2006 Award Recipient

Professor Peter Liu (Cardiovascular Research)

Professor Peter Liu (University of Toronto)
Professor Peter Liu is cited for his extraordinary research on the causes of heart failure and coronary artery disease, and his commitment to public advocacy and education in the prevention of heart disease.

Educational Background
Dr. Liu completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto, and did a research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard University. He became Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1998 and was the Research Director of the Division of Cardiology. In 1999 he became the Director of the Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence for Cardiovascular Research. He was cross appointed to be Professor of the Department of Physiology in 2002. In 2006 he became the Scientific Director in the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health at the Canadian Institute of Health Research.

Career Development
Dr. Liu made headlines in 2000 when he discovered a gene that allows a common viral infection to trigger heart disease. Again in 2003, he discovered medication that can be used to prevent heart disease by iron overload. In July this year he reported on the prevalence of a deadly but often overlooked form of heart disease that disproportionately affects women.

Major Contributions
His achievements have been celebrated over the last 25 years with over 20 awards and honors, including the research achievement award from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the Rick Gallop Research Excellence Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, and the Extramural Award of Merit from the American College of Cardiology. He was also invited to be the 2004 inaugural Distinguished Cardio-Vascular Research Lecturer in the University of British Columbia. He has been invited to lecture numerous times both internationally and nationally fromĀ 1986 on, and is on the Editorial boards of 11 cardiovascular journals. He is the author of 250 peer reviewed papers and book chapters. His professional activities include sitting on the committees of many international societies, and recently he was made President-Elect of the International Society of Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure of the World Heart Federation. He is also the co-chair of the 6th International Initiative of Global Cardiovascular Proteomics for the Human Proteomic Organization. He has been an advocate of the local organizations, and sat on the Heart and Stroke Foundations of both Ontario and Canada for a total of 8 years.

Other Honorary
As an educator, Dr. Liu has supervised 27 post-doctoral fellows, 5 doctoral students and 15 Masters students. He was awarded the 2006 graduate faculty teaching award from the Faculty of Medicine this year, for his mentorship of the students. He has helped build the reputation of the Richard Lewar Heart and Stroke Centre of Excellence into an international leader in microphysiology research and the transgenic modeling of human disease.

Dr. Liu is exceptional because he works from the bench to bedside, and he is the rare researcher whose dedication to discovery in the laboratory is matched by his devotion to public advocacy and education. Dr. John Challis sums up Dr. Liu’s impact as “he gives new hope to those who suffer from heart disease.”