Dr. Duncan Stewart is the CEO of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the VP of Research at The Ottawa Hospital. Dr. Stewart is a pioneering Canadian cardiovascular researcher, who is recognized for his many important discoveries in blood vessel biology as well as his dedication to translating these discoveries into benefits for patients and society.
After beginning his career in academic cardiology at McGill University in Montreal, he moved to Toronto as Head of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital and later Director of the Division of Cardiology, and Executive Director of the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine at theUniversity of Toronto. He was recruited to lead the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) in 2007. Dr. Stewart has made a number of seminal discoveries elucidating the importance of endothelial factors in health and disease, notably the role of nitric oxide system in angiogenesis and such endothelin-1 in pulmonary hypertension. He is also a leader in developing cell and gene based therapies for cardiovascular disease.
He led the first Canadian clinical trial to test an angiogenic gene therapy – using VEGF to try to stimulate heart repair in people who had suffered heart attacks. He is also spearheading the world’s first clinical trial of a gene-enhanced cell therapy for pulmonary hypertension, using endothelial progenitor cells engineered to overexpress the endothelial nitric oxide synthase. He is also poised to launch the first enhanced progenitor cell therapy trial for post heart-attack repair, and he is leading a Canadian effort to initiate the world’s first trial of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Dr. Stewart has published more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has received a number of distinctions and prizes, including the Dexter Man Chair of Cardiology and Research Achievement Award of the University of Toronto, and the Research Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.
Throughout his career, Dr. Stewart has demonstrated leadership in bringing diverse groups of clinicians and scientists together to put Canada on the world stage for translational cardiovascular and regenerative medicine research.