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Call for nominations for the 2022 CIHR-ICRH Distinguished Lecturer/CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences


The CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH) and the Canadian Society of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (CSATVB) have partnered on the 2022 CIHR-ICRH Distinguished Lecturer/CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences to recognize an individual's outstanding contribution to the advancement of blood and/or blood vessel sciences both in Canada and internationally. The award will be presented to the selected candidate at the 2022 Canadian Lipid and Vascular Summit, where the recipient will deliver a lecture as part of the scientific program. The Canadian Lipid and Vascular Summit is a joint scientific symposium of the CSATVB and the Canadian Lipoprotein Conference.

The selected candidate will be an outstanding scientist who has conducted the majority of their research in Canada and has contributed significantly to the advancement of blood and/or blood vessel sciences. Nominees may have conducted work in any one of a number of blood and/or blood vessel disciplines and within any of the four CIHR research theme areas: Biomedical; Clinical; Health Systems and Services; and, Social, Cultural, Environmental and Population Health. A nominated candidate's research should also be in a field of interest to the CSATVB and attendees of the Canadian Lipid and Vascular Summit.

The award consists of a $5,000 honorarium in addition to coverage of all expenses (e.g., travel, accommodations, registration fee, etc.) for the recipient to attend the 2022 Canadian Lipid and Vascular Summit and to deliver a lecture on a research topic relevant to a broad research audience.

Please complete the 2021 nomination form [ PDF (313 KB) ] and submit it to Helen Coe by e-mail at by 4:00 pm MST on November 16, 2021.

Please note that you are entitled to submit only one nomination form per Distinguished Lecturer Award competition. Scientists who have received an ICRH partnered Distinguished Lecturer Award previously are not eligible for nomination.

Note: Nominations will be assessed against the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Impact of nominee’s research on blood and/or blood vessel sciences both in Canada and internationally; extent to which the nominee has contributed significantly to the advancement of blood sciences both in Canada and internationally (e.g., important/key research results or findings) over the last ten years.
  2. Relevance/application/impact of nominee’s research to clinical outcomes, new IP, or other important breakthroughs in the field of blood and blood vessels sciences.
  3. Demonstrated strength and reputation of the proposed nominee in the field of blood and/or blood vessel sciences in Canada and internationally.
  4. Impact of the nominee’s mentorship and training environment on the development of young scientists and other highly qualified personnel in Canada and internationally.


Previous CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award Winners


Dr. Heyu Ni, MD PhD, Professor of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto

Dr. Heyu Ni received his MD/M.Sc from Anhui Medical University, China; PhD from University of Manitoba; and postdoctoral fellowship from Harvard University. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto, Senior Scientist of Canadian Blood Services Centre for Innovation, and a Platform Director at Unity Health Toronto - St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Ni is an internationally recognized leader and expert in blood sciences/vascular biology/immunology. He developed the first intravital-microscopy-thrombosis model and identified fibrinogen/VWF-independent hemostasis/thrombosis - a paradigm shift in the field. He characterized fibronectin and many other blood/vessel proteins, and their interactions with platelet-receptors. He determined the integrin-PSI-domain as a therapeutic target and discovered that apolipoprotein A-IV is an endogenous-thrombosis-inhibitor, linking lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular diseases. These discoveries significantly advance diagnosis/treatment/prevention of thrombotic and bleeding disorders.

Dr. Ni found that anti-GPIbα-mediated autoimmune-thrombocytopenia (ITP) occurs via a novel Fc-independent pathway. He discovered that both maternal anti-GPIbα and anti-β3-integrin responses damage placental vessels, leading to miscarriages (non-classical alloimmune-thrombocytopenia FNAIT). These discoveries introduced new approaches for diagnosis/prophylaxis/treatment of these immune-mediated bleeding disorders.

Dr. Ni has held >$15.2 million in research funding, published over 140 peer-reviewed high-impact articles. He holds 23 patents, and founded a spin-off company to pipeline his discoveries to therapeutics. He has given 18 keynote-lectures and 562 presentations at conferences and 58 academic institutions worldwide. Of his 137 trainees, 21 are now independent investigators/professors, and the others are clinical doctors/researchers nationally/internationally. In 2020, he was elected as a Fellow of Canadian-Academy-of-Health-Sciences, one of the highest honours in the Canadian health-sciences-community.





Dr. Philip Stephens Wells, Chair and Chief of the Department of Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa

Dr. Wells received his medical school education and specialty training in Internal Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He then studied Hematology at McMaster University, concentrating on the special problems of venous thrombosis (blood clots in the veins) under the tutelage of the internationally renowned expert, Dr. Jack Hirsh. At McMaster, he also obtained an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology.

On returning to Ottawa, Dr. Wells developed a clinical and research practice that has enabled him to perform internationally recognized research. He pioneered the concept of clinical prediction rules to assist in the diagnosis of patients with suspected deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism. For each of these diseases he embodied these prediction rules in valuable algorithms and they are now known as the “Wells Model for DVT” and the “Wells Model for PE”. They are currently used world-wide in the diagnostic process for these illnesses and are incorporated into many National and Organizational guidelines.

