Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“A seminal person in creating the International Society for Heart Research.”

© Steve Tracy and CMHF
2019 Inductee

Naranjan S. Dhalla, PhD

October 10, 1936 (Ghanieke, Punjab, India)
PhD, University of Pittsburgh (1965)
Dr. Naranjan S. Dhalla, Distinguished Professor of Physiology and Pathophysiology in the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, is a founding leader of two worldwide organizations of cardiovascular science: the International Society of Heart Research (ISHR) devoted to basic cardiovascular science research, and the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS) promoting cardiovascular health education and community involvement. These global organizations have helped to incorporate many developing countries and regions into the ongoing work of securing advanced cardiovascular knowledge and health worldwide.

For several decades, as Secretary General and President of ISHR, Dr. Dhalla has worked to internationalize research in basic cardiovascular science, helping to extend its health benefits globally, an objective powerfully reinforced by the community health focus of the IACS.  Together, these organizations have significantly strengthened cardiovascular research in both Canada and the world.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Dr. Dhalla has served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry” and Associate Editor of the “Canadian Journal of Cardiology,” while serving on many editorial boards for other distinguished national and international publications.  He has received hundreds of honours and awards, served for 19 years as Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, edited/authored more than 50 books, trained more than 150 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows as well as visiting scientists, and presented at more than 500 conferences worldwide.  Through these prodigious efforts, Dr. Dhalla has individually advanced the knowledge and resources of cardiovascular science.

In 2001, Dr. Dhalla was instrumental in bringing more than 2000 professionals to Winnipeg for a meeting of the World Heart Congress, helping to establish Canada as a centre of cardiovascular science and research.  In recognition of his service both to Canada and in the world community, Dr. Dhalla was elected Honorary Life President of the IACS in 2014, and was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from different Universities.  He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Member of Order of Canada and Order of Manitoba.          

For ordinary citizens, the work and accomplishments of this devoted scientist means significant improvements in medical treatment and health.  As people live longer, they are increasingly likely to experience challenges of cardiovascular disease.  As more people face these challenges, the work of Dr. Dhalla holds out promise for better quality of life, as well as longer life.  The internationalization work promoted by Dr. Dhalla helps to ensure that the benefits of scientific knowledge will be shared worldwide, which strengthens the world community.  The organizational skill, achievement, and tremendous energy of great scientific internationalists like Dr. Dhalla builds the networks of scientific exchange and brings knowledge into communities and the lives of individual men and women.