SCIENTIST BIOS

Dr. Edward Cole
Physician-in-Chief, University Health Network
Dr. Charles H.Hollenberg Chair in Medicine at UHN
Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto


Dr. Edward Cole was appointed Physician-in-Chief, UHN and received the Dr. Charles H. Hollenberg Chair in Medicine at UHN in May 2010. He is also the Program Medical Director of the Medical and Community Care Program at UHN. He has served on the Board of Directors of TGWH Foundation since 2010.

He received his M.D. from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1975. He is currently Professor of Medicine at UofT and a staff nephrologist at TGH.

In 2001 Dr. Cole was appointed as Director, Division of Nephrology, UHN & MSH. & was past Chair of The Canadian Transplantation Society Kidney Working Group and Chair of the Steering Committee for National Kidney Registries. He received the Canadian Transplantation Society Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. His research interests are in immunosuppressive drugs and clinical trials in renal transplantation with over 150 peer reviewed publications.  

Dr. Tirone David
Cardiovascular Surgeon, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
Melanie Munk Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery


Doctor Tirone E. David is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He was born in Brazil and educated in his native country, in the United States and in Canada. His postgraduate training in surgery was at the State University of New York, Cleveland Clinic, and University of Toronto. He joined the academic staff of the University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital in 1978, and has become one of the leading cardiac surgeons in the world. Hundreds of heart surgeons from around the globe visit his operating theatre every year and he travels extensively to demonstrate operative techniques he developed and to give lectures.

Doctor David has published over 3500 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 48 chapters in medical textbooks as well as 5 surgical textbooks. He has developed numerous operative procedures to treat patients with heart valve disease, complications of myocardial infarction, and thoracic aneurysms. There is an operative procedure named after him, “the David operation”. He has been a member of the editorial board of several medical journals. In 2004-5 he was President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the most prestigious society of thoracic surgeons. Doctor David is a member of numerous professional societies. He is an honorary member of the European Cardio-thoracic Association, the Brazilian Cardiovascular Society, the Italian Society for Cardiac Surgery, the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association and the German Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. He was the recipient of the Scientific Achievement Award of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in 2016. He received the Order of Ontario in 1993 and the Order of Canada in 1996. He was elected University Professor in 2004.

Dr. Michael E. Farkouh
Peter Munk Chair Chair in Multinational Clinical Trials,
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre


Dr. Michael Farkouh is the Peter Munk Chair in Multinational Clinical Trials, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Director, Heart and Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research, Professor and Vice-Chair, Research, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. He obtained his MD from the University of Western Ontario and completed his internal medicine and cardiology training at the Mayo Clinic and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York. He holds an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from McMaster University. He is the project officer for numerous clinical trials related to diabetes and heart disease including the NIH-sponsored FREEDOM trial. He received the Gold Medal from John Paul II Hospital in Krakow and awarded the Jan J. Kellermann Memorial Award for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention from the International Academy of Cardiology. He is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 

Dr. Jonathan Irish
Chief, Surgical Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Provincial Head, Surgical Oncology Program, Cancer Care Ontario


Dr. Irish is Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Head of the Division of Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto. In 2000, Dr. Irish was appointed as the Chief of the Department of Surgical Oncology at the University Health Network and completed his term after 16 years in 2016. In 2008, Dr. Irish was appointed Provincial Head of the Surgical Oncology Program at Cancer Care Ontario. As the Kevin and Sandra Sullivan Chair in Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto he has led a multidisciplinary program in Guided Therapeutics at UHN. In that capacity Dr Irish leads a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, engineers, physicists and nanoparticle biochemists in the development of novel nanomedicine-based contrast agents which in combination with near real-time navigation and tracking systems can create innovative solutions for minimal access surgical approaches in cancer therapy.  

Dr. Gordon Keller
Director, McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine
Senior Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute


Gordon Keller earned his PhD in Immunology at the University of Alberta and completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Ontario Cancer Institute in 1983. His career has taken him to Switzerland, Austria, Denver and New York. In 2007, Keller returned to Canada to accept the position of Director, McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto. Dr. Keller is best known for his research in lineage specific differentiation of mouse and human embryonic stem cells. In December 2016, Keller was named scientific co-founder of BlueRock Therapeutics, a next-generation regenerative medicine company. 

