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CCORT is funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Team Grant in Cardiovascular Outcomes Research

CANHEART is funded by a CIHR Team Grant in Chronic Disease Risk & Intervention Strategies

Investigator Biosketches

Steering Committee Members

Dr. Jack Tu is a Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research and a Career Investigator of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.  He is a senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Toronto, where he oversees the heart and stroke research group.  Dr. Tu holds an academic appointment as Professor of Medicine, Health Policy Management, and Evaluation and Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.  He also serves as an attending physician in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.  His key research interests focus on quality of acute myocardial infarction/congestive heart failure care, rates, waits, and outcomes of patients undergoing cardiac procedures, quality of care in stroke/carotid surgery, effectiveness of health care report cards for improving care and international comparisons of health care systems.




Dr. William Ghali is a professor in the departments of medicine and community health sciences at the University of Calgary.  He is also based in the Centre for Health and Policy Studies in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Dr. Ghali holds a Government of Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research, and is also funded as a health scholar by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.  Clinically, he is trained as a General Internist, and also completed methodological training in health services research and epidemiology.

Dr. Louise Pilote is a William Dawson Associate Professor of Medicine at McGill University and an associate member of the McGill Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  She is Director of the Division of Internal Medicine at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal and Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology, McGill University.  In addition to her clinical and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Pilote is a medical scientist at the Division of Clinical Epidemiology at the Montreal General Hospital.

Dr. Jafna Cox is the Director of Research in the Division of Cardiology, Dalhousie University and practices as a non-invasive cardiologist.  Dr. Cox has been active in research relating to health services, outcomes and disease management.  Much of his recent research work has been as part of national collaborative research groups.  Dr. Cox has had specific experience with large public-private research partnerships as well as population-based, province-wide studies involving outcomes management and knowledge translation.  More recently, his research focus is shifting to the prevention of cardiovascular disease at the primary care level and to understanding how differing drug policies across provinces may be having a variable effect on patient health outcomes.  He lectures nationally and internationally on issues relating to cardiovascular health services and outcomes in Canada, as well as on the application of disease management on a population-wide basis.  

Dr. Karin Humphries is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the University of British Columbia .  She is also a surveillance epidemiologist for the British Columbia Provincial Health Services Authority.   Her main research interest is in sex differences in outcomes following coronary revascularization. Most of her investigations involve data linkage between detailed clinical information and administrative data, such as hospital discharge, physician services, and medication use.







Dr. Douglas S. Lee is a clinical epidemiologist and health outcomes/health services researcher at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.  He recently completed a fellowship at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Massachusetts.  He completed his PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at ICES and the University of Toronto.  Dr. Lee is a cardiologist with clinical and research expertise in cardiovascular disease risk assessment and prevention, heart failure epidemiology, quality of care, and outcomes assessment.  He is a member of the expert advisory committee for the Canadian Health Measures Survey, Statistics Canada.


Dr. David Alter
is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and is associated with the Division of Cardiology and The Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michaels’ Hospital, and The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.  Dr. Alter is an Associate Professor with the department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  His cross appointments include Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. His research interests extend across many disciplines, including the examination of chronic vascular disease management, cardiovascular outcomes and the process-outcomes relationship, physician decision-making behaviours, evaluating the effects of regionalization and/or decentralization of specialized cardiac services, waiting-list management systems, and determinants of non-invasive cardiac testing in Ontario.

Dr. Peter Austin is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and is a
statistician with interests in statistical methodology for health services research.  His research interests include propensity score methods for causal inference, hierarchical (multilevel) models for the analysis of clustered health services data, and modern regression methods for predicting cardiac outcomes.

Dr. Fred Burge is a senior clinical research scholar and the director of research at the Department of Family Medicine, Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  His research focuses on two areas: health services and evidence application in primary care, primarily in the area of end-of-life care.  For the past five years he and his colleagues have conducted administrative health data record linkage projects to examine how health services are provided to the dying in Nova Scotia.  Dr. Burge is a founding co-investigator on the team of “TUTOR-PHC” (the first CIHR-funded interdisciplinary training centre for primary care research).  This “virtual” centre is a joint initiative of the University of Western Ontario, Dalhousie University, McMaster University and University of Montreal and has graduate research students from across Canada.

Dr. Mark Eisenberg is an academic interventional cardiologist, a clinical epidemiologist, and an associate professor of medicine at McGill University. He holds a Masters of Public Health degree from Harvard University.  Dr. Eisenberg is a senior clinician scientist of the Fonds de la Recherche en Sante de Quebec. He also directs the Cardiovascular Health Services Research Group at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Quebec.

Dr. Michelle Graham is an assistant professor and interventional cardiologist at the University of Alberta.  Her primary research focus is outcomes research.  Dr. Graham’s particular areas of interest include primary PCI, after-hours care, and cardiac care in the elderly.

Dr. Gregory Hirsch is a cardiac surgeon and cardiovascular researcher at Dalhousie University, and an associate professor of surgery at Dalhousie University. He is head of the division of cardiac surgery at the QE II Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Hirsch’s clinical research program has focused on the determinants of cardiac surgical outcomes, and more recently his work has dealt with issues of barriers to access to cardiac surgery within the Canadian System.

