Dr. David Birnie BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MRCP(UK), MD;  Faculty of Medicine Tier 1 Clinical Research Chair in Cardiac Electrophysiology

Dr. David Birnie was appointed Staff Cardiac Electrophysiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in May 2002. He was educated in Scotland and received his medical degree (MB ChB) from Glasgow University in 1990. He spent three years as a cardiology research fellow at Glasgow University from 1993 studying the immunology of atherosclerosis and was awarded his PhD equivalent (MD) in 1996. Between 1996 and 2001 he did cardiology training at Glasgow University and received his Certificate of Completion of Specialist Cardiology Training in 2001. In addition, he spent a year in 1999-2000 as a Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellow at the Ottawa Heart Institute. 

He first became interested in cardiac sarcoidosis after a specific patient in 2006. This interest allows him to combine cardiology with his previous immunology training. He set up the first dedicated Cardiac Sarcoidosis clinic in Canada in 2008, and the clinic now receives referrals from across the country. In 2014 he was lead chair of the Heart Rhythm Society guidelines for the diagnosis and management of Cardiac Sarcoidosis. He is also a clinician researcher, and has published related to cardiac sarcoidosis, 13 original research publications, 5 review articles including in the European Heart Journal (IF ~24) and Journal of the American College of Cardiology (IF ~19), and 5 editorials. He leads many ongoing projects, including the Cardiac Sarcoidosis Multicenter Cohort Study (CHASM-CS) and the Cardiac Sarcoidosis Multicentre RCT (CHASM – RCT).  He has current peer reviewed funding from Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Outside cardiac sarcoidosis work his clinical focus is on all aspects of cardiac electrophysiology including arrhythmia pharmacotherapy and radiofrequency ablation of simple and complex arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation. To date he has been involved in over 400 peer-reviewed presentations, publications, and book chapters. His other ongoing research interests are selection and optimization of CRT for heart failure patients, investigating optimal strategies for complication reduction around device surgery and following AF ablation. He is founding member of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society. Finally, he has managed to combine work with his major passion/hobby; serving as cardiologist for the Medical Advisory Committee of the Canadian Soccer Association.