Professor Salim Yusef


Distinguished University Professor of Medicine

Director, Population Health Research Institute,

Department of Medicine, McMaster University

Chief Scientist, Hamilton Health Sciences

Medically qualified in Bangalore 1976, Salim received a Rhodes Scholarship and obtained a DPhil from Oxford, during which he (along with Richard Peto, Rory Collins and Peter Sleight) initiated the concepts of large, simple trials, and meta-analysis. He coordinated the first ISIS trial (which set the structure for future international collaborative work in cardiovascular disease) that demonstrated the value of beta-blockers in myocardial infarction, and was a member of steering committees for all subsequent ISIS trials.

Salim is an internationally renowned cardiologist and epidemiologist, whose trials and epidemiologic work over 40 years has substantially influenced prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease globally. His epidemiologic work in over 100 countries in all the inhabited continents of the world shows the majority of risks of both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease are attributable to the same few risk factors. He currently leads the largest ever study (PURE) exploring  the role of societal changes on CVD among 200,000 people from over 1000 urban and rural communities in 27 high, middle and low income countries. These studies have led to better understanding of the role of societal changes on behaviours, risk factors, and health systems and how they influence CVD.

He holds a Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Chair, has received (among others) the Lifetime Research Achievement award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Paul Wood Silver Medal of the British Cardiac Society, the European Society of Cardiology gold medal, the American Heart Association Clinical Research Award, and over 35 other international and national awards for research, induction into the Royal Society of Canada and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has received 3 honorary doctorates (Wroclaw, Goteborg and Prague). He has led over 60 major international studies in 100 countries involving over a million people; several of these have changed medical practice.

Professor Yusuf has published over 1000 articles in refereed journals, was the second most cited researcher in the world for 2011 and has the 17th highest H-index in history. He is the immediate Past President of the World Heart Federation, where he has initiated the Road maps program and the Emerging Leaders program involving over 50 countries with the aim of reducing CVD globally.