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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Jaques Belik, MD, FRCPC

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Neonatologist

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Paediatrics and Physiology

Phone: 416-813-2165
Fax: 416-813-5002
Email: jaques.belik@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 as a Professor of Paediatrics and Physiology.

Academic Background

  • 1976 M.D., Santa Casa of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • 1981-83 Fellowship, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • 1980 Pediatrics Residency, PL-3, Columbus Children's Hospital, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  • 1978-79 Pediatrics Residency, PL-1 and PL-2, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

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

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 Research


Top publications:

  1. Ferreira CHF, Shifrin Y, Pan J, McNamara PJ, Belik J. The newborn rat gastric emptying rate is volume and not developmentally dependent. Neurogastroenterology Motility 2017 Oct 11. doi: 10.1111/nmo. 13233 [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Belik J, Shifrin Y, Arning E, Bottiglieri T, Pan J, Daigneault MC, Allen-Vercoe E. Intestinal microbiota as a tetrahydrobiopterin exogenous source in hph-1 mice. Scientific Reports 2017; 7: 39854.
  3. Sobchak C, Fajardo AF, 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; 310(11): G1169-G1175.

View Dr. Belik's full bibliography