Toronto Ottawa Heart Summit - Heart Failure Update

Faculty 2023

Milan Gupta, MD, FRCPC, FCCS, FACC
Dr. Gupta is a cardiologist who has run a busy clinical practice in Brampton, Canada for more than twenty years ( He is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and received his MD from the University of Toronto, where he then completed residency in internal medicine and fellowship in adult cardiology.
Dr. Gupta is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is actively engaged in clinical research, medical education, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He serves on numerous professional advisory boards and guidelines writing committees.
Dr. Gupta is the medical director of the Canadian Collaborative Research Network, a leading physician organization (, and a past executive member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. He is co-founder and past chair of the Greater Toronto Area Community Cardiologists (GTACC) and past board member of CorHealth Ontario. He also chairs the Board of Directors of SANSAR (, a national charitable organization whose mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in South Asians.
Dr. Gupta lectures globally, with a specific interest in developing innovative medical education initiatives. His research interests include ethnicity and heart disease, emerging risk factors in vascular disease, heart failure, and prevention. He is a recipient of the Dr. Harold Segal Award of Merit from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the Colin Woolf Award for Excellence in Course Coordination from the University of Toronto. In recognition of his contributions to medical education, Dr. Gupta received the designation of Certified Professional in CPD (Healthcare) in 2021 by the Coalition for Physician Learning and Practice Improvement.
He is the incoming Governor-Elect (Ontario) for the American College of Cardiology. In 2023, he published his third novel, The Sun Has Set, My Friends (

Andrew Ha, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Dr. is a cardiac electrophysiologist who presently serves as the medical director of electrophysiology at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC). He is appointed as Associate Professor in the department of Medicine at University of Toronto. He completed his Cardiology/EP training in Ottawa and Victoria and completed a Master's Degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. His clinical and academic interests are in atrial fibrillation.

Mark Iwanochko, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Dr. Mark Iwanochko is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. He is Medical Director of the Robert J. Burns Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory, and the Centre of Excellence in Nuclear Cardiology at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.
Dr. Iwanochko is trained in Nuclear Cardiology (1997) and is a Diplomate in the Sub-Specialty of Nuclear Cardiology (CBNC.) He is the Ontario PI for the Canadian Fabrys Disease Initiative. His areas of interest include clinical trials, and outcomes research in cardiac imaging. Cardiac involvement in patients with Fabry’s disease.

Lorraine Lipscombe, MDCM, MSc, FRCPC
Dr. Lipscombe is a University of Toronto professor and clinician scientist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology at Women’s College Hospital. She received her MD from McGill University, followed by training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, and a Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology, at University of Toronto. Dr. Lipscombe leads a successful internationally recognized research program in diabetes epidemiology and health services, with a particular focus on the burden of diabetes in women. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and led numerous research grants. She has also held numerous awards including a Diabetes Investigator award from Diabetes Canada, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors.
Dr. Lipscombe was recently appointed as the inaugural Director for University of Toronto’s Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations, which is a cross-disciplinary research network based at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. This new network will unite academics with community stakeholders in Mississauga to address the burden of diabetes and other chronic diseases through community-based research.

Susanna Mak, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Dr. Susanna Mak is a Cardiologist and Clinician Scientist at the Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health. She is also the Department of Medicine’s Division Director for Cardiology and holds the Nadal Chair for Advanced Heart Failure Research. Dr. Mak is the Director of both the Anna Prosserman Heart Function Clinic and the Harold & Esther Mecklinger and The Posluns Family Cardiac Catheterization Research Laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital. She completed subspecialty training in the care of advanced heart failure and received her PhD from the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mak leads a research program in human cardiovascular physiology with expertise in cardiac chamber function and mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension. Her clinical interests concern initiatives to improve the quality of care for patients with acute and advanced chronic heart failure.
Dr. Mak receives funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Ontario Research Fund and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. The program also gratefully acknowledges the support Miles Nadal and Carol Grafstein among other generous donors to the Sinai Health Foundation.

Candice K. Silversides, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Silversides is a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and chair in Pregnancy and Heart Disease at the Miles Nadal Heart Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she leads the Obstetric Medicine program and is director of the Cardio-Obstetric clinic. She is the inaugural editor-in-chief of ACC's newest journal, JACC: Advances. She also works at the Peter Munk Cardiac Center, specializing in adult congenital heart disease and echocardiography and is vice president of the Canadian Adult Congenital Heart Network. Silversides' research interests include pregnancy and heart disease and adult congenital heart disease. She has contributed to many international practice guidelines and consensus statements.