Dr. Shaf Keshavjee
Surgeon-in-Chief, Sprott Department of Surgery, UHN
James Wallace McCutcheon Chair in Surgery
Director, Toronto Lung Transplant Program
Director, Latner Thoracic Research Laboratories
Professor, Division of Thoracic Surgery & Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
Vice Chair Innovation, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto


Shaf Keshavjee is a Thoracic surgeon who specializes in lung cancer and lung transplant surgery. He is Surgeon-in-Chief, James Wallace McCutcheon Chair in Surgery at University Health Network and Professor Division of Thoracic Surgery and Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is also the Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program. Dr Keshavjee completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto in 1985. He subsequently trained in General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto, followed by fellowship training at Harvard University and the University of London for airway surgery and heart-lung transplantation respectively. He joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 1994 and was promoted to full professor in 2002. Dr. Keshavjee served as the Chair of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto from 2004 to 2010. He was also the inaugural holder of the Pearson-Ginsberg Chair in Thoracic Surgery. 

Dr. Andres Lozano
Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery
R. R. Tasker Chair in Functional Neurosurgery
Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience
Senior Scientist, Krembil Research Institute


Dr. Lozano received his MD degree at the University of Ottawa and his neurosurgical training and PhD degree in Neurobiology at McGill. He received post-doctoral training in movement disorders at Queens Square, London, UK and in cell and molecular biology in Toronto. He is the Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and holds both the RR Tasker Chair in Functional Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and the Toronto Western Hospital and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience. He has an active laboratory dedicated to the study of neuronal degeneration and regeneration and Functional Neurosurgery.

Dr. Lozano has over 550 publications, serves on the board of several international organizations and is a founding member of the scientific advisory board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. He is the most cited neurosurgeon in the world according to Thompson Reuters. He has received a number of awards including the Olivecrona Medal and the Pioneer in Medicine award, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and has received the Order of Spain and has been recognized as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

He is best known for his work in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). His team has mapped out cortical and subcortical structures in the human brain and has pioneered applications of DBS for various disorders including Parkinson’s disease, depression, dystonia, anorexia, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease. He has been involved in training over one hundred physicians from throughout the world, with the hope that this will mean better access for patients to neurosurgical treatments to alleviate some of the debilitating effects of Neurological and Psychiatric disorders. 

Dr. Rosemary Martino
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Swallowing Disorders
Affiliated Scientist, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network
Professor Department of Speech Language Pathology, Rehabilitation Sciences Institute
Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto


Dr. Rosemary Martino is a Professor in the department of Speech Language Pathology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Martino holds a Canada Research Chair in Swallowing Disorders. She served as president of the international Dysphagia Research Society (DRS). Dr. Martino practiced as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 15 years with a focus in dysphagia. She is active in provincial, national and international dysphagia standards initiatives. Her research team consists of speech-language pathologists, physicians, engineers and biostatisticians. Together they have developed tests that assess swallowing problems in patients, namely the Medical Outcomes of Dysphagia (i.e. MOD) and the TOR-BSST©. The MOD measures complications related to dysphagia, such as malnutrition, lung infection, depression and anxiety. The TOR-BSST© is a dysphagia screening tool that has become standard of care globally and considered best practice according to the Canadian Stroke guidelines. More recently, Dr. Martino and her team secured a prestigious award from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute totaling over 0.5 million to conduct a large multi-site international trial that will identify the most effective swallowing treatment for patients with head and neck cancer. 