Dr. Thao Huynh is a clinical cardiologist, and an associate professor of medicine at Montreal General Hospital, McGill University.  She is currently pursuing PhD studies in Epidemiology and Biostatiscs at Mcgill University.  Dr. Huynh is a consultant at Quebec’s Agency of Evaluation of Technology and Modes of Intervention (AETMIS), and a member of Board of Direction of Quebec’s Heart and Stroke Foundation. Her research interests are acute coronary syndromes and congestive heart failure.

Dr. Cynthia Jackevicius is a clinical pharmacotherapy specialist in cardiology at the University Health Network and the VAGLA Healthcare System, an assistant professor with the department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, and an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Western University of Health Sciences.

Dr. Merril L Knudtson is a professor in the department of Medicine at the University of Calgary.  He is also based in the Foothills Medical Centre as an interventional cardiologist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Dr. Knudtson initiated the angioplasty program in Calgary in 1991 and was Director of the Interventional Cardiology group until 2002.  He was also Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the Foothills Medical Centre until 2003.  He led the development of the primary PCI program for AMI patients in Calgary.

Dr. Dennis Ko is a Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, an Interventional Cardiologist at the Schulich Heart Centre of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  His research focuses on determining optimal clinical strategies and identifying opportunities for improvement in the prevention, treatment and outcome of cardiovascular disease, focusing on acute myocardial infarction, heart failure and invasive cardiac procedures such as coronary angiography and angioplasty.  These research efforts are intended to provide critical information to improve the quality of health care, monitor changes over time, and guide decisions about the allocation of scarce health care resources.

Dr. Douglas Manuel is an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.  He recently relocated to Ottawa where he is a Senior Scientist of the Ottawa Health Research Institute and a Senior Medical Advisor for Statistics Canada.  He holds a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Applied Public Health.  He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, at the University of Toronto.  He is an MD with a Masters in Epidemiology and Royal College specialization in Community Medicine.  For the past 15 years, he has been a primary care clinician in rural and remote Canadian communities

Dr. Colleen Norris is an associate professor at the University of Alberta with a PhD in Epidemiology.  Her research focuses on the health related quality of life outcomes (HRQOL) and sex/gender differences of presentation, treatments and outcome of patients with coronary heart disease.

Dr. Wayne Putnam is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine, Dalhousie University.  He has 28 years of experience conducting research with community physicians, helping to set standards for clinical practice, and the application of evidence-based medicine in primary care on a variety of clinical topics including ischemic heart disease and anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation.  Dr. Putnam will study access to primary and secondary prevention of heart disease in the community, in his role as a CCORT co-investigator.

Dr. Stéphane Rinfret is an assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Montréal in Québec, a clinical and outcomes researcher in the pharmacoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology unit of Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) Research Centre, and is also a clinical and interventional cardiologist in the Division of Cardiology at Notre-Dame Hospital of the CHUM in Montreal.  Dr. Rinfret is a junior physician-scientist of the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec (FRSQ).

Dr. Michael Schull is a senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and the director of the Emergency Medicine division, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto.  He is an associate professor in the departments of medicine (Division of Emergency Medicine) and health policy, management and evaluation. Dr. Schull has expertise on the per-hospital management of cardiac patients as well as issues regarding the organization and deployment of pre-hospital service.

Dr. Derek So is a staff interventional cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.  Currently, he is completing his Master’s degree in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.  Dr. So’s research interests are in acute coronary syndromes and interventional cardiology.

Dr. Thérèse A. Stukel is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Professor of Biostatistics and Health Services Research, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH; and Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto.  She has extensive experience in designing and analyzing large clinical trials, observational studies, complex surveys, and longitudinal studies, as well as analyses of Ontario and U.S. health administrative data for health services research.  Her earlier research focused on statistical methods for logistic regression and longitudinal data analysis models. She has developed longitudinal cohort methods to study patterns of regional variation in health care delivery, as well as their causes and consequences.  More recently, she has focused on these models in the context of invasive cardiac management, health human resource supply, and methods for selection bias in observational studies. She has collaborated extensively with Doug Lee, David Alter and Jack Tu in model development for cardiac health services research studies.

Larry Svenson is a manager of the Epidemiologic Surveillance Unit with the Alberta Ministry of Health and Wellness.  He is also an adjunct assistant professor with the department of public health sciences at the University of Alberta and an adjunct associate professor with the department of community health sciences at the University of Calgary.  Mr. Svenson has extensive experience working with population-based administrative data and using this data for epidemiologic and health services research and provides a link to government policy makers.

Dr. Christopher Thompson is an associate professor of cardiology at the University of British Columbia and serves as an attending physician at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Dr. Karen Tu is a family physician at Toronto Western Hospital, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and an associate scientist at ICES.  Her primary areas of interest are in hypertension and primary care.  She has extensive experience in data collection in primary care physician offices as well as in analysis of administrative databases with respect to hypertension and antihypertensive medications.

Dr. Nancy Walton is an associate professor in nursing at Ryerson University.  She is Chair of the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board.  She has been nominated to the Senior Executive of the International Society for Priorities in Health Care as of September 2005 and serves as a founding member of the Canadian Priority Setting Research Network.