June 20, 2019

Heart specialist awarded Banting Scholarship

Project to focus on health economics for cardiac devices

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Dr. Derek Chew, MD, recently received a boost that will help him complete a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University in North Carolina.

Chew, who recently completed an electrophysiology fellowship, was awarded a $140,000 scholarship (to be awarded over two years) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The funding is coming is part of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which has the goal of furthering research capacity in the areas of health, natural sciences and engineering, and in the social sciences and humanities.

Winning one of the highly competitive scholarships was rewarding for Chew, who has spent the last eight years in Calgary completing clinical training in internal medicine, cardiology and electrophysiology.

“It is a big deal for me,” he said. “I am surprised and humbled.”

Chew’s research project will evaluate the economic impact of new technology in reducing sudden cardiac death and enhancing the detection of atrial fibrillation.

The project’s goal is to provide health care professionals, administrators and government policymakers with the information they need to advocate for use of lifesaving new devices.

This research area is well suited to Chew, who is working on a master’s degree in applied health economics from the London School of Economics alongside his clinical training work.

For Chew, health economics research is an important area of study as it helps health-care decision makers make good choices about how and where to spend limited resources.

“It is about considering diagnostics, patient preference and patient outcomes to find the best programs to fund,” he said.  

Chew is grateful for his time at the Libin Institute, and is particularly appreciative of the research opportunities he had with Dr. Derek Exner, Dr. Satish Raj and Dr. Braden Manns.

Dr. Chew will start his fellowship at Duke University this fall under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Mark.