Aaron Wheeler wins TRANSFORM HF Seed Grant competition

March 2, 2022 by Augusta Lipscombe

Professor Aaron Wheeler is one of three winners of the inaugural TRANSFORM HF Seed Grant competition.

These Seed Grants, valued at $50,000 each, are meant to encourage, foster, and support members of the TRANSFORM HF community working collaboratively on research and project proposals. “All three of the supported projects promise to improve equitable access to heart failure care through innovative technologies and models of care, capturing all that we strive for in TRANSFORM HF,” said co-lead Craig Simmons. “We are delighted to support these researcher’s outstanding projects.”

Wheeler's project will bring biomarker testing out of the lab and into patients’ homes, allowing rapid detection of heart failure far from centralized labs and urban centres.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with my co-PIs, Professors Heather Ross and Xinyu Liu,” said Wheeler. “This funding provides a mechanism to bring researchers together in new ways to tackle interesting problems related to heart failure.”

By developing point-of-care devices and field testing them with patients in Northern Ontario, Dr. Wheeler and his team will take an important step towards increasing access to life-saving diagnostics in isolated or underserved communities.  

The competition was open to investigators affiliated with TRANSFORM HF and the University of Toronto and/or the institutions within the Toronto Academic Health Science Network.

In addition to addressing inequities in heart failure care, proposals were required to incorporate considerations of sex and gender-based analysis and reporting; patient and community engagement; Indigenous knowledge and research methods; and equity, diversity, and inclusion. The review panel consisted of clinicians, engineers, trainees, and patient partners to ensure that all perspectives were considered in evaluation.