Thierry Mesana, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Thierry Mesana is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. A native of France, he is recognized as one of the leading heart valve surgeons in the world. He received his medical degree at the Université de la Méditerranée, Marseilles, where he trained in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. He received his PhD in biophysics and biomechanics at the same university after extensive experimental work on artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices.
In 1991, Dr. Mesana was, at the time, the youngest cardiac surgeon in France to receive a full professorship. He then became the Chair of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at La Timone University Hospital, the largest hospital in Marseilles, where he introduced a number of advanced techniques and greatly expanded the cardiac surgery program. He was Visiting Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1996 to 1997.
Dr. Mesana was appointed Division Head, Cardiac Surgery at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2001. In this role through 2012, he led significant changes in the Division of Cardiac Surgery. Under his leadership, the Institute’s valve repair program has become recognized as one of the best in the world. He has authored over 300 scientific publications and has been an invited lecturer in many national and international symposia.
Rob S. B. Beanlands, MD, FRCPC
Deputy Director General
Dr. Rob Beanlands is deputy director general at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He received his MD from the University of Ottawa in 1983 (gold medallist). He is a cardiologist and an international leader in cardiovascular nuclear imaging as well as the founding Director of the Heart Institute’s National Cardiac PET Centre, the only PET facility in Canada dedicated to cardiovascular disease.
He is a Career Investigator supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and is the Tier 1 Chair in Cardiovascular Imaging Research (uOttawa). His research focus on the hearts metabolism, flow and cellular function has led to pioneering translational work that has impacted the understanding of disease mechanisms, applications in patient care, health policy and guidelines in imaging. He has led several multicentre imaging research initiatives (PARR2, IMAGE-HF, CADRE Registry and is a Co-PI for the Canadian Atherosclerotic Imaging Network (CAIN)). He has more than 225 peer reviewed publications in this field. He has served on several committees/advisory boards for government, industry and professional organizations impacting healthcare policies and practice guidelines and serves as an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. He is a Professor in the Division of Cardiology (Department of Medicine), Department of Radiology and Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Beanlands is past-president of the Canadian Nuclear Cardiology Society, past Ontario Governor for the American College of Cardiology and was the Scientific Program Chair and Annual Meeting Chair for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. He is currently the chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Scientific Review Committee, Treasurer of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and Co-Chair of the International Congress on Nuclear Cardiology and CT imaging. Recent Awards include Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) for Contributions to Canada, Hermann Blumgart Research Achievement Award for the Society of Nuclear Medicine (2013) and Canadian Cardiovascular Society Research Achievement Award (2015).
Dr David Birnie, BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MRCP(UK), MD
Division Head, Cardiology
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Tier 1 Clinical Research Chair, University of Ottawa
Dr. David Birnie is the Division Head of Cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He was educated in Scotland and received his medical degree (MB ChB) from the Glasgow University in 1990. Dr. Birnie was recruited to the Heart Institute in 2002 as staff cardiac electrophysiologist (EP) and clinician investigator. He was later appointed as Deputy Chief of the Division of Cardiology of the Heart Institute.
Dr. Birnie is a Tier 1 Clinical Research Chair at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa. His major ongoing research interests are cardiac sarcoidosis, selection and optimization of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for heart failure patients, investigating optimal strategies for complication reduction around EP procedures. Dr. Birnie has been involved in over 500 peer-reviewed presentations, publications, and book chapters.
His clinical focus is on all aspects of cardiac EP including radiofrequency ablation of simple and complex arrhythmias and implantation and follow-up of device therapy. Dr. Birnie is the founding member of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society and he was elected to the executive committee of the World Association of Sarcoidosis (WASOG) in 2020.
