Prof. J. David Spence Robarts Research Institute, CA

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Biography

Professor Spence has focused on prevention of stroke throughout his career. He pioneered the measurement of 2-dimensional carotid total plaque area beginning in 1990, and since 1994 has collaborated with Dr. Aaron Fenster and Dr. Grace Parraga at the Robarts Research Institute in measurement of 3D plaque volume. His research... read moreprogram focuses on measurement of atherosclerosis by ultrasound, for patient management, genetic research and for assessing effects of new therapies. Other areas of expertise include vitamin therapy for homocysteine, the clinical pharmacology of stroke prevention, physiologically individualized therapy for resistant hypertension and identification of high-risk asymptomatic carotid stenosis. Despite a busy clinical practice, his peer-reviewed publications include 250 papers, 41 chapters, 44 editorials and 64 letters to Editors, with an H-index of 51. He has been a member of the executive or operations committees of several NIH-funded trials including the NASCET, ACE, and VISP trials, and is presently a member of the Steering Committee and country leader for Canada of the NIH-funded trial on Insulin Resistance in Stroke study (IRIS), and a member of the Leadership Committee of the American Heart Association Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease. He was a member of the board of the Canadian Hypertension Society, and of the Leadership Committee of the AHA Stroke Council, and is a member of the International Societies of Stroke, Hypertension and Atherosclerosis. He was an Assistant Editor of Stroke from 2000-2010, and is presently a member of the editorial boards of three AHA journals: Stroke, Hypertension and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology. His book for the public, “How to Prevent Your Stroke”, was published in 2006, and his book with Dr. Henry Barnett on “Stroke Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation” was published in 2012.

In 2008, Prof. Spence was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. His role in teaching of stroke prevention to neurologists and general physicians includes more than 560 invited lectures in 36 countries. In 2009, he was chosen by the World Congress of Neurology to teach the workshop on Stroke Prevention to Neurologists from around the world. In November 2010 he was honoured by the Universidad Católica of Cordoba, Argentina for his role in education of Argentinean physicians in vascular prevention over the previous 10 years, and by the Obra Social Ferroviaria of Argentina (a health maintenance organization operated by the Railroad Workers’ Union) for his role in establishing early atherosclerosis detection programs at a number of Obras Sociales across Argentina, based on his method for measuring carotid plaque area. In 2012 he was elected to a 4-year term on the Board of Directors of the World Stroke Organization, representing the Americas. Dr. Spence is currently investigating, with funding from CIHR, the role of the intestinal microbiome in extremes of carotid atherosclerosis.