Dinesh Thavendiranathan, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Dr. Thavendiranathan is a cardiologist at the Toronto General Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. His research involves the use of cardiac imaging for the diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular disease in patients with cancer. He is the Director of the Ted Rogers Program in Cardiotoxicity Prevention and holds a Canada Research Chair in Cardio-oncology. He as the Guest Editor in Chief for JACC: CardioOncology and an Associate Editor for JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Dr. Tobe received his MD degree in 1985 from the University of Calgary. Dr. Tobe trained in Internal Medicine and Nephrology at the University of Toronto, then joined the Division of Nephrology at Sunnybrook. He is now a Professor of Medicine at both the University of Toronto and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, where he was the inaugural Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair of Aboriginal and Rural Health Research. In addition to a busy hypertension and nephrology clinical practice, he is also the University of Toronto Nephrology Postgraduate Fellowship Director. His main research interests are the Implementation Science of dissemination of cardiovascular focused clinical practice guidelines. Dr. Tobe was chair of the Canadian Hypertension Education Program from 2005 to 2012 and on the board of directors of Hypertension Canada until recently, and remains co-chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Harmonized National Guidelines Endeavour (C-CHANGE). Dr Tobe also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Hypertension Specialists Program. Dr Tobe has had continuous peer reviewed funding for 25 years, has received many teaching awards and other career distinctions and has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and has led and participated in peer reviewed and investigator initiated multicentered international research collaborations.

Harindra C. Wijeysundera MD, PhD, FRCPC, FCCS, FAHA
Dr. Wijeysundera is the Chief of the Schulich Heart Program, and Head of the Division of Cardiology, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. He is as an interventional cardiologist and a senior scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute as well as an adjunct senior scientist at ICES. He is a professor in the Department of Medicine and the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. His clinical practice is focused on transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and coronary chronic total occlusions. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Structural Heart Disease Policy and Outcomes; his research program focuses on health technology assessments in cardiovascular disease. In 2022, he was appointed as the inaugural Provincial Cardiac Lead for CorHealth-Ontario Health.

University of Ottawa Faculty

Peter Liu, MD, FRCPC, FACC
Dr. Peter Liu is currently the Chief Scientific Officer and VP of Research of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and also Professor of Medicine and Physiology at the University of Toronto and Ottawa. He is the former Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the President of International Society of Cardiomyopathy & Heart Failure of World Heart Federation, and inaugural Director of the Heart & Stroke/Lewar Centre at University of Toronto. He received his MD degree from University of Toronto, and postgraduate training at Harvard University. His laboratory investigates the causes and treatments of heart failure, role of inflammation and identification of novel biomarkers and targets for intervention in cardiovascular diseases. He has published over 400 peer reviewed articles in high impact journals, and received numerous awards in recognition of his research and scientific accomplishments. He has chaired scientific sessions of the Heart Failure Society of America, International Society of Heart Research and Human Proteomic Organization, amongst others. He is also champion for knowledge translation, integrating the cardiovascular prevention guidelines and healthy heart policy in Canada and internationally, including the C-CHANGE guidelines.

Ruth McPherson, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FACP, FRCS
Dr. McPherson received her PhD from the University of London (UK) and MD and subspecialty training in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Toronto. She held academic positions at the University of Toronto and McGill University before joining the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1992. Dr. McPherson’s laboratory research is centered on understanding of the genetics and genomics of coronary artery disease. She has published over 270 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and was elected to fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada in 2014. Dr. McPherson directs the Lipid Clinic, Atherogenomics Laboratory & Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and is a key Canadian opinion leader in clinical lipidology and cardiovascular risk reduction.

David Messika-Zeitoun, MD, PhD, FESC
Dr. Messika-Zeitoun is a cardiologist in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and a full professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Messika-Zeitoun was born in France. He graduated from medical school at the Université Paris VI Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie in 1992. He completed his training in cardiology in Paris and became an assistant professor at Tenon Hospital in 1999. After a two-year research fellowship at the Mayo Clinic from 2001 to 2003, he returned to Paris to work at the Bichat Hospital as a staff member in the Division of Cardiology. He completed his PhD in 2009 and was appointed to full professor of cardiology in 2013. He was appointed as staff cardiologist and clinician investigator in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2018.
Dr. Messika-Zeitoun is a non-invasive cardiologist specialized in echocardiography and valvular heart disease. He has a special interest in imaging and new transcatheter therapies. Dr. Messika-Zeitoun is leading the Centre for Valvular Heart Disease.

Guest Faculty

Krishna Aragam, MD, MS
(Harvard Medical School)
Dr. Aragam is a cardiologist and cardiovascular geneticist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and a member of the Cardiovascular Disease Initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Aragam is a core faculty member within the MGH Cardiovascular Genetics Program and the MGH Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Center. He investigates the population genetic determinants of cardiovascular diseases and the implementation of genomic data to inform primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. His clinical focus pertains to the management of patients and family members with a confirmed or suspected genetic predisposition to myocardial infarction and/or cardiomyopathy.
Dr. Aragam graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Biochemical Sciences and received his medical doctorate and graduate training in clinical research at the University of Michigan. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at MGH and post-doctoral training in computational biology and population genetics at the Broad Institute.

