Program and Speakers


2018 conference program cover page
Download the 2018 Conference program (pdf)

Conference program

Download the Ottawa Heart Conference 2018 program (pdf).




Dr. Victor Dzau
Dr. Victor Dzau
President, US National Academy of Medicine

Giving the Wilbert J. Keon Endowed Lectureship: Dr. Victor Dzau

Victor J. Dzau is the President of the US National Academy of Medicine (NAM), formerly the Institute of Medicine (IOM).  In addition, he serves as Vice Chair of the US National Research Council.

He is an internationally acclaimed leader and scientist has made a significant impact through his seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics.

In his role as a leader in health, Dr. Dzau has led efforts in innovation to improve health. Read Dr. Dzau’s biography »


Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD
Dr. Kiran Musunuru
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kiran Musunuru

Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH, FAHA, is Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Musunuru received his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, his PhD from The Rockefeller University, and his Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Musunuru’s research focuses on the genetics of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and seeks to identify naturally occurring genetic variants that predispose to or protect against disease and can be used to develop therapies to protect the entire population. 

In 2016, he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House, as well as the American Heart Association’s Award for Meritorious Achievement.


Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD
Dr. Joseph C. Wu
Stanford School of Medicine

Dr. Joseph C. Wu

Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD is Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Simon H. Stertzer Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Radiology at the Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Wu received his MD from Yale University School of Medicine. He trained in internal medicine and cardiology at UCLA followed by a PhD in the Dept of Molecular Pharmacology. 


Katey Rayner, PhD
Dr. Katey Rayner
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Dr. Katey Rayner

Katey Rayner, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in the Department of Biochemistry in Ottawa, Canada where she directs the Cardiometabolic microRNA Laboratory. Dr. Rayner obtained her BSc from the University of Toronto, and her PhD from the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Rayner has been recognized with awards such as the American Heart Association’s Irvine H Page Young Investigator Award, the Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Innovation Ontario, and New Investigator Awards from both Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Dr. Rayner’s research is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the National Institutes of Health.


Dr. William (Bill) L. Stanford, PhD
Dr. William (Bill) L. Stanford
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr. William L. Stanford

William (Bill) L. Stanford, PhD, is trained as a chemist (Duke) and as an Immunologist (UNC at Chapel Hill), moving to Canada for a postdoc with Alan Bernstein in stem cell biology and genetics.

Dr. Stanford is currently a Senior Scientist at the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the OHRI, a Full Professor at the University of Ottawa, Investigator in the Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, Director of the Ottawa Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Facility, Director of the High Content Imaging Core Facility at the OHRI, and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Integrative Stem Cell Biology.

Dr. Stanford uses a combination of unbiased systems and reductionist methodologies to dissect the molecular control of cell fate decisions in the context of human development, cancer and vascular aging and disease, with a focus to develop new therapeutic approaches for a variety of diseases.


Zachary Laksman, MD
Dr. Zachary Laksman
SPH Atrial Fibrillation Clinic Director
SPH Inherited Arrhythmia Clinic Director
University of British Columbia

Dr. Zachary Laksman

Zachary Laksman, MD, is a Cardiac Electrophysiologist at St. Paul’s and Vancouver General Hospital. Dr. Laksman is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University, and the Charles Kerr distinguished scholar in Cardiovascular Genetics. 

Dr. Laksman holds a Professional-Investigator award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and is an Early Career Investigator at the Center for Heart Lung Innovation. Dr. Laksman holds grant support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the Stem Cell Network for his work on the genetics of heart rhythm and heart muscle disturbances.

Dr. Laksman has a clinical focus on arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, sudden cardiac death, sports cardiology, implantable and wearable monitoring technology, and cardiac ablation and device procedures.


Marlene Rabinovitch, MD
Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch
Professor of Pediatric Cardiology
Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch

Marlene Rabinovitch, MD, is the Dwight and Vera Dunlevie Professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Rabinovitch graduated from McGill University Medical School and completed her pediatrics training at the University of Colorado and sub-specialty training in cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School where she was Assistant Professor.

She has served as Visiting Professor in many countries worldwide and has over 185 peer-reviewed publications and 124 invited reviews and book chapters.

Her research focuses on uncovering fundamental genetic, metabolic, and inflammatory mechanisms causing pulmonary hypertension that can be translated to the clinic.


Jeffrey S. Berger, M.D., M.S.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger
New York University School of Medicine

Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger

Jeffrey S. Berger, M.D., M.S. is Director of Cardiovascular Thrombosis and Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery in the Divisions of Cardiology, Hematology, and Vascular Surgery at the New York University School of Medicine.

Dr. Berger has a particular interest in the role of platelets in atherogenesis, thrombosis and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Berger is a recipient of several grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for his mechanistic studies on platelets.

A major goal of his research lab is to explore the mechanism and consequences of the platelet transcriptome, different platelet phenotypes and antiplatelet therapies across the spectrum of cardiovascular disease.


Dr. Pablo Nery
Dr. Pablo Nery
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Dr. Pablo Nery

Pablo Nery, MD, is a staff Cardiac Electrophysiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Nery’s has a major clinical interest in catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Dr. Nery’s research interests are directly linked to his clinical expertise, and he is actively involved in peer-reviewed research evaluating novel catheter ablation strategies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias.

His research interests also include the diagnosis and management of patients with cardiac sarcoidosis.


Thais Coutinho, MD
Dr. Thais Coutinho
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Dr. Thais Coutinho

Dr. Thais Coutinho is Head of the Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation and Chair of the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre.  She is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Coutinho has addressed audiences at many national and international meetings, and has published several high impact manuscripts in the field of Cardiovascular Diseases.

Dr. Coutinho’s research program focuses on arterial health, with a special emphasis on arterial stiffness and its role on the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. Read Dr. Coutinho’s profile.


Dr. Derek So
Dr. Derek So
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Dr. Derek So

Dr. Derek So is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI).  He is also the program director for the Adult Interventional Cardiology program.

Dr. So’s research interests include: acute coronary syndromes, PCI outcomes, pharmacogenomics and personalized anti-platelet therapy.

As an interventional cardiology researcher at UOHI, Dr. So also leads the CAPITAL research group, which collaborates in various areas of interventional cardiology spanning from fundamental sciences, to pharmacotherapy, novel interventional strategies and device evaluations.


Vesana Garovic, MD
Dr. Vesana Garovic
Mayo Clinic

Dr. Vesana Garovic

Dr. Garovic is Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota, and holds joint appointments in Nephrology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. She currently serves as Chair for Research, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic, and as Director, Clinical Research Office and Office of Clinical Trials, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.

Her research interests in preeclampsia span several research areas with the long-term objective of identifying diagnostic biomarkers and potential new therapeutic targets in order to improve immediate and long-term outcomes of this enigmatic disease.


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