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Jean-Claude Tardif, MD

Jean-Claude Tardif

Jean-Claude Tardif is professor of medicine at the Montreal Heart Institute, where he also serves as a cardiologist and Director of the Research Center. Dr. Tardif graduated from the University of Montreal with his medical degree in 1987 and completed his fellowship in cardiology in 1992. Returning to Montreal, he took up a position as cardiologist at the Heart Institute that same year. Dr. Tardif is the Director of the Cardiovascular Health Network of Fonds de Recherche en Santé du Québec and also holds the Canadian Institutes of Health research and Pfizer chair in atherosclerosis. Dr. Tardif has authored and co-authored more than 400 articles and abstracts in peer-reviewed publications including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Circulation, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In addition, he has written 25 book chapters and has edited several books. He is the principal investigator of several large international clinical trials in the field of atherosclerosis.

Therese Heinonen


A graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Heinonen has an active interest in the evaluation of potential cardiovascular biomarkers and their appropriate application in clinical trials. She received training in molecular biology at Merck Research Laboratories, and was a member of the Pfizer Global Research and Development cardiovascular senior management team where she made significant contributions to the clinical development of Lipitor. Including her current responsibilities as the Associate Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs at the Montreal Heart Institute Coordinating Center, Dr. Heinonen has accumulated over 17 total years of research, with 15 years dedicated to clinical research. Current clinical research projects are focused in the areas of cardioprotection, neuroprotection, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular imaging and lipid modification. Addition areas of interest include strategies to improve upon clinical trial design and methodology. Dr. Heinonen has authored over 40 publications and managed over 30 clinical trials, many of which have focused on cardiovascular biomarkers and imaging technologies. Dr. Heinonen has worked as a consultant to government institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and diagnostic companies. In 2003, Dr. Heinonen began organizing the annual Cardiovascular Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints Symposium and in 2006 co-founded the International Partnership for Critical Markers of Disease. Dr. Heinonen is also the owner of Clinical Lynx, Inc., a research support company.

Rob Beanlands

Robert Beanlands

is a Career Investigator (HSFO) and international leader in cardiovascular nuclear imaging, contributing expertise to the application of PET to evaluate metabolic and cellular function in cardiovascular disease and responses to therapy.  He is Chief of Cardiac Imaging and founding Director of the National Cardiac PET Centre, a state-of-the-art facility funded in part by two CFI grants and the only PET facility in Canada dedicated to cardiovascular disease.  He is extensively published and offers experience in leading large, multicentre imaging trials, including PARR-2 and leads the provincially-funded cardiac PET registry (CADRE).  He holds multiple peer reviewed grants with CIHR and HSFO, developing strong collaborative relationships within the University of Ottawa Heart Institute,  with partner institutions across Canada and internationally. He is the Ottawa site co-PI for the Canadian Atherosclerosis Imaging Network, and Director of the Molecular Function and Imaging providing a multidisciplinary, translational research training program, encompassing basic sciences, regenerative therapies, imaging physics/engineering, cardiology, chemistry, and clinical research to over 30 graduate, post-graduate and clinical trainees. He has served on several committees/advisory boards for government (Health Canada, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee), industry (BMS, Pfizer, GE, DRAXIMAGE) and professional organizations (Am Coll Cardiology Governor, Can Cardiovasc Society, Soc Nucl Medicine, Am Soc Nucl Card) impacting healthcare policies and practice guidelines.  He is past-president of the Canadian Nuclear Cardiology Society, co-author of the ASNC Practice Guidelines for PET and Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

David Spence


David Spence

Professor Spence has focused on prevention of stroke throughout his  career. He pioneered the measurement of 2-dimensional carotid total plaque area beginning in 1990, and since 1994 has collaborated with Dr. Aaron Fenster in measurement of 3D plaque volume. His research program focuses on measurement of atherosclerosis by ultrasound, for patient management, genetic research and for assessing effects of new therapies. He has published 196 peer-reviewed papers, has been a member of the executive committees of several NIH-funded trials including the NASCET, ACE and VISP trials, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the NIH-funded trial on Insulin Resistance in Stroke (IRIS). He was a member of the board of the Canadian Hypertension Society, and of the Leadership Committee of the AHA Stroke Council, and is a member of the International Societies of Stroke, Hypertension and Atherosclerosis.  He is an Assistant Editor of Stroke, and a member of the editorial boards of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology, and of Hypertension.  In 2006, he authored  How to Prevent Your Stroke, a book for the public.  In 2008, Prof. Spence was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.



