Media Release

St. Michael’s surgeon named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40

Toronto, June 7, 2010

St. Michael’s heart surgeon Dr. Subodh Verma has been named a recipient of the prestigious Canada’s Top 40 under 40.

The national program celebrates excellence in Canada leadership and honours Canadians who have achieved great success but have not yet reached the age of 40.

“I am humbled by this award and feel indebted to the many people who work within the team,” said Dr. Verma.

A graduate of the University of Calgary, the 39-year-old Dr. Verma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and has a PhD in Cardiovascular Pharmacology from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Verma and his peers were selected from more than 1,200 nominees by an independent advisory board, comprised of 25 business leaders from across Canada. Honourees were chosen based on five key criteria: vision and leadership; innovation and achievement; impact; community involvement and contribution; and strategy for growth.

“Dr. Verma is one of Canada’s pre-eminent clinician-scientists,” said St. Michael’s CEO Dr. Bob Howard. “He is a remarkable individual, whose leadership, innovation achievements and community/volunteer activities continue to make an impact at the local, national and international levels.”

In 2003, Dr. Verma developed a traineeship program in atherosclerosis and was subsequently appointed the Canada Research Chair in Atherosclerosis in 2007. That same year, Dr. Verma launched a one-day program for more than 100 family physicians to provide a hands-on, interactive update on the latest advancements in cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Most recently, Dr. Verma was instrumental in the development of a research and educational partnership between St. Michael’s and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, as well as the creation of a specialized heart valve clinic at the hospital for patients with bicuspid aortic valves — the only clinic of its kind in Canada.

Dr. Verma has contributed to more than 200 research publications, representing significant advancements in the fields of cardiovascular disease, sepsis, stem cell research and oncology. Recent research by Dr. Verma received international attention when it found that a gene linked to breast cancer may also raise the risk of heart disease. This work led to the filing of a U.S. patent for the use of the gene as a treatment for cardiovascular disease.

“Dr. Verma is an outstanding scientist and a true bench to bedside researcher,” said Dr. Louis Ignarro, the 1998 Nobel Prize winner in medicine or physiology. “There is a dire need for people like him who have the insight from the clinic, and can bridge the basic discoveries with avenues to improve the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease.”

Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, now in its fifteenth year, is managed by founding sponsor, The Caldwell Partners International. Other national sponsors include Deloitte, National Bank Financial, The Globe and Mail, and WestJet.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who walk through its doors. The Hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research at St. Michael’s Hospital is recognized and put into practice around the world. Founded in 1892, the Hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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