Canadian Arrhythmia Network to be hosted at Western University

The Government of Canada announced $26.3 million in funding today to establish the Canadian Arrhythmia Network (CANet) as a Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) hosted at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

This announcement positions Western and London as the national centre for research into the effective diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disturbances, also known as arrhythmias, such as syncope, atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac death alone accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths in Canada each year, and is projected to be the number one cause of mortality and morbidity in the world by 2020.

CANet will establish a network of more than 100 investigators from across the country with the aim of bringing efficiency, accessibility and sustainability to arrhythmia health through innovation. The network will include clinicians, researchers, engineers, patients, industry and government partners. This multi-disciplinary network of world-class leaders is a unique strength of CANet.

Dr. Anthony Tang, Professor in the Department of Medicine at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and a Lawson Health Research Institute Scientist will serve as the Scientific Director and CEO of the newly established network. “We want to find innovative solutions to allow arrhythmia patients to have the best possible care,” said Tang who is also a cardiologist focusing on heart rhythm disorders at London Health Sciences Centre. “The information and innovations that come out of this network will be applicable to individuals across the country and around the globe.”

Video of Dr. Tang discussing the newly established network can be found here: http://youtu.be/SofhSq9oZco

Western University President Amit Chakma cites London’s history of excellence in arrhythmia care and research as a key component to hosting this network.

“London is home to Canada’s first arrhythmia clinic, first surgical treatment of ventricular tachycardia, and first to commercialize the implantable loop recorder. This established environment provides the perfect foundation to host CANet at Western,” he said.

Along with the Government of Canada funding, Western University has committed $1.2 million to support CANet’s research and operations, and will house its administrative offices in the Western Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, jrenaud9@uwo.ca, @jeffrenaud99