Before joining the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Dr. Stewart was Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute. He received his post-doctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, and his PhD from the Department of Anatomy and Organismal Biology at the University of Chicago. Before his PhD training, he obtained an MSc degree in Physiology and a BScH degree in Biology at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Stewart is a founding member of the international CARDIoGRAMplusC4D consortium focused on Genome-Wide Associations Studies (GWAS) of > 20 centres in eight countries for the discovery of genetic risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). He also participates in the GENIUS-CHD consortium that seeks to understand the genetic and non-genetic drivers of subsequent or recurrent events in those who have established CHD.
Dr. Stewart was awarded Investigator of the Year by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2014.
Dr. Stewart has received peer reviewed funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Diabetes Canada (previously Canadian Diabetes Association) and the Weston Brain Institute.
Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. When they become hardened with calcium, they lose their ability to control blood flow to the heart and this can cause a heart attack and death. Currently, there is no medicine to reverse this hardening of the arteries. Many factors increase the risk of hardening in the coronary arteries, including being male, atherosclerosis (the accumulation of fatty deposits in the artery wall) and having osteoporosis (a disease that weakens bones, so they break easily). Dr. Stewart’s team has identified genetic and inflammatory mechanisms that contribute to atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, and arterial calcification with a view to develop new therapies to treat these 3 diseases simultaneously.
- Vilmundarson RO, Duong A, Soheili F, Chen HH, Stewart AFR*. (2021) IRF2BP2 3’UTR polymorphism increases coronary artery calcification in men. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine 8:687645..
- Qin Z, Zhang L, Cruz SA, Stewart AFR*, Chen HH. (2020) Activation of tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B in pyramidal neurons impairs endocannabinoid signaling by tyrosine receptor kinase trkB and causes schizophrenia-like behaviors in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology, 45 (11):1884-1895.
- Zhang L, Qin Z, Ricke KM, Cruz SA, Stewart AFR, Chen HH (2020) Hyperactivated PTP1B phosphatase in parvalbumin neurons alters anterior cingulate inhibitory circuits and induces autism-like behaviors. Nature Communications, 11 (1):1017.
- Ricke KM, Cruz SA, Qin Z, Farrokhi K, Sharmin F, Zhang L, Zasloff MA, Stewart AFR, Chen HH. (2020) Neuronal Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B hastens Amyloid β-associated Alzheimer's disease in mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 40 (7):1581-1593.
- Almontashiri NAM, Antoine D, Zhou X, Vilmundarson RO, Zhang SX, Hao KN, Chen HH, Stewart AFR. 9p21.3 coronary artery disease risk variants disrupt tead transcription factor-dependent tgfβ regulation of p16 expression in human aortic smooth muscle cells. Circulation, 2015; 132(21):1969-78.
- Chen HH, Keyhanian K, Zhou X, Vilmundarson RO, Almontashiri NAM, Cruz SA, Pandey NR, Yap NL, Ho T, Stewart CA, Huang H, Hari A, Geoffrion M, McPherson R, Rayner KJ, Stewart AFR. IRF2BP2 reduces macrophage inflammation and susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Circulation Research, 2015; 117(8):671-83.