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.


Dr. Jacqueline Saw – Recipient of the 2023 CIHR-ICRH Distinguished Lecturer/CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences

Dr. Jacqueline Saw is an Interventional Cardiologist at Vancouver General Hospital and St Paul’s Hospital, Clinical Professor of Medicine at UBC, and Program Director of the VGH Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program.

She was awarded Canada Scholar and the Dean’s Entrance Scholarship for Natural Sciences at Simon Fraser University for undergraduate degree. She obtained her medical doctorate at University of Ottawa, graduating summa cum laude. She completed Internal Medicine and Cardiology residencies at UBC, and served as chief cardiology fellow. She then completed her Interventional Cardiology fellowship training at Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Dr Saw is a pioneer and world-recognized leader on spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). She established the strong link between SCAD and fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), and established the angiographic criteria for SCAD, which is internationally adopted for the diagnosis of SCAD. She led key research studies that influenced the management of SCAD patients, and led major knowledge translation efforts to improve the diagnosis and management of SCAD in the medical community. She is the director of the Vancouver SCAD Program, managing the research team and over 1,100 SCAD patients clinically. She is course director of the annual Vancouver SCAD Conference that disseminates scientific knowledge to medical professionals and patients. She is also a key opinion leader on left atrial appendage closure (LAAC), and led research on periprocedural imaging, management, and outcomes. She is the chair of the SCAI/HRS LAAC Expert Consensus Statement. She has published over 280 papers and chapters, 3 textbooks, and given over 750 scientific talks globally.


Dr. Marlys L. Koschinsky - Recipient of the 2022 CIHR-ICRH Distinguished Lecturer/CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences

Dr. Koschinsky is a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and a Robarts Research Institute Scientist at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia in Molecular Genetics. Dr. Koschinsky completed her post-doctoral work as a Canadian University-Industry Fellow at Genentech Inc. (San Francisco, CA; 1988-1991) where she first began her work on lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a).

Over her research career, Dr. Koschinsky has focused on studying the contribution of elevated Lp(a) to the development of cardiovascular disease. She is an internationally recognized opinion leader in Lp(a) research and has unraveled many mysteries surrounding the metabolism and pathophysiology of this enigmatic lipoprotein. Her research program has received both research and/or salary awards from provincial and national sources, charitable foundations, and the private sector; through numerous national and international research collaborations with biomedical researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies, she has helped translate knowledge from basic biochemistry and cell biology to preclinical, clinical, and R&D applications. Dr. Koschinsky has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles as well as numerous reviews, book chapters, opinion pieces, and consensus statements on Lp(a) and has delivered over 110 guest lectures in 8 countries. She has received numerous awards and accolades including the McDonald Scholarship and Career Investigator Award (Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario), is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, National Lipid Association, and American College of Cardiology, and has been appointed to the Order of Ontario.


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.


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.


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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