Paul Armstrong is University Professor, Department of Medicine (Cardiology) at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and Director of the Canadian VIGOUR Centre (Virtual Coordinating Centre for Global Collaborative Cardiovascular Research). As founding Director of TORCH (TomorrOw's Research Cardiovascular Health Professionals), a Strategic Training Program Initiative and current member of the Executive Advisory Committee, he is committed to the training of cardiovascular researchers. He is a Senior Attending Cardiologist at the University of Alberta Hospital with particular interest and expertise in the acute coronary care and heart failure. He is founding and immediate past President of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Dr. Armstrong received his medical degree at Queen's University. After post-graduate training both there and at the University of Toronto, he undertook clinical and research training in cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and St. George's Hospital, London, UK. From 1972 until 1984 he served as the first Director of the Coronary Care Unit at the Kingston General Hospital, Queen's University. In 1984, he assumed the position of Chief of Cardiology at St Michael's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. From 1993 to 1999, he served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, University of Alberta.
Dr. Armstrong has been actively involved as a member and Canadian lead investigator of a variety of International Steering Committees conducting multi-national mega trails which have substantially impacted on our understanding, investigation and management of acute ischemic syndromes. These studies, initiated in 1990 with the GUSTO-I trial (1) have extended through a series of collaborative investigations of fibrinolytics, anti-thrombotics and novel glycoprotein IIb/IIIa anti-platelet agents. (2-12) A perspective on this collaboration and work was published by our group in a sentinel article in Circulation (13). Examples of the novel contributions include: i) Establishing the importance of the open artery hypothesis as it relates to reperfusion therapy in man with acute myocardial infarction (14), ii) Defining the time dependence of myocardial salvage and its impact on outcome (15;16), iii) Discovering the key role of cardiac markers i.e. troponin in the diagnosis of patients with acute coronary syndromes (17-19), iv) Establishing the importance of ST segment monitoring in the evaluation of reperfusion and silent recurrent ischemia after acute myocardial infarction (20), v) Creating models for the accurate assessment of prognosis and evaluation of risk amongst patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes and elucidating the powerful impact of recurrent ischemia on outcome (21), vi) Developing new therapeutic strategies for patients with acute coronary syndromes(22-26).
Dr. Armstrong has received numerous awards including the Research Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society in 1993, the Award of Merit from the Heart and Stroke Foundation for contributions to medical research in 1998 and the Robert Beamish leadership award for promoting cardiovascular science and education in 2002. In 2004 he received the Prix Galien Canada Research Award (awarded to the researcher or the research team judged to have made the most significant contribution to pharmaceutical research in Canada). In 2006, he became the first recipient of the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry's Annual Award for Excellence in Clinical Mentoring. He was chosen by the Canadian Society of Clinical Investigation as the 2006 G. Malcolm Brown Lecturer awarded for excellence in scientific and academic endeavours and was chosen by the University of Freiburg to deliver the 2006 Greats of Cardiology Award Lecture the highest honour their Heart Centre awards to a distinguished person in the cardiovascular field. The University of Alberta awarded him the title of University Professor in 2006 for outstanding distinction in each of the areas of scholarly research, teaching, service to the university and the community at large. In 2007, he received the most prestigious award for excellence in research from the University of Alberta named after J. Gordin Kaplan. In 2008, he received the Christie Award (Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine) - to recognize outstanding contributions to academic medicine.
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