Anita Asgar MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACC
(Université de Montréal)
Dr. Anita Asgar is an Interventional Cardiologist working at the Montreal Heart Institute since 2009. Originally from Newfoundland, Dr. Asgar completed her medical school and Internal Medicine Residency at Memorial University (1995-2002), and Cardiology training at Dalhousie University. She then completed a two-year fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the Institut de Cardiologie de Montreal, followed by a fellowship in Structural and Congenital Intervention at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, England as well as a fellowship in Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging. She has a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Universite de Montreal with a focus in cost-effectiveness of transcatheter technology.
Dr. Asgar is a full-time staff Interventional Cardiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute, and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Universite de Montreal. She specializes in transcatheter valve interventions, congenital interventions and cardiac MRI. Dr. Asgar was Co-Chair of the Canadian TAVR Guidelines and chairs the Working Group for Transcatheter Valve Therapy Quality Indicators in Canada. She has led the publication of two national quality reports for TAVR in Canada in 2016 and 2019 and was the Co-Chair of the Canadian Position statement for TAVR in 2019. She is the lead cardiologist for the transcatheter mitral/tricuspid valve program at the Montreal Heart Institute. Her research interests include the treatment and management of valvular heart disease and cost-effectiveness analysis and she is currently the Director of Transcatheter Valve Therapy Research at the Montreal Heart Institute.

Kevin Bainey, MD, MSc, FRCPC
(University of Alberta)
Dr. Bainey is an interventional cardiologist and a graduate of the University of Alberta’s medical school. After completing his core internal medicine and clinical cardiology residencies in Edmonton (University of Alberta), Dr. Bainey pursued an interventional cardiology fellowship at Harvard University, Boston and subsequently became a Clinical Scholar in interventional cardiology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. He was the recipient of numerous awards during his undergraduate and residency medical education. Dr. Bainey also completed a Masters of Science degree in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University. In 2011, he was recruited to the University of Alberta’s Division of Cardiology and works at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.
Dr. Bainey is the Director of the Adult Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Cardiology Program at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the University of Alberta Director for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) Area of Focused Competence (AFC) Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Training Program. He also holds the ECG Core Lab Director position at the Canadian Virtual Coordinating Centre for Global Collaborative Cardiovascular Research (VIGOUR) research centre, University of Alberta.
Dr. Bainey is active in national leadership roles including as co-director of the Canadian Association of Interventional Cardiology (CAIC) Fellows Device Course. He is also the Secretary for the CAIC committee. He is currently the co-chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Anti-Platelet Guidelines Committee.
In 2018, under Dr. Bainey’s leadership, the Division of Cardiology achieved the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Area of Focused Competency (AFC) Accreditation in interventional cardiology training, as well as a commendation and designation as a model training site for Canada. Dr. Bainey is chair of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute Cardiology Update, a one-day course in management of cardiac problems in primary care.
Dr. Bainey is faculty at the Canadian VIGOUR Centre (Academic Research Organization) at the University of Alberta. He leads and collaborates on numerous clinical trials for therapies for cardiovascular conditions. Among his research interests are reperfusion Injury in ST-elevation myocardial infarction, ethnic-based clinical outcomes focusing primarily on South Asians with coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries and heart attacks in women, and optimal pharmacotherapies for primary and secondary prevention. His research, funded by provincial and national agencies including Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Alberta Health Services Quality Innovation Fund, has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals. These include American Journal of Cardiology; American Heart Journal; International Journal of Cardiology; Circulation, Cardiovascular Interventions; Journal of American College of Cardiology; New England Journal of Medicine and Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
He is an abstract reviewer for the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress and the American College of Cardiology and a project grant reviewer for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He is on the editorial board of Atherosclerosis.

George Bakris, MD, FA, FASN
(University of Chicago Medicine)
Dr. Bakris is a Nephrologist/Clinical Pharmacologist and Certified Hypertension Specialist trained at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Chicago Medicine. He is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the American Heart Association Comprehensive Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago Medicine. Dr Bakris received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School and completed residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine where he also completed a research fellowship in Physiology and Biophysics. He then completed fellowships in Nephrology and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Bakris has published over 900 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the areas of diabetic kidney disease, hypertension and nephropathy progression. He is the editor or co-editor of 24 books in the areas of diabetic kidney disease progression and hypertension. Additionally, he is the co-editor of the 3rd and new 4th editions of Hypertension: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease.
Dr. Bakris' academic interests are focused on understanding the factors that influence kidney disease progression. A specific focus is ethnic disparities in kidney disease development and progression. His specific area of interest involves the interaction of hypertension in the presence and absence of diabetes on development of kidney disease. Dr Bakris has been involved in a number of national and international trials that investigate declines in the rate of kidney function.
Dr. Bakris has served on the FDA Cardiorenal Advisory Board for 10 years and has been a consultant to CMS for four years. He has also served on many US guideline committees, including the Joint National Committee JNC 7 writing group, the ADA Clinical Practice and Laboratory Guideline Committee, as well as the KDOQI guidelines.

