TBEP Principal Investigators

Michelle Bendeck, BSc, PhD

Michelle Bendeck is professor and director of research in the U of T’s department of laboratory medicine and pathiobiology. 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. Full U of T bio page.

Steffen-Sebastian Bolz, MD, PhD

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. Full U of T bio page.

Hai-Ling Margaret Cheng, PhD, PEng

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. Full U of T bio page.

Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez, PhD

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. Full U of T bio page.

Anthony Gramolini, PhD

Former Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Proteomics and Molecular Therapeutics, 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. Full U of T bio page.

Scott Heximer, PhD

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. Full U of T bio page.

Paul Santerre PhD, FAAAS, FAIMBE, FBSE, PEng

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. Full U of T bio page.

Craig Simmons, PhD,  FCSME, PEng

Craig Simmons is lead of the Translational Biology and Engineering Program, and scientific lead at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. He is Distinguished Professor of Mechanobiology, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, IBBME, and Biomaterials Discipline, Faculty of Dentistry – as well as associate director of research at IBBME. Craig is an expert in cell and tissue engineering, with a research focus on understanding the processes by which biomechanical forces regulate tissue regeneration and disease. His research team applies this knowledge to develop new treatments for heart valve and blood vessel diseases, including strategies to regenerate cardiovascular tissues using stem cells and biomaterials. Full U of T bio page.