Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Thierry Mesana is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. A native of France, he is recognized as one of the leading heart valve surgeons in the world. He received his medical degree at the Université de la Méditerranée, Marseilles, where he trained in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. He received his PhD in biophysics and biomechanics at the same university after extensive experimental work on artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices.
In 1991, Dr. Mesana was, at the time, the youngest cardiac surgeon in France to receive a full professorship. He then became the Chair of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at La Timone University Hospital, the largest hospital in Marseilles, where he introduced a number of advanced techniques and greatly expanded the cardiac surgery program. He was Visiting Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1996 to 1997.
Dr. Mesana was appointed Division Head, Cardiac Surgery at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2001. In this role through 2012, he led significant changes in the Division of Cardiac Surgery. Under his leadership, the Institute’s valve repair program has become recognized as one of the best in the world. He has authored over 300 scientific publications and has been an invited lecturer in many national and international symposia.
Deputy Director General
Dr. Rob Beanlands is deputy director general at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He graduated with a gold medal and received his MD degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) in 1983. He is a cardiologist, clinician-scientist and an international leader in cardiovascular imaging, acknowledged as one of the top five cardiovascular imaging clinician-scientists in his field worldwide. He is the founding director of the Heart Institute’s National Cardiac PET Centre, the first positron emission tomography facility in Canada dedicated to cardiovascular disease.
He has been a career investigator supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and a distinguished chair in cardiovascular imaging research at uOttawa. His research on the heart’s metabolism, flow, inflammation and cellular function has led to pioneering translational work that has impacted the understanding of disease mechanisms, advances in patient care, health policy and clinical practice. He has led several multi-centre imaging research initiatives, including PARR2, IMAGE-HF, CAIN, CADENCE, CHASM, MARINER and others. He has more than 400 peer reviewed publications. He has served on several committees and advisory boards for government and professional organizations impacting healthcare policies and practice guidelines. He is an associate editor for the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and a senior advisory editor for the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. He is a professor in the Division of Cardiology (Department of Medicine), with cross appointments to the Department of Radiology and Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Beanlands is a past president of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, and past Ontario governor for the American College of Cardiology. He was a previous scientific program chair and then annual meeting chair for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and was a past chair of the Heart and Stroke scientific review committee. Recent awards include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for contribution to Canada (2012), the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Hermann Blumgart Award for research achievement (2013), the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Research Achievement Award (2015) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2022), and the CIHR-ICRH/CCS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Cardiovascular Sciences (2019). In 2023, he delivered the Mario Verani Lectureship for the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and received the prestigious Margolese National Heart Disorders Prize.
Dr David Birnie, BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MRCP(UK), MD
Division Head, Cardiology
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Tier 1 Clinical Research Chair, University of Ottawa
Dr. David Birnie is the Division Head of Cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He was educated in Scotland and received his medical degree (MB ChB) from the Glasgow University in 1990. Dr. Birnie was recruited to the Heart Institute in 2002 as staff cardiac electrophysiologist (EP) and clinician investigator. He was later appointed as Deputy Chief of the Division of Cardiology of the Heart Institute.
Dr. Birnie is a Tier 1 Clinical Research Chair at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa. His major ongoing research interests are cardiac sarcoidosis, selection and optimization of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for heart failure patients, investigating optimal strategies for complication reduction around EP procedures. Dr. Birnie has been involved in over 500 peer-reviewed presentations, publications, and book chapters.
His clinical focus is on all aspects of cardiac EP including radiofrequency ablation of simple and complex arrhythmias and implantation and follow-up of device therapy. Dr. Birnie is the founding member of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society and he was elected to the executive committee of the World Association of Sarcoidosis (WASOG) in 2020.
Chief Scientific Officer
Vice President, Research
Dr. Liu is the Scientific Director at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He received his MD and completed his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Toronto General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Liu was the inaugural Director of the Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence at the University of Toronto. He also held the position of Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Liu currently sits on the Science and Policy Council for the World Heart Federation and is the director of several large-scale international research programs.
Dr. Liu has over 350 peer-reviewed publications, many in the most celebrated journals in the world, and his publications have been cited over 20,000 times. In recognition of his outstanding commitment to research, Dr. Liu has received numerous awards, including the Research Achievement Award and the Life Time Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Rick Gallop Award of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health Distinguished Lecture Award of CIHR.
Division Head, Cardiac Anesthesiology
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa
Dr. Bernard McDonald is the Division Head of Cardiac Anesthesiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He earned both his MD and a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. Dr. McDonald then completed his anesthesia residency at the University of Ottawa, obtaining his Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) in Anesthesiology. He subsequently completed a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. McDonald joined the Heart Institute as a member of the Division of Cardiac Anesthesiology in 2002. From 2009 to 2021, he served as Medical Director of the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit where he continues to attend as a Critical Care Physician. Dr. McDonald is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Ottawa. His academic interests include applied cardiovascular physiology, long-term outcomes post cardiac critical illness, and novel pharmaconutrition interventions in the critically ill. He continues to lead and participate in multiple clinical trials of perioperative care interventions in critically ill cardiac surgical patients.
Division Head, Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Pierre Voisine is head of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. His faculty appointment with the University of Ottawa is in the Division of Cardiac Surgery.
