Robert James Cusimano BSc, MSc, MD, FRCSC, FACS
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
Director of Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME), Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Toronto
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
The David and Stacey Cynamon Professorship in Cardiovascular Innovation and Education Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
Dr. Robert James (RJ) Cusimano is a cardiac surgeon, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Program Director, Cardiac Surgery Residency Programme, University of Toronto and Associate Professor, Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. A native of Toronto and the third of eight children, Dr. Cusimano earned his medical degree from the University of Calgary in 1983, interned in the Atlantic Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), before completing his Residency in General Surgery, and Cardiac Surgery at the University of Toronto.
He became a staff surgeon at the Toronto General Hospital in 1993 – the first Canadian of Italian heritage to achieve this status.
In 2006, Dr. Cusimano was invited to teach cardiac surgery at Xingxiang Medical University in China — becoming the first non-Chinese physician to do so. The surgical procedure was televised to 100 million people in China. Dr. Cusimano was awarded an honorary degree from Xingxiang University for his work. He has since made return visits to China to continue teaching cardiac surgery techniques used at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.
Dr. Cusimano is the longest-serving member of Toronto General Hospital’s heart transplant team, a position he has held since 1993. As such, he has performed more heart transplants than any other adult surgeon in Toronto.
He is a recognized specialist in Insertion, modification and removal of cardiac rhythm management devices.
He is also an active member of the ventricular assist program at the Toronto General Hospital, focused on providing heart disease patients with a ‘bridge to transplant’ cardiac-assist device, or mechanical heart technology, like the Left Ventricular Assist Device or LVAD, and Transcatheter Valve therapies.
In 2016, Dr. Cusimano led a first international conference on cardiac tumours — an increasingly common heart condition – which can often be fatal. The Toronto Cardiac Tumour Conference was created to share knowledge and best practices about the diagnosis, treatment and management of these little-known, —- benign or malignant tumours of the heart.
Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
University of Toronto
Toronto General Hospital/University Health Network (UHN)
After medical training in India, Dr. Jagdish Butany qualified as a pathologist (University of Toronto, FRCPC ’79) and followed this with a years fellowship at the National Institutes of Health(Heart, Lung & Blood branch) at Bethesda, Maryland, USA. He is Professor and Director of Anatomical Pathology at the University of Toronto(2004-’17), and Staff Pathologist and Consultant Cardiovascular Pathologist at the University Health Network/Toronto General Hospital, with 290+ peer-reviewed publications, as well as book chapters and invited presentations.He has received several Teaching awards. He Co-Edited(with Dr. Max Buja) the Text Book, Cardiovascular Pathology,(4th Edition ).
A founding member of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology he was its President (Mar ’07 -Mar ’09) and Co-Editor-in-Chief of its official Journal, Cardiovascular Pathology(2000-2011). He was the president of the Canadian Association of Pathologists(Oct ‘06-July ‘09), as well as founder and Founding Editor in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Pathology. He is currently the Editor in- Chief of Human Pathology Case Reports. A team player Dr. Butany is a strong proponent of the role of Laboratory Medicine, in Medicine and the increasing prognostic importance of Laboratory tests in the future. Actively involved in Social activities, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of The Scarborough Hospital(6 years), works with the Maytree foundation on its mentorship committee, is the Secretary- Treasurer of the World Association of Societies of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine(2009—‘17) and is a Trustee and a Member of the Board of Directors of his community’s temple in Toronto.
Professor & Head,
Department of Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery
All India Institute of Medical Sciences,
After receiving training in Cardiovascular surgery at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Dr. Choudhary joined the same as a faculty member in 1996. Currently, he is Professor & Head of Department of Cardio-thoracic & Vascular Surgery at All India Institute of medical sciences, New Delhi, India which is one of the largest university cardiac surgical programs in the world. His areas interest includes aortic diseases and valvular heart diseases. He has performed more than 10000 cardiac operations. He is involved in clinical research and developed innovative techniques in percutaneously adjustable pulmonary artery bands, antegrade cerebral perfusion, modified ultrafiltration, valved patch for ASD/VSD closure, congenital tricuspid valve repair, and left atrial reduction and pulmonary vein isolation. Dr. Choudhary has published more than 340 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and delivered more than 300 lectures. He is examiner for residency programs, author of chapters in textbooks, member of various cardiac societies, nominee for expert advice for various government and non-governmental organizations, organized several conferences, conducted wet labs and delivered orations. Passionate about teaching, research, mentorship, scientific publications and resident training.
Associate Professor of Radiology, Cardiothoracic Division, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Department of Medical Imaging, Joint Department of Medical Imaging
Toronto General Hospital/University Health Network (UHN)
Dr. Elsie T. Nguyen is an Associate Professor of Radiology and is a fellowship trained, board certified cardiothoracic radiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Toronto General Hospital. She is the only radiologist in Canada who is level III trained in adult cardiac echocardiography and holds certification from the American Society of Echocardiography. She is the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education for Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto and Director of Cardiac Imaging at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. She has published in the field of cardiac CT optimization techniques and MRI imaging of myocardial iron overload in thalassemia, and non-ischemic cardiomyopathies such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Dr. Nguyen is part of a team of radiologists and cardiologists who are experts in multi-modality imaging of patients with cardiac tumours in addition to ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathies, adult congenital heart disease and inherited aortopathies.
Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology
Department of Genomic Medicine
Clinical Director, Translational Research Accelerator Program
U. T. M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Austin, Texas, United States
Dr. Ravi’s clinical practice is focused on vascular sarcomas such as angiosarcoma and epithelioid hemangioendothelioma. Dr. Ravi is also part of the angiosarcoma and leiomyosarcoma working groups at MD Anderson to efficiently utilize the current moonshot platforms to improve outcomes in these rare diseases. Over the course of the last 8 years that he has been at MD Anderson, he has conducted several phase II and III studies in patients with sarcoma. His clinical research interests are in the development of novel therapies for angiosarcoma and other vascular tumors.
From a data science standpoint, his research focus is utilization of multi-dimensional clinical and molecular data for identification of effective molecular therapies. Dr. Ravi is interested in correlating responses to specific targeted therapies with molecular predictors to improve clinical trial efficiency and success rates. As the clinical director of TRA (Translational Research Accelerator) program, Dr. Ravi leads the implementation of big data initiative that connects molecular data on patient samples with clinical and radiological information from electronic records.
Assistant Professor, Division of Oncology and Hematology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.
Staff Medical Oncologist, Solid Tumor Program (Sarcoma & Phase 1 Drug Development), Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
Medical Oncology Lead, Sarcoma Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
Dr. Abdul Razak is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. Clinically, he is a Staff Medical Oncologist in Phase 1 Clinical Trials and Sarcoma at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Sinai Healthcare Systems, Toronto. He also leads the Medical Oncology Sarcoma Program at both institutions.
Originally from Malaysia, he underwent medical and oncology training in Ireland, England as well as Canada. He was the recipient several international awards, to include the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (2011), Merit Award from the Conquer Cancer Foundation (2011) as well as the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Award from the British Lung Foundation (2007). Nationally, Dr. Abdul Razak was also the inaugural recipient of the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada Fellowship (2013). Locally, his work was recognized by the McCullough and Till Paper of the Year Award (2017).
Dr. Razak’s main interest is new drug development, especially in the field of sarcoma. He has authored several high impact publications such as Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer. He was also the author of the oncology chapter for Davidson’s Textbook of Medicine (23rd and 24th edition).
Dr. Razak has trained several of the next generation of sarcoma oncologists from various parts of the world to include Saudi Arabia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Australia and Jordan. These fellows since then has formed their own alumni and launched their own successful collaborations. Dr. Razak also has been integral in connecting and training the next generation of drug developers from Ireland and Malaysia within his role at the Drug Development Program at the Princess Margaret.
Socially, Dr. Razak enjoys spending time with his family. He is the father of two young children whom he spends much of his free time with.
Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Allison Family Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular
Research, Houston Methodist Hospital
Dr. Michael Reardon grew up in Houston, Texas, where he attended Baylor College of Medicine graduating with honors and as a member of AOA. He completed a 5 year general surgery residency under Dr. Michael DeBakey in the Baylor Affiliated Hospitals and a 2 year cardiothoracic residency under Dr. Denton Cooley at the Texas Heart Institute.
He started and ran his own private practice as well as serving full time on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine where he was Professor of Surgery with tenure, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Program Director for the Thoracic Surgery Residency and Vice Chair of Academic Affairs in the Department of Surgery. He has spent his entire career at The Methodist Hospital serving in numerous administrative positions including President of the Medical Staff.
Currently, Dr. Reardon is Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Allison Family Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular Research, Senior Attending Surgeon at The Methodist Hospital, Senior Scientist the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Surgical Director of Structural Heart Disease at the Houston Methodist Hospital. He also serves as Clinical Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He has written over 600 medical and scientific papers, book chapters and abstracts and frequently lectures on his research and clinical interests of cardiac valvular disease, thoracic aortic disease and cardiac tumors. In 1998, Dr. Reardon performed the first successful autotransplant worldwide for a malignant left atrial sarcoma and the first successful autotransplant for a malignant left ventricular sarcoma in 2003. Since then, Dr. Reardon has performed more than 52 such surgeries has traveled to Poland, Belgium, New Zealand and Israel to perform these surgeries. He presently serves as the national surgical Principal Investigator for the SURTAVI, Evolut Low Risk Randomized, Reprise III and Reprise IV TAVR trials. He is internationally recognized as a leader in cardiac tumors and in the catheter based approach to structural heart disease.
Director – Cardiac Surgery, Austin Health, Australia
Consultant Cardiac & Thoracic, Austin Health
Consultant Cardiac & Thoracic Surgeon
Dr. Seevanayagam has a special interest in extended pulmonary resections and is experienced in managing primary tumours of the heart and other tumours involving the heart and the aorta. A major emphasis has been on defining the oncologic objectives of each case and multi-disciplinary planning and execution of these complex cases.
His main research interests are in data analytics of integrated large-scale healthcare datasets. Dr. Seevanayagam is a member of the Board of Studies (Cardiothoracic Surgery) and a member of the Court of Examiners of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
Professor of Cardiac Surgery
Director of Large Animal Science
Department of Cardiac Surgery
State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease
Fuwai Hospital, National Centre for Cardiovascular Disease
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Pekin Union Medical College