Chairs and professorships

Heart & Stroke chairs and professorships

Chairs and professorships provide salary and infrastructure support to enable a leading researcher to develop a specific heart disease or stroke research focus at a Canadian university or its affiliated research institute. Very often these leaders build a network or centre of research excellence , attracting the best and brightest new investigators to the institution. These initiatives are typically funded through designated endowments or through partnerships with like-minded organizations.

Husam Abdel Qadir

Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir

Early Career Women's Heart and Brain Health Chair, Women’s College Research Institute, Toronto

There is a well-established link between treatments for breast cancer and the onset of heart disease, such as a weakened heart or a predisposition to atrial fibrillation. Dr. Abdel-Qadir is working towards detecting heart disease at an earlier stage, to improve the heart and brain health outcomes for these women.

Sonia Anand

Dr. Sonia Anand

Heart & Stroke/Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Population Health Research, McMaster University, Hamilton

Dr. Anand is a vascular medical specialist and director of the Population Genomics Program at Hamilton Health Sciences. Her current research focuses upon the environmental and genetic determinants of vascular disease in populations of varying ancestral origin, as well as women and cardiovascular disease.

Heart & Stroke researcher Doctor Padma Kaul

Dr. Padma Kaul

Heart & Stroke Chair in Cardiovascular Research, University of Alberta, Edmonton

Wayne Chen

Dr. Wayne Chen

Heart & Stroke Chair in Cardiovascular Research, University of Calgary

The human heartbeat is initiated by the release of calcium, but under some circumstances – including stress, intense exercise, or disease – excessive calcium can be released, leading to heart rhythm disorders (arrythmias). Dr. Chen leads a research team that explores the causes and channels for these high levels of calcium. They have identified a drug that can stabilize this release of calcium.

Dr. Mayank Goyal

Heart & Stroke Chair in Stroke Research, University of Calgary

Bernice Downey

Dr. Bernice Downey

Indigenous Early Career Women's Heart and Brain Health Chair, McMaster University, Hamilton

Dr. Bernice Downey is exploring the culture-related factors that have led to gaps in health promotion, diagnosis, treatment and research that impact Indigenous women. Tapping into Indigenous and Western knowledge, she is looking at ways to improve training for healthcare professionals to help them work with Indigenous women in a culturally safe way that fosters trusting relationships.

Heather Foulds

Dr. Heather Foulds

Indigenous Early Career Women's Heart and Brain Health Chair, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

With a team that includes an Indigenous community advisory committee, Indigenous students and research assistants, Dr. Foulds is embarking on a series of studies to identify social and cultural factors that could influence Indigenous women’s heart and brain health, and explore ways to improve prevention, detection and treatment.

Shaun Goodman

Dr. Shaun Goodman

Heart & Stroke Polo for Heart Chair, University of Toronto

Dr. Shaun Goodman is a cardiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, a consultant to the Canadian Heart Research Centre and co-director of the Canadian VIGOUR Centre. His research is focused on diagnosis and management of coronary artery disease, secondary prevention of heart disease, and stroke prevention and risk management in atrial fibrillation.

Andrew Krahn

Dr. Andrew Krahn

The Sauder Family/Heart & Stroke Chair in Cardiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Dr. Krahn is an internationally recognized expert in heart rhythm disorders or arrhythmias, with a focus on understanding their genetic causes. He is passionate about improving diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias, and early detection of genetic conditions.

Scott Lear

Dr. Scott Lear

Pfizer/Heart & Stroke Chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver

Dr. Lear is a leading researcher in the prevention and management of heart disease, focused on enhancing understanding of risk factors and prevention strategies across diverse populations. Articles from his popular blog on healthy living topics are published on

Michael McGillion

Dr. Michael McGillion

Heart & Stroke/Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Cardiovascular Nursing Research, McMaster University, Hamilton

Dr. Michael McGillion is an internationally recognized expert in postoperative care and recovery support. His research program focuses on remote automated monitoring and virtual recovery support for people recovering from cardiac, vascular and other forms of surgery. Dr. McGillion is Co-Chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Pan-Canadian Council on Mission: Priorities, Advice, Science and Strategy (CoMPASS).

