R. J. CUSIMANO 
M.D., F.R.C.S.C

Professor

R. J. CUSIMANO

Dr. Robert James (RJ) Cusimano is a Cardiac Surgeon at The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Professor for the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. A native of Toronto and the third of eight children, Dr. Cusimano earned his medical degree from the University of Calgary in 1983, interned in the Atlantic Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), before completing his Residency in General Surgery, and Cardiac Surgery at the University of Toronto. He became a staff surgeon at the Toronto General Hospital in 1993 – the first Canadian of Italian heritage to achieve this status.

In 2006, Dr. Cusimano was invited to teach cardiac surgery at Xingxiang Medical University in China --- becoming the first non-Chinese physician to do so. The surgical procedure was televised to 100 million people in China. Dr. Cusimano was awarded an honorary degree from Xingxiang University for his work. He has since made return visits to China to continue teaching cardiac surgery techniques used at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. Dr. Cusimano is the longest-serving member of Toronto General Hospital’s heart transplant team, a position he has held since 1993. As such, he has performed more heart transplants than any other adult surgeon in Toronto. He is a recognized specialist in insertion, modification and removal of cardiac rhythm management devices.

He is also an active member of the Ventricular Assist Program at the Toronto General Hospital, focused on providing heart disease patients with a ‘bridge to transplant’ cardiac-assist device, or mechanical heart technology, like the Left Ventricular Assist Device or LVAD, and Transcatheter Valve therapies. 


In 2016, Dr. Cusimano led a first international conference on cardiac tumours, an increasingly common heart condition, which can often be fatal. The Toronto Cardiac Tumour Conference was created to share knowledge and best practices about the diagnosis, treatment and management of these little-known, benign or malignant tumours of the heart. Dr. Cusimano is married with two children. His wife is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

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

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