Sandra Black


Sandra Black

 Sandra E. Black, MD, FRCPC, holds the inaugural Brill Chair in Neurology, Dept of Medicine, University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is the Brain Sciences Program Research Director at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Medical Director of the Regional Stroke Centre for the North and East Greater Toronto Area. She directs the LC Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit, and is the Interim Scientific Director for the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery. She is also a Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest. She served as Head of the Division of Neurology at Sunnybrook from 1995-2006.


Dr. Black received her medical degree and neurology training at the University of Toronto, and did graduate work at Oxford University in the History and Philosophy of Science. Her research interests include the cognitive and behavioural consequences of stroke and vascular brain disease, stroke recovery, the differential diagnosis of dementia, and the use of neuroimaging techniques to elucidate brain-behavior relationships in stroke and dementia, including quantitative structural imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging. She has authored/co-authored over 250 publications and is actively engaged in treatment trials for stroke and stroke recovery, Alzheimer’s disease, and Vascular Dementia.

Philippe L’Allier






Brian Rutt

Brain Rutt



Academic History:

B.A.Sc. (Engineering Science), University of Toronto, 1976

M.S. (Electrical Engineering), Stanford University, 1977

Ph.D. (Medical Biophysics), University of Toronto, 1982


Brian Rutt joined the Stanford faculty as Professor of Radiology effective Jan. 1, 2009. Dr. Rutt, who is the author of more than 120 peer reviewed journal articles, is an internationally recognized expert in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Prior to coming to Stanford, Dr. Rutt was Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine and Medical Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario and the recipient of the Barnett-Ivey Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario Endowed Research Chair. Dr. Rutt has made important contributions in both the basic technology of MRI (e.g., leading-edge work in insertable gradient coils and RF components), biophysical measurements using MR (e.g., combined T1 and T2 mapping using gradient imaging sequences), basic science applications of MR (e.g., the first demonstrations of in-vivo detection of a single mammalian cell using MRI and the use of MR to longitudinally monitor tumor growth deep within tissue starting from a single cell), and clinical applications, especially in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Rutt is especially interested in developing and using in-vivo ultra-high field (e.g. 7 Tesla) Magnetic Resonance techniques to study important human diseases. The increased sensitivity and enhanced contrast mechanisms at these high field strengths should provide insight to unsolved problems, especially in neuroscience and cancer.

Aaron Fenster

Aaron Fenster

Dr. Fenster received his PhD degree in 1976 from the Department of Medical Biophysics of the University of Toronto for research under the supervision of Dr. H. E. Johns. His first academic appointment was at the Department of Radiology and Medical Biophysics of the University of Toronto from 1979 to 1987, and the Director of the Radiological Research laboratories of the Department of Radiology. In 1987 he moved to London and became a Scientist and founding Director of the Imaging Research Laboratories (IRL) at the Robarts Research Institute and Professor at The University of Western Ontario (UWO) in Radiology and Medical Biophysics. Under Dr. Fenster’s leadership, the IRL has grown from 3 Scientists and 7 staff to one of the largest medical imaging research groups in North America with 13 Scientists and over 240 staff including 91 graduate students registered in 6 different Departments at UWO. In addition to his leadership at the Robarts, he is the founder and Associate Director of new interdisciplinary graduate Program at UWO in Biomedical Engineering, combining strengths of basic scientists, engineers and clinician scientists in 3 faculties (Medicine & Dentistry, Engineering and Health Sciences). This Program is in its fourth year of operation has already attracted 50 high-caliber graduate students. In addition, he is the Chair of the basic Science Division of the Department of Medical Imaging at UWO. This Division combines the strengths in imaging research across London’s Institutions, which combined, makes the London medical imaging research community one of the largest in the world with over 350 staff and students and $100M in research equipment. In 2007, he was appointed as the Director of the Imaging Pipeline Platform of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Currently, he holds a Canada Research Chair-Tier 1 in Biomedical Engineering and he is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s (Ontario) Award for Innovative Leadership.


Fenster’s group has focused on the development of 3D ultrasound imaging with diagnostic and surgical/therapeutic cancer applications in humans as well as mouse research models. His team developed the world’s firsts in 3D ultrasound imaging of the prostate, 3D ultrasound guided prostate cryosurgery and brachytherapy, 3D ultrasound guided prostate and breast biopsy for early diagnosis of cancer and 3D ultrasound images of mouse tumours and their vasculature. This technology has been licensed to commercial companies who are distributing it world-wide for cancer therapy and research.


