London West MP Ed Holder has announced $26.3 million in funding for the new Canadian Arrhythmia Network (CANet) at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

The national centre will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of heart disturbances like syncope, atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death, the last of which already accounts for about 40,000 deaths in Canada each year.

Officials say the plan is for CANet to establish a network of more than 100 multi-disciplinary investigators across Canada to focus on the issue, including clinicians, researchers, engineers, patients, industry and government partners.

Dr. Anthony Tang, professor in the Department of Medicine at Schulich and a Lawson Health Research Institute scientist will serve as the Scientific Director and CEO of the newly established network.

In a statement he said, “We want to find innovative solutions to allow arrhythmia patients to have the best possible care...The information and innovations that come out of this network will be applicable to individuals across the country and around the globe.”

Along with the federal funding, Western has committed $1.2 million to support CANet’s research and operations, and will house its administrative offices in the Western Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine.