Steering Committee

Dr. Eric Jacobsohn, Chair
Professor, University of Manitoba
Departments of Anesthesia and Internal Medicine

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Assuming the role of PACT Chair in August 2016, Dr. Eric Jacobsohn is passionate about helping the anesthesia profession to grow Canada’s national and worldwide presence in perioperative anesthesia clinical research.

In addition to his active clinical practice in cardiac-general anesthesia, cardiac and general critical care, Dr. Jacobsohn personally maintains an active perioperative clinical research team with several international collaborations.  Most recently his primary areas of focus in research have been with large international collaborations studying anesthesia awareness, perioperative delirium, as well as studying the issue of disruptive clinician behavior in the perioperative period.

He also teaches and lectures extensively at his medical school, nationally and internationally, and maintains an active publication record.

Dr. Scott Beattie
Professor, University of Toronto
Department of Anesthesia
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Dr. Scott Beattie is an internationally recognized expert in cardiac anesthesia who has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and currently holds $1.5 million in peer-reviewed grants. Dr. Beattie joined the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management at the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network in 2000 and currently holds the positions of Deputy Anesthesiologist-in-Chief and Director, Anesthesia Research and the prestigious R. Fraser Elliott Chair in Cardiac Anesthesia. He is associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia and is a member of numerous editorial boards and committees.

Dr. André Denault
Professor, Université de Montréal
Department of Anesthesiology
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Dr. André Denault has a special interest in ultrasound, and since his PhD thesis on difficult separation from cardiopulmonary bypass, he has published numerous echocardiography texts and peer-reviewed publications in heart and lung ultrasound. Dr. Denault is professor of anesthesiology and
critical care at the Université de Montréal, and cardiac anesthesiologist and critical care physician at the Montreal Heart Institute and the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal.

His range of research interests, include:

  • Perioperative transesophageal echocardiography and bedside ultrasound
  • Post-op complications from heart surgery: fluid overload, renal failure, delirium
  • Extracorporeal circulation and hemodynamic instability
  • Right ventricular failure and portal hypertension
  • Inhalation therapy of pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular dysfunction
  • Cerebral and somatic oximetry monitoring in the operating room and the ICU

Dr. Ron George
Associate Professor, Dalhousie University
Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine
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In his nine years of practice Dr. Ron George has well established himself as a clinician, teacher and researcher. He has been published more than 40 times and has participated in numerous research studies. His clinical and research interests include labour and postoperative analgesia, complications and side effects of neuraxial anesthesia, and most recently perioperative outcomes.

Dr. George has been the Associate Medical Director of Research at Dalhousie University’s Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine since 2012. He is also the Medical Director with the IWK Health Center with the Department of Women’s and Obstetric Anesthesia.

He contributes widely to the local, national and international community where he sits on dozens of committees, including being the Vice-Chair of the Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine Research Advisory Committee and sitting on the Board of Directors for Kybele, a non-profit humanitarian organization dedicated to improving childbirth safety worldwide.

Dr. George is an ardent supporter of knowledge mobilization and is currently in collaboration evaluating the use of social media for analgesia knowledge mobilization.  Dr. George endeavours in knowledge mobilization can be followed on Twitter @Ron_George.

Dr. Hilary Grocott
Professor, University of Manitoba
Department of Surgery AND Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Anesthesiology, Duke University
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Dr. Hilary Grocott has been involved in research in cardiac surgery and anesthesia for more than 20 years. His research background, both experimental as well as clinical, has principally focused on the impact of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) on the brain, but has also examined other adverse outcomes associated with cardiac surgery. This work has included extensive experimental investigation into the mechanisms of cardiac surgery-associated cerebral injury, as well as insights into neuroprotective mechanisms. His clinical research has outlined the incidence, significance and etiology of cerebral injury after cardiac surgery, particularly cognitive dysfunction after cardiac surgery, with his current research focusing on neuromonitoring. Through his continued collaboration with colleagues in the field of anesthesia and cardiac surgery, Dr. Grocott has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts, as well as 15 textbook chapters in the area of cardiac anesthesia and surgery.

