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Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Research

For almost two decades, our ongoing Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study in 27 low, middle and high-income countries has been a fount of data on the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, including recent results on the 14 most common modifiable risk factors.

As well as epidemiological studies, PHRI has conducted interventional drug trials such as our landmark studies: COMPASS – which resulted in the rapid approval of rivaroxaban by regulators around the world – for the prevention of major CV events in patients with coronary artery disease or peripheral arterial disease; and HOPE, which resulted in the indication of ramipril for secondary prevention.

Team Members in CVD Prevention

Dr Salim Yusuf, PHRI Executive Director
Dr Salim Yusuf, PHRI Executive Director
Salim Yusuf

Executive Director; Senior Scientist

Salim Yusuf
Executive Director; Senior Scientist

Salim Yusuf is an internationally renowned cardiologist and epidemiologist, whose work over 40 years has substantially influenced prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Born in India, medically qualified at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore in 1976, he received a Rhodes Scholarship and obtained a DPhil from Oxford, during which he (along with Richard Peto, Rory Collins and Peter Sleight) initiated the concepts of large, simple trials, and meta-analysis. He proposed the concept of combination drug treatment for prevention of CVD to achieve large reductions in CVD with a single pill (now called the polypill concept), but more importantly has been evaluating the concept through large randomized trials.

He leads several global studies involving more than 60 countries in every inhabited continent of the world aimed at enhancing knowledge about the biological, behavioural and societal causes, consequences, and approaches to the control of heart diseases, and strokes through large multi-country programs such as INTERHEART, INTERSTROKE, and PURE.

He holds a Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario Research Chair and has received (among others) the Lifetime Research Achievement award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society; the Paul Wood Silver Medal of the British Cardiac Society; the European Society of Cardiology gold medal, the clinical Research Prize of the American Heart Association and the International Award and the Braunwald Lecture of the American College of Cardiology. He has been inducted into the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame; been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, and received the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award in 2014. He has received four honorary doctorates, and is among the top 20 most cited health researchers in history.

Salim Yusuf has published more than 1,000 articles in refereed journals, rising to the second most cited researcher in the world for 2011. He has mentored more than 120 scientists, several of whom are in leadership positions across the globe. He has been President of the World Heart Federation (2015-2016), where he initiated several programs (the Emerging Leaders program, road maps for CVD control and a course for training primary care practitioners in CVD prevention) aimed at halving the CVD burden globally within a generation. The World Heart Federation has recognized his contributions by naming the program the Salim Yusuf Emerging Leaders Programme.

He is a Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, and Executive Director of the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Chief Scientist, Hamilton Health Sciences.

Sonia Anand

Senior Scientist

Sonia Anand
Senior Scientist

Sonia Anand is Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology, McMaster University, Director of the university’s Population Genomics Program, and Associate Chair, Diversity and Equity, Department of Medicine.

Her present research focuses upon the environmental and genetic determinants of vascular disease in populations of varying ancestral origin, women and cardiovascular disease. She has published more than 200 articles in peer review journals, has been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Stuart Connolly

Senior Scientist

Stuart Connolly
Senior Scientist

Stuart Connolly is a Professor of Medicine at McMaster University and a cardiac electrophysiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences. He became a faculty member at McMaster University in 1983 and was awarded a full professorship in 1994. He was also appointed as the inaugural holder of the Salim Yusuf Chair in Cardiology at McMaster University.

He has published more than 270 scientific articles in the field, and is currently a member of the editorial boards for a number of prominent cardiology journals, including Heart, the American Heart Journal and the Journal of Pacing and Electrophysiology. His main research interests are focused on the evaluation of treatments for heart rhythm disorders. His academic career has been largely devoted to the design and execution of controlled clinical trials in this area.

He holds a Masters degree from Fordham University, New York, and an MD from McGill University in Montreal. He received his specialist training in cardiology at the University of Toronto and at Stanford University.

John Eikelboom

Senior Scientist

John Eikelboom
Senior Scientist

John Eikelboom is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, McMaster University, and a haematologist in the Thrombosis Service, Hamilton General Hospital. He originally trained in Internal Medicine and Haematology in Perth, Australia and subsequently moved to Hamilton to take up a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine.

He has co-authored more than 350 articles in peer-reviewed journals. His current research, supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, focuses on the efficacy and safety of antithrombotic therapies, outcomes after blood transfusion and bleeding, and the mechanisms of variable response to antiplatelet drugs.

Koon Teo

Senior Scientist

Koon Teo
Senior Scientist

Koon Teo is a Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, McMaster University, and provides senior leadership to PHRI’s direction and research studies. He has served as the acting director of the Division of Cardiology at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, and Chief of Cardiology, McMaster University Medical Centre. His wide range of work includes 16 book chapters, 356 articles and 280 abstracts featured in more than 15 medical journals worldwide.