Dr. Pierre Voisine graduated from medical training in 1996 and completed residency in cardiac surgery in 2002 at Université de Montréal. He then completed a two-year fellowship in translational research at Harvard University. Dr. Voisine joined the cardiac surgery team at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute in 2004. He worked both in clinical and fundamental research, acting as a principal investigator and a member of the steering committee for the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network. He was responsible for the creation of a cardiac surgery residency program at Université Laval.
Dr. Voisine holds academic positions as an elected member of The American Association for Thoracic Surgery, and The American Heart Association’s scientific sessions program committee of the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia. He is the former chair of the cardiac surgery examination committee of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Bonnie Bowes, RN, BScN, MHScN
Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
Quality, Risk and Health Information
Bonnie Bowes obtained her undergraduate and Master of Nursing Science degrees in Australia at the University of Western Sydney and Charles Sturt University and holds specialty certifications in critical care and cardiovascular nursing. She has extensive education and experience in quality processes, performance measure, and risk management.
Bonnie Bowes joined the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2001, holding roles as a clinical nurse, clinical nurse educator, Epic project site lead and director of quality, risk and privacy. She sits on several regional and national committees focusing on quality, risk management and cardiac practice. She has been an active member of the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses as a presenter and former committee member.
Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration
Chief Financial Officer
Diana Burns is the Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and its related entities, the Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation.
She has over 15 years of progressive financial management and leadership experience in both the private and public sector. Prior to joining the Heart Institute, Diana Burns was the Director of Financial Services at Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa where she was responsible for working with Ontario Health and other key stakeholders on operational planning and reporting, leading external audits, and providing support to the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. She has a strong accounting background having worked with KPMG LLP both in Canada and Australia.
Diana Burns graduated with Honours from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. She is a certified professional accountant (CPA).
Erika MacPhee, RN, MHScN
Vice President, Clinical Operations
Erika MacPhee graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario with a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree and completed her Master of Health Sciences Nursing degree at Charles Sturt University in Australia.
She joined the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1991, working in many different roles, including as a nursing coordinator, nurse educator, regional cardiac care coordinator, and most recently as the advanced practice nurse for the Cardiac Virtual Care program and clinical manager of the Heart Function Clinic.
Erika MacPhee is a member of the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses Association and is a registered nurse with the College of Nurses of Ontario.
President, UOHI Foundation
Vice President, Philanthropy
Chief Advancement Officer
Lianne Laing comes to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation with a background in media and communications. She spent 20 years working in broadcast television with CTV/Bell Media as a reporter, anchor and host. She spent the last decade working in television as the host of CTV Morning Live.
An Ottawa native, Ms. Laing has served and chaired on several boards, including the Snowsuit Fund and Youth Services Bureau, and she is a former ambassador of The Ottawa Senators Foundation. Over the last 20 years, she has hosted and emceed hundreds of events, helping raise funds and awareness for dozens of charities and campaigns. The United Way of Ottawa recognized her with a Community Builder Award.
As an entrepreneur and health and wellness advocate, Ms. Laing’s company “Living Your Life with Lianne Laing” allowed her to continue her passion for storytelling, speaking and writing. Her podcast educates, entertains and inspires her listeners to make informed choices to live longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives. Guests and listeners tune in to the podcast from around the world. Her incredible network of experts hit on limitless topics related to healthy living, both physically and mentally, and spiritually as well.
Ms. Laing, a former Canadian elite gymnast, received a full NCAA Scholarship to the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and graduated with two business degrees.
Vice President, Public Affairs
Chief Communications Officer
For four years, Vincent Lamontagne was the director of communications for the National Capital Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre (CIUSSS) in Québec City, where he led and implemented communications and public affairs for 20,000 employees across 200 facilities (including six hospitals, 12 foundations and four research centres). In this role, Vincent provided strategic public relations advice to the president and CEO, the senior management team, the executive committee, and the board of directors. He also led and coordinated communications and public affairs during crisis management and emergency preparedness situations, including for the regional public health agency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From 2012 to 2019, Vincent directed the department of communications at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Prior to his appointment, he served as the manager of media relations for the University of Ottawa. As a former press secretary for a cabinet minister in Québec, Vincent contributed to the minister’s national and regional communications activities.
Senior Vice President, Digital Health and Cardiac Technology
Chief Information and Technology Officer
Timothy Zakutney is a Professional Engineer with a specialty in Systems Design from the University of Waterloo along with a Masters in Health Science in Clinical Engineering from the University of Toronto. With over 20 years’ experience in providing leadership and guidance surrounding medical and biomedical technology issues for healthcare, his portfolio of responsibilities include Information Technology, Cardiac Imaging, Biomedical Engineering, Facilities and Capital Projects, Radiation Safety, Radiochemistry. Timothy oversees the synergies between Digital Health and Advanced Cardiac Technologies Management for both the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation to achieve outstanding patient care, cardiovascular research, and education.
Timothy is an internationally Certified Clinical Engineer (CCE). He serves on several boards and committees. He is a member of and is former chair of the Canadian Board of Examiners for Clinical Engineering Certification. He is a member of the Canadian Medical & Biological Engineering Society (CMBES) and the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE). In fact, he was awarded the Outstanding Canadian Biomedical Engineer of the Year Awards in 2008 by the CMBES for his exceptional contribution. Timothy is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University and has been published in numerous reviewed journals.