Heart & Vascular Program

About Us

Interventional Cardiologists

St. Michael’s Hospital Interventional Cardiology Program is home to six University of Toronto academic interventional cardiologists who are in demand internationally as speakers, proctors and clinical researchers. The program is one of the most widely recognized in Canada for excellence, procedural innovation and advanced post-doctoral teaching, and it attracts fellows from around the world. We provide state-of-the-art complex coronary intervention supported by the most advanced intra-procedural diagnostic technologies including intravascular ultrasound, virtual histology, optical coherence tomography and fractional flow reserve. A comprehensive range of interventional coronary therapies is also available, from the latest generation flouro co-polymer drug-eluting stents, to fully absorbable polymer stents, EPC-capture stents, drug-eluting balloons and rotational atherectomy. We are Canada’s largest hybrid program for chronically occluded coronary arteries.

Beyond coronary intervention, the Interventional Cardiology program is closely partnered with St. Michael’s renowned Cardiac Surgery, Advanced Cardiac Imaging and Cardiac Anesthesiology programs, creating a multi-specialty heart team for minimally-invasive treatment of structural and valvular heart diseases. The combined expertise includes trans-femoral, trans-apical and trans-aortic transcatheter aortic valve replacement, MitraClip, mitral valvuloplasty, atrial septal and patent foramen ovale closure, atrial appendage occluders and perivalvular closure procedures. St. Michael’s structural and valvular heart team was recently the first in the Americas to offer trans-apical mitral valve replacement.

Akshay Bagai MD, MHS, FRCPC

Dr. Akshay Bagai is a practicing interventional cardiologist at St. Michael's Hospital and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Read more

Dr. Bagai received his MD and trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Toronto. He completed his training in Interventional Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital and graduated from the Clinical Research Training Program obtaining a master's degree in Health Sciences from Duke University. He returned to Toronto and joined the Division of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital in Aug. 2013. His clinical and research interests are closely aligned and include systems of care for acute coronary syndrome and out-of hospital cardiac arrest, adjunctive therapy in coronary syndromes and percutaneous coronary intervention, and revascularization strategies in acute and stable coronary disease.

Dr. Akshay Bagai photo

Christopher Buller MD, FRCPC

Dr. Christopher Buller is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Music Performance Program, and of the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Medicine (cum laude). Read more.

He trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at both the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia. In 1987 he was awarded both Heart & Stroke Foundation and BC Health Research scholarships to train in interventional cardiology and clinical research at Duke University. In 1991 he joined the faculty of the University of British Columbia as a member of the Division of Cardiology at Vancouver General Hospital. In 2004 Dr. Buller was awarded the Sauder Family Heart & Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiology and was appointed Head of the UBC Division of Cardiology at both Vancouver General and St. Paul’s hospitals.

His research and clinical interests are closely aligned and include chronic occlusive coronary disease, acute myocardial infarction, and fibromuscular dysplasia. Amongst several national and international roles, he has served as a member of the task force overseeing American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association Practice Guidelines and chaired the steering committee for the CCS cardiovascular data definitions project, a Canada-wide initiative to standardize cardiovascular registry data. He remains engaged as a leader in contemporary clinical trials.

In 2011, Dr. Buller returned to his roots in Toronto, accepting the position of Director of Cardiac Catheterization and Intervention at St. Michael’s Hospital and appointment as Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto.

Dr. Christopher Buller photo

Asim Cheema, MD, FRCP(C)

Asim N. Cheema is an interventional cardiologist at St. Michael's Hospital. He graduated from Nishtar Medical College in Pakistan, received a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Toronto and a Master in Health Care Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. Read more.

He is a diplomat of the American Board in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Interventional Cardiology, and holds specialty certifications in Internal Medicine and Cardiology from the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. His clinical practice is concentrated on interventions for complex coronary, valvular and structural heart disease including mitral and aortic valvuloplasty, atrial septal defect/PFO closure and percutaneous valve implantations. He is an associate professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, adjunct professor of Mechanical and Robotic Engineering at Ryerson University and is the director of the Interventional Cardiology fellowship program at St. Michael’s Hospital. His main focus of research is adjunctive pharmacology, transradial PCI, transcatheter aortic valve replacement and development of robotic systems for cardiac intervention. He is not accepting Keenan Research summer students.

Dr. Asim Cheema photo

Neil P. Fam, MD MSc FRCPC

Neil Fam joined St. Michael's Hospital as an interventional cardiologist in 2007. He is director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Read more

He is a clinician-teacher in the Division of Cardiology and is the Director of the University of Toronto Interventional Cardiology Fellows Course. Dr. Fam obtained his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 2000 and completed residency training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at University of Toronto in 2006. He subsequently completed a clinical fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at St. Michael's Hospital.

Dr. Fam’s clinical interests include primary PCI for STEMI, and he is a member of the University of Toronto Heart Attack Collaborative, which is focused on the city-wide delivery of 24-7 primary PCI. He is also interested in the role of simulation in medical education, with an emphasis on coronary angiography and intervention.

Dr. Neil Fam photo

John J. Graham MBChB MRCP(UK)

Dr. John Graham joined St. Michael's Hospital as an Interventional Cardiologist in 2008. He is a clinician investigator in the Division of Cardiology. Read more

Dr. Graham obtained his medical degree (graduating with Commendation) from the University Of Glasgow, Scotland in 1995 and completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Royal Brompton, St. Bartholomew’s and London Chest Hospitals in London, England. In 2005, he undertook a combined research/clinical fellowship in coronary intervention and cardiac MRI at the University of Toronto/Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Dr. Graham’s clinical interests include radial access PCI, primary PCI for STEMI and novel anti-platelet treatment strategies.  His research interests are in the field of cardiac MRI particularly in the assessment of outcome following acute coronary syndromes and percutaneous coronary intervention.

Dr. John Graham photo

Michael Kutryk, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Appointments:
St. Michael's Hospital staff cardiologist
University of Toronto clinician scientist Read more

1981 bachelor of science, First Class Honors (Chemistry and Microbiology): University of Manitoba
1990 master's ofsScience (Cardiovascular Physiology): University of Manitoba
1991 PhD (Cardiovascular Physiology): University of Manitoba
1990-1993 Internal Medicine training: McGill University
1995-1999 Post-doctoral fellowship, Department of Cell Biology: Erasmus University, Netherlands
1993-1995 Cardiology Training: McGill University
1995-1999 Interventional Training: University Hospital, Dijkzigt, Netherlands

Languages spoken: English, French, Ukranian and Dutch

Special interests: myocardial angiogenesis, prevention of restenosis, intracoronary stent design, clinical gene therapy

Dr. Michael Kutryk photo