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Dr. Kim Connelly is a Cardiologist and Scientist who is both nationally recognized as an expert in echocardiography, cardiovascular MRI and the impact of diabetes upon cardiac function and ventricular remodeling. His work has been recognized evident by winning the “Young Investigator of the Year Award” by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, an Early Researcher Award in 2014, and a CIHR New Investigator award in 2014.
Dr. Connelly runs a basic research laboratory at the Keenan Research Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital where he focuses upon basic mechanisms of disease – primarily around the role of pathological extracellular matrix accumulation and the pro-sclerotic cytokine transforming growth factor beta, with a focus upon translating discoveries into therapies in humans. He developed the first hemodynamically validated model of diabetes induced HFpEF. He is the Director of the Krembil Stem Cell Facility at St. Michael’s Hospital and uses regenerative cell based therapies to improve cardiac and renal dysfunction as a result of diabetes. He has research support from the HSF of Canada, CIHR and CFI along with research support from the pharmaceutical industry. His work has been published in journals such as the NEJM, Circulation, Journal of the American college of Cardiology, Circulation Research, Diabetes, Cell Metabolism and Lancet Endocrinology and Diabetes. His H index is 41, and I index of 125.
Dr Connelly is immediate past president of the Canadian Society of Cardiac Magnetic resonance imaging. He runs a translational imaging laboratory and uses hyperpolarized C13 metabolic imaging to understand metabolism in the human heart in real time, as well as CMR to understand the impact of exercise upon cardiac remodeling. He was senior author of the EMPA HEART study along with Dr Verma and Zinman to assess the mechanism by which the SGLT2i empagliflozin provided cardiac protection in patients with type 2 DM. Finally, he was past section lead of 2018 macrovascular complications section for the Diabetes Canada Clinical practice updates and is current chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society guidelines.
Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA
Ildiko Lingvay is Professor in the Division of Endocrinology and the Department of Population and Data Sciences at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX, USA. She also serves as Medical Director of the Office of Clinical Trials Management overseeing the institutional review and approval of all clinical studies and clinical trials at UT Southwestern. She sees patients at the university clinics and hospital, as well as at the Parkland Health System.
Dr Lingvay leads a clinical research programme in the field of obesity, diabetes and associated metabolic complications with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of all patients who suffer from the many health consequences of these conditions. Her research interests span the spectrum from pathophysiology of the disease to comparative effectiveness of therapeutic approaches. She has participated in many clinical trials in the field and has a special interest in cardiovascular trials in diabetes and obesity. She has published over 100 manuscripts in major medical journals and has contributed to several diabetes textbooks. She is an active member of the American Diabetes Association, where she served on the Scientific Sessions Organizing Committee and currently is on the grant review committee and a board member of the WIN ADA and Focus on Fellows initiatives.
St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Dr Subodh Verma is an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon-scientist and Professor at the University of Toronto. He is the current Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery, having previously served as the Canada Research Chair in Atherosclerosis (2007-2017). Dr Verma was recently awarded the 2021 Lister Prize in Surgery from the University of Toronto in recognition of his outstanding and continuing productivity of international stature. He is a past recipient of the Howard Morgan Award for Distinguished Achievements in Cardiovascular Research and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Gold Medal in Surgery. He is an appointee of the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons (AATS) and a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada. According to Google Scholar in April 2021, Dr Verma has an hindex of 100 and his work has been cited over 50,000 times.
Dr Verma has published extensively in highly impactful journals like the NEJM, Lancet, Circulation, JACC, Nature, and JCI. He is an Associate Editor of the European Heart Journal. Dr Verma is an active contributor to Canadian clinical practice guidelines and co-authored the recently updated recommendations for atrial fibrillation, antiplatelet therapy, diabetes, and heart failure; he was a member of the 2018 AATS consensus guidelines committee on bicuspid aortic valve-related aortopathy. Dr Verma has served in various capacities on the American Heart Association Councilon Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia since 2008.
Dr Verma had/has leadership roles on 10 contemporary global heart failure trials – several of which have let to paradigm changes in how individuals all around the world who live with diabetes and heart failure are now managed. He founded and oversees the CardioLink platform at St Michael’s Hospital that is conducting cardiometabolic and surgically oriented RCTs and translational studies.
Dr Verma leads a dynamic pre-clinical and translational research team that leverages pre-clinical disease models and clinical trial-derived data to identify novel mediators of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic disease as well as answer timely and relevant healthcare questions. His research has yielded 2 United States patents and is supported by several national peer-reviewed grants.