Robert Sheldon


Cardiac Sciences, Medicine, Medical Genetics


Arrhythmia Clinic

Cardiac Electrophysiologist

CIED Clinic

BSc (Hons) - Biochemistry

Bishop's University 1969

PhD - Molecular Biology

University of Colorado, 1973


University of Toronto, 1981

Contact information


Office: 403.220.8191


Office : HRIC GAA06


Undergraduate cardiovascular small groups, bedside teaching, annual syncope lecture

Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Cardiovascular autonomic disorders
  • Syncope, Clinical trials, Drug discovery
  • Health services diagnostic and treatment strategies


Dr Robert Sheldon received his PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado in 1973 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Sydney Brenner, then received an MD from the University of Toronto in 1981. He is a cardiac arrhythmia specialist and Professor of Cardiac Sciences, Medicine, and Medical Genetics at the University of Calgary, and among other roles was Senior Vice President Research, Alberta Health Services and Associate Dean Clinical Research, University of Calgary. He was on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Governing Council and its committees for 9 years. He is a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.  His research program is in cardiovascular autonomic physiology and its disorders, among which is vasovagal syncope.  It has a strong translational orientation, aimed at understanding the causes of syncope, and developing simple, accessible, and effective approaches to its diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. This was recognized by the Annual Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society in 2016 and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arrhythmia Alliance in 2018.


Shen WK, Sheldon RS, Benditt DG, Cohen MI, Forman DE, Goldberger ZD, Grubb BP, Hamdan MH, Krahn AD, Link MS, Olshansky B, Raj SR, Sandhu RK, Sorajja D, Sun BC, Yancy CW. Circulation. 2017 ACC/AHA/HRS Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Patients With Syncope: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. Circulation 2017 Aug 1;136(5):e60-e122. 

Sahota IS, Maxey C, Pournazari P, Sheldon RS. Clusters, Gaps, and Randomness: Vasovagal Syncope Recurrence Patterns. J Am Coll Cardiol Clin Electrophys 2017, 3: 1046-1053

Sheldon R, Opie-Moran M. The placebo effect in cardiology - Understanding and using it. Can J Cardiol. 2017 Dec;33(12):1535-1542. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2017.09.017.

Rash AH, Sheldon R, Donald M, Eronmwon C, Kuriachan VP. Valued Components of a Consultant Letter from Referring Physicians' Perspective: a Systematic Literature Synthesis. J Gen Int Med 2018 Jun;33(6):948-954.

Sheldon R, Rose MS, Ritchie D, Martens K, Maxey C, Jagers J, Parboosingh J, Gerull B. Genetic Association Study in Multigenerational Kindreds With Vasovagal Syncope. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2019 Jan;12(1):e006884. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.118.006884.


1968 Chemical Institute of Canada Award
1969 Woodrow Wilson Fellow
2008 Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
2016 Canadian Cardiovascular Annual Achievement Award
2016 Fellow, Canadian Cardiovascular Society
2018 Arrhythmia Alliance (UK) Lifetime Achievement Award