EPICORE People

Dr. Ross T. Tsuyuki, BSc(Pharm), PharmD, MSc, FCSHP, FACC

Dr. Tsuyuki, is a Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and the Director of the EPICORE Centre and COMPRIS.
He also a Professor and Merck Frosst Chair in Patient Health Management in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and an Adjunct Faculty Member of the School of Public Health, both at the University of Alberta.

He has also been a Clinical Pharmacotherapy Practitioner in the Heart Function Clinic at the University of Alberta Hospital since 1996. Dr. Tsuyuki teaches in a number of courses, including undergraduate medicine/dentistry (DMED 514) and pharmacy (PHAR 367), as well as coordinates a graduate course, MED 600 (Introduction to Clinical Trials) in the Clinical Epidemiology Program. He also has a number of graduate students and post doctoral fellows.

Dr. Tsuyuki's interests are in clinical trials design and execution, heart failure, community practice-based research, cardiovascular risk factors, and in the provision of support for clinical researchers through EPICORE Centre.

In 2005 Dr. Tsuyuki was named by Canadian Pharmacist Associations as the Canadian Pharmacist of the Year.

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Dr. Finlay A. McAlister, MSc, MD, LMCC
Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, Assistant Director, EPICORE Centre

Dr. McAlister is a general internist and a Population Health Investigator of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. He holds an MD degree from the University of Alberta, an MSc in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa, and was an Evidence-Based Medicine Fellow at the University of Oxford. Dr. McAlister is funded by the AHFMR and has 75% protected time devoted to research in evidence-based practice and cardiovascular disease. He currently sits on the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada national peer-review committee for clinical research. Dr. McAlister has published 91 peer-reviewed articles on a variety of topics and his research interests focus on outcomes research in hypertension, heart failure, perioperative care, and coronary artery disease, as well as clinical epidemiology methodology with a focus on guideline development and implementation schemes, trial methodology, and systematic reviews.

In September 2005 Dr. McAlister was named the recipient of the Royal College Medal in Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada.

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Dr. Blair Joseph O'Neill, MD, FRCPC, FACC
Divisional Director, Division of Cardiology Professor of Medicine

Dr. Blair O'Neill recently relocated from Dalhousie University to University of Alberta. He is excited to lead the transition into the world-class Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. His focus will be complementing and adding to the strengths of existing faculty members through recruitment. Developing a world renowned center excelling in research spanning from bench to bedside to our whole population is a goal. Developing patient centered programs ensuring timely access and excellent outcomes is also a priority as is teaching the next generations of health care providers.

Prior to relocating to the University of Alberta, Dr. O'Neill was a faculty member at Dalhousie University since July 1990. He served as Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory from 1991 until 2000. From May 2000 until June 30, 2008, he served as Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Cardiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, as well as Chief of Cardiology Service at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Nova Scotia's Capital District Health Authority. He was also clinical advisor to Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia, the provincial cardiac program. He is a member of the Board of the of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia.

While serving as division head at Capital Health, he worked with its Foundation to raise $9 million for such initiatives as an endowed chair for prevention and cardiovascular outcomes research, 2 community and primary care prevention initiatives, a complete upgrade of echocardiographic equipment and establishment of digital echocardiographic network linking all sites, as well as a new cardiac catheterization laboratory.

He was chairman the Improving Cardiovascular Outcomes for Nova Scotia (ICONS) Network, a unique province-wide network of family physicians, nurses, community pharmacists, district senior administrators, and members of the provincial cardiac advisory committee and representatives of the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The network provides input into potential research projects or clinical care innovations and pilots to both the academic division of cardiology as well to the provincial cardiac program.

Dr. O'Neill is actively involved in clinical research in the area of cardiovascular health and prevention, and has been a principle investigator of many trials concerning the management of acute coronary syndromes, hyperlipidemia, endothelial dysfunction, and the use of new devices in interventional cardiology. He is a member of the Executive Steering Committee of "A Novel Approach to Cardiovascular Health by Optimizing Risk Management" (ANCHOR), an innovative approach to screening for patients at moderate to high risk of CV disease and reducing risk scores in primary care settings. He has also chaired many clinical event committees in large multinational clinical trials.

A member of several professional committees, Dr. O'Neill is active in his professional community. He has served as member of the Council of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society from 1996-2001 and is currently chairman of its Access to Care Committee, as well as CCS representative to the Canadian Medical Association's Wait Time Alliance. For his work in setting targets and benchmarks in Access to Cardiac Care, Dr O'Neill was awarded the Heart and Stroke Foundation's 2006 Public Policy Award. He is also a member of one of the major working groups (Theme Group 5 Acute Care) for the Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan.

