• Elissavet Kardami
  • Professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Human anatomy and cell sciences
    Room 3008, Albrechtsen Research Centre
    St. Boniface Hospital Research
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H 2A6

    Phone: 204-235-3411


Research achievements

Research summary

Dr. Elissavet Kardami’s research aims to reduce damage of heart muscle and improve outcomes of disease. Her team studies fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) isoforms in cardiac pathology. They have demonstrated that the 18 kDa isoform protects against ischaemic and chemotoxic (cancer drug) injury, at the cellular and organism level, while the larger isoform antagonizes the protective effects.

The laboratory identified several entities of the cardioprotective mechanism: mitochondria; FGF-2 tyrosine kinase receptor FGFR1; the channel protein connexin 43 (Cx43).

Currently, her team is developing reagents for neutralizing the deleterious effects of the larger FGF2 isoforms in the heart, as potential therapy.

Research affiliations

  • Staff scientist, Muscle Biochemistry Lab, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Albrechtsen Research Centre

Research groups

  • Cardiovascular (ICS)


Dr. Kardami was born in Corinth, Greece, completed undergraduate studies at the University of Athens, and her PhD at King’s College, London, UK. She pursued post-doctoral studies at the Institute Pasteur, Paris, France (cell biology and biochemistry of muscle proteins) and at Berkeley, University of California, where she worked on the cell biology of skeletal muscle and isolated a muscle-derived growth factor which she later identified as basic fibroblast growth factor, now termed FGF-2.

She started her independent career as a faculty member at UM, and a staff scientist at St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre in 1987. She is now a full professor in the human anatomy and cell sciences department and a lab director (muscle cell biochemistry) at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Research Centre.

She has trained nine PhD, five MSc, four BSc Med, and many summer students.

Her research has received funding from several agencies over the years, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 1988-2020.

Currently, the Kardami lab consists of one research associate (Barb Nickel), and one technician (Robert Fandrich).

Dr. Kardami is internationally known for her work on growth factors in the heart, has given over 90 invited presentations world-wide, has published 110 peer-reviewed papers, and 11 book chapters to date.

In addition to all things FGF-2 and science in general, she has developed a strong interest in cultivating critical thinking in herself, her students, and all those who will listen.


  • PhD (biophysics), King’s College, London, UK (1980)
  • Bachelor of science (honours, biology), School of Physics and Mathematics, University of Athens, Greece (1975)


  • YMCA Woman of Distinction Award (2009)

Contact us

Human Anatomy and Cell Science
130 Basic Medical Science Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue

University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada