Our Past Visionaries

These individuals truly embodied the vision of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, making outstanding contributions not only to the Institute, but to the knowledge and practice of cardiovascular medicine.

Robert RobertsRobert Roberts, MD

President and CEO, 2004-14

In 2004, Dr. Robert Roberts took over leadership of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute with a mandate to build on the remarkable achievements of founder Dr. Wilbert Keon by raising the national and international profile of the organization and expanding its research program. As a leading scientist and a founder of cardiovascular genetics, Dr. Roberts quickly made research central to the mission of the Institute. During his tenure, the Heart Institute made numerous broadly influential scientific discoveries and advances in clinical practice, placing it in the top tier of research organizations worldwide. In addition, Dr. Roberts’ legacy includes presiding over substantial growth in clinical programs and securing funding for the construction of our new building.



Adolfo de BoldAdolfo de Bold, PhD

Director of Research, 1986-1993
Director, Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory, 1986-2014

Dr. Adolfo de Bold is a key figure in the history of cardiovascular research. His discovery that the heart is not just a passive pump, but produces hormones that actively regulate the cardiovascular system was a watershed that established a whole new area of study. Throughout his career at the Heart Institute, Dr. de Bold built on his discovery of atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) and elucidated the heart’s endocrine function. In 1986, he established the Research Centre, helping to formally establish the Heart Institute’s research program.




Donald BeanlandsDonald Beanlands, MD

Chief of Cardiology, 1977-96
Staff Cardiologist, 1977-2008

As the founding Chief of Cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Dr. Don Beanlands built the cardiology division from a small group to an internationally recognized centre of excellence for cardiovascular care and training. Widely regarded for his devotion to patients and as an unparalleled educator, Dr. Beanlands fostered the culture of excellence that pervades the Heart Institute today. The recipient of numerous awards for teaching and career achievement, his influence is felt across Canada in the many students he mentored that now hold leadership roles around the country.




Wilbert KeonWilbert Keon, MD

Founder, President and CEO, 1976-2004

Dr. Wilbert Keon founded the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1976, realizing his vision of a comprehensive, integrated centre for cardiovascular medicine. Through his leadership and spirit of innovation, the Heart Institute grew to be recognized as a national leader in the treatment of heart disease, cardiovascular research and medical education.

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