Switch to:

Senior Scientists

Meet Them All
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.

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).

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.

Scientists

Meet Them All
David Conen

Scientist

David Conen
Scientist

David Conen is an investigator at PHRI, and Associate Professor, Medicine, McMaster University. A clinical cardiologist with training in performing echocardiography, David’s research involves the conduct of large epidemiological cohort studies to study risk factors for the occurrence of atrial fibrillation and its consequences. He is also interested in clinical trials on therapies to prevent atrial fibrillation and the complications associated with the arrhythmia.

He received numerous prestigious grants in Switzerland and is the Principal Investigator of a large national cohort study to assess the relationship between atrial fibrillation and cognitive decline (Swiss-AF). He also leads another large cohort study of young and healthy individuals (GAPP), with a key focus on assessing risk factors for the development of cardiovascular risk factors in the general population.

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.

Andre Lamy

Scientist

Andre Lamy
Scientist

Andre Lamy is a cardiac surgeon practicing at the Hamilton Health Sciences since 1996, and Professor in the Department of Surgery, McMaster University. He led the Canadian Institute of Health Research funded CORONARY trial, which evaluated off-pump CABG surgery versus on-pump CABG surgery in 4752 patients. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 and 2013.

Investigators

Meet Them All
Emilie Belley-Côté

Investigator

Emilie Belley-Côté
Investigator

Emilie Belley-Côté is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University; she practices critical care cardiology in the cardiovascular intensive care unit and coronary care unit at the Hamilton General Hospital. Her research interests include perioperative cardiac surgery care, knowledge synthesis and guideline development. At this stage in her career, she has more than 120 publications, including articles in NEJM, Lancet, JAMA, as well as first-tier critical care journals.

She obtained her MD from Université de Sherbrooke in 2006. After internal medicine and cardiology training, as well as an MSc in Clinical Sciences, she completed a critical care fellowship at McMaster. In 2019, she completed a PhD in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University.

Vinai Bhagarith

Investigator

Vinai Bhagarith
Investigator

Vinai Bhagirath is a hematologist working clinically in benign hematology and thrombosis at the Hamilton General Hospital. He holds a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences, for which he studied molecular mediators of inflammation in sepsis, after which he trained as a clinical research fellow under the mentorship of John Eikelboom, a Senior Scientist at PHRI.

His current research interests include optimal measurement and dosing of direct oral anticoagulants, innovative digital platforms to improve trial efficiency, and predictors of bleeding.

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.

Fellows

Meet Them All
Alexander Benz

Research Fellow

Alexander Benz
Research Fellow

Alexander Benz joined the Arrhythmia Research group at PHRI, supervised by Stuart Connolly, as a research fellow in January 2019, and is enrolled in the Health Research Methodology program at McMaster University. His primary research interest is clinical electrophysiology, with a particular focus on atrial fibrillation. Other areas of interest include oral anticoagulation in various settings, inflammation, cardiac implantable electronic devices and interventions such as catheter ablation.

He is actively involved in the conduct of large international clinical trials coordinated at PHRI. Alexander is the Principal Investigator of a randomized clinical trial testing a short-course treatment with colchicine in the setting of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation that started enrollment in January 2020.

Alexander obtained his medical degree from Goethe University in Frankfurt (Germany) in 2015. He is pursuing a career in Cardiology.

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.

Associates

Meet Them All
David Jenkins

Associate Senior Scientist

David Jenkins
Associate Senior Scientist

David Jenkins is a Professor, Departments of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, a staff physician in the division of endocrinology and metabolism, Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, and a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute a of St. Michael’s Hospital.

Educated at Oxford University, he was the first researcher to demonstrate the breadth of metabolic effects of viscous soluble fiber on blood glucose and cholesterol lowering of relevance to prevention and treatment of diabetes and heart disease. David  Jenkins’ studies on combining cholesterol lowering food components (dietary portfolio) have been recognized as creating an effective dietary alternative to drug therapy (statins) for lower risk people.

Paul Moayyedi

Associate Senior Scientist

Paul Moayyedi
Associate Senior Scientist

Professor, Department of Medicine (gastroenterology), and Assistant Dean, Research at McMaster University, Paul Moayyedi is Principal Investigator of the IMAGINE-SPOR study at PHRI, and leads the CIHR Strategy for Patient Oriented Research funded consortium across Canada evaluating impact of diet and the microbiome on inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and related psychiatric disorders.

He received his medical education at Bristol University, and trained in gastroenterology at Leeds’ General Infirmary, UK. He was awarded a PhD and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Leeds. Moayyedi was a professor of gastroenterology health services research at the University of Birmingham before coming to McMaster to serve as the inaugural Richard Hunt/AstraZeneca Chair of Gastroenterology in 2004. He has been the director of the division of gastroenterology and currently holds the Audrey Campbell Chair of Ulcerative Colitis Research.

Lehana Thabane

Associate Senior Scientist

Lehana Thabane
Associate Senior Scientist

Lehana Thabane is Professor and Interim Chair, Department, Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, and Director, Biostatistics Unit, The Research Institute of Joe’s Hamilton. His research interests include clinical trials; pragmatic trials; pilot and feasibility trials; reporting of trials; systematic review methodology; and mentorship.

Lehana is a member of International Statistical Institute (elected member), American Statistical Association, International Society of Clinical Biostatistics, the Society for Clinical Trials, and the Statistical Society of Canada. He is a member of the member of the Working Groups for the CONSORT extension to pilot trials; and the CONSORT extension to trials using cohorts and routinely collected health data. Having mentored more than 100 MSc, PhD, and postdoc trainees, Lehana has won many teaching and mentorship awards, and is the clinical trials mentor for CIHR. He has co-authored more than 600 publications in peer-reviewed journals and more than 700 abstracts presented at national and international meetings.

Back To Top