidic platform (“artery on a chip”) that significantly improves the analysis of microvascular function – now in development for a clinical tool to individualize microvascular medicine. Steffen-Sebastian currently heads an international initiative to pilot new models in microvascular research and education. For more, visit U of T.

Hai-Ling Margaret Cheng

Hai-Ling Margaret Cheng is assistant professor in both U of T’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and Edward S. Rogers Sr. department of electrical & computer engineering. Additionally, she is a member of the Leslie Dan faculty of pharmacy and an adjunct scientist in physiology and experimental medicine at SickKids Research Institute. A principal investigator for Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, her research interests include non-invasive MRI for cellular, molecular and physiological imaging, new contrast agents for vascular and cellular imaging and targeting, MRI methods to measure microvascular function, monitoring vascularization and regeneration in tissue-engineered systems, and early cancer detection. (Click here for a recent story about Hai-Ling Margaret’s work advancing stem cell therapy research.)

Dr. Slava Epelman

Dr. Slava Epelman is  the first Loretta Rogers Chair in Immunobioengineering. A clinician-scientist in the department of medicine, division of cardiology at the University Toronto, and a scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (UHN). Dr. Epelman obtained his MD/PhD in immunology from the University of Calgary and then completed medical residency/clinical fellowships at the Cleveland Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University. He is a staff cardiologist in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the Toronto General Hospital. His scientific interests are focused on the role macrophages in cardiac tissue injury and regeneration. His lab is exploring therapies that enhance macrophage-mediated regeneration of cardiac tissue as a novel therapeutic avenue. For more, visit UHN Research.

Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez

Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez is assistant professor cross-appointed to U of T’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and department of cell and systems biology. A principal investigator at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, he is also a member of the developmental and stem cell biology program at SickKids. Rodrigo’s team investigates the physical and molecular signals that coordinate cellular behaviours during embryonic development and tissue repair using advanced fluorescence microscopy, quantitative image analysis, and genetic, biophysical and pharmacological manipulations in Drosophila. For more, visit U of T.

Daniel Franklin

Daniel Franklin is the Ted Rogers Chair in Cardiovascular Engineering and assistant professor at U of T’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering. His lab employs adjacent branches of optics, engineering, and biology to produce the next generation of materials and devices for fundamental medical science and clinical translation. Daniel is set to develop wearable health devices and wireless implants for advanced hemodynamic and physiological monitoring. For more, see this story.

Anthony Gramolini

Anthony Gramolini is professor in the University of Toronto’s department of physiology and scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. His heart research lab investigates the cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of calcium cycling at the level of sarcoplasmic reticulum and its role in cardiac disease. A principal investigator for Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, Anthony employs cell and molecular biology, molecular imaging, and mass spectrometry approaches to investigate these problems. For more, visit U of T.

Scott Heximer

Scott Heximer is vice-chair of research in the U of T’s department of physiology. He is also associate professor, cardiovascular and respiratory platform, and principal investigator for Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. His research area of focus currently involves the mechanisms of heterotrimeric G protein signaling, and defining the roles of G proteins and their regulators in the cardiovascular system. For more, visit U of T.

Paul Santerre

Paul Santerre is a professor in U of T’s institute of biomaterials and biomedical engineering, and a recognized international academic leader in the field of cardiovascular biomaterials, recognized with fellowships from the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.  In addition to appointments in the faculties of dentistry and engineering, Paul is director of physical science faculty at UHN’s Techna Institute and co-director of the faculty of medicine’s Health Innovation Hub, which both facilitate driving health care technologies into clinical practice. His entrepreneurial endeavors have led to over 50 patents and the founding of Interface Biologics Inc, a vascular intervention technology company which won the 2014 Manning Innovation Award. For more, visit U of T.

Soror Sharifpoor

Soror Sharifpoor is research program manager at the Translational Biology and Engineering Program. She holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Toronto and has over 13 years of academic and industrial experience in biomaterials, biomedical engineering, and regenerative medicine research, with a focus on cardiovascular applications. Most recently, she played key roles in helping to establish operational procedures within Paul Santerre’s lab, while serving as Chief Executive Officer of Polumiros, Inc., a company that she co-founded.

Craig Simmons

Craig Simmons leads the Translational Biology and Engineering Program. He is a scientific lead for the Ted Rogers Centre (full bio here).

Close Collaborators*

Kim Connelly

Kim Connelly runs a basic research laboratory at the Keenan Research Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital where he focuses upon basic mechanisms of disease – primarily around the role of pathological extracellular matrix accumulation and the pro-sclerotic cytokine transforming growth factor beta, with a focus upon translating discoveries into therapies in humans. He is director of the Krembil Stem Cell Facility at St. Michael’s Hospital and 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. For more, visit the Connelly lab.

Michael Laflamme

Michael Laflamme is McEwen Chair in Cardiac Regenerative Medicine at UHN and senior scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. His area of study emphasizes novel therapies based on human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Dr. Laflamme helped develop protocols that guide the differentiation of hPSCs into cardiomyocytes, and was the first to demonstrate that transplanting these cells in animal models of myocardial infarction can remuscularize scar tissue with electrically-integrated new myocardium and improve contractile function. In December 2016 he was named founding investigator of BlueRock Therapeutics. For more visit UHN Research.

Milica Radisic

At the University of Toronto, Milica Radisic is professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry – and is Canada Research Chair in Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering. Her research is in the field of cardiac tissue engineering and biomaterials, with the aim to cultivate functional heart tissue in vitro. Radisic has received many awards and fellowships this decade, including being named MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators Under 35. In 2015, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering inducted Radisic to its College of Fellows. For more, visit the Radisic lab.

* This list is not comprehensive, and will be updated continuously as the work of the Ted Rogers Centre evolves. It also does not include the hundreds of trainees who have dedicated time and effort to this Centre’s mission, and are the spark for so many labs.