Dr. Ian McGilvray
Research Director, Transplant Program
Co-Director, Toronto Liver Laboratory
Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute


Dr. McGilvray studied medicine at McGill University, graduating in 1993. He entered the General Surgery training program at the University of Toronto that same year. During his residency he undertook graduate studies in Dr. Ori Rotstein’s laboratory, and obtained a PhD in Cell Biology. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2001. After a clinical fellowship in Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery at Toronto General Hospital, he began his appointment at UHN in 2003. Dr. McGilvray is Co-Director of the Toronto Liver Laboratory at UHN and, most recently, was appointed Research Director of UHN’s Transplant Program.

His clinical focus is devoted to transplantation, with an interest in complex tumors of the liver, pancreas and biliary system. His research centers on diseases of the liver, particularly immunobiology of the liver, and the use of nanomedicine-based therapeutics in liver disease. He also has an active interest in utilizing new technologies for teaching and education.  

Dr. Harry Rakowski
Medical Director, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic
E.D. Wigle Chair in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Research


Dr. Harry Rakowski graduated with an Honours MD from the University of Toronto in 1972. He did his postgraduate training in Toronto followed by a Research Fellowship at Stanford University.

A dedicated professor and practitioner, Dr. Rakowski has taught hundreds of cardiology residents. He has led an illustrious career of more than 35 years at Toronto General Hospital, where he has served as Director of Clinical Cardiology and Deputy Director for the renowned Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Program.

He has served as Chief Examiner in Cardiology, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Internationally he is the immediate past-President of the American Society of Echocardiography, past Chair of the Council of Cardiovascular Organizations, a prominent US cardiovascular leadership organization, and immediate past-President of the of the National Board of Echocardiography; a US based testing organization for cardiologists and anesthesiologists as well as the Chair of the Innovation Committee at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

Dr. Rakowski is widely published, an international speaker and prolific scientist. He has helped write many guideline papers that have been instrumental in educating cardiologists internationally.

His research interests include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy a heart muscle condition that is the leading cause of sudden death in young adults. He currently heads a world class clinical and research program, which attracts patients from around the world for investigation and innovative management of this condition.

Dr. Rakowski has been a pioneer in the development and clinical use of echocardiography, the most important non-invasive cardiac imaging test.

Dr. Raja Rampersaud, Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto
Spine Surgeon, Arthritis Program, Toronto Western Hospital
Clinician Investigator, Krembil Research Institute
Provincial Clinical Lead, Low Back Pain Pathway
Advocacy Chair for the Canadian Spine Society


South American-born Dr. Yoga Raja Rampersaud graduated in 1992 with his honours medical degree from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in London, Ontario and completed specialty training at UWO and St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. Two fellowships followed – in Orthopaedic Spine at UWO in 1997, and in Neurosurgical Spine in 1998 at University of Tennessee, Memphis. A Professor in Surgery at University of Toronto, Dr. Rampersaud joined University Health Network’s Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery as a consultant in 1999.
Dr. Rampersaud is a recognized leader and innovator in minimally invasive spinal surgery. Dr. Raja Rampersaud’s national and internationally recognized research focuses on comparative effectiveness as well as health services research aimed at improvements in the delivery of patient centered musculoskeletal and spine care. He is an advocate for interprofessional models of care for spine and musculoskeletal disorders. He has developed the Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education Clinic (ISAEC) program which has been recently funded for provincial implementation. The goal of this program is a shared-care model for lower back pain (LBP) patients that links and integrates community based primary care providers with specialist to co-manage patients with LBP. The new LBP program of care has established an inter-professional network in different healthcare environments (rural-to-urban) and is ideally suited to drive system change. He is the provincial clinical lead for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Low Back Pain Strategy and serves as the co-chair for the Provincial Quality Based Pathway, Neck and Low Back as well as the Quality Standard for Low Back Pain. 

Dr. Vivek Rao
Chief, Cardiovascular Surgery
Munk Professor in Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics,
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto


Dr. Vivek Rao is the Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery and Professor of Surgery at the Toronto General Hospital where he is the Surgical Director of the Artificial Heart program. Dr. Rao completed his medical and surgical training at the University of Toronto prior to completing a fellowship in cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. In addition to performing a wide variety of cardiac surgical procedures, Dr. Rao is a recognized expert in heart failure surgery. He currently holds the Munk Chair in Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics at the Peter Munk Cardiac Center, Toronto General Hospital. In 2006, he was named as one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” by Caldwell Partners International. He has published nearly 300 original articles related to cardiac surgery in a wide variety of scientific journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Canadian Medical Association Journal. 

