Canada is seeing an increase in the number of people who are physically inactive and dealing with obesity and diabetes − conditions that lead to heart disease and stroke. Investing in world-class research has never been more important.
In 2014, the Heart and Stroke Foundation invested close to $34 million in research, funding almost 1,000 researchers in medical institutes, universities, hospitals, and communities across the country. Over the past 60 years, this investment has totalled more than $1.4 billion in research support.
Read about how the Foundation
Since 1952, the cardiovascular death rate in Canada has declined by more than 75 per cent – and nearly 40 per cent in the last decade – largely due to research advances in surgical procedures, drug therapies and prevention efforts.
1962 → First heart unit Foundation researchers established the first-ever specialized coronary unit for hospitalized heart attack patients. This unique and focused approach has been adopted as the gold standard for care in hospitals worldwide.
1964 → Blue baby surgery Foundation researcher Dr. William Mustard developed the first successful surgical procedure for correcting a congenital defect known as Blue Baby Syndrome.
1968 → First heart transplant surgery As a result of research funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the first transplant was performed in Canada.
1968 → ASA prevents stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Henry Barnett conducted the first clinical trial for the use of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) as prevention for stroke.
1980 → Blood pressure hormone discovered A Foundation-funded researcher made a world-changing discovery when he found that the heart produces a hormone that helps to regulate blood pressure.
1997 → Gene library More than 84,000 DNA sequences related to heart disease and stroke were mapped with major contributions from Foundation-funded researchers.
1999 → Busting clots The Foundation funded research, education and advocacy that led to the use of the clot-busting drug tPA, which, if accessed quickly, can help erase the effects of a stroke.
2000 → HOPE study The Foundation-supported Heart Outcome Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) Study confirmed that ACE Inhibitors (a medication that can help to lower blood pressure) significantly reduced the rates of heart attack and stroke.
2004 → Heart attack risk factors discovered The Foundation funded part of the INTERHEART study, which showed that nine modifiable factors account for 90 per cent of heart attacks worldwide.
2010 → Stroke risk factors identified Co-funded by the Foundation, the international INTERSTROKE study identified 10 modifiable risk factors that account for 90 percent of strokes, with high blood pressure posing the greatest risk.
2012 → Test that predicts death after surgery A study co-funded by the Foundation discovered a simple blood test (troponin T) that identified patients at high risk of dying within one month of major surgery.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation ensures that all funds are awarded on an expert peer-reviewed basis. We enlist more than 200 national and international researchers to take part in the peer-review process every year. Our rigorous process assures that the Foundation funds only research that meets the highest standards of excellence.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation supports cardiovascular researchers through many stages of their careers, from summer medical studentships through to established scientists. Here are just some of the ways in which we fund researchers:
Research chairs and professorships
Dr. Sonia Anand, McMaster University
Dr. Harald Becher, University of Alberta
Dr. Ken Butcher, University of Alberta
Dr. Norm Campbell, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary
Dr. Jafna Cox, Dalhousie University / Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Wayne Chen, University of Calgary
Dr. Andrew Demchuk, University of Calgary
Dr. Henry Duff, University of Calgary
Dr. Shaun Goodman, University of Toronto
Dr. Michael Hill, University of Calgary
Dr. Karin Humphries, University of British
Dr. Alan Katz, University of Manitoba
Dr. Michael Kelly, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Andrew Krahn, University of British Columbia
Dr. Scott Lear, St. Paul’s / Simon Fraser University
Dr. Michael McGillion, McMaster University
Dr. Seema Mital
Dr. Geoffrey Pickering, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario
Dr. Kim Raine, University of Alberta
Dr. Philip Teal, University of British Columbia
Dr. Sheldon Tobe, Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Dr. Yu Tian Wang, University of British Columbia
Dr. Jeffrey Weitz, McMaster University
Dr. Salim Yusuf, McMaster University
The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s research leadership allows us to deliver science-based, up-to-date information about heart disease and stroke to Canadians and healthcare professionals in many ways:
Linking research and policy
Last updated: February 2015
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