Biography: Subodh Verma, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Subodh Verma, MD, PhD, FRCSC
  • Cardiac Surgeon, St Michael’s Hospital
  • Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science
  • and Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • University of Toronto
  • Canada Research Chair in Atherosclerosis

Subodh Verma, MD, PhD, FRCSC is an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon‐scientist at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and Professor at the University of Toronto. He is a trained pharmacist with a PhD in  cardiovascular pharmacology from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Verma has held the Canada Research Chair in Atherosclerosis since 2007; in 2009, he placed on the India Abroad Power List; in 2010, he was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 and also received the Howard Morgan Award from the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences; in 2013, he was honored with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Gold Medal in Surgery and inducted as a member in the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons which represents 200 of the world’s foremost cardiothoracic surgeons from 35 countries.

Dr. Verma is the founder and Director of the Traineeship in Atherosclerosis program at St Michael’s Hospital and was instrumental in establishing the St Michael’s Hospital Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute‐King Saud University collaborative partnership. He (co‐) founded and serves as the (co‐) chair of many regional and national educational initiatives that include the Landmark Lecture, State of the Heart Symposium, Toronto Acute Coronary Syndrome Summit, St Michael’s Heart Valve Summit, Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Advances in Cardiology, CCS Current Issues in Cardiology, and At the Heart of Diabetes programs. Dr. Verma has served as a member of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia and is/was a reviewer for several grant committees of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and Heart & Stroke Foundation (HSF). He has actively contributed to the development of multiple national clinical practice guidelines and is/was a panelist on the CCS guidelines committees for antiplatelet therapy, atrial fibrillation, dyslipidemia, peripheral arterial disease, and stable coronary artery disease; the Canadian Cardiovascular Surgery Position Statement committee and the executive committee of the Canadian Cardiometabolic Risk Position Paper. Within St Michael’s Hospital, Dr. Verma sits on the Presidential Council and the Blood Conservation Committee. Dr. Verma's clinical practice encompasses the entire spectrum of adult cardiac surgery with an interest in mitral valve repair and bicuspid aortopathy. He runs a bicuspid aortic valve clinic, a South Asian risk stratification center and several satellite clinics.

Dr. Verma has published over 200 peer‐reviewed papers and more than 400 abstracts, with several papers appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Circulation and Circulation Research. He oversees an active research team that focuses on the role of risk factors and inflammation on endothelial function, vascular homeostasis and cardiac function. These research endeavors are currently supported by grants from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Research Fund, CIHR, HSF and the Canadian pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Verma’s group employs innovative molecular, cellular and translational approaches to study mechanisms through which inflammatory cytokines and novel inflammation‐associated molecules are linked to vascular diseases. His groundbreaking “out‐of‐the‐box” investigations focused on the cardiovascular effects of the breast cancer genes BRCA‐1/2 have culminated in two United States Patents. Dr. Verma is currently investigating the pathophysiological roles of autophagy in several devastating vascular diseases and the potential of utilizing pharmacological agents already approved for non‐cardiovascular disease as novel cardiovascular therapies.

Dr. Verma’s clinical research in the area of meta‐analysis revealed that coronary artery bypass graft surgery is superior to angioplasty in patients with diabetes. This work, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in 2013, has been used by the American College of Cardiology and the CCS to shape the recommendations around the best clinical choice for revascularization procedures involving individuals with diabetes. Recently, Dr. Verma developed, and is spearheading, the CARDIOLINK platform at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. This ambitious and far reaching program aims to conduct definitive clinical trials in 5 specific areas ― atrial fibrillation, aneurysm and cerebral protection, diabetes and secondary prevention, valvular heart disease, and critical limb ischemia. The overarching goal is to gather novel insights that will help inform on new ways of treating patients with diverse cardiovascular pathologies. Dr. Verma also continues to participate in several ongoing provincial, national and international cardiac surgery and cardiology research trials that cover the gamut of novel surgical procedures, clinical assessments and management as well as epidemiology.

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