Alexandra Bastiany, MD, FRCPC, DRCPSC
(Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Thunder Bay)
Dr. Bastiany is an Interventional Cardiologist in Ontario, Canada.
She earned her medical degree and completed her Internal medicine and Cardiology training at the Université de Montréal. She graduated with honors, as the UdeM Faculty of Medicine first Black valedictorian.
Dr. Bastiany then successfully completed a fellowship in Interventional Cardiology in Alberta, making her the first Black female Canadian Interventional Cardiologist.
Dr. Bastiany is fluent in English, French, and Haitian Creole. She was born and raised in Montreal of Haitian parents and developed a strong interest in community work amongst visible minorities. She took direct action, and partnered with La Maison d’Haïti in Montreal.
She has also worked directly with other local community organizations, and started career days for minority and children from underserved communities, working to provide them with representation via professional role models.
Combining her expertise in cardiovascular disease and her passion for community work, Dr. Bastiany is actively working to decrease the race and gender biases leading to differences in standard of care and clinical outcomes.

Louis Bherer, PhD
(University of Montreal)
Dr. Bherer is full professor at the Department of Medicine at University de Montréal and the director of the EPIC Center of the Montréal Heart Institute in Montréal, Canada. Bherer completed a Master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology (Université Laval), a PhD in Neuropsychology (Université de Montréal) and a post-doc in Aging and Neurosciences at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA). Before 2012, Dr. Bherer held the CIHR Canada Research Chair on Aging and the Prevention of Cognitive Decline at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). From 2012 to 2016, he was the inaugural Scientific Director of the PERFORM Centre at Concordia University in Montreal. His research program studies the effect of cognitive stimulation, physical activity and exercise on cognition and cognitive decline associated with aging and cardiovascular diseases.

Robert Bonow, MD, MS
(Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Dr. Bonow is the Goldberg Distinguished Professor of Cardiology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He has authored or co-authored over 635 papers in the medical literature and 120 book chapters. He is Editor-in-Chief of JAMA Cardiology and is one of the editors of Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine.
Dr. Bonow is a past president of the American Heart Association, a Master of the American College of Cardiology and a Master of the American College of Physicians. He has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors and Board of Extramural Advisors of the NHLBI, the Board of Trustees of the American College of Cardiology, the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, and the Subspecialty Board on Cardiovascular Disease of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
He is the recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award, Distinguished Achievement Award, Gold Heart Award, and James B. Herrick Award of the American Heart Association; the Distinguished Fellowship Award, Distinguished Service Award, and Distinguished Scientist Award of the American College of Cardiology; the Denolin Award of the European Society of Cardiology; and the John Phillips Memorial Award of the American College of Physicians.

Javed Butler, MBBS, MPH, MBA
(Baylor Scott and White Research Institute, Dallas, TX)
Dr. Javed Butler is the President of the Baylor Scott and White Research Institute, and Senior Vice President and Maxwell A. and Gayle H. Clampitt Endowed Chair at the Baylor Scott and White Health in Dallas, TX. He is also the Distinguished Professor of Medicine at University of Mississippi in Jackson, MS. Prior to joining Baylor Scott and White Health, he served as the Patrick H. Lehan Chair in Cardiovascular Research, and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Mississippi, where he was also Professor of Physiology. Prior to joining the University of Mississippi, he was Charles A. Gargano Professor and Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Co-Director of the Heart Institute at Stony Brook University, New York. He had served as the director for heart failure research at Emory University and director of the heart and heart-lung transplant programs at Vanderbilt University prior to that.
He received his medical degree from the Aga Khan University and then completed residency training at Yale University, cardiology fellowship and advanced heart failure and transplant fellowships at Vanderbilt University, and cardiac imaging fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital at the Harvard Medical School. He has completed Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University and a Master in Business Administration from the Emory University.
Dr. Butler is board certified in cardiovascular medicine and advanced heart failure and transplant medicine. His research interests focus on clinical trials in patients with heart failure. He serves on several national committees for the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, and the Heart Failure Society of America. He is the recipient of the Simon Dack Award by the American College of Cardiology as well as the Time, Feeling, and Focus Award by the American Heart Association.
Dr. Butler has authored more than 1000 peer-reviewed publications. He serves on the editorial board of several peer reviewed cardiovascular journals. He has been cited numerous times in America’s Best Doctors list.

Mitchell Elkind, MD, MS, FAAN, FAHA
(Columbia University Irving Medical Center)
Dr. Elkind is a tenured Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University and Chief Clinical Science Officer of the American Heart Association. He was previously Chief of the Division of Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Sciences (Neuro CORPS) in the Neurology Department at Columbia, and he served as President of the American Heart Association 2020-2021. Dr. Elkind received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and he trained in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, MA. He completed a fellowship in Vascular Neurology and Neuroepidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Elkind holds a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. His research focuses on stroke prevention, inflammatory and infectious biomarkers in stroke risk prediction, atrial cardiopathy, immune therapy for acute stroke, and vascular causes of cognitive aging. Dr. Elkind is the Principal Investigator of several independent investigator awards from NIH/NINDS, including the ARCADIA trial of apixaban vs aspirin for atrial cardiopathy in cryptogenic stroke. Dr. Elkind also has a longstanding commitment to medical education and research training.

