About Us

Achieving Global Impact

From the first clinical use of heparin, a blood thinner for open heart surgery in 1935 to the first pacemaker in 1950, the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) at UHN has been leading the way in innovative cardiac discoveries for more than 75 years.

Funds raised for innovation at the PMCC are the cornerstone of discovery, development and evaluation of the newest cardiac and vascular therapies.

The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is dedicated to continuing its world leadership in the discovery, development and evaluation of innovative cardiac and vascular therapies. These therapies, often based on medical devices that are smaller and less invasive than their predecessors, allow PMCC physicians to treat patients who might otherwise be inoperable.

Examples of innovative cardiovascular therapies include:

Percutaneous cardiac valves: used to treat patients with aortic, mitral and pulmonary valve disease
Advanced aortic stent grafts: placed in patients too ill for open aortic aneurysm repair
Impella turbine catheters: used to help patients with failing hearts maintain blood flow to vital organs
Left ventricular assist devices: used as a bridge to heart transplant (commonly known as a mechanical heart)

Our Foundation

University Health Network


1955 — Developed the first successful heart valve transplant

1959 — The opening of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (ACHD), the first and largest of its kind in the world

1965 — Created the first coronary intensive care unit

1987 — First aortic valve replacement using Toronto Heart Valve

1990 — Developed first genetic test to determine viral heart disease

1999 — First clinical trial of evaluating strategies to treat sleep apnea in patients with heart failure

2006 — Discovery of the “SOS distress signal” that activates bone marrow cells and stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the heart after a heart attack

2012 — First in Canada to perform renal denervation, a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat high blood pressure

2012 — First in the world to harvest stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and transplant these cells into the heart during bypass surgery

2012 — First to demonstrate that patients with diabetes and heart disease have lower mortality with bypass surgery than angioplasty


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