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Senior Scientists

Meet Them All
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 a Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology at McMaster University; Associate Chair, Diversity and Equity in McMaster’s Department of Medicine; Director of McMaster’s Population Genomics Program; inaugural Chair, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society; and Director, Chanchlani Research Centre for Global Health at McMaster, among other roles.

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

Scientists

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Rahul Chanchlani

Scientist

Rahul Chanchlani
Scientist

Rahul Chanchlani’s research program aims to promote interdisciplinary research collaborations among peers and experts to address knowledge gaps in key renal diseases such as acute kidney injury, kidney transplantation, hypertension and nephrotic syndrome among neonates and children. As principal investigator, his research on acute kidney injury and hypertension is supported by grants from Hamilton Health Sciences New Investigator Award (2017), Physician Services Incorporated Grant (2018), Kidney Foundation of Canada Grant (2019), and an Early Career Award by Hamilton Health Sciences (2020). Rahul has worked on PHRI’s START study to understand the determinants of adiposity and hypertension among newborns of South Asian origin in Canada and India.

He joined the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster Children’s Hospital as an Assistant Professor in September 2015. In November 2016, he finished his Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology (Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation) and Clinician Investigator Program from the University of Toronto. He is also an associate faculty in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI) at McMaster University. Rahul was appointed as an adjunct ICES scientist in February 2020.

David Conen

Scientist

David Conen
Scientist

David Conen is a Scientist at PHRI, which he joined in 2016, and an Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, McMaster University. A trained internist and cardiologist from Basel, Switzerland, he obtained a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University.

His research activities involves the conduct of large epidemiological cohort studies to study risk factors for the occurrence of atrial fibrillation and its consequences, and research into therapies to prevent and treat perioperative atrial fibrillation. David is the Co-Principal Investigator of a large national cohort study to assess the relationship between atrial fibrillation and cognitive decline in Switzerland (Swiss-AF). He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts in leading scientific journals as well as several reviews and editorials.

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.

Investigators

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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.

Research Fellows

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Filipe Cirne

Research Fellow

Filipe Cirne
Research Fellow

Filipe Cirne completed his medical degree at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande in Brazil (2012). His internal medicine and cardiology residency trainings were completed at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, also in Brazil. Additionally he completed an echocardiography fellowship at Instituto de Cardiologia do Rio Grande do Sul, where he is currently completing a MSc.

His main research interests include cardio-oncology and structural heart disease. He is finishing an advanced echocardiography fellowship at McMaster University. Filipe is working on cardio-oncology research projects under the mentorship of Darryl Leong, including on the studies RADICAL-PC and SCHOLAR-2, and doing systematic reviews on prostate cancer risk factors and survivorship/CV outcomes.

Danielle de Sa Boasquevisque

Research Fellow

Danielle de Sa Boasquevisque
Research Fellow

Danielle de Sa Boasquevisque is a Research Fellow at PHRI, supervised by Ashkan Shoamanesh, and is pursuing a Masters in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University. At PHRI, she is a co-Investigator in the ENRICH-AF trial and Project Officer for the CATIS-ICAD trial.

She obtained her MD from Federal University of Espirito Santo in Brazil and has completed internal medicine and neurology training in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2018, she completed her MSc in Neuroscience at Albert Einstein Institute/Sao Paulo, Brazil where she studied safety of transcranial direct current stimulation in patients after ischemic stroke. She also pursued a two-year clinical Stroke fellowship at McMaster University from 2018 to 2020.

Danielle has research interests in vascular neurology including acute stroke, neuro-rehabilitation, intracranial atherosclerotic disease and intracerebral hemorrhage. She is currently implementing an ICH cohort study and performing systematic review regarding ICH related outcomes.

Harry Klimis

Research Fellow

Harry Klimis
Research Fellow

Harry Klimis is a Clinical and Research Fellow at PHRI and McMaster University, supervised by Darryl Leong and Salim Yusuf. His training features an integrated cardio-oncology research and clinical program dedicated to understanding the evolution of cardiovascular risk factor patterns in healthy populations and people with cancer, and their association with CVD and mortality. Harry is an investigator in the RADICAL-PC and SCHOLAR-2 studies, and will be working on the PURE study.

Harry is an Australian cardiologist and completed both his MBBS and PhD at the University of Sydney. His research has primarily focused on primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and digital health interventions. Other research interests include cardio-oncology and echocardiography.

Associates

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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 at St. Michael’s Hospital., Unity Health Toronto.

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 Vice-President, Research, St. Joseph’s Hamilton, and Scientific Director of the Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton. He is a Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University. 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.

Our Colleagues Remembered

PHRI is honoured to have collaborated with these scientists and clinicians who left big shoes to fill in their respective fields. Learn more about these late, great friends and fellow researchers.

Meet Them All
Janice Pogue
Janice Pogue

JANICE POGUE was an exceptional statistician who created the statistical group at the Population Health Research Institute where she worked for 22 years, and as a faculty member at McMaster University’s then named Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Her untimely death in 2016 was a major loss for PHRI, McMaster University, and the international biostatistics/clinical trials research community. The annual Janice Pogue Lectureship in Biostatistics was launched in 2017 to honour her legacy.

Yannick Le Manach
Yannick Le Manach

YANNICK LE MANACH was an Investigator in the Perioperative and Surgery research program at PHRI, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, at McMaster University. He passed in July 2020.

His main clinical research interests included the prediction of postoperative complications after surgery, and perioperative hemodynamic management care and strategies to improve outcomes after surgery. With an MD in anesthesia and critical care from Paris VI University, a Masters of Cardiac Physiology from Paris VII University, and a PhD in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from Paris V University in France, he published more than 120 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Heather Arthur
Heather Arthur

HEATHER ARTHUR was a pioneer in cardiac rehabilitation research in Canada, Professor Emeritus at McMaster’s School of Nursing, and the first woman and first nursing professional to be awarded the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation Terry Kavanagh Prize in 2013, the year she retired. The Heather M. Arthur Population Health Research Institute/Hamilton Health Sciences Chair in Inter-Professional Health Research in the McMaster School of Nursing was created in 2019 in her honour, two years after her death.

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