Toronto (June 19, 2015) – Building on a growing international reputation as one of the world's leading centres with specialized expertise in the areas of congenital heart and cardiac valve disease, the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre today named Dr. Eric Horlick, cardiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto as the Chair of the inaugural Peter Munk Chair in Structural Heart Disease Intervention, which focuses on the management of inherited or acquired heart defects through a minimally invasive approach.

"We lead the way globally in the research, discovery and implementation of novel approaches requiring minimal intervention within the spheres of congenital and valve disease, with Dr. Horlick and his team at the forefront of many of these key advances," says Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network. "Blending our relentless focus on innovation with our approach of working in multi-disciplinary medical teams, this role will lead all clinical, patient education and safety efforts, as well as spearhead collaboration with industry to develop, evaluate and successfully deploy new treatment options for patients born with a heart condition or who struggle with valvular disease that is either genetic or has developed over time," he says.

Structural heart disease describes a range of cardiac conditions that interfere with the ability of the heart's valves or chambers to function normally, and can range from a hole between the chambers to severe narrowing of the aortic valve which could lead to cardiac arrest and in many cases, death. The Peter Munk Chair in Structural Heart Disease Intervention will head the research efforts of the Congenital Intervention Service and Transcatheter Valve Program, both highly-specialized, unique programs offered at Canada's leading cardiac centre.

"I am moved and excited by the challenge of collaborating to positively impact two large cardiac patient groups who, either by birth or other factors, endure a greatly diminished quality of life due to a serious heart or valve defect," says Dr. Eric Horlick. "Central to our work will be better understanding global patterns of practice in non-invasive treatment of structural heart disease in adults, which will lead to the development of global registries that capture the long-term outcomes of these patients, so that we can heighten our knowledge of what research will potentially yield the best treatment options for these patients," he says.

In addition, the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is home to seven Centres of Excellence, including the Peter Munk Centre of Excellence in Cardiac Valve Disease, which directs all diagnostic, therapeutic and research initiatives into diseases of cardiac valves and their surgical treatment. It is also site of the oldest and largest Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program in the world.

Video interview with Dr. Eric Horlick, Cardiologist, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre

About the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre

The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is the premier cardiac centre in Canada. Since it opened in 1997, the Centre has saved and improved the lives of cardiac and vascular patients from around the world. Each year, approximately 55,000 patients receive innovative and compassionate care from multidisciplinary teams in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and the Centre trains more cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and vascular surgeons than any other hospital in Canada. The Centre is based at the Toronto General Hospital and the Toronto Western Hospital - members of University Health Network.

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