Medical Advisory Board
Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani, Chairperson
Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani obtained his medical degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1993, followed by a pediatric residency at Queen’s University and a pediatric cardiology fellowship at UBC. He has advanced training in cardiac electrophysiology from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and UBC. Afterwards, Dr. Sanatani joined the faculty as the director of cardiac pacing and electrophysiology at BC Children’s Hospital in 2001. He was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and full professor of pediatrics in 2017. Dr. Sanatani assumed the role of division head and medical director of the Children’s Heart Centre in 2015, and is the section head of the Heart Rhythm Service. He holds the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) credential.
Dr. Sanatani’s academic focus includes sudden unexpected death in the young, as well as supraventricular arrhythmias in the pediatric population. He is the pediatric lead of the British Columbia Inherited Arrhythmia Program and serves on both the Canadian and American Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome Foundations medical advisory committees. A collaborative approach to clinical and translational research has supported 200 publications. He is a founding member of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society and previously served as the vice president of research for the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) prior to becoming president in 2016.
Dr. Michael D. Fridman
Dr. Michael Fridman is an attending Pediatric Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he specialized in cardiorespiratory physiology and pharmacology, he went on to complete his medical degree at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. After completing his medical school training, he completed a residency in general pediatrics followed by fellowships in both pediatric cardiology and pediatric cardiac electrophysiology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. It was during this time where he developed clinical and research interests in electrophysiology, especially in the realm of inherited arrhythmias – genetic disorders with increased risk of heart rhythm disturbances and sudden death. He is actively involved with the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society and the Hearts in Rhythm Organization (HiRO).
Dr. Fridman is also an active and highly accomplished educator. He received awards from both the Division of Cardiology and the Department of Pediatrics acknowledging his outstanding contribution to education within the training program and the broader hospital community. The Canadian Federation of Medical Students named him one of 2020’s Champions for Contribution to a Positive Learning Environment for the meaningful difference he made to promoting positive change in medical education. He has authored and co-authored several textbook chapters and online education modules. His work has been recognized with numerous additional awards for his significant contribution to resident teaching, education, and research.
Dr. Fridman currently holds an appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine where he continues to teach the next generation of clinicians and allied health professionals both in Calgary and abroad. He is the current Pediatric Cardiology Undergraduate Medical Education Lead, a faculty advisor, and is actively involved in other aspects of medical education within the hospital and medical school.
Dr. Cecilia Gonzales Corcia
Dr. Cecilia Gonzalez Corcia is a professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Montreal and a Consultant Cardiologist and Paediatric Electrophysiologist at CHU Sainte Justine, Montreal, Canada.
Cecilia is originally from Argentina, where she undertook her medical studies in the University of Buenos Aires and her paediatric training in the Gutierrez Children’s Hospital. She underwent further training in paediatric cardiology and electrophysiology at Children’s Hospital of Boston, USA.
After finishing her training, she moved her Belgian husband and children to Brussels where she set the basis to develop the first Paediatric Electrophysiology Program in Belgium, at Clinique St Luc, the Catholic University Hospital in Brussels and UZ Antwerp. During her time in Belgium, she worked on her PhD in Brugada syndrome in the young under the mentoring of Professor Pedro Brugada. She completed this in 2017.
From 2018 to 2022, Cecilia took the position of Lead of Paediatric Electrophysiology at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, where she supported the paediatric electrophysiology and inherited cardiac conditions programs in the south west of the UK. During this period, she completed a 3-year Master in Genomics focusing on Cardio-genomics at Imperial University in London and built the basis for a Paediatric Brugada International Registry.
Her focus is on excellence of care towards her patients which includes the management and treatment of arrhythmias in the young, and the development of the inherited cardiac expertise in the field of paediatrics. One of her passions is teaching, as she feels this is the path for the transmission of her knowledge and experiences she received from her different teachers and mentors.
Dr. Kathleen Hodgkinson
Dr. Kathy with Bill Beau Baggins, Newfoundland pony
Dr. Kathleen Hodgkinson is a professor of clinical epidemiology and genetics in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University.
