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David Birnie BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MRCP(UK), MD

David H. Birnie BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MRCP(UK), MD

Vered Chair and Head, Division of Cardiology; Faculty of Medicine Tier 1 Clinical Research Chair in Cardiac Electrophysiology; Staff Cardiac Electrophysiologist, University of Ottawa Heart Institute Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dr. David Birnie was appointed staff cardiac electrophysiologist (EP) at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) in May 2002. He was educated in Scotland and received his medical degree (MB ChB) from the Glasgow University in 1990. He spent three years as a cardiology research fellow at Glasgow University from 1993 studying the immunology of atherosclerosis and was awarded his PhD equivalent (MD) in 1996. Between 1996 and 2001 he completed cardiology training in Glasgow and spent a year in 1999-2000 as an EP fellow at UOHI.

His clinical focus is on all aspects of cardiac EP including radiofrequency ablation of simple and complex arrhythmias and implantation and follow-up of device therapy. His major ongoing research interests are cardiac sarcoidosis, selection and optimization of CRT for heart failure patients, investigating optimal strategies for complication reduction around EP procedures. To date he has been involved in over 270 peer-reviewed publications; highlights include:

  • Birnie et al Pacemaker or defibrillator surgery without interruption of anticoagulation. N. Engl. J Med. 2013
  • Birnie et al HRS Expert consensus statement on the diagnosis and management of arrhythmias associated with cardiac sarcoidosis. Heart Rhythm. 2014
  • Birnie DH Risk factors for infections involving cardiac implanted electronic devices. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019

He has had continuous peer reviewed funding since 2004 and holds current grants from CIHR and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. He is founding member of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society and is current chair of the research committee. In 2020 he was elected to the executive committee of the World Association of Sarcoidosis (WASOG). He has managed to combine work with his major passion/hobby; serving as cardiologist for the medical advisory committee of the Canadian Soccer Association.


Dr. Birnie has no relevant disclosures.