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Overview

Dr. Robert Roberts was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2004. He is also Director of the  Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre at the Heart Institute and retains an Adjunct Professorship of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Roberts is a major national and international educator and spokesman for molecular genetics and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Genomics Institute; the Board of Directors of the Fields Institute, Research in Mathematical Sciences; and the Medical Advisory Board for the Gairdner Foundation.

Background

Dr. Roberts received his MD from Dalhousie University in Halifax and completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Cardiology at the University of Toronto. Funded by a Canadian Heart Foundation Scholarship, he pursued research in enzymology and cardiac metabolism at the University of California, San Diego, following which he was Director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Washington University. In 1982, he assumed the position as Chief of Cardiology at Baylor.

On moving to the Heart Institute, he founded the Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre, where he initiated a large multicentre study in pursuit of genes responsible for coronary artery disease. In recognition of this effort, Dr. Roberts and his co-investigators were awarded a $12 million grant by the Canada Foundation for Innovation in 2006.

Dr. Roberts has held several leadership roles with the National Institutes of Health: He was involved in the Cardiovascular Study Section of the Cardiology Advisory Committee and Advisory Council in 2000 to 2001. Similarly, he has played an active leadership role with the AHA, including serving as Chair of the Study Section for Physiology and Pathophysiology; Member of the National Scientific Sessions Committee; Vice Chair and Chair of the Research Planning Evaluation Committee; Member of the Board of Directors and Vice President. For the ACC, he has served as Chair of the Scientific Sessions; Member of the Board of Trustees; and Chair of the Grant Review Section.

For over 15 years, he has chaired and participated in a Molecular Biology core curriculum course at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC). As Director of the Bugher Foundation Center for Molecular Biology of the Cardiovascular System and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Training Programs at Baylor College of Medicine, he trained more than 40 molecular cardiologists.  As one of the founders of molecular cardiology, he is recognized as a leader in the research and practice of cardiology worldwide.

Dr. Roberts has had a distinguished and prolific career as a Cardiologist, Educator and Scientist having published over 850 scientific articles, including Hurst's The Heart, for which he serves as Associate Editor. Dr. Roberts is the Editor of Current Opinion in Cardiology and a member of the Editorial Board of several prestigious cardiology journals. He has lectured throughout the world, and delivered many notable plenary addresses, both nationally and internationally, including giving the Simon Dack Presidential Plenary Address at the ACC Scientific Sessions in 2002, titled "Cardiovascular Genetics in the 21st Century" and the Keynote Speaker, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, State–of–the–Art Lecture in 2005, titled “Molecular Genetics and the Future of Cardiology”, Montreal, Quebec.

In 2012 Dr. Roberts was honoured by his alma mater, Dalhousie University, with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (2012 October) and has received many awards including the 2012 Research Achievement Award from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society; 2012 Distinguished Fellowship Award from the International Academy of Cardiology; McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada and the Albrecht Fleckenstein Memorial Award from the International Academy of Cardiology in 2008; Master of the American College of Cardiology in 2007; Robert Beamish Leadership Award in 2005; Lifetime Achievement Award, Memorial University in 2004; Citation for Highly Cited Researcher from ISI Thomson Scientific in 2002; Award of Meritorious Achievement from the AHA in 2001; Alumnus of the Year Award 2001, Dalhousie University; and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology in 1998.