Michael E. Farkouh, MD, FRCPC, MSc, FACC, FAHA
(Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California)
Dr. Michael Farkouh is the Associate Dean, Research at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles. He was formerly the Peter Munk Chair in Multinational Clinical Trials at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Director of the Heart and Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research, Professor and Vice-Chair, Research, Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He has a special interest and expertise in the field of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes and chairs the committee on diabetes and heart disease at the Banting and Best Centre and at the University of Toronto. Dr. Farkouh serves as Founder of the Worldwide Network for Innovation in Clinical Education and Research (W-NICER) and serves as Section Editor for Diabetes at the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

(University of Calgary)
Dr. Fine is a heart failure Cardiologist and Echocardiologist in Calgary (Alberta Canada).
He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Cardiac Sciences, Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. He is the Clinical Director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute. He is director of Clinical and Research/Core Echocardiography Laboratories, and co-lead of Heart Failure research program. Dr. Fine has a clinical and research interest in heart failure and infiltrative cardiomyopathies, particularly cardiac amyloidosis and Anderson-Fabry disease, and is Co-Director of the Amyloidosis Program of Calgary and Cardiac Amyloidosis Clinic. He is the co-principal investigator for the Canadian Registry for Amyloidosis Research.

Michelle Graham, MD, FRCPC, FCCS
(University of Alberta)
Dr. Michelle Graham is a Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta. She obtained her medical degree at the University of Ottawa, followed by training in Internal Medicine at Western University, Cardiology at Dalhousie University, and a fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the University of Calgary. She has spent her entire academic career at the University of Alberta, where she is now Director of the Division of Cardiology.
Dr Graham’s primary research interests are varied and include perioperative medicine, cardiac care in the elderly, processes of care, and precision medicine. She currently holds funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Alberta Innovates/Health Solutions and has over 140 peer review articles to date. She is an Associate Editor at the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, and Editor-in-Chief at CJC Open. She is also President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Jeff Healey MD, MSc
(McMaster University)
Dr. Healey is a Cardiologist/Electrophysiologist and Professor of Medicine at McMaster University. He is the director of the division of cardiology, and the Connolly Chair for Cardiology Research at the Population Health Research Institute. He is the chair of the Canadian Stroke Prevention and Intervention Network (CSPIN) and past chair of the Canadian atrial fibrillation guidelines committee.
He was the lead author of the ASSERT trial, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 and demonstrated the increased stroke risk associated with sub-clinical atrial fibrillation detected by pacemakers. He was also the lead author of the RELY AF cohort study, a 15,000-patient worldwide registry, published in the Lancet in 2016, examining the causes, treatment and outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation.
He currently leads the ARTESIA trial, evaluating the role of anticoagulation in patients with subclinical AF.

Peter Lin MD, CCFP
(Canadian Heart Research Centre)
Dr. Peter Lin is the director primary care initiatives, Canadian Heart Research Centre. He is the Associate Editor, Elsevier WebPortal - PracticeUpdate Primary Care and the Medical Director LinCorp Medical Inc.

Samer Mansour MD, CSPQ, FRCP
(Université de Montréal)
Dr. Mansour is a full professor of medicine in the medical school of Montreal University. He is an interventional cardiologist in the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal-CHUM. He is a clinical researcher and chief of the research unit in the cardiology division. He is director of the cath lab in the Cité de la Santé hospital. He is currently a member of the scientific committee of the research centre, CHUM and a member of the advisory board of the FRSQ (Fonds de la recherche en santé au Quebec). His on the executive of the “Association des cardiologues du Québec” and he is the president of the Canadian Association of interventional Cardiology-CAIC.
His major research interest is in coronary artery physiology and management of high-risk group of patients such as STEMI, chronic total occlusion, left main, bifurcation or multivessel disease. He is also a PI and co-PI of several clinical trial in the field of metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and HIV related coronary artery disease. Dr Mansour has been primary or co-author of 6 book chapters, more than 115 peer-reviewed publications and over 450 abstracts.

