Our History

In 1988, Dr. Michael Sole founded the Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CCR) as a joint
venture between the Toronto General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of
Toronto Faculty of Medicine to bring together interdisciplinary talent in the cardiovascular
sciences. The CCR developed integrated bench-to-bedside programs in heart failure,
atherosclerosis and arrhythmias and established a clinical trials unit. It offered start-up funds
for new investigators and support programs for fellows and students. The CCR established an
annual Cardiovascular Scientific Day and a Distinguished Visiting Professor Lecture Series to
support cardiovascular education.

In 1999, with support from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Richard Lewar family, the
Heart and Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research (HSRLCE) was
established to continue the CCR’s success at a University-wide level and foster excellence in
cardiovascular research and education at UofT. HSRLCE is a self-funded extra-departmental unit
(EDU) of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. The HSRLCE expanded its collaborative
infrastructure and brought together more than 129 researchers in basic science, clinical
investigation and community health.

Today, the HSRLCE builds upon a solid foundation to strengthen its network and international
impact. The HSRLCE brings together a consortium of university and hospital research centres in
the heart of the city to deliver a comprehensive research program that spans the entire
cardiovascular system. With an increased commitment to education, the HSRLCE brought the
established Collaborative Cardiovascular Sciences Program (CSCP) under its umbrella to be the
educational arm of HSRLCE. Looking abroad, the HSRLCE pursues an exciting
internationalization strategy to increase its impact by attracting global talent, ideas, funding
and new academic and industrial partners.


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