The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation Awards the Prix Martial-G.-Bourassa 2022 to Dr. Lena RivardHome > Press room > The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation Awards the Prix Martial-G.-Bourassa 2022 to Dr. Lena Rivard
November 9, 2022
The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) announces that the Prix Martial-G.-Bourassa 2022 has been awarded to Dr. Lena Rivard, a cardiologist specializing in electrophysiology and principal investigator of the BRAIN-AF study.
This prestigious award has been presented annually since 1997 by the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) to young researchers in recognition of their active participation in scientific life. The award comes with a $25,000 grant that allows them to develop their research.
Dr. Lena Rivard, this year’s honouree, has been a cardiologist in the electrophysiology department at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) since 2010. Her expertise lies in complex catheter ablation procedures and patient follow-ups in the Genetics Clinic and the Ventricular Arrhythmia and Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Clinic. In addition, she is the lead investigator of the BRAIN-AF study, launched in 2015 and approved by Health Canada, conducted in 44 centres across the country. This is the world’s first study analyzing the effects of atrial fibrillation on cognitive decline in young patients up to age 65.
“With this award, we want to recognize Dr. Rivard’s exceptional work,” said Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the MHI Research Centre and selection committee chair. “Dr. Rivard has a superb career as a clinician-researcher and is the principal investigator of the BRAIN-AF study. The results of this major project will advance science and could have an impact on medical practice.”
“I am honoured to receive the Prix Martial-G.-Bourassa,” says Dr. Rivard. “Atrial fibrillation affects more than 700,000 Canadians and several scientific studies confirm that there is a link between it and the decline of brain function. With this award, we will continue our research to treat the heart and help the brain. On behalf of myself and AF patients, I thank the selection committee for this recognition.”
The selection committee was composed of Alain Gignac, President and CEO of the MHIF, Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the MHI Research Centre, and Drs. Philippe L’Allier and Eileen O’Meara.
Dr. Martial G. Bourassa’s Legacy
Dr. Bourassa, who passed away in July 2020, was a pioneer in cardiology in Quebec. He was the first director of the MHI Research Centre and the initiator of several decisive discoveries in cardiology worldwide. To honour the legacy of this eminent cardiologist, the MHIF established the Martial G. Bourassa Cardiovascular Medicine Innovation Fund, which supports the most innovative and promising projects against the world’s leading cause of death. The new MHI auditorium lobby has also been named the Espace Martial-G.-Bourassa.
“Dr. Bourassa embodies our vision of innovation. It is to pay tribute to him that we have chosen to give his name to this new Fund, creator of avant-garde solutions for the well-being of people struggling with cardiovascular diseases,” said Alain Gignac, President and CEO of the Foundation.
The awards ceremony, the first in-person event since Dr. Bourassa’s death, took place yesterday with his family in attendance.
About the Montreal Heart Institute
Founded in 1954, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly strives for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and fundamental research, ultra-specialized care, professional training, and prevention. It is home to Canada’s largest cardiology research centre, cardiovascular prevention centre, and cardiovascular genetics centre. The Institute is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and has more than 2,000 employees, including 245 physicians and more than 85 researchers.
About the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation
Created in 1977, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation raises and manages funds to support the Institute’s innovative and priority projects and fight cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the world. Its philanthropic events and donors’ contributions have enabled this cardiovascular health leader to become the country’s largest cardiac research centre. Over the years, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation has raised more than $350 million in donations. Its 27,822 donors have made it possible to make important discoveries and support the Institute’s specialists, professionals, and researchers to provide state-of-the-art care to tens of thousands of patients in Quebec.
From left to right: Dr. Philippe L. Lallier, cardiologist and Director of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation; Mélanie La Couture, President and CEO of the MHI; Dr. Jean-Claude-Tardif, Director of the Research Centre; Dr. Lena Rivard, cardiologist specializing in electrophysiology and recipient of the Prix Martial-G.-Bourassa 2022; Alain Gignac, President and CEO of the MHIF; and Dr. Eileen O’Meara, cardiologist