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Infectious Diseases Research

 

From assessing whether the influenza vaccine can reduce adverse vascular events in patients with heart failure, to the race to prevention and treatment of COVID-19, PHRI and its collaborators, including Mark Loeb, Division Director, Infectious Diseases, McMaster University, are working to stop the spread of infectious diseases around the world.

Team Members in Infectious Diseases

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.

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.

Hertzel Gerstein

Deputy Director; Senior Scientist

Hertzel Gerstein
Deputy Director; Senior Scientist

Hertzel Gerstein is Deputy Director, PHRI, and our Senior Scientific Program Lead, Diabetes, as well as a Professor, Medicine, McMaster University. He is also Director of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and Director of the Diabetes Care and Research Program. He has pioneered the application of large simple outcome trials to people with diabetes globally, and developed the concept of dysglycemia as an important risk factor for many of the serious health outcomes that afflict people with an elevated glucose level regardless of diabetes status. He currently leads clinical trials and epidemiological studies related to: a) the prevention and therapy of diabetes and its many consequences, and b) the role of dysglycemia and relative insulin insufficiency on the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and other chronic conditions. Key studies in which he has played or continues to play a major leadership role include HOPE, MICRO HOPE, ACCORD, DREAM, EpiDREAM, ORIGIN, TIDE, ACE, ELIXA and REWIND.

Hertzel Gerstein has published more than 300 papers, editorials and commentaries, mainly on diabetes-related issues and co-edited the textbook Evidence-Based Diabetes Care. He is an Associate Editor for ACP Journal Club, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Diabetes and Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. He has received several honors including the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Young Scientist Award (1999), Frederick G. Banting award (1999), Charles H. Best award (2007) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2012).

PJ Devereaux

Senior Scientist

PJ Devereaux
Senior Scientist

PJ Devereaux is Senior Scientific Lead, Perioperative and Surgery, PHRI, Professor and University Scholar in the Departments of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI) and Medicine at McMaster University, and Director of the Division of Cardiology at McMaster.

The focus of his clinic research is vascular complications around the time of surgery, leading several large, international RCTs and observational studies addressing this issue. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers and more than 50 book chapters and editorials. He is supported by a Tier 1 Canadian Research Chair in Perioperative Medicine, and holds the Yusuf Chair in Cardiology at McMaster University.

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.

Sanjit Jolly

Scientist

Sanjit Jolly
Scientist

Sanjit Jolly is an interventional cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences and associate professor at McMaster University. He has formal training in clinical trials with a M.Sc. in Health Research Methodology from McMaster. He was the principal investigator of the RIVAL trial, a randomized trial of 7021 patients comparing radial and femoral access for coronary intervention. He is also the principal investigator trial of the ongoing TOTAL trial, an international randomized trial (N=10,700) of thrombectomy during primary PCI.

Michael McGillion

Scientist

Michael McGillion
Scientist

Michael McGillion is an internationally-recognized researcher in the area of persistent forms of cardiac pain such as refractory angina and unrelieved chest pain following successful revascularization procedures. He was Chair of the Joint Canadian Cardiovascular Society – Canadian Pain Society guidelines for the management of refractory angina, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He is Principal Investigator of the largest CIHR-funded, international prospective cohort study to examine social and psychological predictors of chronic post-surgical pain following cardiac surgery. His research focuses on remote automated monitoring and virtual recovery support for people recovering from cardiac and vascular surgery, decision support for people living with RFA, and global-scale, web-based dissemination of new evidence on persistent forms of cardiac pain.

Michael McGillion has been recognized for his research and advocacy by receiving the Canadian Pain Society Early Career Award and the McMaster University Arch Award for outstanding contributions to society; and was the first University Scholar (2019) from the McMaster School of Nursing.

Noel Chan

Investigator

Noel Chan
Investigator

Noel Chan is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology and Thromboembolism, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, specializing in anticoagulant therapy and thrombosis medicine. His research seeks to improve our understanding of the triggers for thrombosis (including the role of inflammation) and the determinants of variable response to antithrombotic therapies to inform on novel strategies that have the potential to further reduce the burden of thrombosis.

Domenik Mertz

Associate Investigator

Domenik Mertz
Associate Investigator

Domenik Mertz is Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, and Medical Director Infection Control at Hamilton Health Sciences. His research interests include the epidemiology and risk factors for resistance and infections by resistant bacteria; prevention of C. difficile infection; infection control and of hospital epidemiology; and antimicrobial stewardship.

He has published more than 60 peer reviewed articles to date, is an associate editor for BMC Infectious Diseases, and serves as the first-named editor for the 3rd edition of the book ‘Evidence-based Infectious Diseases’.

 

Neeraj Narula

Associate Scientist

Neeraj Narula
Associate Scientist

Neeraj Narula is Assistant Professor, Medicine, McMaster University, Director, IBD Clinic at McMaster, and staff gastroentereologist at Hamilton Health Sciences. His research interests are clinical epidemiology, nutrition, and interventional trials in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), with a special focus on alternative therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. He is evaluating dietary interventions for Crohn’s disease and other alternative ways to modify the course of IBD (i.e. fecal microbiota transplantation).

Neeraj serves as Vice-President for the Canadian IBD Research Consortium. He has completed the Present-Levison advanced IBD fellowship in Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York, an MPH at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and his Masters of Public Health at Harvard University.

 

 

Tara McCready

Program Director

Tara McCready
Program Director

Tara McCready, PhD, oversees a variety of collaborative programs at PHRI, and serves as Project Manager for PHRI research studies and registries.

She was recruited to PHRI as a Program Director for the Canadian Network and Centre for Trials Internationally (CANNeCTIN), a national network funded by the CIHR/CFI Clinical Research Initiative program to improve the prevention and treatment of cardiac and vascular diseases and diabetes.

Previously the Executive Director of the Canadian Maternal, Infant, Child and Youth Research Network, Tara holds a PhD in Biochemistry and a MBA in Technology Commercialization from the University of Alberta.

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.

Dipika Desai

Associate Program Manager

Dipika Desai
Associate Program Manager

Dipika Desai oversees many epidemiologic studies, including the South Asian birth cohort, START, the South Asian Heart Risk Assessment (SAHARA), and the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds (CAHHM), as well as management assistance and oversight in the utilization of samples from a number of other studies.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition from the M S University in Baroda, India, and a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from the University of British Columbia.

Heather Beresh

Associate Program Manager

Heather Beresh
Associate Program Manager

Heather Beresh has worked at PHRI since May 2002, largely devoted to managing global, multi-centre clinical trials of antithrombotic therapies in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). She started as research coordinator for the ACTIVE study evaluating dual antiplatelet therapy and angiotensin receptor blockers in patients with AF, then continued with oversight of the AVERROES open label extension trial evaluating a novel oral anticoagulant in the same population, and ARTESiA evaluating anticoagulant therapy in patients with subclinical AF.

In addition, she has coordinated trials of ablation procedures versus anti-arrhythmic medications and trials evaluating screening strategies for AF. Heather also manages network collaborations, including the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network (CSPIN). She has as a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences from McMaster University.

ongoing

ACT COVID-19

Infectious Diseases

ACT-COVID-19 is a study to assess therapies to reduce the clinical progression of Coronavirus disease...

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IVVE

Infectious Diseases

The objective of the IVVE study is to assess the feasibility of randomizing heart failure...

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PICS-Prevena

Infectious Diseases

There is clinical equipoise around the optimal choice of antibiotics: the addition of vancomycin to...

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PURE SARS-CoV-2

Infectious Diseases

The PURE SARS-C0V-2 substudy is a unique opportunity to document factors that predispose people to...

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