Heart Institute names renowned surgeon as head of cardiac surgery division

Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2012

OTTAWA, December 6, 2012 — The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Marc Ruel, Cardiac Surgeon and Endowed Chair of Cardiac Surgery Research at UOHI,as the new Chief of Cardiac Surgery. Appointed for a 5-year mandate, Dr. Ruel will succeed Dr. Thierry Mesana starting on January 1, 2013.

“As our incoming Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Marc Ruel is not only an outstanding cardiac surgeon and a talented researcher, but also a remarkable leader who will guide and support an extraordinary team of professionals as the Heart Institute moves forward," said Dr. Robert Roberts, President and CEO of the Heart Institute. "I wish to express my gratitude and thanks to Dr. Thierry Mesana for his great leadership as he steps down as Chief of Cardiac Surgery. His work, dedication, skill and knowledge over the years have contributed greatly to the Heart Institute's reputation worldwide."

Dr. Marc Ruel received his M.D. cum laude from the University of Ottawa in 1994 and his specialist certification in Cardiac Surgery in 2000. He subsequently pursued a combined fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and laboratory research at Harvard University, where he also completed a Masters in Public Health, with a focus on statistical methods.

Dr. Ruel's faculty appointments at the University of Ottawa are with the Departments of Surgery (primary affiliation), Cellular and Molecular Medicine (cross-appointed affiliation), and Epidemiology and Community Medicine (cross-appointed affiliation). In 2010, he was promoted to Full Professor in these three departments. He is the Chair of the Heart Transplantation and Ventricular Assist Devices committee, and of the Operating Room committee, at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

In September 2010, Dr. Ruel also became the Assistant-Dean, Clinical and Translational Research, at the University of Ottawa.

“The Division of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute has a long and rich history of excellence. Under the successive headships of Drs. Keon and Mesana, our surgeons and affiliated health team have contributed great advances to surgical care, outcomes, and research over the last several decades. I am humbled by having been chosen to lead this most fine division, composed of a group of topnotch surgeons, and which I foresee will continue to reach new heights, with the tremendous support of our Heart Institute co-workers, University colleagues, and grateful community,” said Dr. Marc Ruel.

“It is with great pride and excitement that I welcome Marc as my successor as Chief of Cardiac Surgery. He has continuously proven to be one of the best cardiac surgeons in the country, and especially more recently as he supervised three heart transplants within 24 hours, an uncommon and yet outstanding personal and professional achievement” said Dr. Thierry Mesana, current Chief of Cardiac Surgery.

Dr. Ruel has visited and hosted surgeons from multiple countries, such as the United States, Japan, and India, to train them in his minimally invasive technique for cardiac bypass grafting. He is now helping build a community of practice for the new procedure, with many surgeons worldwide, many of whom he trained, performing the technique on a regular basis.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is dedicated to understanding, treating, and preventing heart disease and leads in world research. On August 24, 2011, the Province of Ontario announced its commitment to move ahead with a new building extension for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. This new facility will ensure the Heart Institute has sufficient capacity to continue shaping cardiovascular care, research and education for the coming decades.


Vincent Lamontagne

Senior Manager, Public Affairs

University of Ottawa Heart Institute


613-899-6760 (cell)


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