Mika’il Visanji • Cardiovascular Network of Canada — CANet

Mika’il Visanji

Mika’il Visanji is a Third year Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Student at McMaster University!

Most of his work to date focuses on cardiovascular sciences – one of his first experiences was in Dr Geoff Werstuck’s lab at McMaster University, within the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Institute (TaARI). Here, he investigated how diabetes modulates the impact of testosterone on cardiovascular disease. In addition to conducting experiments in the lab, Mika’il also had the chance to lead a review article, focused on a similar topic to his lab work, which has recently been accepted for publication!

Additionally, Mika’il has worked at St. Michael’s Hospital in the Department of Cardiology, under Dr. Paul Dorian and Dr. Katie Allan. Here, he had the opportunity to engage in several research projects, spanning topics such as CPR training, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, atrial fibrillation, wearable technology, and heart failure. He was involved in a systematic review and meta-analysis focused on CPR training in children, which was recently published. Translating lessons learned from his research into practice, he has worked to train community members in responding to cardiac arrest, as well as engage in policy advocacy. On World Restart a Heart Day, he co-led an Ontario-wide initiative, training close to 3500 students in a single day!

At Mika’il’s first CANet Expert Knowledge Exchange (EKE) in 2022, he presented his work on an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest project he was working on. Here, he met another trainee whose work he found interesting and was encouraged to reach out to Dr. William McIntyre from the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) at McMaster University, who was a PI of the study. After connecting with Dr. McIntyre, Mika’il had the opportunity to lead a systematic review and meta-analysis focusing on preventing post-operative atrial fibrillation through ablation performed at the same time as cardiac surgery. Having a full-circle moment, Mika’il presented this research at the October 2023 EKE in Montreal titled “Prophylactic Atrial Ablation Concomitant to Cardiac Surgery to Prevent Atrial Fibrillation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” in the Scientific Research category.

Given the range of research Mika’il has been fortunate to experience, as well as the potential he has seen for this work to directly impact clinical practice, he hopes to become a clinician-scientist, being able to treat patients as well as conduct research which can directly impact patient health.

When discussing his experience as a CHAT Trainee, Mika’il said “Being a member of the CANet CHAT community has been a tremendous opportunity for me, positively impacting my education in several ways. Through my involvement with this organization, I have had the privilege of presenting my work at two Expert Knowledge Exchanges (EKEs). Immersing myself in these environments, I’ve had the opportunity to meet experts in the field and fellow trainees. In fact, at the most recent EKE, I presented a project led by a PI whose work I first learned about at the previous year’s event.”.

Outside of school, Mika’il takes time to exercise, such as going for a run or going to the gym, as a way to have a healthy balance in his life. Additionally, last year he joined his university’s Improv team to take his mind away from academics, meet new people, and have fun! He’s now the Co-President of the McMaster Improv team!