Shamir Mehta, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACC
(McMaster University)
Dr. Shamir Mehta is the Douglas A. Holder/PHRI Endowed Chair in Interventional Cardiology and a Professor of Medicine at McMaster University. He is an interventional cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences and Senior Scientist at the Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Canada. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine where he also completed internal medicine and cardiology training, followed by an interventional cardiology fellowship at the University Health Network. He completed a research fellowship and Master’s in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award. In 2004 he was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. In 2022, he received the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s highest honor for research achievement, the CCS Research Achievement Award.
Dr. Mehta has published hundreds of articles and holds peer-review operating grants from the CIHR and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, as well as grants from Industry. He has led large-scale trials evaluating antiplatelet and antithrombotic therapies in patients with acute coronary syndromes and landmark trials evaluating pragmatic interventions in ACS including TIMACS, evaluating optimal timing of invasive intervention in patients with ACS, RIVAL, establishing the benefit of a radial versus femoral artery approach in patients with ACS, and the recently published COMPELTE trial evaluating a strategy of complete revascularization in patients with STEMI and multivessel disease. The COMPLETE trial was recognized by the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine as one of its Most Notable Articles of 2019. Dr. Mehta is currently the Principal Investigator of the COMPLETE-2 trial, a 5,100-patient multinational trial evaluating the role of physiology-guided versus angiography-guided is PCI strategies to treat non-culprit lesions in patients with ACS and multivessel coronary artery disease, including a large-scale study of optical coherence tomography intracoronary imaging to predict cardiovascular events in these patients.
Dr. Mehta has a busy interventional and structural cardiology practice and leads the percutaneous mitral and tricuspid valve programs at HHS. He is the Program Director of the Royal College-certified Interventional Cardiology Training Program at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, one of the largest training programs in interventional cardiology in the country.

Markus Meyer, MD, PhD
(University of Minnesota)
Dr. Meyer is the Engdahl Family Endowed Chair of Heart Failure Research at Lillehei Heart Institute, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Minnesota, USA. He is a cardiologist with a clinical emphasis on heart failure and imaging. The focus of his research is the interaction of heart rate and calcium cycling in the myocardium. In a bench-to-bedside approach his group studies human heart tissue samples, preclinical models and conducts clinical studies to develop novel treatment approaches for HFpEF and other restrictive cardiomyopathies.

Coleen Norris, PhD (Epidemiology), MScN, BScN, RN, FAHA, FCAHS
(University of Alberta)
Dr. Norris is a Professor and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing. She is the CAVARZAN Chair in Mature Women's Health Research, a WCHRI investigator, and an adjunct professor with the Faculties of Medicine and the School of Public Health Science at the UA. Her PhD, is in clinical epidemiology.
Dr. Norris, a Nurse by training, completed post-doctoral training with the Canadian Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Team (CCORT) and Tomorrows Outcome Researchers in Cardiovascular Health (TORCH) in health outcomes research and developed the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH) follow-up program. Her program of research focuses on the sex and gender factors that impact women’s heart health. She is the past Chair of the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance (CWHHA), Health Policy and Services (HP&S) working group, whose mandate is to implement policies that advance our understanding of the unique sex and gender factors affecting the outcomes of women’s heart health. She is the co-lead of the Women's Heart Health Atlas which is curated as an open access chapters on the Can Journal of Cardiology Open website ( In 2018, Dr. Norris was designated as the sex and gender champion on the CCS clinical guidelines committee where she established and published (JAHA-2019) a methodology that will be used going forward to incorporate sex and gender specific information into CCS Clinical practice guidelines. Dr. Norris is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the CO-PI in a CIHR/GENDER-NET Plus research project- GOING-FWD, an international collaborative of researchers from 5 countries, evaluating the impact of sex and gender factors on outcomes. Dr. Norris has mentored over 90 students/trainees. She has presented extensively and has over 400 publications in the areas of sex and gender differences in cardiovascular treatment and outcomes, and women’s heart health.

Milton Packer, MD
(Baylor University Medical Center)
Dr. Packer is the Distinguished Scholar in Cardiovascular Science at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and Visiting Professor at Imperial Colle`ge, London. He is an internationally recognized clinical investigator who has made many seminal contributions to the field of heart failure, both in understanding its mechanisms and defining its rational management. His work has spanned more than 40 years and has established the cornerstone of the current modern treatments for heart failure, including ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, angiotensin neprilysin inhibitors and SGLT2 inhibitors. He proposed the neurohormonal hypothesis of heart failure in 1992. He has led 20 large-scale international trials of novel interventions for heart failure and has received many international awards in recognition of his achievements. His column on MedPage Today received the Jesse H. Neal Award, Best Commentary/Blog; the award is equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize for business journalism.

Ratika Parkash MD, MSc, FRCPC
(Dalhousie University)
Dr. Parkash obtained her medical degree in 1996 from Dalhousie University. She completed her residency in internal medicine/cardiology in Ottawa from 1996-2002, followed by a fellowship in cardiac electrophysiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital from 2002-2004. She obtained a Masters of Science in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2004. She is a professor of medicine at Dalhousie University, from 2004 until the present. She has two major areas of research: atrial fibrillation (AF) and cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs). Currently, Dr. Parkash is involved in a number of clinical trial initiatives in atrial fibrillation focused on mechanisms of disease and management strategies. She continues to investigate prevention of recurrent atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure or a high symptom burden to prevent future cardiovascular events and improve quality of life. In addition, she investigates Cardiac Implantable Electronic devices in the areas of device recalls, management, outcomes, complications, heart failure, virtual care strategies, as well as prevention of sudden death. Dr. Parkash is the past Chair of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society Device Committee and is currently the Associate Scientific Director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network, dedicated to reducing sudden cardiac death, atrial fibrillation and syncope in Canada. She has been awarded the title of Distinguished Research Professor in 2020 at Dalhousie University. She is a member of the National Board of the Heart And stroke Foundation of Canada.

