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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Catherine Birken, MD, M.Sc., FRCPC

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Paediatrician
Paediatric Medicine

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

University of Toronto
Deaprtment of Paediatrics

Phone: 416-813-7654 X 301544
Fax: 416-813-5979
Email: catherine.birken@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:


Brief Biography

  • Completed post-graduate training as Chief Resident in Paediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in 2001. 
  • From 2001-2004 completed a fellowship in Academic General Paediatrics at SickKids, as well as an M.Sc. degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research Program from the University of Toronto. 
  • Appointed as a Staff Paediatrician (clinical specialist), Division of Paediatric Medicine and Assistant Professor, University of Toronto in 2004.

Clinical Care Activities 

  • General inpatient paediatrics
  • Outpatient complex obesity treatment

Research Interests

  • TARGet Kids! Longitudinal cohort design and pragmatic randomized controlled trials, obesity prevention and treatment, physical activity and screen time
  • Injury prevention
  • Childhood obesity prevention
  • Health promotion in preschool children through office practice settings
  • Complex morbid obesity treatment

Learning Interests

  • Child Advocacy

External Funding

• 2019-2022 Principal Investigator, PARENT: Preventing obesity in toddlers through group based parenting intervention in primary care
• 2018-2022 Co-Principal Investigator, CoMFORT (Cow’s Milk Fat Obesity pRevention Trial)
• 2014-2020 Co-Principal Investigator, Fit for School, Fit for Life: Child Health and School Readiness
• 2015-2020 Co-Principal Investigator, Team to Address Bariatric Case in Canadian Children (Team ABC3)
• 2016-2019 Principal Investigator, Addressing Obesity in Toddlers at Risk: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Usual Care to Group-Based Parenting and Home Visits in Primary Care


  • 2012 - American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP Ontario Chapter), Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario; Special Achievement Award
  • 2011 - Dr. William Feldman Award for Excellence in Paediatric Medicine Research, Division of Paediatric Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children
  • 2004 - The Children's Hospital Foundation Award for Excellence in Research - First Place, Fellow, Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba and the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  • 2004 - Paediatric Research Award, Subspecialty Paediatrics Research award, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
  • 2002 - Graduate Student Union M.Sc. Posters Award, Research award, Department of Health Policy Management and Evaluative Sciences, University of Toronto


A listing of Dr. Birken's publications is available on PubMed