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Dr. Margaret L. Ackman, BSc(Pharm), PharmD

Dr. Ackman is a Clinical Practice Leader, Regional Pharmacy Services, Capital Health and a Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta.  In addition practicing in the Coronary Care Unit and teaching undergraduate students, residents and graduate students, Dr. Ackman has an interest in practice based research as it pertains to institutional practice.

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Dr. Tammy J. Bungard, BSP, PharmD
Associate Professor, Division of Cardiology

Dr. Bungard is the Director of the University of Alberta Hospital-based Anticoagulation Management Service (AMS) within the Capital Health Region, Edmonton. She is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine within the Division of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta.

Dr. Bungard provides direct patient care and undertakes research within the AMS and Cardiac EASE programs. She has been actively involved with the Alberta College of Pharmacists and continues to advocate for the proactive role of the pharmacist.

In 2006, Dr. Bungard was awarded the Award of Excellence for her achievements by the Alberta College of Pharmacists.

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Glennora Dowding

Glennora Dowding is likely to be the first person to see when you pay us a visit or the first voice to hear when you call EPICORE Centre.
In addition to her office administration role, Glennora's many responsibilities include:

  • compilation and creation of reports, graphs, tables, maintenance of records and other sources of information;
  • desktop publishing, newsletter production;
  • assembly and categorization of facts and figures for written computation and calculations;
  • assistance with special events planning;

Glennora expertly uses various software applications, such as spreadsheets, word processing, desktop publishing packages, and graphics software.

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Dr. William Ghali

Dr. Ghali is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research, the Buchanan Chair in General Internal Medicine, and a Health Scholar Award from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. He is widely published with over 150 publications in national and international journals, and holds funding from multiple sources, including the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. He has received numerous awards and distinctions since assuming his faculty position at the University of Calgary in 1996, with recent highlights including his receipt of a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Boston University School of Public Health in 2005 and his selection as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in 2003. His main research focus in W21C will be in the Data, Information, and Knowledge Flow theme area, though he will also be involved in other theme areas given his expertise in outcomes research and his role as principal investigator for the initiative.

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Dr. Michelle Graham, MD FRCP(C), Associate Professor

Dr. Graham completed her BSc in Biology at the University of Western Ontario and her MD degree at the University of Ottawa.  She then trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Western Ontario and moved to Dalhousie University for her cardiology training,  followed by a fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the University of Calgary.  She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta.

In addition to having a busy clinical practice, Dr. Graham coordinates Division of Cardiology Rounds, and directs the fellowship program in Interventional Cardiology at the University of Alberta Hospital.  She is also actively involved in the cardiology residency program and leads angiogram interpretation sessions for the residents.  She was recently appointed to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Examination Board for Adult Cardiology.

Finally, approximately 50% of Dr. Graham’s time is protected for research endeavours.  Her primary interest is in outcomes research, mostly focusing on the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcomes Assessment in Coronary Heart disease (APPROACH Project). 

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Jeff Johnson, PhD

Dr. Johnson is Chair of the ACHORD Group. He holds a Government of Canada Research Chair in Diabetes Health Outcomes and a Population Health Investigator award from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR). Jeff’s research and teaching interests are in the measurement of health-related quality of life, economic evaluations, and formulary decision making. Jeff leads many of the ACHORD research projects, including studies of the measurement of health-related quality of life in diabetes, epidemiologic studies of diabetes and major comorbidities and complications, pharmacoepidemiologic studies of drug therapy in diabetes, economic analyses of diabetes care, evaluating alternative delivery strategies to improve the quality of diabetes care, and the impact of the pharmacist on health outcomes and satisfaction of patients with diabetes and other chronic medical conditions.

Apart from his primary interests in diabetes health outcomes, Jeff collaborates with other colleagues in areas such as dialysis, osteoporosis, stroke and cardiology, often providing support in the assessment of patient-reported outcomes in these chronic medical conditions. As a pharmacist, Jeff is also interested generally in pharmaceutical policy and the formulary decision making process.

Jeff is currently a Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta and a Fellow with the Institute of Health Economics in Edmonton. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, as well as in the College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona.

