The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), in partnership with the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine, is proud to announce that Dr. Mireille Ouimet (PhD), Scientist at UOHI, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa, has been named a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Cardiovascular Metabolism and Cell Biology. Dr. Ouimet, who was recently recruited from New York University, is the UOHI’s first CRC.
Atherosclerosis, the process of fatty plaques thickening and narrowing the heart’s artery walls, is the major cause of cardiovascular diseases and is responsible for one in five deaths in Canada alone. Existing therapies can prevent atherosclerosis, but they are not universally effective and do not reverse atherosclerosis.
Dr. Ouimet’s research program focuses on cellular cholesterol trafficking and the role of autophagy (the way cells recycle their components). “There is a need to understand how to reverse cholesterol accumulation in the artery wall, to develop new drugs to target these pathways and better treat heart disease. Autophagy represents a promising new pathway to target to increase fat digestion in the artery wall and stimulate plaque regression,” said Mireille Ouimet.
“The allocation of a Canada Research Chair to Dr. Ouimet is a testament to her outstanding contribution and potential in cardiovascular research. As a young and promising scientist, this award will enable her, and her entire team, to bring their innovative work to new heights, and inspire a new generation of researchers,” said Dr. Peter Liu, Vice President of Research, and Chief Scientific Officer at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
The Canada Research Chairs Program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.
Photo by Dave Weatherall, University of Ottawa
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University of Ottawa Heart Institute