Megha Poddar, MD, FRCPC, ABOM
(McMaster University)
Dr. Poddar is an Endocrinologist and Obesity medicine specialist in Toronto, Ontario. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. Dr. Poddar serves as the Medical Director of the Medical Weight Management Centre of Canada (MWMCC) and the Clinical Director of the LMC Weight Management Program. As a lead author and co-author, she has contributed to various resources on obesity education, including the McMaster textbook of internal medicine and the 2020 Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines. Dr. Poddar conducts research as a principal investigator in randomized control trials focusing on type 2 diabetes and obesity. She is dedicated to mentoring healthcare providers in obesity management and clinical development, both nationally and globally, and is a passionate advocate for patients living with obesity.

Jean-François Tanguay, MD, FRCPC, FCCS, FACC, FAHA, FESC
(Université de Montréal)
Dr. Tanguay is an expert in Interventional Cardiology with a strong interest in translational research. He is involved in undergraduate and postgraduate medical training and CME education. Dr. Tanguay is Director of the Interventional Cardiology Division at the MHI and Clinical Cardiologist, combining work in the emergency room, the coronary care unit, the outpatient clinic and the catheterization laboratory (1995-ongoing). He is Director of the MD-PhD and Interventional Cardiology Training Programs and professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal.
His research is focus on understanding the interactions between platelets, leukocytes and endothelial cells in order to improve vascular healing. Dr. Tanguay’s investigations brought promising discoveries related to 17beta-estradiol and the specific contribution of estrogen receptors in vascular healing. During his research fellowship, Dr Tanguay studied the early prototypes of bioresorbable drug eluting stents platforms in pre-clinical and thrombosis models. With his colleagues at MHI, he performed the first coronary implantation of a drug-eluting bioresorbable scaffold (ABSORBTM) in North-America.
He has authored and co-authored more than 300 scientific publications, abstracts and books chapters. His current research interests focus on improving vascular healing, stabilizing vulnerable plaque and reducing restenosis.

Harriette Van Spall, MD, MPH, FRCPC
(McMaster University)
Dr. Van Spall completed her medical and postgraduate clinical training at the University of Toronto, and earned a Master of Public Health degree at Harvard University. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine and cardiologist, and serves as Director of E-Health at McMaster University. Dr. Van Spall is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded clinical trialist and researcher with a focus on Heart Failure, health services, and health disparities. She has garnered more than $6 million in research funding, has won several research awards, and has published her work in high-impact medical journals. She is an invited speaker, media correspondent, and editorial board member active in peer review at several high impact medications journals and grant funding agencies, including Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Atul Verma, MD, FRCPC
(McGill University Health Centre)
Dr. Verma is the director of cardiology for the McGill University Health Centre and is also the Isadore Rosenfeld Chair in Cardiology. He is an electrophysiologist with an interest in complex ablation, particularly for AF and VT; new technologies; and clinical trials. He has over 300 peer-reviewed publications including in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and the Lancet. He is currently an international expert in pulsed field ablation and other novel technologies for cardiac ablation. He has also served as Chair or on the Writing Committee of both national and international guidelines for AF.

Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD
(Stanford University School of Medicine)
Dr. Wu is Director of Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Simon H. Stertzer, MD, Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Stanford University. Dr. Wu received his MD from Yale University and PhD (Molecular & Medical Pharmacology) at UCLA. He is board certified in cardiovascular medicine.
His lab works on cardiovascular genomics and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The main goals are to (i) understand basic disease mechanisms, (ii) accelerate drug discovery via “clinical trial in a dish” concept, and (iii) implement precision medicine for patients. Dr. Wu has published >500 manuscripts with H-index of 122 on Google scholar. He is listed as top 0.1% of highly cited researchers by Web of Science for past 5 years (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022).
Dr. Wu has received NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, NIH Roadmap Transformative Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) given out by President Obama at the White House, American Heart Association (AHA) Distinguished Scientist Award, AHA Merit Award, and Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Innovation in Regulatory Science Award. Dr. Wu serves on the FDA Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee. He is on the Board of the Keystone Symposia. He is the incoming President of the American Heart Association starting July 2023.
Dr. Wu is an elected member of American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), Association of University Cardiologists (AUC), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Association of Physicians (AAP), Academia Sinica (Taiwan), National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Trainees (2023)

Catherine Boutet, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Boutet is a PGY5 Adult Cardiology fellow at the University of Alberta. Originally from New Brunswick, she completed her undergraduate degrees in Biopharmaceutical Science and in Nursing in Ottawa, Ontario. She then completed her medical degree in Ottawa and internal medicine residency at McGill, for which she became the chief medical resident at the Montreal General Hospital. She is currently completing her general cardiology residency in Edmonton, Alberta and has recently accepted a fellowship position in Interventional Cardiology at the University of Toronto – Sunnybrook hospital for 2024. In addition to her residency training, she is currently completing a Master of Translation Medicine at the University of Alberta, with her thesis focusing on women cardiovascular health. In addition, she holds many leaderships position including being on the PARA and AMA executive board and is currently the chief cardiology resident at the University of Alberta. Outside of medicine, she does enjoy spending time with her family and has recently taken up golf.

