Thanks to the support of our generous donors, the Montreal Heart Institute‘s teams are now on the cutting edge of innovation. Thank you for enabling us to push back the limits of cardiovascular medicine and change more lives.

Here are the major priority projects that are currently driving us.

1. Helping the brain by treating the heart

Project lead: Dr. Lena Rivard

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disorder that affects approximately 700,000 Canadians. This cardiovascular disease affects the two upper chambers of the heart called the atria. The atria are the receiving cavities. Thanks to electrical signals, they ensure blood flows efficiently towards the ventricles and the rest of the body. Atrial fibrillation occurs when these electrical signals are quick, irregular, and disorganized which reduces the heart’s efficiency at pumping blood.

Researchers at the Montreal Heart Institute are currently leading the world’s first study that aims to demonstrate the use of an anticoagulant could prevent cognitive decline in young patients with atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder.

Learn more about BRAIN-AF


2. Performing minimally invasive surgery with a surgical robot

Project lead: Dr. Louis P. Perrault

The Montreal Heart Institute is the first centre in Canada to perform minimally invasive surgeries on patients suffering from mitral or aortic valve disease. The goal of this minimally invasive surgery is to replace or repair the patient’s mitral or aortic valve. This specific procedure’s objective is to reduce the number of incisions made. The patient does not have to undergo an open thoracic surgery, which minimizes scarring and improves recovery time.

It many benefits when compared to open surgery, including less pain and per-operative bleeding, the patient can get out of bed quicker, a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery and resumption of activities, smaller scars, and less risk of post-surgery adhesion.

Since the da Vinci Xi surgical robot was acquired in June 2017, the Montreal Heart Institute’s department of heart surgery has carried out 140 minimally invasive valve and coronary procedures.

Learn more about robotic surgery

3. Preventing heart disease in type 2 diabetics

Project lead: Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif

In November 2019, the results of thelarge-scale international COLCOT study revealed that colchicine, on top of standard care, reduces the risk of a recurrent cardiovascular event in patients who have already suffered from a heart attack.

To pursue the study, Dr. Tardif launched COLCOT-T2D, the second phase of the study. The objective: demonstrate that colchicine can also prevent cardiovascular events in diabetic patients.

Diabetics are three times more likely to die from heart disease than non-diabetics. Research into the link between cardiology and diabetes is the key to preventing cardiovascular diseases in this population.

Learn more about COLCOT-T2D


4. Investing in knowledge through fellowship programs

Project leads: Dr. Peter Guerra, Dr. Louis P. Perrault and Dr. Yoan Lamarche

Every year, the Institute’s world-renowned fellowship program welcomes approximately 20 foreign medical specialists who want to be trained in one of our 11 specialties in cardiovascular care.

In addition to being an outstanding personal experience for these health care professionals, this complementary training program allows them to make a real difference in the lives of the 68,000 patients who walk through the doors of the Institute every year.

Because fellows return to their country once their time at the Institute is over, they are able to put the expertise they’ve acquired into practice. This way, they are able to share best practices and help improve the care provided to patients in their own country.

Learn more about the fellowship program

5. Furthering personalized medicine for better patient care

Project lead: Dre. Marie-Pierre Dubé

Precision medicine, also called personalized medicine, allows physicians to precisely identify the patient’s characteristics, through genetic analysis, in order to optimize their treatment and the efficiency of drugs administered.

Research into the revolutionary field of precision medicine has been made possible thanks to significant technological advances in genomics. To achieve such medical advances, a state-of-the-art robotic device is used: the NovaSeq 6000 DNA sequencer. This robotic device will allow the research team to remain a leader in the field of precision medicine.

Learn more about the NovaSeq 600 DNA sequencer

6. Simulation-based teaching to train the next generation

Project lead: Dr. Serge Doucet

Simulation is a learning technique that is increasingly used in cutting-edge fields. It has gained popularity in the medical field and several articles have demonstrated its value, even suggesting that it can reduce the risk of errors during real medical procedures.

In order to pursue our mission and continue to be among the world’s top teaching centres in interventional cardiology, we would like to purchase an ANGIO Mentor™ cardiac catheterization simulator equipped with several learning modules. This cutting-edge device will be integrated into the Simulation-based teaching program at the Centre de formation et d’excellence en santé cardiovasculaire.

Learn more about the cardiac catheterization simulator


To discuss these innovative projects , contact Yannick Elliott, Vice President, Philanthropic Development, at 514 593-2525, ext. 2205 or at