Program and Speakers


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

Conference program

Download the 2018 Conference program (pdf).




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

Keynote Speaker: 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
Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD
Stanford School of Medicine

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
Katey Rayner, PhD
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

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

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
Zachary Laksman, MD
SPH Atrial Fibrillation Clinic Director
SPH Inherited Arrhythmia Clinic

Zachary Laksman, MD

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

Marlene Rabinovitch, MD

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

Jeffrey S. Berger, M.D., M.S.

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
Cardiac Electrophysiologist, UOHI

Dr. Pablo Nery

Dr. Pablo Nery 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.


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