At present, Dr. Grocott is a professor in the Departments of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine and Surgery at the University of Manitoba. He is also a practicing anesthesiologist, spending approximately 50% of his time in both the operating room and intensive care unit at St. Boniface Hospital. In 2014, Dr. Grocott was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia where he oversees the annual peer-review of more than 750 manuscripts in anesthesia, critical care and pain medicine.

Learn more about Dr. Grocott’s work: .

Dr. Richard Hall
Professor, Dalhousie University
Departments of Critical Care and Anesthesia, Pain Management & Perioperative Medicine
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Dr. Rick Hall has quietly and methodically improved anesthesia care and safety in Canada and beyond for more than 25 years. He was recently named the 2016 recipient of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society Research Recognition Award for his efforts. The award is the society’s most prestigious research honour.

Before graduating with an MD, Dr. Hall conducted a prospective study of the influence of influenza vaccination on theophylline pharmacokinetics under the supervision of Dr. Ken Renton at Dalhousie. The results of the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1980, led to a hypothesis that the systemic inflammatory response to infection alters drug metabolism – the crux of Dr. Hall’s career-long program of related basic and clinical research.

After accepting a position at Dalhousie University as assistant professor of anesthesia and pharmacology in 1987, Dr. Hall began to merge his interests in the influence of inflammation on drug response with cardiac anesthesia. He has since conducted studies examining almost every facet of the practice of cardiac anesthesia.

Dr. Hall’s work has so far resulted in more than 56 peer-reviewed research funding awards as principal or co-investigator, 200 publications and 180 invited presentations. And he has helped change the research landscape in Canada as a founding member of the Canadian Critical Care Clinical Trials Group, one of the leading clinical trials collaboratives in the world, and the Canadian Perioperative Anesthesia Clinical Trials Group (PACT).

Dr. Hall is a professor of anesthesia, critical care, and pharmacology, a world-expert in cardiac anesthesia and cardiovascular intensive care, and a Canadian authority on research ethics, particularly as it relates to end-of-life care.

Dr. Heather McDonald
Associate Professor, University of Manitoba
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine
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Dr. Heather McDonald has focused her career on the developing field of perioperative medicine – including research, lectures, education and developing new models of care. In 2008, she established a perioperative surgical stepdown unit at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. The program identifies high risk surgical patients and dedicates an anesthesiologist to assist the surgical team in perioperative management.

Dr. McDonald has been the Fellowship Director for Perioperative Medicine at the University of Manitoba’s Department of Anesthesia since 2011 and continues to serve in that role today.

Previously, Dr. McDonald has served on the Canadian Anesthesia Society Executive for the section of Perioperative Medicine from 2011-2015.

Dr. Daniel I McIsaac
Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine
University of Ottawa 
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Dan McIsaac is an Anesthesiologist and Associate Scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, as well as Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventative Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and is an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Dr. McIsaac’s clinical and health services research focuses on how to optimize the perioperative health-care system to deliver high quality and effective care to high risk older surgical patients. Dr. McIsaac holds a Junior Research Chair in Perioperative Health Systems and Outcomes Research, and his program is supported by grants from national and international peer-reviewed funding agencies. Dr. McIsaac’s work in advancing the specialty of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine was recognized with the 2017 Canadian Anesthesiology Society’s Career Scientist Award.

Dr. C. David Mazer
Professor, University of Toronto
Department of Anesthesia
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Dr. David Mazer’s research program focuses on perioperative blood conservation, cardiac physiology and metabolism and perioperative organ protection. He is actively engaged in translational research as an investigator in both pre-clinical and clinical studies in these areas and has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He is currently principal investigator of a global randomized trial of transfusion triggers in cardiac surgery.

Dr. Mazer is a professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Anesthesia and a professor of physiology at the University of Toronto. He is also associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia and chair of the research ethics board of St. Michael’s Hospital where he is actively engaged in clinical practice and research in anesthesia and critical care. Dr. Mazer received his medical training at the University of Saskatchewan (MD 1978) and worked as a family physician in Inuvik NWT, Whakatane New Zealand, and Cudworth Saskatchewan before attending the University of Toronto to complete his residency in Anesthesia (FRCPC 1985). He subsequently completed his fellowship training in cardiovascular anesthesia research at the University of California San Francisco from 1985-87.