Rebecca Crosier, MD
Dr. Crosier is a sixth-year cardiology resident at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. She will be starting her fellowship in echocardiography in July, also in Ottawa. She is interested in Women's Cardiovascular Health and prevention and rehab.

Jayant Kakarla, MBBS
Dr. Kakarla is a senior electrophysiology fellow at the Toronto General Hospital. He has previously trained in electrophysiology and adult congenital heart disease at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom. His primary interest is the pathogenesis and treatment of arrhythmias in the congenital heart disease population.

Varinder Kaur Randhawa, MD, PhD
Dr. Randhawa is completing critical care fellowship training at the University of Toronto Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, having completed MD-PhD, internal medicine, core cardiology, heart failure-transplant cardiology and post-doctoral clinical and translational research training at the University of Toronto, Western University and Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She currently serves as the International Society Heart Lung Transplant (ISHLT) Cardiogenic Shock Task Force Section Co-Chair on Systems of Care, the Canadian Journal of Cardiology Associate Editor for Critical Care Cardiology, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Trainee Committee Chair, and a member of various groups including the Guidelines Knowledge Translation Working Group, the CANCARE Society, the Canadian Heart Failure Society, the Canadian Cardiac Transplant Network, and the Canadian Society for Echocardiography. She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and 117 academic talks or workshops focused cardiovascular critical care healthcare disparities, device support and digital health tools, and shock-resuscitation sciences outcomes at local, national and international conferences. She has held the Canadian Institutes Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral and Kostuk Research Awards and a CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grant on gender diversity amongst other accolades. She is a mixed media artist, an avid soccer fan, and a doting aunt to her niece Victoria. Her academic journey thus far positions her uniquely at the intersection of cardiovascular medicine and critical care for the care and research of patients with complex life-threatening cardiovascular and critical care illnesses. She aspires to be an academic cardiac-intensivist and clinician-researcher in this space with a focus on evaluating health services outcomes and disparities with an equity diversity and inclusion (EDI) lens.

Ismail Raed Raslan, MD, FRCPC, MSc
Dr. Ismail Raed Raslan obtained a Master's in Translational Medicine in Cardiology from the University of Alberta. He underwent Internal Medicine training and served as the chief resident at McGill University later completed his Cardiology training and held the position of chief resident at the University of Toronto.
Currently, Dr. Raslan serves as the chief clinical fellow in advanced heart failure and heart transplant at the University Health Network and serves as the Trainee Board Member for the Canadian Heart Failure Society and as the Ajmera Multiorgan Transplant Program Fellow Wellness Lead.

Alexandra Saunders, MD
Dr. Saunders is a PGY6 Adult Cardiology fellow. She was originally born in Alberta, but have lived in New Brunswick for most of her life and was able to complete the majority of her post-secondary training there. She went to University of New Brunswick and then to Dalhousie University's NB campus for both medical school and Internal Medicine Residency. She returned to Alberta for Cardiology residency, and have been lucky enough to be accepted here for Echo fellowship as well. In addition to Echo, her other areas of interest are Pulmonary Hypertension and Cardio-obstetrics. And outside of the hospital, she likes to decompress by spending time with her husband, family, and friends, and doing yoga and painting.

Keiler Totz, MD
Dr. Keiler Totz is current PGY 4 Cardiology trainee at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute interested in cardiometabolic disease and cardiac prevention and rehabilitation. Completed undergraduate training in chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge and medical school and internal medicine residency at the University of Calgary.

Rudy Unni, MD
Dr. Unni is a cardiology resident at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He completed medical school at McMaster Medical School, followed by Internal Medicine training at the University of Ottawa. Next year, he will be starting an advanced echocardiography fellowship at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. His clinical interests include echocardiography in cardiac critical care, valvular heart disease, and heart failure. Outside of hospital, he enjoys biking, photography, and basketball.

Program Directors


Chief Scientific Officer/VP of Research, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa



Associate Dean for Research and Clinical Trials, Cedars Sinai California



Professor of Medicine
Director, Division of Cardiology
University of Alberta and Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute


About us

The Toronto Ottawa Heart Summit has held successful symposia for the last 25 years. Join us at our next event where we will celebrate our 26th anniversary.

Opt-in/Opt-out of Email Lists

In compliance with anti-spam initiatives: