Scientific Conference

Conference Chair

Lisa Mielniczuk, MD, FRCPC

Staff Cardiologist, Division of Cardiology;
Medical Director, Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic;
Medical Director, Telehealth Home Monitoring Program;
Director, Heart Failure Program;
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine,
University of Ottawa

Background: Dr. Lisa Mielniczuk graduated medical school from McMaster University in 1998 and then completed internal medicine training at Queen's University in Kingston and a cardiology residency at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Following her cardiology training, Dr. Mielniczuk pursed a fellowship in heart failure and cardiac transplantation at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and a Masters of Science Degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Mielniczuk's research interests include clinical outcomes related to heart failure and pulmonary hypertension and the evaluation of myocardial energetics in right heart failure. She currently holds clinical and basic science grants from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada evaluating right ventricular metabolism in pulmonary hypertension. She is also co-investigator of the CIHR IMAGE HEART FAILURE team grant and co-investigator on studies evaluating cardiac energetics using C-11-acetate in patients with heart failure and sleep apnea being randomized to CPAP vs. standard therapy. She has over 36 peer reviewed publications and 50 abstracts presented at scientific meetings.


Conference Co-Chair

Peter Liu, MD, FRCPC

Chief Scientific Officer / Vice President Research;
Research Director, Cardiac Function Laboratory;
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Professor, Faculty of Medicine,
University of Ottawa

Professor, Faculty of Medicine,
University of Toronto

Background: Dr. Liu received his MD and completed his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School. Formerly, as the inaugural Director of the Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence at the University of Toronto, Dr. Liu successfully fostered collaboration amongst researchers from various institutions, while increasing the impact of publications. Subsequently, as Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health at CIHR, Dr. Liu launched national networks in imaging, clinical trials and knowledge translation and fostered national and international research networks. Dr. Liu was recruited as Scientific Director to UOHI in 2014 and has designed the Ottawa Region Cardiovascular Research Strategy (ORACLE) and is implementing it in stages.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Liu directs several large-scale national and international research programs. Dr. Liu, and his team, holds a number of peer reviewed grants including recently being awarded a Genome Canada grant, in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics, for a project aimed at improving heart failure care in hospitals around the world. Dr. Liu has been recognized with numerous awards, including both the Research Achievement Award and the Life Time Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society; the Rick Gallop Award of the Heart & Stroke Foundation; the Institute of Circulatory & Respiratory Health Distinguished Lecture Award of CIHR; and the Margolese Award from UBC, amongst others.

Scientific Committee:

Balwant Tuana, PhD

Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine,
University of Ottawa

Background: Dr. Tuana earned a BSc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Liverpool (UK) and a PhD degree in Physiology (cardiovascular function) from University of Manitoba, Winnipeg followed by post-doctoral training at the Best Institute, University of Toronto with Dr. David MacLennan in the field of muscle biology and calcium signalling. He joined the Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto at the Assistant Professor level and moved to University of Ottawa to become Professor of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Tuana’s lab has identified several novel genes in the cardiovascular system and studies are focused on defining their role in cardiac remodelling, failure and hypertension using genetically engineered animal models.


Duncan Stewart, MD, FRCPC

CEO & Scientific Director;
Senior Scientist, Regenerative Medicine Program;
Evelyne and Rowell Laishley Chair;
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Vice President, Research,
The Ottawa Hospital
Professor, Department of Medicine,
University of Ottawa

Background: After beginning his career in academic cardiology at McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Stewart moved to Toronto as Head of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital and later became Director of the Division of Cardiology and Executive Director of the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine at the University of Toronto. He was recruited to lead the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) in 2007.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Stewart is a pioneering Canadian cardiovascular researcher, recognized for his many important discoveries in blood vessel biology, as well as his dedication to translating these discoveries into benefits for patients and society. Dr. Stewart has published more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has received a number of distinctions and prizes, including the Dexter Man Chair of Cardiology and Research Achievement Award of the University of Toronto, and the Research Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Throughout his career, Dr. Stewart has demonstrated leadership in bringing diverse groups of clinicians and scientists together to put Canada on the world stage for translational cardiovascular and regenerative medicine research.

Gordon Moe, MSc, MD

Director of Heart Failure Program,
St. Michael’s Hospital

Co-Chair/Chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Consensus Conference Guidelines of Heart Failure 2010-2014

President, Chinese Canadian Council,
Heart and Stroke Foundation

Professor, Department of Medicine,
University of Toronto

Background: Dr. Moe obtained his MD from University of Toronto and received internal medicine training in University of Toronto and cardiology training in Queen’s University. Dr. Moe is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physician of Canada and a Fellow of the Hong Kong College of Cardiology, Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Moe completed research training at the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Moe’s research interests include: translational research; cardiac remodelling and biomarkers in heart failure; ethnicity and cardiovascular disease.


Haissam Haddad, MD, FRCPC, FACC

Director, Heart Failure Program;
Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program;
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Vice President, Medical Staff,
The Ottawa Hospital

Professor, Faculty of Medicine,
University of Ottawa

Following a family medicine practice in Syria, Dr. Haddad immigrated to Canada and trained in Internal Medicine at Dalhousie University and successfully completed his Cardiology training at the University of Alberta. In 1997, Dr. Haddad joined the Division of Cardiology at Dalhousie University and was Medical Director of the Heart Transplant Program and Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Dr. Haddad was recruited to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2001. Dr. Haddad was a member of the Primary Panel of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society's consensus conferences on the management of heart failure (2001-2010), on heart transplantation in adults (2003) and on heart transplantation in pediatrics (2005). He also chaired the Society's consensus conference for heart transplant in 2008-2009. Dr. Haddad was the chair of The Canadian Cardiac Transplant Group, 2006- 08. He is currently the Vice President of the Canadian Heart Failure Association. He is the founder of the annual educational meeting for The Canadian Cardiac Transplant programs (Ottawa 2008, Calgary 2009, Quebec City 2010).

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Haddad has earned numerous prestigious awards, namely the Anemia Institute for Research and Education Award in 2005, and the 1st Award Prize in the International Competition of the American College of Physicians in 2000.


Heather Sherrard, BScN, MHA

Executive Vice President Clinical Operations;
Chief Nursing Officer,
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Background: Heather Sherrard obtained her BScN (Nursing) at the University of Saskatchewan and her Masters in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa. She is a senior health care administrator and researcher with 30 years experience in nursing and 20 years in senior health care management. She has held a variety of clinical and administrative positions in the acute care hospital sector, most of which have been in the area of cardiovascular care. Ms. Sherrard holds positions on a number of provincial committees dealing with issues related to cardiac care including: implementation of best practices; development of quality based procedure funding and transplantation. She has served on a number of Boards including the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario; eHealth Ontario and the Ontario Health Services Network. She is a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

Research Interests / Achievements: Her ongoing research interests are in health services related to cardiac care. Her current research includes studies on the use of technology to enable care and the implementation and spread of best practices.


Joel Niznick, MD, FRCPC

Staff Cardiologist,
The Ottawa Hospital

Background: Dr. Niznick completed his medical training at the University of Manitoba. He undertook internal medicine training at the University of Toronto and completed his cardiology training at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1986. Dr. Niznick has been in practice since 1986 attending at the Riverside Hospital and served as Director of the ICU for the hospital's last eight years. He is Managing Partner of the Ottawa Cardiovascular Centre.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Niznick's main areas of clinical interest include cardiovascular risk reduction and clinical evidence dissemination and implementation. He has designed and developed the Continuing Medical Implementation website which is a premier knowledge translation site for cardiovascular disease management. He has developed and deployed the Lipid Optimization Tool Database which is used to audit cholesterol control and practice performance at Ottawa Cardiovascular Center (OCC). Dr. Niznick has participated in Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Consensus Conference Panels on Heart Failure (Primary Panel), Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly (Primary Panel) where he authored the chapter on Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly, the Consensus Conference-Fitness for Flying and Driving (Secondary Panel) and the Consensus Conference on Refractory Angina.


Jonathan Howlett, MD, FRCPC

Canadian Heart Failure Society

Director of Heart Failure,
Foothills Medical Centre

Clinical Professor,
University of Calgary

Background: Dr. Howlett attended and graduated from Medical School at the University of Toronto in 1989. He went on to train in Internal Medicine and Cardiology Fellowship at Dalhousie University in from 1989-1994 and continued with Fellowship studies at the Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults, University of Toronto from 1994-1995. Dr. Howlett was on active staff at the Dalhousie University and the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre from September 1995 to August 2008, where he developed the first Heart Failure Program and was Medical Director of the QE II Heart Function and Transplantation Clinic. He also pioneered, in Halifax, the only Congenital Interventional Program east of Quebec.

Research Interests / Achievements: His current activities include clinical research in heart failure, as well as evaluation of health care delivery and outcomes and knowledge translation. Dr. Howlett initiated and led the 2.8 M study, A Strategy of Telehomecare for the Treatment of Heart Failure (STARTEL), a multicentre Canadian study evaluating the impact of telehomecare treatment for heart failure patients with issues of difficult access to care in Atlantic Canada. He serves on several International Clinical Trial Steering and Executive Committees, as reviewer for numerous medical journals and national funding agencies. He serves on several international consensus guideline committees such as for the European Society for Cardiology, Heart Failure society of America, American College of Cardiology, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the North American Society for Electrophysiology and Pacing. Dr. Howlett has over 110 peer reviewed articles published.


Justin Ezekowitz, MBBCh, FRCPC

AI-HS Population Health Investigator

Canadian VIGOUR Centre

Director, Heart Function Clinic,
Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine,
University of Alberta

Background: Dr. Justin Ezekowitz completed medical training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He completed his medical residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, Texas and then returned to Canada to complete a heart failure fellowship and research training with Dr. Paul Armstrong and Dr. Finlay McAlister. He also completed a Masters of Science in clinical epidemiology at the University of Alberta Public Health Sciences and cardiology fellowship at the University of Alberta.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Ezekowitz dedicates 75% of his time to clinical research in order to improve the process of care, quality of care and outcomes for patients with heart failure. He is involved in numerous clinical trials in heart failure both as a site investigator, steering committee as well as the design and conduct of multicenter international trials. Primary interests include clinical research into heart failure with a preserved systolic function, population health of heart failure, and novel strategies and therapies for acute heart failure. Dr. Ezekowitz is the Chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Guidelines on Heart Failure, and advises the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He holds grants for clinical research from CIHR, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions.