Dr. Barry Rubin
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Medical Director and Chair


Dr. Rubin completed an undergraduate degree in physics and physiology and medical school at McGill University. After a PhD in Experimental Medicine, he completed training in General and Vascular Surgery, where he received the Bernard Langer Award as the outstanding graduate of the Surgical Scientist Program at the University of Toronto. Dr. Rubin joined the surgical faculty at University Health Network (UHN) in 1995, and currently holds the rank of Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Rubin was Head of the Division of Vascular Surgery at UHN from 2003 to 2011, and has been the Medical Director of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at UHN, Canada’s largest cardiovascular unit, since 2011.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded Dr. Rubin’s basic science research laboratory for 18 years. His basic science work focuses on the way the heart responds to injury. For this work, he received the Wylie Scholar Award from the Foundation for Accelerated Vascular Research, San Francisco, a career development award given to one vascular surgeon in North America per year.

Dr. Rubin is the lead representative for 17 teaching hospitals in an agreement with the Ontario Medical Association and Ministry of Health that provides 7,000 academic physicians with $270M per year to advance the goals of academic medicine in Ontario. He is currently Chair of the CorHealth Blueprint working group, which recommends which cardiovascular devices the Government of Ontario should fund, and is a member of the Health Canada scientific advisory committee on medical devices used in the cardiovascular system. He was Chair of the Ontario Expert Panel on appropriate utilization of diagnostic and imaging studies, was a member of the CIHR – Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada expert panel on Multiple Sclerosis research, and co-Chaired the Ontario Multiple Sclerosis expert advisory group.

Dr. Allan Slomovic
Marta and Owen Boris Endowed Chair in Cornea and Stem Cell Research
Professor of Ophthalmology
Research Director, Cornea Service, University Health Network
Vice Chair of Education
Continuing Education Director
Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science
University of Toronto
Visiting Professor, Tel Aviv University


Dr. Slomovic is the Vice Chair of Education and Continuing Education Director for the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto. He is also the Research Director of the Cornea/External Disease Service at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. He is the immediate past President of the Canadian Ophthalmologic Society and previous Chair of the Canadian Cornea and External Disease Society for the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Dr. Slomovic is a Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto and the Marta and Owen Boris Endowed Chair in Cornea and Stem Cell Research at the University Health Network.

Prior to starting Medical school, Dr. Slomovic completed a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Montreal. He then went on to do his Medical School training at Memorial University in St John's Newfoundland, followed by an internship in Internal Medicine at The Montreal General Hospital. Dr. Slomovic then went on to complete a 3 year residency training program at the New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan, New York. This was followed by 2 separate Fellowship programs at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida. The first fellowship was in Cornea/External Ocular Diseases and the second was in Laser Microsurgery.

Dr. Slomovic has been involved with teaching residents and fellows, research and clinical practice over the past 30 years at the University Health Network. He was the program Director for Ophthalmology for the University of Toronto for 10 years (1991-2001) and has lead the program through 2 successful Royal College reviews. He has also trained 44 fellows in Cornea/External Ocular Diseases of the Eye from all over the world, including Canada, United States, Israel, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Great Britain. In 2001, Dr. Slomovic was awarded the Mentor of the Year Award by the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. Dr. Slomovic is the inaugural winner of this award in the province of Ontario. Dr. Slomovic has published numerous articles in the area of Cornea/External Diseases of the Eye and Refractive Surgery and has also lectured on these topics locally, nationally and internationally.

On March 2014, Dr. Slomovic was nominated by Toronto Life as one of Toronto’s best doctors.  

Dr. Kevin P.D. Smith
President & CEO, University Health Network


Dr. Kevin Smith is President & CEO of University Health Network (UHN), Canada’s largest research hospital. UHN includes Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Michener Institute for Education at UHN.

