Distinguished Lecturer Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences

The CIHR-ICRH and the Canadian Society of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (CSATVB) partner on the Scientific Excellence Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences to recognize an individual's outstanding contribution to the advancement of blood and/or blood vessel sciences both in Canada and internationally. The award will be presented to the selected candidate at the Canadian Lipid and Vascular Summit, where the recipient will deliver a lecture as part of the scientific program. The Canadian Lipid and Vascular Summit is a joint scientific symposium of the CSATVB and the Canadian Lipoprotein Conference.

2021

Dr. Heyu Ni - Recipient of the 2021 CIHR-ICRH Distinguished Lecturer/CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences

Dr. Heyu Ni received his MD/M.Sc from Anhui Medical University, China; PhD from University of Manitoba; and postdoctoral fellowship from Harvard University. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto, Senior Scientist of Canadian Blood Services Centre for Innovation, and a Platform Director at Unity Health Toronto - St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Ni is an internationally recognized leader and expert in blood sciences/vascular biology/immunology. He developed the first intravital-microscopy-thrombosis model and identified fibrinogen/VWF-independent hemostasis/thrombosis - a paradigm shift in the field. He characterized fibronectin and many other blood/vessel proteins, and their interactions with platelet-receptors. He determined the integrin-PSI-domain as a therapeutic target and discovered that apolipoprotein A-IV is an endogenous-thrombosis-inhibitor, linking lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular diseases. These discoveries significantly advance diagnosis/treatment/prevention of thrombotic and bleeding disorders.

Dr. Ni found that anti-GPIbα-mediated autoimmune-thrombocytopenia (ITP) occurs via a novel Fc-independent pathway. He discovered that both maternal anti-GPIbα and anti-β3-integrin responses damage placental vessels, leading to miscarriages (non-classical alloimmune-thrombocytopenia FNAIT). These discoveries introduced new approaches for diagnosis/prophylaxis/treatment of these immune-mediated bleeding disorders.

Dr. Ni has held >$15.2 million in research funding, published over 140 peer-reviewed high-impact articles. He holds 23 patents, and founded a spin-off company to pipeline his discoveries to therapeutics. He has given 18 keynote-lectures and 562 presentations at conferences and 58 academic institutions worldwide. Of his 137 trainees, 21 are now independent investigators/professors, and the others are clinical doctors/researchers nationally/internationally. In 2020, he was elected as a Fellow of Canadian-Academy-of-Health-Sciences, one of the highest honours in the Canadian health-sciences-community.

2020

Dr. Philip Stephen Wells - Recipient of the 2020 CIHR-ICRH Distinguished Lecturer/CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences

Dr. Wells is the Chief/Chair of the Department of Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. The Department consists of 17 Divisions, almost 500 physicians and over 200 post graduate trainees. He received his medical school education and specialty training in Internal Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He then studied Hematology and completed a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology at McMaster University, concentrating on the special problems of venous thrombosis (blood clots in the veins). He came on Faculty at UO in 1994 and established the Thrombosis Treatment and Assessment Unit at The Ottawa Hospital, now the largest thrombosis clinical practice and clinical research unit in the world. He is perhaps best known for pioneering the concept of clinical prediction rules to assist in the diagnosis of patients with suspected deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism. For each of these diseases he embodied these prediction rules in valuable algorithms now known as the “Wells Model for DVT” and the “Wells Model for PE”. They are currently used world-wide in the diagnostic process for these illnesses and are incorporated into many National and Organizational guidelines. His current interests are in Cancer Associated Thrombosis and in promoting the use of AI to improve or develop clinical predictive analytics.

Dr. Wells has received over 30 million dollars in peer reviewed research funding and has over 350 publications in a wide array of prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Circulation, Blood, Nature Genetics and Lancet. His work has been acknowledged through a Canada Research Chair (2001 to 2011), The Ottawa Hospital J. David Grimes Career Achievement Award in 2012, a University of Ottawa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, and a University of Ottawa Research Chair in 2019.

2018

Dr. Jeffrey Weitz – Recipient of the 2018 CIHR-ICRH/CSATVB Distinguished Lecturer Award in Blood and Blood Vessels

Dr. Weitz is Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University and Executive Director of the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Dr. Weitz focuses his clinical practice on patients with thrombotic disorders. His research spans the spectrum from basic studies in the biochemistry of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis to animal models of thrombosis and on to clinical trials of antithrombotic therapy. The breadth of his work is highlighted by his over 500 publications in journals as diverse as the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Biochemistry, Circulation, Blood, Annals of Internal Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet, and 60 book chapters. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Weitz is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

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