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Kathryn M. King, RN PhD

Dr. King is a Professor and Heritage Population Health Investigator who holds a joint appointment with the Faculty of Nursing and Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Dr. King has held competitive research funding from bodies such as the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Dr. King is well known for her work in cardiac recovery. She has recently completed a multi-centre clinical trial investigating women's recovery from cardiac surgery and is investigating the influence of gender and ethnocultural affiliation on secondary prevention decision-making. She has been appointed to the Institute Advisory Board for the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR) from 2003-2008. She is a member of the editorial boards of The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, The European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing and The Canadian Journal of Cardiology. She regularly undertakes peer review for local and national funding agencies as well as multi-disciplinary journals. Dr. King currently supervises one Master’s and two PhD students (who have been funded through a Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada Nursing Research Fellowship and/or FUTURE Program).

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Dr. Sumit R. Majumdar, MD, MPH, FRCP(C)
Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine

Dr. Majumdar is a pharmacoepidemiologist and health outcomes researcher, currently funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (Population Health Investigator) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (New Investigator).

His focus is in “knowledge translation,” and current research agenda attempts to answer 3 inter-related questions: (1) Does underuse of proven effective therapies exist? (2) What are the barriers to best practice? (3) How do we change practice and optimize evidence-based prescribing? 

The following are currently funded examples of this research: 

Osteoporosis: enrolling a prospective cohort of patients with wrist fractures, to examine outcomes, health-related quality of life, and costs related to fractures. In a controlled trial, we are studying an intervention to improve the care of these patients compared with usual care. Additional studies involving fractures of the hip and spine are in various stages of development and implementation.

Diabetes mellitus: enrolling a prospective cohort of patients with diabetes in rural communities, to examine outcomes, quality of life, costs, and access. In a controlled trial, we are studying an intervention to improve the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in these patients compared with usual care.

Chronic cardiovascular disease: implementing (and evaluating in a controlled trial) an intervention that uses opinion leader-endorsed guidelines to improve the quality of prescribing for ischemic heart disease and congestive heart failure.

These projects include collaboration with researchers within the Department, at the Schools of Public Health and Pharmacy, EPICORE, VIGOUR, Institute of Health Economics, the Alliance for Health Outcomes Research in Diabetes (ACHORD) and other institutions in Canada and the United States.

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Dr. Glen J. Pearson, BSc, BScPhm, PharmD, FCSHP

Dr. Pearson completed a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biology degree at the University of Western Ontario before going on to complete both his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (B.Sc.Phm.) degree and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree (1991) at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Sciences (The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia).  

In 2001, Dr. Pearson joined the Division of Cardiology as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology and Co-Director of the Cardiac Transplant Clinic, as well as, Deputy Medical Director and Director of Research in the Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Clinic.  He is also a Clinical Pharmacotherapy Practitioner in the new MSDIF-funded Cardiac EASE and Pulmonary Hypertension Programs.  In 2005 he was promoted to his current position of Associate Professor of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

At the University of Alberta, he teaches in the Cardio-Renal Block of the first Medical Practice course for undergraduate medical and dental students and is the Co-Coordinator of a graduate course in Medicine. In addition to his clinical and academic responsibilities, Dr. Pearson has an active interest in practice-based research.  At the present time, he is the principal investigator or co-investigator in a number of funded research initiatives. 

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Dr. Marcelo Shibata, MD 

Dr. Shibata received his MD degree in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1988, finishing cardiology residency in 1993 at the Instituto Dante Pazzanese de Cardiologia. He also completed a two-year fellowship in clinical trials and research methodology at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Royal Brompton NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom (1999-2001). In 2001-2002 Marcelo was fellow at the EPICORE Centre, where his major interest was in Health Economics. Currently, Marcelo holds a cross appointment at the University of Alberta Hospitals and the Misericordia Hospital.

Clinical trials, research methodology and health economics in cardiovascular disease and more specifically, heart failure and prevention are major areas of interest.

Marcelo has actively participated in several clinical trials, including HOPE, SENIORS, Beating Heart Surgery, WHISP, COPE and HEARTT.

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Dr. Scot Simpson, BSP PharmD MSc
Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta

Dr. Simpson specializes in medication management of diabetes and its associated co-morbidities and medication adherence.
Over the past few years, he has actively participated in a number of health services research studies to measure the financial burden of diabetes and its complications as well as a number of pharmacoepidemiological studies evaluating the impact of drug therapy on health outcomes in diabetes.
Dr. Simpson's research interests include measuring the impact of medication adherence on health outcomes, identifying patient-perceived barriers to medication use, and optimizing the use of drug therapy for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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