M.D., F.R.C.S.C




Dr. Vivek Rao is currently Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery and the Surgical Director of Mechanical Circulatory Assistance at the Toronto General Hospital and holds the Munk Chair in Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Rao completed his medical and surgical training at the University of Toronto prior to completing a Fellowship in Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.

In 2010, Dr. Rao was promoted to Full Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Rao has a clinical interest in the surgical treatment of end-stage heart disease. Dr. Rao’s research lab is currently investigating novel techniques of myocardial protection for cardiac transplantation and new therapeutic strategies to prevent transplant coronary artery disease. The heart transplant/LVAD research group at the Toronto General Hospital is part of the largest heart failure program in the country and is actively involved in several international trials in heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support.

Dr. Rao serves on peer-review committees for the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).


    • Heart Failure
    • Transplantation
    • Mechanical Circulatory Support
    • Myocardial Preservation for Heart Transplant
    • Clinical outcomes following Aortic Valve Replacement

    • M.D. Toronto (1992)
    • PhD Toronto (1997)
    • Cardiac Surgery Toronto (2000)
    • Clinical Investigator Program Toronto (2000) 
    • Mechanical Circulatory Support Fellow - Columbia University, NY (2000-2001)

    • 2019 – Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF) Resident Research Fellowship Award Recipient
    • 2018 – Peter Munk Research Scholarship Recipient
    • 2018 – Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons Resident Research Award Recipient
    • 2017 – Canadian Cardiovascular Society-Bayer Resident Vascular Awards Finalist
    • 2016 – Annual Cardiology Conference Rockies Resident Research Competition Winner
    • 2016 – MACK Foundation Postgraduate Trainee Bursary Recipient
    • 2016 – Canadian Cardiovascular Society Trainee Research Award Finalist



    • Recipient Hypertonic Saline Infusion Prevents Cardiac Allograft Dysfunction. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2018; 157: 615-625.
    • Effect Of Organ Donation After Circulatory Determination Of Death On Number Of Organ Transplants From Donors With Neurologic Determination Of Death. CMAJ; 2017; 189: E1206-11
    • Outflow Graft Occlusion Of The HeartMate3 Left Ventricular Assist Device. Circ Heart Fail 2017; 10
    • High Risk Cardiac Surgery As An Alternative To Transplant Or Mechanical Support In Patients With End-Stage Heart Disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017; 154: 517-525.
    • Increased Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate Levels And Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices: Implications For Gastrointestinal Bleeding. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2016; 151: 219-227
    • ORCID: 0000-0003-1920-0937



Contact Us

  • Chair: Dr. Terrence Yau
  • Divisional Program Administraton: Julie Wei

Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth St., 4NU-432
Toronto, On M5G 2C4

(416) 340 – 4800 Ext. 5275
(416) 340 – 4385
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