University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Welcomes Cardiology Clinical Research Manager


Catherine MacDonald, BSN, MBA, joined the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and the Division of Cardiology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson as manager of cardiology research.

MacDonald initially will focus on bringing all clinical research efforts under unified leadership with increased transparency and oversight, as well as launching a heart failure clinical research program, under the leadership of Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center and chief of the Division of Cardiology.

“We have an impressively rich and diverse collaborative environment at the UA, where we are working to increase opportunities for clinical research and translational science in cardiology. Catherine will help me focus our talented group of physicians and scientists who are pursuing solutions to several big questions that will ultimately lead to better care for all our cardiology patients, particularly our heart failure patients,” said Dr. Sweitzer.

MacDonald also will negotiate clinical research contracts, assess all cardiology clinical research endeavors to increase efficiency wherever possible, and work closely with the development team to obtain philanthropic support for clinical research.

MacDonald has extensive experience in the private sector, including 13 years with C.R. Bard, Inc. where she led international marketing and clinical strategy teams for medical devices. In this role, she worked closely with clinical research. Her markets included Canada, Latin America, Pacific Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe. She has prior clinical research experience in cardiology drug trials and pediatric ophthalmology.

“These experiences have given Catherine a mix of strong leadership qualities and an intimate understanding of the clinical research landscape, combined with an innate ability to analyze situations quickly and develop actionable plans,” said Dr. Sweitzer.

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, who started her nursing career in intensive care areas and pediatric cardiology, MacDonald obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Dalhousie University in Halifax, and a Masters of Business Administration from Athabasca University in Alberta.

The UA Sarver Heart Center’s 135 members include faculty from cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric cardiology, neurology, radiology, endocrinology, emergency medicine, nursing, pharmacy and basic sciences. The center emphasizes a highly collaborative research environment, fostering innovative translational or “bench-to-bedside” research and working toward a future free of heart disease and stroke.