Duncan J. Stewart profile picture

Contact Information

Duncan J. Stewart, MD, FRCPC

Research Administrative Assistant
Adrienne Szalamin

ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9113-8691

Duncan J. Stewart

Senior Scientist, Regenerative Medicine Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Professor, Dept of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa

Research Interests

Dr. Stewart has made a number of seminal discoveries elucidating the importance of endothelial factors in health and disease, notably the role of the nitric oxide system in angiogenesis and of endothelin-1 in pulmonary hypertension. He is a leader in developing cell and gene based therapies for cardiovascular disease. He led the first Canadian clinical trial to test an angiogenic gene therapy using VEGF to try to stimulate heart repair in people who had suffered heart attacks.

Dr. Stewart spearheaded the world’s first clinical trial of a gene-enhanced cell therapy for pulmonary hypertension, using endothelial progenitor cells engineered to over-express the endothelial nitric oxide synthase. He has also launched the first enhanced progenitor cell therapy trial for post heart attack repair, and his research has led to a clinical trial that will assess whether mesenchymal stromal stem cells can improve outcomes for patients with septic shock.

Brief Biography

Dr. Duncan J. Stewart is a pioneering Canadian cardiovascular researcher, recognized for his many important discoveries in blood vessel biology, as well as his dedication in translating these discoveries into benefits for patients and society by performing innovative gene and cell therapy clinical trials for heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and inflammatory lung diseases. After launching his career in academic cardiology at McGill University in Montreal, he moved to Toronto as Head of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital (now Unity Health Toronto), and later became Director of the Division of Cardiology at the University of Toronto (U of T), and Executive Director of the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine. He was recruited to lead the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) in 2007.

Dr. Stewart has published more than 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and has received a number of distinctions and prizes, including U of T’s Dexter Man Chair of Cardiology and Research Achievement Award of the Department of Medicine, U of T, and the Research Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Throughout his career, Dr. Stewart has demonstrated leadership in bringing diverse groups of clinicians and scientists together to put Canada on the world stage for translational cardiovascular and regenerative medicine research.

As well as serving as CEO & Scientific Director of the OHRI and Executive Vice-President, Research at The Ottawa Hospital until 2024, Dr. Stewart is a Senior Scientist in OHRI's Regenerative Medicine Program and a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and continues to lead a vibrant and productive research team. As Principal Investigator of the largest infrastructure grant in the history of the University of Ottawa, he will be playing a leadership role in the development of the new biotherapeutics manufacturing facility at The Ottawa Hospital’s new campus.

Selected Publications

Granton J, Langleben D, Kutryk MB, Camack N, Galipeau J, Courtman DW, Stewart DJ. Endothelial NO-synthase gene-enhanced progenitor cell therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension: The PHACeT Trial. Circ Res. 2015 Sept 11;117(7):645-54.

Lavoie JR, Ormiston M, Perez-Iratxeta C, Courtman DW, Jiang B, Ferrer E, Caruso P, Southwood M, Foster WS, Morrell NW, Stewart DJ. Proteomic analysis implicates translationally controlled tumor protein as a novel mediator of occlusive vascular remodeling in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Circulation. 2014 May 27;129(21):2125-35.

Mei SHJ, Haitsma JJ, Dos Santos CC, Deng Y, Lai PFH, Slutsky AS, Liles WC, Stewart DJ. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Reduce Inflammation While Enhancing Bacterial Clearance and Improving Survival in Sepsis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Oct 15;182(8):1047-57.

Taljaard M, Ward MR, Kutryk MJ, Courtman DW, Camack NJ, Goodman SG, Parker TG, Dick AJ, Galipeau J, Stewart DJ. Rationale and Design of ENACT-AMI: The first Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial of Enhanced Progenitor Cell Therapy for Acute Myocardial Infarction. Am Heart J. 2010 Mar;159(3):354-60.

Zhao YD, Courtman DW, Deng Y, Kugathasan L, Zhang Q, Stewart DJ. Rescue of monocrotaline-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension using bone marrow-derived endothelial-like progenitor cells: efficacy of combined cell and eNOS gene therapy in established disease. Circ Res. 2005 Mar 4;96(4):442-50.

Giaid A, Yanagisawa M, Langleben D, Michel RP, Levy R, Shennib H, Kimura S, Masaki T, Duguid WP, Stewart DJ. Expression of endothelin-1 in lungs of patients with pulmonary hypertension. New Engl J Med. 328(24): 1732-1739, 1993.

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Research and clinical approaches