He was the Canadian Principal Investigator for the COURAGE trial the results of which impact the practice of cardiology worldwide, and for the Canadian Institute for Health Research funded ongoing FAMILY study examining the origins of obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors in early childhood. He is also co-principal investigator of The International Polycap Study (TIPS).

Eva Lonn

Senior Scientist

Eva Lonn
Senior Scientist

Eva Lonn is a Principal Investigator for the Atherosclerosis Imaging and Cardiovascular Prevention programs at PHRI, and  a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at McMaster University.

She has led several large international trials and was a member of the International Steering Committee of additional landmark cardiovascular prevention trials. She directed the Vascular Research Ultrasound Laboratory at PHRI for more than 20 years. She served for many years on the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Council and Executive Committee. She has received research grants from the Medical Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. She published over 220 peer reviewed articles, and 8 book chapters.

After obtaining her medical degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Eva Lonn completed clinical training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Advanced Imaging at the University of Toronto and research fellowships at the University of Toronto and at McMaster University, where she obtained also a Master of Science degree in Health Research Methodology.

Darryl Leong

Scientist

Darryl Leong
Scientist

Darryl Leong is a Scientist at PHRI, Director of the McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences Cardio-Oncology Program, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Cardiology), McMaster University, and Staff Cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences. He has methodological expertise in clinical epidemiology and clinical trials, and content expertise in physical frailty, echocardiography, and cardio-oncology. His research is supported by the CIHR, and he has published more than 100 manuscripts including all the leading internal medical and cardiovascular journals.

He graduated from the University of Adelaide Medical School with Deans Listing and Honours for academic excellence, completed his cardiology training, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Public Health, and Master of Biostatistics degrees at the University of Adelaide in Australia, and completed a post-doctorate fellowship in cardiovascular imaging at the Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands, before re-locating to Canada.

Michael Walsh

Scientist

Michael Walsh
Scientist

Michael Walsh is a Principal Investigator in the Renal research program at PHRI, and an Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (nephrology), McMaster University. His research activities are in the areas of the treatment of patients who require dialysis, severe glomerular disease, and perioperative acute kidney injury. He has published more than 70 papers and two book chapters.

He holds a Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) Program New Investigator award through CIHR and the Kidney Foundation of Canada.  He’s received multiple Top Abstract awards from the Canadian Society of Nephrology, the Chalmers Prize from the Society for Clinical Trials, and the Detweiller Traveling Scholar Award from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Andrew Mente

Scientist

Andrew Mente
Scientist

Andrew Mente is a Principal Investigator for the Epidemiology program at PHRI, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University. He’s working in the ongoing Population Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, interested in the role of essential minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium) and dietary fatty acids in cardiovascular diseases in populations around the world.

He has received a Research Fellowship from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and a Research Early Career Award from Hamilton Health Sciences, and has published more than 45 papers and two book chapters. Andrew received his doctoral degree in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto, and completed his post-doctoral training in cardiovascular epidemiology at McMaster University.

Jackie Bosch

Investigator

Jackie Bosch
Investigator

Jackie Bosch started working with Salim Yusuf in 1993, before PHRI was formally created, as she was completing her Masters in Clinical Epidemiology, with the intent to learn how to do clinical trials so she could run trials in post-stroke rehabilitation. Most recently, she has been a co-investigator on large trials in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as understanding the causes of functional decline as well as developing simple, internationally applicable interventions to improve post-stroke disability.

She is Assistant Dean of the Occupational Therapy program, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, McMaster University, and has received awards such as the (McMaster) President’s Award for Outstanding Service, and the PHRI Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Collaborations. She has more than 65 peer-reviewed publications.

Philip Joseph

Investigator

Philip Joseph
Investigator

Philip Joseph’s research interests include cardiovascular prevention, global health, heart failure, and cardiac imaging. He is the principal investigator for the PURE-AF substudy, and the SPECT-MINS study, an investigator in the PURE study, and the G-CHF registry. He is also the project officer for the TIPS-3 study. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, with certification in both internal medicine and cardiology. obtained his B.A.Sc at McMaster University in 2000, and his M.D. at Western University in 2004. His internal medicine (2004-2007) and cardiology (2007-2010) residencies were completed at the University of Ottawa. Subsequently, he completed additional clinical training in Nuclear Cardiology at McMaster University (2013), a M.Sc. in Health Research Methodology at McMaster (2010-13), and a post-doctoral research fellowship in PET imaging at Harvard University (2015).

Mahshid Dehghan

Investigator

Mahshid Dehghan
Investigator

Mahshid Dehghan is an Investigator for the Nutrition Epidemiology program at PHRI, and the nutrition lead of the Population Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study and the INTERSTROKE study. Her main interests are the development of methods to measure dietary intake of individuals around the world, and understanding the impact of dietary factors in the cause and prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. She has published 39 papers and 2 book chapters.