Mark Fraser, MD, CCFP, FCFP

Family Physician,
West Carleton Family Health Team

Background: Dr. Mark Fraser received his MD from the University of Ottawa in 1981, and completed his Family Medicine Residency at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. He is a Fellow of the College of Family Physicians, is on active Staff at the Queensway Carleton Hospital, and is Co-Lead Physician of the West Carleton Family Health Team, which was awarded Family Practice of the Year by the Ontario College of Family Physicians for 2010.

Research Interests / Achievements: In 2013, Dr. Fraser received an Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada for innovation in chronic disease management and health promotion. He was honoured by Canada Health Infoway in 2013 as co-developer of West Carleton FHT’s national-award-winning Patient Health Portal. His special interest lies in medical informatics and the application of EMR data analytics to optimize population-based management of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases in Primary Care.


Robert Beanlands, MD, FRCPC

Chief of Cardiology;
Director, National Cardiac PET Centre;
Director, Molecular Function and Imaging Program;
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Professor, Department of Medicine;
Professor, Department of Radiology;
University of Ottawa

Background: Dr. Beanlands received his MD from the University of Ottawa in 1983. He is the founding Director of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s National Cardiac PET Centre, the only PET facility in Canada dedicated to cardiovascular disease. 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. Dr. Beanlands is past-president of the Canadian Nuclear Cardiology Society, Ontario Governor for the American College of Cardiology and was the Annual Meeting Chair for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. He is also the incoming chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Scientific Review Committee. Dr. Beanlands is the chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Scientific Review Committee.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. Beanlands' research applies imaging to understand cardiovascular disease and treatment. He has established the Molecular Function and Imaging Program, which focuses on translational research and transdisciplinary training. He has led the multicentre imaging research initiatives PARR2, IMAGE-HF, CADRE Registry and is the Co-PI for the Canadian Atherosclerotic Imaging Network (CAIN). He has more than 210 peer-reviewed publications. He is a Career Investigator (HSFC) and is the Tier 1 Chair in Cardiovascular Research (uOttawa). Recent awards include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for contribution to Canada (2012), and the SNMMI Hermann Blumgart Award for research achievement (2013).


Robert McKelvie, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Canadian Cardiovascular Society Heart Failure Consensus Conference Program

Medical Director, Exercise Laboratory,
Medical Director, Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation Centre,
Medical Director, Heart Function Clinic,
Hamilton Health Sciences

Professor, Department of Medicine
McMaster University

Background: Dr. McKelvie is the Medical Director of the Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation Program as well as the Medical Director of the Heart Failure Program, at the Hamilton Health Sciences. Dr. McKelvie is the Chair of the Heart Failure Working Group, Cardiac Care Network of Ontario as well as a member of their Cardiac Rehabilitation and Heart Failure Collaboration. He is Chair of the Quality Indicators Heart Failure Working Group, for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society/Public Health Agency of Canada as well he is a Member of two of their Steering Committees: 1. Quality Indicators Data Definitions Working Group for Atrial fibrillation; and 2. Quality Indicators Field Testing National Protocol Working Group for Atrial Fibrillation. He is a member of the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board, Hamilton Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. Dr. McKelvie is a member of two Expert Advisory Panels for Health Quality of Ontario: 1. Quality-Based Episode of Care for Acute Congestive Heart Failure; Quality-Based Episode of Care for Management of Congestive Heart Failure in the community.

Research Interests / Achievements: Dr. McKelvie has approximately 240 peer reviewed articles, 190 abstracts and has given more than 400 lectures and presentations.


Ross Davies, MD, FRCPC, FACC

Cardiologist, Division of Cardiology
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Professor, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa

Background: Dr. Davies received his BSc (Hons) in Genetics from McGill University in Montreal in 1970 and his Medical Degree from the University of Toronto in 1974. He trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the Toronto General Hospital and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. In 1978, he was certified as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC). Supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, he worked as a Research Fellow at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut and was certified as a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology in 1980. In 2002, he obtained his Fellowship Certification exams from the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. Dr. Davies initiated the Nuclear Cardiology Program at the Ottawa Heart Institute and was Director until 1998. He was an inaugural member of the Heart Transplant Team in 1984 and served as its Medical Director until 2003. He has served as President of the Medical and Scientific Staff at the Institute since 2001. Davies was the Principal Investigator of a Health Canada grant toward development of a Canadian Cardiovascular Information Network.

Research Interests/ Achievements: Dr. Davies’ clinical interests include heart failure and transplantation, nuclear cardiology and PET imaging. His research focuses on cardiovascular databases.