Kevin has spent his career at the interface of the University and Academic Hospital and is passionately committed to the mission of education, research and exemplary clinical care. Kevin is also a pioneer in advancing integrated care models. His work and leadership have resulted in the expanded introduction of quality-based procedures and bundled funding initiatives by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Educated in Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain, Kevin began his career in medical education, followed by leadership roles in university administration, academic hospitals and health systems. He is professionally certified in Corporate Governance by the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Harvard Program in Effective Governance.

Kevin is a frequent advisor to governments, healthcare organizations, the private sector and funders at home and abroad. He currently serves as Chair, Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario and has been privileged to serve as Chair, The Canada Foundation for Innovation for the past 8 years. Beyond this, Kevin has served on numerous Boards, Special Committees and Commissions. He is a member of Premier’s Health Results Team.

He is a Professor (part-time) for the Department of Medicine at DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University. His current areas of interest include technology-enabled care across the continuum, aligning economic incentives for high quality care, and the application artificial intelligence in clinical care.

In 2015, Kevin was honoured by Pope Francis for his contributions to healthcare by being made a Knight of St. Gregory the Great. 

Dr. Michael Tymianski
Head, Division of Neurosurgery, UHN
Professor, Dept. of Surgery (Neurosurgery), University of Toronto
Harold & Esther Halpern Chair in Neurosurgical Stroke Research
Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Translational Stroke Research
Sr. Scientist, Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute
Medical Director, Neurovascular Therapeutics Program, UHN


Dr. Tymianski is a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon-scientist. He is the Head of the Division of Neurosurgery, University Health Network, Toronto. He is a Senior Scientist, Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute, a Professor, Dept. of Surgery, University of Toronto, Medical Director, Neurovascular Therapeutics Program, University Health Network, holds the Harold & Esther Halpern Chair in Neurosurgical Stroke Research and is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Translational Stroke Research.

Dr. Tymianski trained in Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, and graduated from the residency training program in 1995. During his residency, he also obtained a PHD in Neuroscience from the University of Toronto.

He completed two cerebrovascular fellowships, one at the University of Toronto, and one at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ.

He has been an attending neurosurgeon and a stroke researcher since he joined the Department of Surgery, U of T, in 1997.

Dr. Tymianski practices cerebrovascular and skull base neurosurgery, with a specific interest in minimally-invasive aneurysm surgery, and in brain revascularization. He has popularized the use of minicraniotomy approaches to aneurysms, and practices day surgery for unruptured anterior circulation aneurysms. He also uses the ELANA technique (Excimer Laser-Assisted Nonocclusive Anastamosis) for long vein bypass surgery, and has a significant interest in Moya-Moya disease.

His long-term research goal is to devise pharmacological strategies to protect the brain following acute or chronic neurological insults, and especially ischemic insults. To this end, Dr. Tymianski heads a research laboratory dedicated to the understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration. The lab possesses expertise ranging from protein chemistry and molecular biology, through to in-vitro assays, drug screening methods, neurophysiology (including fluoresent ion imaging and electrophysiology), and animal models of disease including models in rodents (rats and mice) and in non-human primates. Two main projects in his lab comprise the development of two novel classes of agents that inhibit ischemic cell damage. The first are termed "PSD95 inhibitors", which are peptides that uncouple glutamatergic signalling from deleterious cell death pathways. The second is centered on the Transient Receptor Channels, especially TRPM2 and TRPM7, which play a key role in ischemic cell damage. Inhibiting these channels imparts mammalian cells, including CNS neurons, with resilience to ischemia and other insults.

Dr. Tymianski is regarded as the world expert on the role of TRP channels in ischemic cell death, and has published the world’s most cited articles on the subject. He discovered that the TRPM7 channel comprises the main mechanism by which neurons die from anoxia (Aarts et al., Cell, 2003), and subsequently showed that suppressing TRPM7 in-vivo renders brain neurons resistant to stroke (Sun et al., Nature Neuroscience, 2009).