Fenster’s research has resulted in 210 peer-reviewed publications, 34 patents (25 issued and 9 pending) and the formation of two companies in London (Life Imaging Systems and Enhanced Vision Systems), with Fenster as a founding scientist. In addition, his patents have been licensed to 11 different companies, which have commercialized them for world-wide distribution.

Matthias Friedrich

Matthias Friedrich

Matthias Friedrich earned his MD in 1990 in Erlangen, Germany and completed his cardiology training in Berlin with intensive care, invasive and non-invasive imaging as subspecialties. Among other responsibilities, he served as the Deputy Director of the Cardiology Department (Franz-Volhard-Klinik) at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin.
The main research interest has been Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR), with a focus on tissue characterization in acute and chronic heart disease. In 1995, he founded the CMR working group at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
In 2004, he resumed the position of the Director of the Stephenson Cardiovascular MR Centre Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta in Calgary, which now is one of the largest academic CMR centres in the world. He holds an appointment as Associate Professor for Medicine with the Departments of Cardiac Sciences and Radiology at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Friedrich has published more than 80 papers and book chapters, is a reviewer for several grant agencies, numerous specialty journals, and a member of several editorial boards and professional societies.
In 2005, Dr. Friedrich founded the Canadian Society for Cardiovascular MR and is its elected President.

Ben Chow

Ben Chow

Dr. Chow is a Cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and an Assistant Professor in Medicine and Radiology at the University of Ottawa. He is the Co-Director of Cardiac Radiology and the Director of Postgraduate Cardiac Imaging Training at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. To our knowledge, Dr. Chow was the first Canadian Cardiologist with advanced training in Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT). Having gained expertise in Cardiac CT at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, he has established the first dedicated Canadian Cardiac CT Program with an active research and clinical program. In recognition of his dedication to education, research and clinical care, the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine awarded him the “Young Professor Award” in 2006. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to research and education.

Dr Chow holds several peer-reviewed research grants. His research focuses on 2 major themes: 1) the establishment of new cardiac imaging modalities and 2) validation of therapeutics using cardiac imaging. Dr. Chow’s primary research focus is on Cardiac CT and is involved in multicentre and single centre studies which explore the prognostic value and clinical utility of this new modality.

Alan Moody

Alan Moody leads the vascular biology imaging research group (VBIRG) at Sunnybrook Research Institute. Dr. Moody is also the chief of Medical Imaging at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. As a practicing radiologist and clinician Dr. Moody's research aim is to apply evolving research techniques, particularly in the field of magnetic resonance imaging to the investigation of the process of disease. Over the last five years Dr. Moody has developed techniques that provide quantitative and qualitative data from MR images that allow the cross sectional and longitudinal study of disease. Currently, his major thrust is the imaging of vessel wall disease, namely atheroma, and the subsequent complications of vascular occlusion and end organ consequences. His group has continued to grow and expanded to include a full time core research team of MRI technologist, research physicist, research nurse, research coordinator, and research assistant. In addition, five full time graduate students are under his supervision.

Richard Frayne

Richard Frayne

University of Calgary/Foothills Medical Centre

Dr Richard Frayne is an Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Departments of Radiology and Clinical Neuroscience and a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. He is also a Scientist at the Seaman Family MR Centre, Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Health Sciences. In 2003 he was appointed a Canada Research Chair in Image Science. The Chair was renewed in 2008. He also holds a Senior Medical Scholar salary-support award (2005-2010) from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR). Dr Frayne’s research interests are in the development and application of new magnetic resonance imaging techniques in humans for the study, detection and treatment of vascular disease. Current specific interests include imaging for stroke prevention and in acute stroke; angiography in the lower limbs, and MR-based endovascular therapy. Dr Frayne is also interested in clinical vascular applications of Molecular Imaging and 3D ultrasound.
Previously at the University of Wisconsin (1994-1999) he helped develop time-resolved contrast-enhanced MR angiography. He holds a a BASc (1989) from the University of Waterloo and PhD from the University of Western Ontario (1994). Dr Frayne has over 15 years experience in pursuing imaging research in a clinical research environment. He has over 90 published or in-press peer-reviewed publications, over 65 invited talks and over 280 scholarly presentations. He is very active in the training of high quality people and has trained >30 undergraduate students, 9 medical students, 10 MSc, 7 PhD and 5 post-doctoral fellows. The AHFMR, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, The US National Institutes for Health, the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Whitaker Foundation, currently fund or have funded his research.