Amy Kirkham

Amy Kirkham, Assistant Professor, Clinical Cardiovascular Health

  • Assistant Professor, Clinical Cardiovascular Health
55 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2W6

About Amy

Academic Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta

PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

MSc, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia

BSc Kinesiology, Faculty of Health, York University

Athletic Therapy Certificate, Faculty of Health, York University


The overarching goal of my research program is to use a multi-disciplinary approach that leverages cutting edge, non-invasive, imaging techniques to study precisely prescribed, mechanistically targeted, lifestyle interventions to prevent and ameliorate cardiovascular dysfunction and disease, with an emphasis on women. A primary focus is on cardiovascular disease in breast cancer survivors, the top causes of death of women in Canada.

While exercise is a key diagnostic and therapeutic tool, I take a multi-disciplinary approach in my lab to characterize and treat individuals with cardiac and/or oncologic disease. Established and novel magnetic resonance and echocardiographic imaging techniques, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and venipuncture are used to investigate cardiac, vascular and skeletal muscle mechanisms of exercise intolerance and to quantify the therapeutic benefits of targeted clinical exercise and dietary interventions on these systems. Intervention approaches of interest include acute and chronic exercise, calorie restricted, intermittent fasting, and ketogenic nutrition approaches, and multi-dimensional cardiac rehabilitation. 

Visit my website for more information about research and student/employment opportunities in the lab.

Graduate Student Recruitment Status
Accepting PhD and MSc students for Sep 2022
Research Interests

Cardio-oncology and cardiotoxicity

Women’s cardiovascular health

Breast cancer


Exercise prescription and adherence

Caloric restriction, fasting, ketogenic diet 

Skeletal muscle mass and quality, fat deposition

Non-invasive imaging (magnetic resonance and echocardiography)

Selected Publications

Kirkham AA, Beaudry RI, Paterson DI, Mackey JR, Haykowsky MJ. Curing breast cancer and killing the heart: A novel model to explain elevated cardiovascular disease and mortality risk among women with early stage breast cancer. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases 2019;62(2):116-26.

Kirkham AA, Paterson DI, Prado CM, Mackey JR, Courneya KS, Pituskin E, Thompson RB. Rationale and Design of the Caloric Restriction and Exercise protection from Anthracycline Toxic Effects (CREATE) Study: A 3-arm Parallel Group Phase II Randomized Controlled Trial in Early Breast Cancer. BMC Cancer 2018;18:864.

Kirkham AA, Beka V, Prado CM. The effect of caloric restriction on blood pressure and cardiovascular function: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Nutrition 2020; S0261-5614(20)30340-X. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2020.06.029. 

Kirkham AA, Paterson DI, Haykowsky MJ, Beaudry R, Mackey JR, Pituskin E, Grenier JG, Thompson RB. Aerobic fitness is related to myocardial fibrosis post-anthracycline therapy. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2020; doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002469. Online ahead of print.

Kirkham AA, Eves ND, Shave RE, Bland KA, Bovard J, Gelmon KA, Virani SA, McKenzie DC, Stöhr EJ, Warburton DER, Campbell KL. The effect of an aerobic exercise session 24 h prior to each doxorubicin treatment for breast cancer on markers of cardiotoxicity and treatment symptoms: a RCT. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment 2018;167(3):719-29.

Kirkham AA, Virani SA, Bland KA, McKenzie DC, Gelmon KA, Warburton DER, Campbell KL. Exercise training affects hemodynamics not cardiac function during anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment 2020;184:75–85.

Kirkham AA, Bonsignore A, Bland KA, McKenzie DC, Gelmon KA, Van Patten C, Campbell KL. Exercise prescription and adherence for breast cancer: One size does not FITT all. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2018;50(2):177-86.

Professional Memberships

American College of Sports Medicine

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology

Canadian Women's Heart Health Alliance