Thais Coutinho, MD
Division Head, Prevention and Rehabilitation
Chair, Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Dr. Thais Coutinho is Division Head of Prevention and Rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. In addition, she is chair of the Heart Institute’s Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre. Dr. Coutinho received her MD from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2004. Shortly after, she moved to Rochester, Minnesota, USA to pursue training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Vascular Medicine, advanced Echocardiography and research at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Coutinho has had many presentations at national and international meetings and has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts in the field of Cardiovascular Diseases. She has received numerous awards, including the American Heart Association’s Young Investigator and Women in Cardiology Awards, the American College of Cardiology’s Young Investigator Award (2nd place), Mayo Clinic’s Summerskill Award for Research by a Fellow with a Clinical Appointment, and the Mayo Clinic’s Cardiovascular Division Outstanding Achievement Award. She is also board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Vascular Medicine and Echocardiography.
Peter Liu, MD, FRCPC
Chief Scientific Officer
Vice President, Research
Dr. Liu is the Scientific Director at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He received his MD and completed his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Toronto General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Liu was the inaugural Director of the Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence at the University of Toronto. He also held the position of Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Liu currently sits on the Science and Policy Council for the World Heart Federation and is the director of several large-scale international research programs.
Dr. Liu has over 350 peer-reviewed publications, many in the most celebrated journals in the world, and his publications have been cited over 20,000 times. In recognition of his outstanding commitment to research, Dr. Liu has received numerous awards, including the Research Achievement Award and the Life Time Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Rick Gallop Award of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health Distinguished Lecture Award of CIHR.
Bernard McDonald, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Division Head, Cardiac Anesthesiology
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa
Dr. Bernard McDonald is the Division Head of Cardiac Anesthesiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He earned both his MD and a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. Dr. McDonald then completed his anesthesia residency at the University of Ottawa, obtaining his Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) in Anesthesiology. He subsequently completed a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. McDonald joined the Heart Institute as a member of the Division of Cardiac Anesthesiology in 2002. From 2009 to 2021, he served as Medical Director of the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit where he continues to attend as a Critical Care Physician. Dr. McDonald is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Ottawa. His academic interests include applied cardiovascular physiology, long-term outcomes post cardiac critical illness, and novel pharmaconutrition interventions in the critically ill. He continues to lead and participate in multiple clinical trials of perioperative care interventions in critically ill cardiac surgical patients.
Marc Ruel, MD, MPH, FRCSC
Division Head, Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Marc Ruel is the Division Head of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He received his MD degree from the University of Ottawa in 1994 and his Royal College specialist certification in cardiac surgery in 2000. He subsequently pursued a combined fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and laboratory research at Harvard University, where he also completed a Masters in Public Health. Dr. Ruel is a professor in the Department of Surgery (primary affiliation) and the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (cross-appointed affiliation) at the University of Ottawa. A seasoned heart surgeon, innovator and researcher, Dr. Ruel served a leading role in developing and promoting minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery worldwide. He has published approximately 400 scientific papers and book chapters and is a recipient of numerous awards. The laboratory research program that Dr. Ruel started at the beginning of his career has expanded tremendously and achieved marked translational impact. Dr. Ruel is the president of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS), one of the most respected medical societies in the world. Since the CCS was created in 1947, only three other surgeons – including the Heart Institute’s founder Dr. Wilbert Keon -have previously held this role.
Bonnie Bowes, RN, BScN, MHScN
Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
Quality, Risk and Health Information
Bonnie Bowes obtained her undergraduate and Master of Nursing Science degrees in Australia at the University of Western Sydney and Charles Sturt University and holds specialty certifications in critical care and cardiovascular nursing. She has extensive education and experience in quality processes, performance measure, and risk management.
Bonnie Bowes joined the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2001, holding roles as a clinical nurse, clinical nurse educator, Epic project site lead and director of quality, risk and privacy. She sits on several regional and national committees focusing on quality, risk management and cardiac practice. She has been an active member of the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses as a presenter and former committee member.
Diana Burns, CPA, CA
Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration
Chief Financial Officer
Diana Burns is the Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and its related entities, the Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation.
