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Dr. Rick Swartz appointed to the Bastable-Potts Chair in Stroke Research

November 24, 2023

Sunnybrook is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Rick Swartz to the Bastable-Potts Chair in Stroke Research, jointly shared by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto. The Chair, established in 2015, supports academic excellence in stroke research at Sunnybrook for a five-year renewable term.

“I’m honoured to be recognized with the Bastable-Potts Chair,” says Dr. Rick Swartz, a scientist and stroke neurologist in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook and an associate professor of neurology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. “This generous support will help to advance our research, enabling us to continue pivotal stroke studies that will ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

Dr. Swartz’s research focuses on large-scale, impactful clinical trials. His research works to improve long-term outcomes after stroke, with interventions during emergency stroke treatments, secondary prevention and post-stroke complications like vascular cognitive impairment. Recently, Dr. Swartz and his team co-led the largest acute stroke study of its kind in Canada, demonstrating tenecteplase (TNK), a clot-busting medication which is commonly used to treat heart attacks, can effectively treat acute ischemic stroke. TNK can be administered more quickly and easily, and works well if not better than the current standard of care alteplase (tPA).

“I’m thrilled to advance our practice-changing work,” says Dr. Swartz. “The Chair will help support our clinical research, as we work with our colleagues at Sunnybrook, across the province, and beyond, to improve stroke prevention and care.”

The Bastable-Potts Chair was previously held by Dr. David Gladstone, a clinician-scientist and stroke neurologist in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program. During his term as Chair, Dr. Gladstone has led clinically impactful, internationally recognized research in the field of stroke prevention. Contributions include principal investigator (PI) of the EMBRACE, SCREEN-AF, and SPOTLIGHT clinical trials, Canadian Co-PI of ARCADIA, Chair of the Canadian National Guidelines on Secondary Stroke Prevention, Medical Director of Sunnybrook’s Regional Stroke Prevention Clinic, senior author of ‘The Code Stroke Handbook’, creator of an anticoagulant safety checklist, and mentor to trainees and international stroke fellows.

His work has led to better screening methods for early detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation, and has helped improve understanding of cryptogenic and cardiac causes of stroke, and advance hemorrhagic stroke research.

The Bastable-Potts Chair in Stroke Research is made possible thanks to founding support from the Estate of Gail Suzanne Potts and the generosity of our donor community.