Cardiac, vascular, and cognitive dysfunction have a strong impact on the quality of life, longevity and health care costs, in Canada and globally. It is of paramount importance to understand the early determinants of such dysfunction and its progression to clinical events, especially given the increasing prevalence of known cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, which result in organ dysfunction including atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure and dementia, threatening the financial sustainability of health care systems.
The objectives of the Alliance are:
The CAHHM was led by co-Principal Investigators: Sonia Anand of PHRI; Matthew Friedrich of Montreal Heart Institute; and the late Jack Tu until his demise in 2018.
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.
Director, Statistics; Senior Scientist
Shrikant Bangdiwala, PhD, has extensive experience in the design, conduct and analysis of multi-center observational and experimental studies, having worked on clinical and community-based randomized controlled trials in congestive heart failure, cardiovascular risk factors, functional bowel disease, and obesity prevention. His statistical research interests include non-parametric methods, methodology for clinical trials, reliability and validity of diagnostic tests, and graphical methods for descriptive analyses.
A Professor in McMaster University’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, he is a former Fulbright senior specialist in global public health, and holds faculty positions in universities in Chile, South Africa and India.
He is a member of the USA NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) “COVID-19 Preventive mAb Data and Safety Monitoring Board” (DSMB) that will be reviewing and monitoring the US government-supported clinical trials of candidate preventive monoclonal Antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. He also chairs the Multinational DSMB for the division of AIDS at NIH, and is a member of the Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee of the FDA.
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.
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.
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