Heart Institute, uOttawa form first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary research program with focus on links in brain-heart conditions

April 28, 2023

Researchers from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) and the uOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI) will establish the Brain-Heart Interconnectome (BHI) with a $109-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Funding will support a research program connecting top researchers across the country and beyond to improve the understanding of the link of co-occurring brain-heart diseases.

La chercheuse Jodi Edwards (à gauche) et le Dr Peter Liu à l'Institut de cardiologie de l'Université d'Ottawa devant un appareil de TEP/TDM, un important outil d’imagerie pour diagnostiquer les maladies du cerveau et du cœur.
At the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Dr. Jodi Edwards (left) and Dr. Peter Liu, stand in front of a PET/CT scanner, an important diagnostic imaging tool to detect brain and heart diseases.

“Connecting with patients who are falling through the gaps created when heart and brain diseases are researched and treated separately is a true motivator to pursue the important collaborative work this major investment enables,” explains BHI co-lead Peter Liu, MD, chief scientific officer and vice president of research at the UOHI. “This interdisciplinary research program aims to change the fundamental disconnect between brain and heart conditions. With patient partners, we will translate laboratory discoveries into better diagnostics, therapeutics, prevention, and care at the bedside.”

The Brain-Heart Interconnectome will engage with top researchers from McGill, uSaskatchewan and more than 45 government, NGO, private sector and academic partners. Together, the network will lead a global paradigm shift in the study, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of brain-heart conditions, while positioning us as global leaders in the field.

“One of the key initiatives of this program is to create a unique and collaborative data portal for brain and heart research to gain a deeper understanding of brain-heart diseases,” said Jodi Edwards, PhD, who directs the Brain and Heart Nexus Research Program at the UOHI and is part of the core BHI team. “To do this requires the collection of data from multiple sources, including brain and heart imaging data from the UOHI’s world-class cardiac imaging facility, preclinical data from the uOBMRI, and data from multiple international partners.”

For more information, please read the University of Ottawa news release.

To coordinate interviews with Dr. Peter Liu and Dr. Jodi Edwards, please contact the liaison below.

Media contact

Leigh B. Morris
Communications Officer
University of Ottawa Heart Institute