She holds two Masters of Clinical Nutrition and Health Research Methodology, received her doctoral degree in Clinical Nutrition from Newcastle University, England, and completed post-doctoral training in Nutrition Epidemiology at McMaster University.

Katherine Morrison

Associate Scientist

Katherine Morrison
Associate Scientist

Katherine Morrison is Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, and a Principal Investigator for childhood risk factors research at PHRI. She has received various awards including the Excellence in Pediatric Research Award, and a Heart and Stroke Foundation Fellowship in Preventive Cardiology. Katherine is supported in her research by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Hamilton Academic Health Sciences Organization, and McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Russell De Souza

Associate Investigator

Russell De Souza
Associate Investigator

Russell De Souza, a registered dietitian and nutritional epidemiologist, focuses his research on dietary factors that influence chronic disease throughout the lifespan, with a particular interest in macronutrients, dietary patterns and cardiovascular disease.

He received his doctoral degree in nutritional epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed post-doctoral training in systematic reviews and randomized trial methodology jointly at McMaster University, and at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Isabelle Johansson

Research Fellow

Isabelle Johansson
Research Fellow

Isabelle Johansson is a Research Fellow at PHRI, supervised by Salim Yusuf, and McMaster University where she is pursuing a Masters in Health Research Methodology, clinical epidemiology. Her main research interests are in heart failure, diabetes, global health, and cardiovascular disease prevention. At PHRI, she is an Investigator in the G-CHF-study and the PURE study. Isabelle was in the 2019 cohort of the World Heart Federation Salim Yusuf Emerging Leaders Programme, focusing on reducing the burden of heart failure globally.

She obtained her M.D. from the Karolinska Institutet Medical University, Stockholm, Sweden in 2014 and has completed two out five years of clinical training in a residency in family medicine. She completed her Ph.D. in medical sciences at the Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine in 2017 where she studied epidemiological aspects of heart failure in combination with diabetes. Isabelle was part of the European Society of Cardiology task force writing the guidelines for the management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease presented in September 2019.

Ryo Naito

Research Fellow

Ryo Naito
Research Fellow

After working as a cardiologist for more than 10 years in Japan, Ryo Naito is now a Research Fellow at PHRI, joining the PURE study team. His research interests include preventive cardiology, heart failure, and ischemic heart disease.

Sukrit Narula

Research Fellow

Sukrit Narula
Research Fellow

Sukrit Narula is currently pursuing his MD at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and his PhD in Health Research Methods program at McMaster University. He completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University. His research involves using biobanks collected as a part of randomized trials and large epidemiologic studies to elucidate the pathophysiology underlying cardiovascular disease.

He is currently doing work on PURE Biomarker, a substudy of the PURE study to understand the prognostic importance of genetics and new serum biomarkers in a global context. Sukrit also has research interests in cardiovascular imaging, vascular disease, evidence-based medicine, and meta-research. He is supervised by Guillaume Pare and Salim Yusuf.

Sumathy Rangarajan

Program Director

Sumathy Rangarajan
Program Director

Sumathy Rangarajan has been Program Director, Global Health, since 2016, preceded by many years’ service at PHRI in other roles. She oversees the PURE study team, as well as the INVICTUS rheumatic AF treatment trial, the CANPWR pediatric weight management registry, and others.

She holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science degree from Pune University in India.

Jessica Tyrwhitt

Associate Program Manager

Jessica Tyrwhitt
Associate Program Manager

Jessica Tyrwhitt has more than 10 years’ experience in coordinating and managing large, international clinical trials. As Associate Program Manager, she oversees interventional trials, registries, and observational research studies looking at primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in a variety of therapeutic areas, including cardiology, thrombosis, nephrology, cardio-oncology and diabetes.

She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree & Business from the University of Waterloo.

 

completed

COMPASS

CVD Prevention

COMPASS was a randomized controlled trial that discovered that the use of rivaroxaban, a new...

ongoing

DEFINIT-P

CVD Prevention

DEFINIT-P is a pilot study that will determine the feasibility of a larger, multi-centre randomized...

ongoing

PURE

CVD Prevention

Our unique, long-running Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE study) involves studying 225,000 participants in...

ongoing

TIPS-3

CVD Prevention

The objective of the TIPS-3 study, is to evaluate a polypill (with and without aspirin)...

completed

APOLLO

CVD Prevention

We studied the unclear question whether blood pressure (BP) lowering reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) in...

completed

CANPWR

CVD Prevention

The objective of the Canadian Pediatric Weight Management Registry (CANPWR) was to enroll and monitor...

completed

DECCO

CVD Prevention

The objectives of the DECCO study were: To better understand health problems such as high...

completed

HART

CVD Prevention

The objective of the HART study was to evaluate the effects of homocysteine-lowering vitamin therapy...

completed

ONTARGET

CVD Prevention

The objective of the ONTARGET study was to determine if: (a) telmisartan 80mg daily and...

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