Dr. Tymianski’s most advanced contribution relates to the development of PSD95 inhibitors. In 1999 he described that PSD95, and abundant protein found in neuronal synapses, may constitute an important therapeutic target (Sattler et al., Science, 1999). By 2002, he developed a drug, now termed “NA-1”, that inhibits PSD95 and reduces ischemic brain damage in rats (Aarts et al, Science, 2002). This finding has been reproduced by several investigators worldwide. Over the next decade, the Tymianski lab focused on translating NA-1 to the point of clinical utility through extensive target validation (Cui et al, J Neurosci, 2007), testing in rodent models (Sun et al., Stroke, 2008) and, ultimately, in primate models of stroke (Cook et al., Nature, 2012; Cook et al., Science Translational Medicine, 2012).

In 2015, Dr. Tymianski’s team launched the first of two pivotal, Phase 3 trials of NA-1 in stroke patients. In the first study, currently ongoing in Canada, patients receive NA-1 in the ambulance on the way to the stroke hospital. A second, global study is anticipated to launch in Q4 of 201. This study will test NA-1 as an adjuvant to endovascular stroke therapy in Canada, the USA, Europe, S. Korea and Australia. If either trial is successful, this will be the first time since the invention of insulin that a basic scientific discovery made by a researcher in Toronto will have been translated to clinical utility by the same researcher.

Additionally, due to his extensive expertise in both fundamental and translational stroke research, Tymianski has become an influential figure in translational stroke research and clinical stroke trials, and contributes influential reviews of these topics (Tymianski, Stroke 2013; Tymianski, Nature Reviews Neurology, 2014). He has an H-index of 81 (Google Scholar), and is among the most frequently cited neurosurgeons worldwide (23,780 citations as of March 2, 2014). He is currently the inventor on >95 patents, has trained > 30 trainees at the MSc, PhD, and Post-Doctoral levels in his lab, and has had extensive peer-review research funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Stroke Network, and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. His most recent research grant on which he is the principal investigator has just been awarded by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the NIH, consisting of approximately USD $5M to develop next generation PSD95 inhibitors. Funding by NIH to a foreign PI is extremely rare (<2% of all foreign applicants are funded), and speaks to the worldwide recognition and expertise that Dr. Tymianski has garnered throughout his career.  

Dr. Toni Zhong
Belinda Stronach Chair of UHN Breast Cancer Reconstructive Surgery
Director of the UHN Breast Reconstruction Program
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery


Dr. Toni Zhong, M.D., FRCS, MHS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, and the inaugural Belinda Stronach Chair in Breast Cancer Reconstruction at University Health Network (UHN). She is also the Clinical and Research Director for the Breast Reconstruction Program at UHN and Mount Sinai Hospitals, leading centres for advanced techniques in breast reconstruction in North America. She was recruited by University of Toronto in November 2008 from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Between 2008-2010, she also obtained her Masters of Health Sciences in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.

To complement her clinical expertise in the field of breast reconstructive surgery, her research aims to improve the access of women to optimized techniques of post-mastectomy reconstruction through clinical trials and health services research. In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious 2012 Career Development Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncologists. She holds a five-year Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) grant and leads a national team to examine barriers to breast reconstruction surgery across Canada. She was also awarded the highly competitive CIHR New Investigator Award in 2015. Recently, she was appointed as the Provincial Lead in the development of clinical guidelines to set new provincial standards for breast cancer reconstruction in Ontario. She currently has over 40 peer-reviewed publications in high impact oncology and surgical journals, holds 10 active national level research grants, and numerous Canadian and American Plastic Surgery Foundation Funds.

Dr. Zhong is also active in humanitarian activities. She is one of the founding members of WomenforWomen, a non-profit international humanitarian organization and annually leads international surgical teams overseas. She is a co-founder the UHN Helps Fund, a humanitarian fund to support patients from developing countries to receive their life-saving or life-enhancing surgeries at UHN. To recognize her volunteerism, she was award the Dean’s Alumni Award in Community Service from University Of Western Ontario in 2018.       

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