As part of building his clinical practice, he established the Thrombosis Treatment and Assessment Unit at The Ottawa Hospital. Along with Drs Rodger and Forgie he mentored and hired thrombosis physicians into this Unit which is now probably the only Clinical program in the world to offer thrombosis care 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

Dr. Wells has taken on many roles and responsibilities including Program Director for Hematology, Chief of the Division of Hematology, Director of Clinical Research, Associate Director of Clinical Research at the OHRI, and Deputy Head of Research in the Department of Medicine. These positions have kept Dr. Wells very much involved in the life of The Ottawa Hospital, the OHRI and the University, and through his involvement he has succeeded in his continuing goal of increasing the profile of clinical research in these institutions.


Dr. Paul Kubes, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Calgary; Director, Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases; Canada Research Chair in Leukocyte Recruitment in Inflammatory Disease

The Kubes lab is committed to understanding complex immune responses in the context of human clinical disease. Our primary focus is to directly visualize the roles of immune cells during inflammation, infection and tissue injury. Our lab is leading the way in directly imaging the immune system using cutting edge technology, including spinning-disk confocal, resonant-scanning confocal, and multi-photon microscopy. By imaging complex cellular behaviors in real time, both in vitro and in vivo, we can now begin to understand how immune cells, such as neutrophils, monocytes, NKT cells and Kupffer cells function under physiological and pathological disease states.

For more information on Dr. Kubes research please visit his website (click here)



Professor of Medicine & Biochemisty and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University
Executive Director, Thrombosis & Atherosclerosis Research Institute


Research Involves:  New techniques for identifying and treating the underlying causes of blood clot formation. Research

Relevance:  Improved therapies could improve the quality of life for patients and reduce costs to the health care system.

Preserving the Body’s Vital Flow:  Thrombosis, the formation of harmful or potentially fatal clots in the bloodstream, results from a complex interaction between the blood vessel wall and various components in the blood. The current approach to this problem relies on accurate diagnosis and treatment with specific anticoagulant drugs. It would be more effective, however, to deal with thrombosis in a fundamental way, by understanding the underlying genetic and biochemical events that give rise to the problem in the first place.

As holder of the Canada Research Chair in Thrombosis, Jeffrey Weitz will seek out this understanding. Following a comprehensive bench-to-bedside program, he will explore the most basic molecular dynamics responsible for this condition, expanding this research to develop clinical treatments that have value for patients who have already been diagnosed and are currently being treated.

This approach has already improved the standard of care being given to thrombosis patients. Dr. Weitz and his colleagues demonstrated the efficacy of a new drug regimen that could be administered on an out-patient basis, improving the quality of life for these individuals by enabling them to recover at home. At the same time, the health care system saved the cost of the five- to seven-day hospital stay the former therapy entailed.

Dr. Weitz has also characterized the structure and function of various clotting enzymes, and has used these insights to create new types of anticoagulant drugs that are now being tested. He intends to build on this success by examining the specific molecular changes that take place in blood vessel walls and give rise to thrombosis. The results of this research should identify the proteins to be targeted as part of a gene therapy, which should combat the very basis of the disorder.



Dr. Rob Hegele, Distinguished University Professor, Western University, London, Ontario

Rob Hegele is Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, Western University, and Director of London Regional Genomics Centre at Robarts Research Institute.  He holds the Wolfe Distinguished Medical Research Chair, the Edith Schulich Vinet Chair in Human Genetics and the Blackburn Chair in Cardiovascular Research.   

He cares for > 2000 patients in his lipid clinic at University Hospital.  He was first in North America to use 5 medications that are now routinely prescribed to treat high cholesterol or diabetes.

His laboratory discovered the molecular genetic basis of 25 human diseases.  He has published > 600 papers, which have been cited > 20,000 times in the medical literature.  He is listed in the ISI database of the top 1% of highly cited scientists in the world. 

He has contributed to national clinical practice guidelines for cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, and to international guidelines on familial hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. He has trained many physicians, medical students and graduate students



Dr. Gary Lewis, Professor, University of Toronto, Ontario


Dr. Gary Lewis, is the recipient of the CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award (2016) and will present at the CCC/CSATVB on October 24, 2016 from 10-10:30am. 

The Lewis lab has had a long interest in the mechanisms of various aspects of diabetic dyslipidemia, including postprandial lipemia, HDL lowering and hypertriglyceridemia.  They have also had a long standing interest in the interaction between the free fatty acids and pancreatic beta cell dysfunction.  Previously they have performed both animal and human mechanistic studies but currently are focusing exclusively on the human.  In 2002, working in close collaboration with Dr. Khosrow Adeli (UofT), the Lewis lab made the novel observation that the intestine, in additon to the liver, overproduces lipoprotein overproduction in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.  The Lewis lab perform integrative, physiological studies in humans, attempting to determin the regulation of intestinal and hepatic lipoprotein particle production by hormones, nutrients and pharmacological agents. 


