Blue background with a sketch of the brain and the heart connected

Brain-Heart Interconnectome

Experts from the University of Ottawa and affiliated research institutes, the uOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, McGill University, the University of Saskatchewan and more than 45 other academic, industry and governmental and non-governmental partners worldwide aim to be the global leaders in this new area of research, and bring benefits to Canadians and worldwide in diagnosis, treatment, and improved health and well-being.

Who we are

Brain and heart conditions are leading causes of disease and death in Canada, with a devastating impact on patients and their families. They are also deeply interconnected, in ways that are now beginning to be understood. The Brain-Heart Interconnectome (BHI) is a ground-breaking interdisciplinary research program aimed at accelerating prevention, detection, treatment and care of brain-heart disorders, supported by a $109 million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF).  

We seek to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of concurrent brain-heart-mind conditions through integrated collaboration among brain, heart and psychiatric researchers; patients, physicians and partners across academia, industry and government; and community organizations. 


Our vision is to transform the prevention and treatment of brain-heart interconnected conditions, improving the health and quality of life of Canadians and people worldwide.

Five people walking together while holding hands

Making connections

We’re drawing on our unique connections to develop not only traditional diagnostics and therapeutics, but also storytelling, music and other novel modes of therapy.  

Our team brings together Indigenous, community and patient partners; basic and translational researchers; and health care providers and government and industry partners.  

With leading-edge research and knowledge translation strategies, we’re mapping the fundamental regulatory pathways between the brain and heart in health and disease.  

A woman working on a microscope in a lab
Brain and heart connection

BHI State of the Science Summit

Join the Brain-Heart Interconnectome (BHI) State of the Science Summit to explore the latest in brain and heart health. Connect with top experts and innovators in the field.
Visit the webpage for more information


Our objectives are to: 

  • Understand the fundamental pathogenesis of connected brain and heart conditions 
  • Identify risk prediction tools for chronic brain and heart conditions, incorporating wide-ranging social determinants of health 
  • Develop novel biomarkers and imaging approaches to predict, diagnose, gauge severity and monitor interventions 
  • Develop novel therapeutics and interventions 
  • Mobilize knowledge and evaluate real world implementation and effectiveness of new integrated prediction, diagnosis, intervention and care models for brain-heart conditions 

BHI researchers will also look at lifestyle — including non-pharmaceutical and cultural interventions to treat, prevent and build resilience — and develop targeted prevention and treatment strategies for marginalized, Indigenous and high-risk ethnic communities.  

This initiative will help train the first generation of research leaders in interconnected brain-heart research, paving the way with novel integrated knowledge translation- and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)-embedded approaches to research.  

Ruth slack with her team in a lab


The BHI will bring together long-standing areas of priority and excellence from the University of Ottawa, the uOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
Meet the leadership


BHI brings togethers long-standing areas of priority and excellence at uOttawa and its affiliated research institutes, McGill University and the University of Saskatchewan. BHI will engage more than 45 government, NGO, private sector and academic partners to lead a global paradigm shift in brain-heart diseases, improving the health and quality of life of Canadians while benefiting Canada’s economy and global standing. 

In addition to our core partners, BHI will work with multiple interdisciplinary research networks across Canada to maximize impact and uptake of ground-breaking discoveries. 

Hands holding a signage in the shape of a brain

Contact us

Any questions?

If you have any questions regarding Brain-Heart Interconnectome, please contact us at [email protected].