A tradition of innovation

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This article is adapted from the second edition of the Foundation’s magazine

Interview with Dr. Denis Roy, winner of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Research Achievement Award and pillar of the Montreal Heart Institute.

In the fall of 2021, Dr. Denis Roy joined the impressive list of Montreal Heart Institute researchers who have been awarded the prestigious Research Achievement Award by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. This award is offered to an established researcher working on a specific aspect of cardiovascular research in Canada.

“It is undoubtedly a great honour,” said the former President and CEO of the Institute (2012-2017). As a specialist of heart rhythm disorders, Dr. Roy has led research projects that have changed the practice of cardiology and improved the prognosis for patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. His studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most renowned medical journals, and are still cited by numerous experts today. “I also believe that part of the reason I was awarded this recognition is because I am currently involved in a third major study that has the potential to be one of the biggest ever undertaken at the Institute,” said Dr. Roy.

Improving the lives of patients

The BRAIN-AF study is a research project that aims to demonstrate the link between atrial fibrillation and cognitive impairment in order to find a treatment to prevent cognitive decline. Many international experts already consider it to be a revolutionary study that has the potential to affect major change in clinical practice. “Imagine, we could find a treatment to prevent or slow the progression of dementia!” says Dr. Tardif, a man who is fully committed to improving the lives of patients.

Progress built on past achievements

According to Dr. Roy, these advances are possible thanks to the structure implemented by the Institute’s founder, Dr. Paul David, and other trailblazers such as Dr. Martial Bourassa. They’ve instilled a culture of excellence and collegiality that has enabled the Institute to recruit the most talented experts and train physicians and researchers that then go on to share their knowledge throughout the world. The legacy of research and clinical leadership they’ve built has only grown stronger over the years.

These past achievements pave the way for a bright future at the Institute. Dr. Roy believes that the ongoing support they receive from the community and Foundation plays a key role and has enabled the Institute to become one of the world’s best cardiology centres, making discoveries that change lives. Moreover, the Foundation has contributed to numerous expansion and modernization projects at the Institute, including most recently the construction of the Centre de formation d’excellence en santé cardiovasculaire. Last but not least, the Foundation has provided key figures, such as Dr. Roy, with the means to shine and help medical advances become a reality.

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List of Montreal Heart Institute winners of the Research Achievement Award

  • Dr. Denis Roy (2021)
  • Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif (2008)
  • Dr. Stanley Nattel (2001)
  • Dr. Jean-Lucien Rouleau (1997)
  • Dr. Pierre Théroux (1996)
  • Dr. Martial Bourassa (1992)
  • Dr. Lucien Campeau (1985)

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