She has over 15 years of progressive financial management and leadership experience in both the private and public sector. Prior to joining the Heart Institute, Diana Burns was the Director of Financial Services at Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa where she was responsible for working with Ontario Health and other key stakeholders on operational planning and reporting, leading external audits, and providing support to the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. She has a strong accounting background having worked with KPMG LLP both in Canada and Australia.
Diana Burns graduated with Honours from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. She is a certified professional accountant (CPA).
Vice President, Public Affairs
Chief Communications Officer
Andrée Dumulon is the former Executive Director of the Communications Directorate at the University of Ottawa and has a strong background in creating and implementing strategic communications plans, promotional campaigns and media activities.
Ms. Dumulon’s wide and varied career in communications has taken her from the Canadian Council on Smoking and Health to the National Research Council, where she served as communications adviser to the president. Her roles have provided considerable experience in the health care sector within allied segments such as the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Centre for Drug Free Sport and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Erika MacPhee, RN, MHScN
Vice President, Clinical Operations
Erika MacPhee graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario with a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree and completed her Master of Health Sciences Nursing degree at Charles Sturt University in Australia.
She joined the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1991, working in many different roles, including as a nursing coordinator, nurse educator, regional cardiac care coordinator, and most recently as the advanced practice nurse for the Cardiac Virtual Care program and clinical manager of the Heart Function Clinic.
Erika MacPhee is a member of the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses Association and is a registered nurse with the College of Nurses of Ontario.
Executive Director, UOHI Foundation
Vice President, Philanthropy
Chief Advancement Officer
Lianne Laing comes to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation with a background in media and communications. She spent 20 years working in broadcast television with CTV/Bell Media as a reporter, anchor and host. She spent the last decade working in television as the host of CTV Morning Live.
An Ottawa native, Ms. Laing has served and chaired on several boards, including the Snowsuit Fund and Youth Services Bureau, and she is a former ambassador of The Ottawa Senators Foundation. Over the last 20 years, she has hosted and emceed hundreds of events, helping raise funds and awareness for dozens of charities and campaigns. The United Way of Ottawa recognized her with a Community Builder Award.
As an entrepreneur and health and wellness advocate, Ms. Laing’s company “Living Your Life with Lianne Laing” allowed her to continue her passion for storytelling, speaking and writing. Her podcast educates, entertains and inspires her listeners to make informed choices to live longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives. Guests and listeners tune in to the podcast from around the world. Her incredible network of experts hit on limitless topics related to healthy living, both physically and mentally, and spiritually as well.
Ms. Laing, a former Canadian elite gymnast, received a full NCAA Scholarship to the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and graduated with two business degrees.
Timothy Zakutney, MHSc, PEng, CCE, FCMBES
Senior Vice President, Digital Health and Cardiac Technology
Chief Information and Technology Officer
Timothy Zakutney is a Professional Engineer with a specialty in Systems Design from the University of Waterloo along with a Masters in Health Science in Clinical Engineering from the University of Toronto. With over 20 years’ experience in providing leadership and guidance surrounding medical and biomedical technology issues for healthcare, his portfolio of responsibilities include Information Technology, Cardiac Imaging, Biomedical Engineering, Facilities and Capital Projects, Radiation Safety, Radiochemistry. Timothy oversees the synergies between Digital Health and Advanced Cardiac Technologies Management for both the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation to achieve outstanding patient care, cardiovascular research, and education.
Timothy is an internationally Certified Clinical Engineer (CCE). He serves on several boards and committees. He is a member of and is former chair of the Canadian Board of Examiners for Clinical Engineering Certification. He is a member of the Canadian Medical & Biological Engineering Society (CMBES) and the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE). In fact, he was awarded the Outstanding Canadian Biomedical Engineer of the Year Awards in 2008 by the CMBES for his exceptional contribution. Timothy is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University and has been published in numerous reviewed journals.