May 7, 2012, marked the 25th Annual Research Day at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Started in 1988, the event offers trainees and junior staff the opportunity to present their research to their peers in a competitive setting. With more than 75 presentations in basic science, clinical science, and allied and population health, this year’s program was the largest to date.
“The research we do here helps make the outstanding care we provide possible and is shaping the way those young professionals will provide patient care in the future.” – Dr. Robert Roberts President and CEO, UOHI
“Research Day represents our commitment to excellence in care, research and education,” said Dr. Robert Roberts, Heart Institute President and CEO. “We are proud to be training the next generation of cardiovascular professionals. The research we do here helps make the outstanding care we provide possible and is shaping the way those young professionals will provide patient care in the future.”
The Heart Institute is recognized for the quality of its research. The recent SCIMAGO Institutions Rankings place the Heart Institute in the top 2 per cent of all research organizations worldwide for normalized research impact. “Our plans to grow the research endowment from $50 million to $100 million and expand the number of endowed fellowships from 13 to 25 will provide a solid foundation for our research program in years to come,” continued Dr. Roberts.
In recognition of the quarter-century milestone, a retrospective of research at the Heart Institute was presented by Research Day co-founder Dr. Terrence Ruddy and scientist Yves Marcel, recipient of the Royal Society of Canada’s McLaughlin Medal. The keynote address was given by Dr. Peter Backx, Chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s Scientific Review Committee.
Heart Institute Investigator of the Year awards are part of the Research Day program. Yves Marcel received the Basic Science award. His lab discovered a cellular process that helps clear cholesterol from the body and offers a new target for preventing and treating coronary artery disease. This work was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. Dr. Derek So won the clinical science award. He led the RAPID GENE clinical trial that validated the first-ever bedside genetic test, which was used to personalize anti-platelet therapy for stent patients. Those findings were published recently in The Lancet (see below).