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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Jaques Belik, MD, FRCPC

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Neonatologist
Neonatology

Clinician-Scientist
Neonatology

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Professor
Departments of Paediatrics and Physiology


Phone: 416-813-2165
Fax: 416-813-5771
Email: jaques.belik@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact: Clarisse Cacho
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 305492
Alternate Email: clarisse.cacho@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Belik completed general Paediatrics residency and neonatal-perinatal fellowship training in the United States and moved to Canada in 1983. Following appointments with the Universities of Manitoba and Calgary,  Dr. Belik moved to Toronto in 2001 to join The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto.

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on two main areas:

• The regulation of pulmonary vascular resistance during the transition from fetal to neonatal life
• Gastropyloric motor function and the feeding intolerance of the newborn

Research Activities

The regulation of pulmonary vascular resistance during the transition from fetal to neonatal life

My primary focus in this area has been the biophysical and biochemical changes in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle contractile and relaxant properties and their impact on the control of pulmonary vascular resistance. My laboratory utilizes several animal models of the persistent pulmonary hypertension syndrome of the newborn to evaluate the signaling pathways responsible for the etiology and pathogenesis of this clinical condition. Studies addressing the pulmonary vascular endothelium in the preferential generation of nitric oxide, as opposed to reactive oxygen species and the role of tetrahydrobiopterin and arginases in this process are currently underway.

Gastropyloric motor function and the feeding intolerance of the newborn

Utilizing newborn rodents as maturationally representative of preterm infants’ developmental stage of gastrointestinal motor function, my laboratory recently reported on the maturational dependent factors regulating gastric emptying early in life. We have also evaluated the prokinetic effect of clinically used pharmacological agents to enhance feeding tolerance in neonates.

External Funding

Canadian Institutes of Health and Research (CIHR).

Publications

See current publications list at PubMed.

Sobchak C, Fajardo F, Shifrin Y, Pan J, Belik J. Gastric and pyloric sphincter muscle function and the development-dependent regulation of gastric content emptying in the rat. American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2016 Apr 28 [Epub ahead of print].

Shifrin Y, Sadequi S, Pan J, Jain A, McNamara P, Belik J. Maternal-pup interaction disturbances induce a long lasting increase in pulmonary vascular resistance in rats.  American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 2015: 15: 309 (10): pp L1186-L1198.

Mukerji A, Belik J. Neonatal nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation efficacy and lung pressure transmission. Journal of Perinatology 2015: 35 (9): pp 716-719.

Welsh C, Pan J, Belik J. Caffeine impairs gastrointestinal function in newborn rats.  Pediatric Research 2015 Mar 25. doi: 10.1038/pr.2015.65 [Epub ahead of print].

Grasemann H, Dhaliwal R, Ivanovska J, Kantores C, McNamara P, Scott J, Belik J, Jankov R. Arginase inhibition prevents bleomycin-induced pulmonary hypertension, vascular remodeling and collagen deposition in neonatal rat lungs. American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 2015: 308 (6): pp L503-510.

Welsh C, Jarrin J, Daneman A, Belik J. In vivo ultrasound assessment of gastric emptying in newborn mice. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2015: 60 (3): pp 322-326.

Enomoto M, Pan J, Shifrin Y, Belik J. Age-dependency of vasopressin pulmonary vasodilatory effect in rats. Pediatric Research 2014: 75: pp 315-321.

Enomoto M, Jain A, Pan J, Shifrin Y, Van Vliet T, McNamara P, Jankov R, Belik J. Newborn rat response to single versus combined cGMP-dependent pulmonary vasodilators. American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 2014: 306: pp L207-L215.

Kassierer MY, Welsh C, Pan J, Shifrin Y, Belik J. Metoclopramide does not increase gastric muscle contractility in newborn rats. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2014: 306: pp G439-444.

Welsh C, Kasirer M, Pan J, Shifrin Y, Belik J.  Pantoprazole decreases gastroesophageal muscle tone in newborn rats via rho-kinase inhibition. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2014: 307: pp G390-396.

Welsh C, Kasirer M, Pan J, Shifrin Y, Belik J.  Infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS): A study of its pathophysiology utilizing the newborn hph-1 mouse model of the disease. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2014: 307: pp G1198-1206.

Cabral JE, Belik J. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn: recent advances in pathophysiology and treatment. J Pediatr (Rio J) 2013: 89: pp 226-242.

Jamal M, Masood A, Belcastro R, Lopez L, Li J, Belik J, Jankov RP, Keith TA. Lipid hydroperoxide formation regulates postnatal rat lung cell apoptosis and alveologenesis. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 2013: 55: pp 83-92.

Welsh C, Enomoto M, Pan J, Shifrin Y, Belik J. Tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency induces gastroparesis in newborn mice. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2013: 305: pp G47-G57.

Enomoto M, Gosal K, Cubells E, Escobar J, Vento M, Jankov RP, Belik J. Sex-dependent changes in the pulmonary vasoconstriction potential of newborn rats following short-term oxygen exposure. Pediatric Research 2012: 72: pp 468-478.

Peng G, Ivanovska J, Kantores C, Van VT, Engelberts D, Kavanagh BP, Enomoto M, Belik J, Jain A, McNamara PJ, Jankov RP. Sustained therapeutic hypercapnia attenuates pulmonary arterial Rho-kinase activity and ameliorates chronic hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in juvenile rats. American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2012: 302: pp H2599-H2611.