The Kenneth W.G. Brown Memorial Lecture

The Ken Brown Lecture is a signature event of the academic year for the Division of Cardiology at the University of Toronto. The distinguished faculty invited to deliver the Ken Brown Lecture are academic cardiovascular clinicians originally from or trained in Canada, with career achievements that have national and international impact.

The lecture is aptly named for Dr. Ken Brown who, along with his colleague Dr. Robert MacMillan, developed the first coronary care unit at the Toronto General Hospital. Dr. MacMillan’s very entertaining memoir of events can be found here. Drs. Brown and MacMillan noted that the mortality after an acute myocardial infarction was upwards of 40%. He recalls “the patient…after a heart attack seem to be doing so well – reading the stock market reports in the evening paper when the evening nurse removes the flowers…. When the day nurse brings them back in the morning, she finds that the patient has died.” As such, an unused four-bed room was refurbished and staffed around the clock by nurses. A key innovation sourced by the doctors was continuous electrocardiographic monitoring to detect otherwise lethal arrhythmias. They referred to the unit as the “Coronary Unit: An intensive-care centre for acute myocardial infarction” also the title of their paper published in the Lancet in 1963.

The lecture is delivered in May to the entire division of both full and part-time faculty. It follows the Ursula Bangs Cardiology Resident Research Day.

Previous Ken Brown Lecturers include:

  • 2019 – Dr. Chit Rihal, Mayo Clinic
  • 2018 – Harry Rakowski, University Health Network, University of Toronto
  • 2017 – John Webb, University of British Columbia
  • 2016 – Lyall Higginson, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
  • 2015 –Robert Chisholm, St. Michael’s, University of Toronto
  • 2014 – Stuart Connolly, McMaster University
  • 2013 – Merril Knudtson, University of Calgary
  • 2012 – David Waters, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2011 – John Floras, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto
  • 2010 – Bruce McManus, University of British Columbia
  • 2009 – Duncan Stewart, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
  • 2008 – Rudi Von Harsdorf, University Health Network
  • 2007 – Howard Rockman, Duke University
  • 2006 – Stan Nattel, Montreal Heart Institute
  • 2005 – Stephen Archer, University of Alberta
  • 2004 – Victor Dzau, Harvard University
  • 2003 – George Wyse, University of Calgary
  • 2002 – Bob Roberts, Baylor College of Medicine