Dr. Jean Davignon, IRCM Emeritus Professor, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal

Dr. Jean Davignon is the 6th recipient of the CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award (2013) and will present at the CCC/CSATVB (Vascular 2013) in October 2013 in Montreal.

Jean Davignon has been Director of the Hyperlipidemia and Atherosclerosis Research Unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) since 1967, Emeritus Physician at Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Montreal, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Experimental Medicine at McGill University. He was appointed Emeritus Researcher at the IRCM in 2009.

His research focuses on the characterization, pathogenesis and treatment of hereditary dyslipidemias, on the atherogenic potential of plasma lipid and non-lipid biomarkers and the role of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in the causation of cardiovascular diseases. His work encompassing nutritional, genetic, metabolic, pharmacogenomic and molecular aspects has resulted in the publication of 343 scientific papers, 379 abstracts, 59 book chapters and 10 books including an Atlas on Hyperlipidemias (2007).

He is a founding member of the Canadian Atherosclerosis Society, the Canadian Association for Familial Hypercholesterolemia and the Canadian Institute of Academic Medicine. He is a member of numerous scientific and academic societies, notably the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada. He is also a member of many national and international committees and is active on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He organized and presided the Xth International Symposium on Atherosclerosis, held in Montréal in October 1994, and he was a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research from its foundation in 2000 to 2002. He is a member of the Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan Steering Committee (2006-2009).

Jean Davignon is a recipient of the FNG Starr Award of the Canadian Medical Association (1993), the Scientific Career Award of the Association des médecins de langue française du Canada (1996), the Prix du Québec Wilder Penfield (2000), the Prix Michel Sarrazin for his contribution to clinical research (2001), the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation (2006) and the Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Midwest Lipid Association, Kansas City, USA (2006). He also received a doctorate Honoris Causa from Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France (1992), and the Grande Médaille d’Or du Centenaire from the Institut Pasteur of Lille, France (1994). He was named Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995 and Grand Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec in 2006. The Jean Davignon Distinguished Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research Award, sponsored by Pfizer, was created in 2006.


Dr. Ruth McPherson, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Ontario

Dr. Ruth McPherson is the 5th recipient of the CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award (2012) and will present at the CCC/CSATVB in October 2012 in Toronto.

Dr McPherson is a Canadian physician scientist.  Her research has evolved from the study of lipoprotein metabolism to the genetics and genomics of coronary artery disease (CAD). She carried out some of the earliest studies on cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), including regulation of gene expression and plasma kinetics and subsequently identified CETP as a novel receptor for selective uptake of HDL-CE in adipocytes and liver. Other studies focused on the intracellular trafficking of hepatocyte SR-BI during selective uptake and in response to cholesterol, providing new insights into the final pathway of reverse cholesterol transport. She also made the original observation that endocytosis is enhanced in ABCA1 deficient fibroblasts and that in both macrophages and fibroblasts, that secretory vesicular transport from the Golgi to the plasma membrane increased 2-fold during apo A-I mediated cholesterol efflux, a process which requires ABCA1.   Dr McPherson’s more recent studies have been focused on rare and common genetic variants contributing to coronary artery disease risk.  She was co-director of the first genome wide association study (GWAS) to identify the chromosome 9p21 locus for CAD (Science 2007) and more recently,  13 additional novel genetic markers of CAD risk as part of the CARDIoGRAM consortium (Nature Genetics 2011). Dr McPherson lists more than 135 full publications.  A major current objective of her laboratory is to understand the functional relationship of genetic variants to atherosclerosis using bioinformatic, molecular and cellular assays.



Dr. Khosrow Adeli, Clinical Biochemistry, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Dr.Khosrow Adeli is the 4th recipient of the CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award (2011) and presented at the Oral Session III  at the CCC/CSATVB in October 2011 in Vancouver.

Growing evidence suggests that whole body lipid homeostasis is maintained via a complex network of hormonal and neural mechanisms and communication links between the CNS and key tissues including the liver and intestine. The liver and intestine have complementary and coordinated roles in lipoprotein metabolism. Despite their highly specialized functions, assembly and secretion of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRL; apoB100-containing VLDL in the liver and apoB48-containing chylomicrons in the intestine) are regulated by many of the same hormonal, in ammatory, nutrient and metabolic factors. Both the liver and intestine play important roles in the pathophysiology of dyslipidemia in diabetes and other insulin resistant states. In the presence of compromised metabolic conditions, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of dyslipidemic characteristics are present, including hypertriglyceridemia, low highdensity lipoprotein (HDL) and small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles. In insulin resistance, overproduction of TRL by both liver and intestine is a prominent component of and underlies other features of a complex dyslipidemia and increased risk of atherosclerosis. The intestine is gaining increasing recognition for its importance in a ecting wholebody lipid homeostasis, in part through its interaction with the liver. Recent studies indicate a critical role for gut peptides and neuroendocrine signals in regulating lipid absorption and intestinal lipoprotein production. This lecture will aim to integrate recent advances in our understanding of these processes and discuss the critical factors that coordinate lipid homeostasis in normal and insulin resistant states.

Previous Winners »

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