The “stroke of genius” in the experiences of Gianluigi Bisleri and Terry Peters

TORONTO – If you want to reach levels of absolute excellence, in every field, you need years of study and practice, self-sacrifice and abnegation, professionalism and  reliability. A lot of things and qualities, but they are not enough yet. There is another fundamental “ingredient”: genius. This “extra gear” makes you do things that not everyone does. It makes you dare without taking risks because you know what you’re doing. It makes you – in a word – innovate. So, it’s perfect the title of the conference “Genio Vagante (Wandering Genius) | The Culture of Innovation” which will be held on Tuesday 14 May (starting at 6.30 pm) at the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto and will see as protagonists two professionals continuously searching for innovations in medicine, for the well-being of patients: Dr. Gianluigi Bisleri and Dr. Terry Peters.

Dr. Bisleri (in the pic above, on the left), an Italian in Canada for almost ten years, will talk about “Minimally invasive cardiac surgery: an innovative option to treat complex heart disease” that revolutionizes treatment results and recovery; Dr. Peters will present “Bridging the gap between engineering and medicine in valvular heart disease”, an exploration of the interdisciplinary strategies that shape the future of cardiovascular health, halfway between medicine and engineering. The double conference, which is part of the Italian Research Day 2024, will be moderated by Dr. Emilia Luca, president of AIRIcerca, the Association of Italian Researchers who promotes the initiative together with the Italian Embassy in Canada, the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto and the Italian Cultural Institute of Toronto.

Dr. Gianluigi Bisleri is Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and Director of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery as well as Surgical Director of the Structural Heart Program at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is a distinguished cardiac surgeon known nationally and internationally for his expertise in minimally invasive and hybrid cardiac surgery. With a career spanning over two decades, Dr. Bisleri has made significant contributions to the field of cardiac surgery, particularly in the treatment of mitral valve disease and atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Bisleri completed his medical education in Italy first, at the University of Brescia, and then at the University of Padua, followed by advanced training in cardiac surgery and research at internationally renowned institutions such Columbia University in New York. He has a strong academic background, with numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences.

His innovative work focuses on the development and refinement of minimally invasive techniques for cardiac surgery, including hybrid approaches that combine surgical and catheter-based interventions. Dr. Bisleri is dedicated to advancing patient care through his clinical practice, research, and teaching activities.

Currently, Dr. Bisleri serves in a leadership role at St. Michael’s Hospital, where he continues to innovate and inspire the next generation of cardiac surgeons. He developed the first Minimally Invasive Cardiac Program in Toronto, and he is recognized for his commitment to excellence in patient care, research, and education, making him a respected figure in the field of cardiac surgery.

Prof. Terry Peters (in the pic above, on the right)is a visionary engineer whose pioneering work in medical imaging and image-guided interventions has revolutionized the field of healthcare. With a career spanning over three decades, Peters has consistently pushed the boundaries of technology to improve patient outcomes and enhance the practice of medicine.

He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Canterbury, NZ. Following an initial position at McGill University, Prof. Peters joined the Robarts Institute at Western University in London, Ontario, where he established the laboratory for Virtual Augmentation and Simulation for Surgery and Therapy (VASST Lab): its focus is in the development of advanced imaging techniques, image analysis algorithms, computer-assisted interventions and tools that enable clinicians to visualize and treat diseases with unprecedented precision.

As a highly respected researcher and educator, he has mentored numerous students and collaborators, shaping the future of medical technology. His work has been recognized with numerous awards and honours, including the prestigious MICCAI Society Enduring Impact Award.

His work has not only advanced the field of healthcare but has also inspired a new generation of engineers and clinicians to innovate for the betterment of patient care.

Dr. Emilia Luca (in the pic below) is a Research Associate in the Hearing & Balance Regeneration Lab at Sunnybrook Research Institute, led by Dr. Alain Dabdoub. She spearheads a translational research project to develop biological solutions for regenerating human inner ear cells, including sensory cells. Dr. Luca’s research is focused on identifying gene regulatory networks and epigenetic switches that could serve as therapeutic targets for hearing and balance disorders. She holds a PhD from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Rome, as well as a Master’s degree cum laude in Proteomics and Functional Genomics. Dr. Luca has been actively involved in scientific outreach since 2018, co-founding and chairing the AIRIcerca Toronto Chapter.

The appointment is therefore for May 14th at the Italian Cultural Institute at 496 Huron Street, Toronto: participation is free but registration is required,  here (informations on IIC TORONTO).