Polk Award

Howard and Doris Polk Award 2013
Best Clinical Science Oral Presentation

Dr. Al-Atassi and Dr. Peter Liu

Each year at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI)’s Annual Research Day, trainees in Clinical Cardiovascular Science (including medical residents, clinical fellows, and postdoctoral fellows) gather to present and discuss their research with their peers and established investigators. The presenters put on their best performance, showcase their work, answer probing questions from the judges as well as members of the audience-at-large, and vie for the ultimate trophy of the event for Clinical Science presenters – the Howard and Doris Polk Award.

The Howard and Doris Polk Award recognizes the Best Clinical Science Oral Presentation. This year, Dr. Talal Al-Atassi, Chief Cardiac Surgery Resident working with Dr. Buu Khanh Lam, took home this honour.

Dr. Al-Atassi’s research looked at the outcomes associated with two surgical techniques most commonly used to repair a heart valve located between the top and bottom left chamber of the heart (known as the “mitral” valve): band vs. complete ring technique. Although widely used, outcomes associated with these techniques have not been well described. The research team assessed 107 patients undergoing this type of valve surgery at the Heart Institute. They found that repair using complete rings was associated with increased risks of adverse effects (including congestive heart failure and narrowing of the valve opening). These findings will help in selecting appropriate device type and size for individuals undergoing mitral valve surgeries, and ultimately improve patient outcomes. (Dr. Al-Atassi is also the winner of the Innovation Award for a separate project.)

UOHI is grateful to the Polk family for their generous support of the Annual Research Day.

About the UOHI Annual Research Day: Research Day showcases all research accomplishments at the Institute. In addition to Clinical Science, other presentation categories are Basic Biomedical and Bio-behavioural/Population Health Sciences. There are separate awards for each category.

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