The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation pays tribute to Dr. Martial G. Bourassa with the creation of the Cardiovascular Medicine Innovation Fund

Home > Press room > The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation pays tribute to Dr. Martial G. Bourassa with the creation of the Cardiovascular Medicine Innovation Fund

August 6, 2020

support the Innovation Fund


It is with sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr. Martial G. Bourassa. Officer of the Order of Canada and Knight of the National Order of Quebec, Dr. Bourassa is recognized as a pioneer of cardiology in Quebec. He was the first director of the MHI Research Centre and the initiator of several decisive discoveries in cardiology around the world. He is recognized for the invention of the Bourassa catheter, used in North America and Europe. “The Montreal Heart Institute is greatly indebted to Dr. Bourassa, both for its reputation and for the inspiration he has provided to several generations of researchers,” says Mélanie La Couture, President and CEO of the MHI.

Dr. Bourassa was born in Saint-Barnabé, Mauricie, in 1931. He studied medicine at Université Laval in 1959 and then went on to specialize in internal medicine at the Buffalo General Hospital in New York in 1961, and in cardiology at the City of Hope Medical Center in Los Angeles. He did his residency at the Montreal Heart Institute where, in 1965, he became a cardiologist and researcher as well as professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal. Dr. Bourassa has been a member of several scientific societies and has served as president of several of them. During his career, he has also published no less than 80 chapters in books and monographs, 425 original articles and 260 scientific abstracts.

Over the years, Dr. Bourassa has been honoured with numerous awards reflecting his notoriety:

  • 1973: Prix Jean Lenègre, Fondation Claude-Adolphe Nativelle, Paris, France
  • 1981: Prix d’excellence, Association des médecins de langue française du Canada
  • 1986: Grand prix de la francophonie, Académie française, Paris, France
  • 1992: Research Achievement Award, Canadian Cardiovascular Society
  • 1992: Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada
  • 1993: Officer of the Order of Canada
  • 1993: 150th Anniversary Medal, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
  • 1997: Paul David Award, Research Fund, Montreal Heart Institute
  • 1999: Knight of the National Order of Quebec
  • 2000: Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
  • 2000: Prix Michel-Sarrazin, Club de Recherches Cliniques du Québec
  • 2001: Medal of Merit, International Society for Heart Research
  • 2002: Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Governor General of Canada
  • 2004: Cardiologue Émérite 2004, Association des cardiologues du Québec
  • 2005: Career Medal, Faculty of Medecine, Université de Montréal

He died at the age of 89 on July 28, 2020.

Establishment of the Martial G. Bourassa Cardiovascular Medicine Innovation Fund

To honour its legacy in cardiology, the MHI Foundation announces the establishment of the new Innovation Fund. This fund will support the most innovative and hopeful cardiovascular medicine projects aimed at fighting the diseases responsible for the greatest number of deaths in the world. Since 1997, the MHI Foundation has awarded the Prix Martial G. Bourassa annually to young researchers in recognition of their active participation in scientific life. For Alain Gignac, President and Chief Executive Officer of the MHI Foundation, “Dr. Bourassa embodies our vision of innovation, and it is as a tribute to him that we are today naming this new fund, which will create value for local people and businesses and help improve patients’ quality of life.

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 realization of the Institute’s innovative and priority projects and to fight cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the world. Its philanthropic events and its donors’ contributions have enabled this leader in cardiovascular health to become the largest cardiac research centre in the country. Over the years, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation has raised more than $309 million in donations. Its 26,032 donors have made it possible to make important discoveries and to support the Institute’s specialists, professionals and researchers to provide state-of-the-art care to tens of thousands of patients in Quebec.

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