Seema Mital

Dr. Seema Mital

Heart & Stroke/Robert M. Freedom Chair in Cardiovascular Science, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Dr. Mital, a cardiologist and senior scientist in genetics and genome biology, is studying the genomic causes of childhood heart disease including congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathies. Her goal is to apply precision medicine approaches to diagnose, prevent and treat heart failure to improve outcomes and survival.

Kara Nerenberg

Dr. Kara Nerenberg

Mid-Career Women's Heart and Brain Health Chair, University of Calgary

Women who experience a high blood pressure disorder during pregnancy are two to five times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke by age 40. Yet half of Canadian doctors are unaware of this. Dr. Nerenberg is studying ways to engage these women in managing their risks and creating tools to enable physicians to help them.

Geoffrey Pickering

Dr. Geoffrey Pickering

Chair appointment TBD - in recruitment, University of Western Ontario, London

Dr. Pickering’s work involves the identification of pathways by which cells of the artery wall contribute to vascular disease. In 2019 his team identified a cellular process linked to an often-fatal cardiac event called ascending aortic aneurysm. He is exploring how the vascular system ages and strategies for the development of new blood vessels.

Doctor Jeff Reading

Dr. Jeff Reading

BC First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness, St. Paul’s Hospital and Simon Fraser University, Vancouver

When Dr. Reading, a Mohawk from the Tyendinaga First Nation, looks at Canada’s Indigenous communities, he sees tremendous strengths — including powerful cultural traditions, resilience and spiritual connection to the land. As chair he leads research to develop health promotion strategies that incorporate First Nations history, culture and spirit, and to produce knowledge for policies and programs.

Dr. Nishita Singh

Dr. Nishita Singh

Chair in Clinical Stroke Research

Dr. Nishita Singh is a stroke neurologist, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Manitoba and a recipient of the 2022 Stroke Clinical Research Catalyst Grants. Her research investigates various therapies used in carotid-associated stroke.

Dr. Thalia Field

Dr. Thalia Field

The Sauder Family/Heart & Stroke Professorship in Clinical Stroke Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Dr. Field is a stroke neurologist and clinician-researcher with a focus on clinical trials. She is currently leading a national study on cerebral venous thrombosis, a rare cause of stroke primarily affecting younger women. She has a particular interest in process improvement in clinical trials, including working with patients to identify important outcomes, and integrating technology to enhance efficiency and engage under-represented populations. 

YuTian Wang

Dr. Yu Tian Wang

Heart & Stroke Chair in Stroke Research, University of British Columbia

The long-standing research interest in Dr. Wang’s laboratory has been on understanding the mechanisms regulating the efficacy of communication among neurons in the brain, and how dysfunctions in these mechanisms related to stroke and other brain disorders such as epilepsy and learning deficits.

Dr. Jeffrey Weitz

Heart & Stroke / J. Fraser Mustard Chair in Cardiovascular Research, McMaster University, Hamilton

Dr. Weitz specializes in thrombosis, the formation of clots in the bloodstream. His team has identified a new drug regimen that enables thrombosis patients to recover at home. They are in the testing phase of new, more effective drugs, while also exploring the genetic and biochemical factors that cause clots.

Dr. Salim Yusuf

Heart & Stroke / Marion W. Burke Chair in Cardiovascular Disease, McMaster University, Hamilton

Dr. Yusuf is a leading clinical researcher whose focus areas include prevention of vascular diseases and heart failure, and improved approaches to the evaluation of clinical trials. He is keenly interested in societal, biological and genetic determinants in population health, and recently published a study exploring the impact of income levels on death rates from and incidence of heart disease.

Heart & Stroke/Northern Ontario School of Medicine Chair in Aboriginal and Rural Health

This professorship is currently under recruitment.