Research Goals and Priorities

Extensive consultation and an environmental scanning process, together with recommendations from an International Scientific Review, resulted in the Ottawa Region for Advanced Cardiovascular Research Excellence (ORACLE) Strategic Plan 2.0. Our research roadmap addresses four strategic goals:

1. Catalyze impactful research by creating and supporting unique Innovation Hubs of interdisciplinary research teams

The five problem-solving Innovation Hubs are:

  1. Atherosclerosis and Cardiometabolic Diseases
  2. Arrhythmias
  3. Heart Failure
  4. Brain and Heart
  5. Valvular Heart Disease

The Hub’s research activities will be guided by four interconnected scientific priority themes:

(i) Discovery to Translational Innovations

Fast track discovery and validation into applications at the bedside

Tools/activities include:

  • Innovative imaging ligands and ultra high-resolution molecular imaging
  • Genome editing to interrogate impact of a gene target
  • Reprogrammed human stem cells and 3D organoid models of human disease
  • Biomaterials, nanobiofilm and smart delivery vehicles for novel diagnostics and therapeutics

(ii) Precision Medicine

Tailoring treatment to the patient’s specific disease pathway signatures

Tools/activities include:

  • Next generation ‘omics’ technologies to validate novel biomarkers
  • Integrated datasets and tailored decision algorithms
  • Imaging technology to improve patient outcomes
  • Incorporation of precision medicine into existing frameworks of care

(iii) Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

Dataset linkage to probe disease profiles, patient subsets to enable precision based diagnosis and treatment strategies; clinical decision support tools for physicians and patients

Tools/activities include:

  • Linked clinical databases, through the UOHI CardioCore platform and electronic medical records
  • Linkage to external administrative databases such as the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences

(iv) Healthy Diverse Populations

Effects of sex and gender on cardiovascular health, indigenous heart health and other health disparities

Tools/activities include:

  • Incorporating sex and gender effects in all research activities
  • Incentivizing and promoting research on indigenous populations

2. Support and enhance our fundamental and translational research

  • Increasing peer reviewed funding
  • Sustaining equipment and infrastructure
  • Recruiting high calibre trainees
  • Maintaining fundamental science capacity

3. Catalyze innovation and excellence in clinical research

  • Recognition of the value of clinical research
  • Innovation research to address clinical problems
  • Enhance infrastructure to facilitate clinical research
  • Patient engagement

4. Build cross-cutting initiatives to facilitate research

  • Research integrity
  • Regional partnership 
  • Recruiting high calibre trainees
  • Patient engagement
  • Industry engagement
  • Grant application support 
  • Research promotion and communications