U of T’s Douglas Lee to Helm Effort to Transform Care for Heart Failure

Jun 20, 2016

Dr. Douglas Lee, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and an internationally-known cardiologist and scientist, has been selected as first-ever Ted Rogers Chair in Heart Function Outcomes at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, a Toronto collaboration aiming to transform the care of children and adults with heart failure.

Professor Douglas LeeProfessor Douglas Lee

Lee will seek new strategies to improve outcomes for heart failure patients, by exploring the impact of health policy, the health system, and individual patient factors.

“It’s an honour to hold such a position in an organization that can make such an impact in how heart failure care can be improved,” says Lee. “Enhancing our ability to predict cardiovascular outcomes will lead to better decision-making for these patients across the entire health system. That’s big, because this is a very costly disease.”

Lee is cardiovascular program lead at the Toronto General Research Institute and cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (both at University Health Network), and senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). In 2014, he won the Canadian Cardiovascular Society's Robert E. Beamish Award for research carrying the greatest potential impact. Five years earlier, he earned a Canadian Cardiovascular Society Young Investigator Award for outstanding achievements in clinical or basic science.

“We are excited to attract a clinician scientist of this calibre. After a lengthy international search, we discovered that the most accomplished and worthy candidate for this Chair was already a member of two of our partner institutions, UHN and the University of Toronto,” says Dr. Mansoor Husain, executive director of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and a professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. “Doug Lee has a diverse range of expertise and, through his cross-appointment at ICES, he’s uniquely positioned to succeed in this new and important role.”

Lee will use a unique cardiovascular database, advanced disease modelling, and expertise in systems biology to develop tightly-focused, high-value studies as well as health policy recommendations.

One million Canadians live with heart failure. The fastest-rising cardiovascular disease carries an average survival rate of just two years and costs the Canadian health-care system up to $3 billion a year. The condition is also closely linked to diabetes, cancer and obesity.

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