Dr. Hodgkinson began her career with a first-class degree in genetics and cell biology from the University of Manchester, UK. As a recipient of both a Rotary International and a Commonwealth Scholarship she graduated as a genetic counsellor from McGill University. Following her work with the genetics of Schizophrenia in Toronto with her long-time colleague, Dr. Anne Bassett she came to Memorial University (MUN), Newfoundland and Labrador as a Research Associate with the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network. Her interest in inherited cardiac diseases began at MUN, particularly with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), which was the focus of her Ph.D., which she achieved with distinction.
Her research interest remains with determining the natural history (how a disease manifests from birth to death in the absence of treatment), clinical course (how a disease behaves following treatment), and aetiology (what causes the disease) of rare causes of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the NL genetic isolate.
Her work with large NL families was central to the identification of the responsible gene (TMEM43) and mutation (p.S358L) for a virulent form of ARVC in 2008. Using an innovative research design (utilising data from multiplex families across several generations) she demonstrated that prophylactic (treatment provided before any clinical signs of disease) treatment with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) increased survival by at least 30 years in males with this genetic variant.
More recent research has indicated that increased exercise is a modifier of severity of phenotype (the phenotype gets worse) for the TMEM43 p.S358L form of ARVC. This led to the change in practice for pediatric cardiology in NL whereupon children at risk of inheriting this disease-causing variant are offered testing under 5 years of age.
Thus Dr. Hodgkinson’s work spans determination of the molecular basis for disease, the natural history and clinical course of disease, the ethics surrounding genetic diseases which have a high mortality and morbidity, and in translating the accrued knowledge to effective clinical practice. She has always considered families and individuals to be central to her research endeavours.
Dr. Hodgkinson was given the Heart and Stroke caring hearts circle award in 2018 and 2019. She was the the recipient in 2017 of the Marilyn Harvey MUN award for excellence in human research ethics, and, alongside her colleagues Dr’s. Terry Young, Daryl Pullman and Sean Connors, was a recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s Innovation Award. She was invited to present her work alongside her colleague Dr. Terry Young to parliament (genomics on the hill) in 2018.
Dr. Hodgkinson is also involved in genetic research on psychiatric brain illness and the burden of all cardiac disease causing SCD in NL.
Dr. Thomas Roston
- Clinical Assistant Professor and Clinician-Scientist, UBC, SPH and VGH
- 2022 UBC CIHR/CSCI Resident Research Manuscript Prize Winner, UBC Faculty of Medicine
- 2021 and 2022 1st Place, Clinician-Investigator Program Research Day, UBC Faculty of Medicine
- 2022 Best Subspecialty Fellow Teacher, UBC Cardiology Residency Program
- 2020 George Mines Travelling Fellow in Electrophysiology, CHRS/CCS, Harvard & UBC
- 2020 Friedman Scholar, UBC & Harvard
- 2018 AHA Early Career Investigator Award
- Clinical Fellow in Critical Care, University of Alberta (2021-2022)
- Certified ECMO Specialist (2022)
- Clinical and Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Genetics, Harvard Medical School (2020-2021)
- PhD in Medicine (Arrhythmia Genetics), University of Alberta (2016-2020)
- >60 peer-reviewed manuscripts
Dr. Rafik Tadros
Dr. Tadros is a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist at the Cardiovascular Genetics Centre of the Montreal Heart Institute. He holds a PhD in cardiovascular physiology and is trained in cardiovascular genetics and genomics. His clinical expertise are cardiac arrythmias, cardiomyopathies and genetic heart diseases. Rafik holds the Canada Research Chair in Translational cardiovascular genetics, with a research focus on applying complex genetics into clinical cardiovascular care.
Dr. Sharmila Udupa
Dr. Udupa received her medical degree from McGill University in 2007. She completed her pediatrics residency at CHEO in 2011 and subspecialty training in pediatric cardiology at CHEO in 2014. Dr. Udupa also completed a fellowship in electrophysiology at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in 2015, followed by a brief research term at the Toronto General Hospital. She started her position at CHEO in 2017, and helps run the electrophysiology service. Her areas of interest are the management of children with inherited arrhythmias and the evaluation of sudden death in the pediatric age group.