Dr. Manoj Lalu
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Ottawa Hospital
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Clinical Scholar Dr. Manoj Lalu’s research is primarily in preclinical and translational, focusing on novel therapies such as mesenchymal stem cell therapy for inflammatory diseases and CAR-T cells for hematologic malignancies.  Despite being a new investigator, Dr. Lalu has multiple funded research projects underway, including expanding his research in the evidence-based approach to prepare for an early phase trial of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. He also has funding to assess preclinical agents using network meta-analysis. Interested in assessing and reducing risk of bias in preclinical work – with an eye to improving clinical translation – he is also funded to assess barriers to reducing bias in preclinical work. 

Dr. Lalu is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa and holds an Associate Scientist appointment at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Clinical Epidemiology and Regenerative Medicine Programs.

Dr. Sonia Sampson
Associate Professor
Memorial University
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Dr. Sampson’s research interests are focused on: education, mentorship, simulation and patient safety.

Dr. Sampson is an anesthesiologist at the Janeway Children’s Hospital and the Health Sciences in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She is the Research Director with Memorial University’s Discipline of Anesthesia. Also at the university, Dr. Sampson is the Director of the Wellness and Mentorship Subcommittee and the Anesthesiology Research Subcommittee. She is a member of the Memorial Anesthesiology Simulation Subcommittee and has been a Royal College Examiner since 2015.

Dr. Sampson is also an active member of Team Broken Earth, a Canadian volunteer task force committed to delivering and improving health care in Haiti. She has completed seven trips to Haiti where she provides local anesthesiology residents and staff educational resources, simulation education, workshops and specialized patient care.

Dr. Alexis Turgeon
Associate Professor, Université Laval
Department of Anesthesia
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Alex Turgeon’s research program focuses on the evaluation of prognosis in critically ill patients with severe traumatic brain injury and the comprehension of level of care decisions in neurocritically ill patients. He leads the CIHR-funded TBI-Prognosis Study, a pan-Canadian study aiming to develop a prognostic model of long-term prognosis following severe traumatic brain injury.  Dr. Turgeon is an associate professor in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Laval University. He is Director of Research, Division of Critical Care Medicine, and Associate Director, Population Health and Optimal Health Practices Research Unit of the CHU de Québec Research Centre. He practices critical care medicine at the CHU de Québec – Enfant-Jésus Hospital. He is a FRQS-funded scientist in the Trauma – Emergency – Critical Care Medicine Research Group within the Population Health and Optimal Health Practices Unit at the CHU de Québec Research Centre.

Dr. Homer Yang
Professor, University of Ottawa
Department of Anesthesia
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Dr. Homer Yang conducts research on the prevention of perioperative myocardial infarctions, including the use of beta-blockers. His current research interest is on the use of wireless remote postoperative ECG monitoring for the prevention of perioperative cardiovascular complications. Since 2007, he has also been active in setting up research projects to facilitate early discharge after surgery.

Dr. Yang is a professor in the Department of Anesthesia and Director of Professionalism in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. He served as chair of the Department of Anesthesia and head of anesthesiology at the Ottawa Hospital, overseeing several campuses and the Ottawa Heart Institute, for 10 years (2003- 2013). He has received a number of teaching awards as well as the Mentor of the Year Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Dr. Dolores McKeen
Professor, Dalhousie University
Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management, and Perioperative Medicine





Dr. Doreen Yee
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Department of Anesthesia




Administrative Support –University of Manitoba (non-voting)


Membership on the steering committee is for a three-year term – renewable. Appointments to the steering committee will reflect expertise in clinical trials design and implementation, statistics, knowledge synthesis, knowledge translation, research ethics, and familiarity and success within the funding landscape for biomedical research within Canada.  Appointments will also reflect the national context by being geographically dispersed. The Chair will serve two three-year terms to provide continuity and may also serve as chair of the executive committee.