Promising scientist comes back to Ottawa and sets up lab at the Heart Institute

OTTAWA, March 24, 2017 — The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) and University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine are proud to welcome Mireille Ouimet, PhD, as the director of the Cardiovascular Metabolism and Cell Biology Laboratory. Dr. Ouimet hails from New York University where she was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kathryn Moore, a prominent leader in the field of atherosclerosis.

As director of the Cardiovascular Metabolism and Cell Biology Laboratory based at UOHI, Dr. Ouimet’s research program focuses on cellular cholesterol trafficking and the role of autophagy (the way cells recycle their components). As lipid accumulation is the root of coronary artery disease, finding a way to limit or even reverse that accumulation by stimulating autophagy could potentially treat heart disease in an innovative way.

Dr. Ouimet obtained her BSc and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. During her doctoral studies with Dr. Yves Marcel at the Heart Institute, Dr. Ouimet made several important findings relevant to the cellular pathways of cholesterol removal from foam cells, her most significant contribution being the discovery of autophagy as a key pathway for macrophage cholesterol efflux.

Dr. Ouimet was awarded the CIHR Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal in 2011 for her doctoral thesis in recognition of her graduate work and is the recipient of several presentation awards. She is the recipient of the American Heart Association’s Early Career Investigator Award and New York University’s Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award.

“We are so proud that we are able to repatriate Dr. Ouimet back to Canada, the University of Ottawa and UOHI, when many globally competing institutions are also making attractive offers”, commented Dr. Peter Liu, Chief Scientific Officer at the Heart Institute. “As a leading edge young scientist, she brings unique tools and novel concepts to our rapidly expanding research team here at the Heart Institute. Dr. Ouimet will foster new collaborations locally and internationally. She will also identify pathways for innovation in the search for new treatments for cardiovascular disease”.

“Dr. Ouimet is a leader in the realm of cardiovascular disease research and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be of incredible value to both the University of Ottawa and UOHI,” says Dr. Jacques Bradwejn, Dean of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine. “We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Ouimet back into our fold and excited to see what lies ahead in her promising career. ”

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada’s largest and foremost heart health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. UOHI delivers high-tech care with a personal touch, shapes the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced and revolutionizes cardiac treatment and understanding. It builds knowledge through research and translates discoveries into advanced care. UOHI serves the local, national and international community, and is pioneering a new era in heart health.

The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Its campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. It is one of Canada’s top 10 research universities— where professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 3 00 in the world, the University of Ottawa attracts exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.


Judith Lachance
Promotion and Communication Officer
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
613-798-5555 (17793)
613-806-0188 (cell)

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