McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Scientists to network for better heart health

Published: November 20, 2008
Sonia Anand
Celebrating the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario/ Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Population Health Research are (from left): John Kelton, dean and vice-president, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University; Salim Yusuf, professor of medicine and scientific director of the Population Health Research Institute; Mario Di Buono, Director of Research, Heart and Stoke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO); Sonia Anand, associate professor and inaugural holder of the chair; Peter George, president and vice-chancellor, McMaster University; Mike LeClair, chair of the HSFO Board of Directors. [View Slideshow]

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Today, McMaster University announced the funding of a new research chair that will revolutionize the way we look at heart disease in Ontario.

Dr. Sonia Anand was appointed as the inaugural chair holder of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario/ Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Population Health Research at McMaster University.

The position has been endowed with $2 million by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO) and a commitment of $1 million from the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Development Fund established by philanthropist Michael G. DeGroote.

Anand is a McMaster medical graduate and PhD in health research who has established a reputation for her research on women and heart disease and global studies on the lifestyle and genetic causes of heart disease.

As part of her new responsibilities, Anand will be setting up a virtual group of experts in population health, which is the study of conditions and diseases in large groups of people, to look at the many things that determine health, from economic, social and environmental to genetics and health services.

Dr. Anand’s research is aimed at understanding the environmental and genetic causes of cardiovascular risk factors, specifically among women and First Nations, as well as Canada’s fastest growing ethnic groups, including South Asians and Chinese. 

"As a longstanding researcher funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Dr. Anand has proven to be a leader among her peers," said Rocco Rossi, CEO of the HSF.  "This new Chair will help empower Ontario’s diverse communities to better understand and embrace heart health." 

The new endowed chair will support her research into the causes of cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes and obesity, as well as cardiovascular disease in diverse multiethnic populations. The information will be used to inform policies for both communities and individuals with the goal of preventing future cardiovascular disease.

John Kelton, Dean and Vice-President of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University pointed out one of three deaths is caused by heart disease or stroke.

"Dr. Anand’s work to look at the big picture is vitally important to the development of new approaches, both for the individual and also to determine how our health care systems respond in this critical area," he said.

"We have an exceptionally strong team in cardiovascular research in Hamilton, and we’re grateful that has attracted extraordinary support from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario."

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