Prof. J. David Spence Western University, Canada

4 Talks 1 Series

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, plaque ulceration... read moreand assessment of vulnerable plaque. He also pioneered a new approach to vascular prevention - “treating arteries instead of treating risk factors”, that has markedly reduced risk among high-risk patients with carotid stenosis. His research program 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 publications include 4 books, 262 papers, 41 chapters, 48 editorials and 73 letters to Editors, with an H-index of 55. 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 (AHA) 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, as well as the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and Cerebrovascular Diseases.

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 585 invited lectures in 37 countries. In 2009, he was chosen by the World Congress of Neurology to teach the workshop in Bangkok, Thailand on Stroke Prevention, and by the World Stroke Organization to coordinate the course in stroke prevention at their congress in Hyderabad, India. 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. In 2015 he received the Research Excellence Award from the Canadian Society for Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Prof. Spence is currently investigating, with funding from CIHR, the role of the intestinal microbiome in extremes of carotid atherosclerosis.