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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Darius J. Bägli, MDCM, FRCSC, FAAP, FACS

The Hospital for Sick Children
Associate Head

Associate Surgeon-in-Chief
Department of Surgery

Staff Urologist

Research Institute
Senior Associate Scientist
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology

University of Toronto
Department of Surgery

Full Member
Institute for Medical Sciences

Department of Physiology

Phone: 416-813-6465 ext. 206465
Fax: 416-813-6461
Email: darius.bagli@sickkids.ca
Alternate Fax: Internal: 206461

For more information, visit:
Bägli Lab
Paediatric Regenerative Medicine (PRM) Program

Brief Biography

Dr. Darius Bägli became a member of the surgical staff at SickKids and the Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, in 1995. He is certified in Urologic Surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American College of Surgeons, the American Board of Urology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Paediatrics. 

He directs a laboratory in cell and matrix biology in the SickKids Research Institute, as well as oversees a busy clinical practice in paediatric urology and reconstructive surgery. He is one of the few paediatric urologists with an independent cell and molecular biology program in North America and the only one in Canada. Bägli continues to hold peer–reviewed funding for his research and is actively involved in both the basic science and clinical training of the paediatric urology fellows at SickKids. 

Bägli is also a pioneer and enthusiastic proponent in adapting new and existing technologies to enhance and add value to the patient and staff experience, leading Sickkids initiatives in mobile technology, telehealth, innovation, trainee education and simulation, professionalism, and bioethics.

Research Interests

The urinary bladder is the organ which stores and empties urine. From a scientific point of view, focus on the bladder has generally been in cancer or urine control problems of aging. However, a great deal remains to be learned about bladder dysfunction and disease in children. Children's bladder disorders can be quite far ranging. Our lab is studying the bladder disease which arises when the bladder is unable or unwilling to store or empty properly. This leads to tissue changes in the bladder wall which resemble overgrowth and scarring.

We have started to look at whether tell-tale indicators of epigenetic change are occurring, and we have found them in both petri dish models and animal studies.  We used an epigenetic microchip assay to show that there are discrete epigenetic changes occurring in smooth muscle cells cultured  under obstructed-like conditions.  Also, we found examples of epigenetic change by epigenetic array and pyrosequencing (a special method to look at epigenetic changes on the DNA) and that this correlated well with expression changes in obstructed bladders in vivo.

Other studies in our lab include examination of DNA methylation markers in uropathogenic E coli infection, and also in xenoestrogen-induced alteration in the development of male genital tract. 

External Funding

  • CIHR (2009-2014). Team Grant Co-PI. Effects of brominated flame retardants on reproductive health.
  • CIHR (2009-2013). PI. Bladder smooth muscle novel molecular targets for therapy.
  • Kidney Foundation of Canada (2008-2010). PI. Bladder smooth muscle signaling.
  • SickKids Research Institute New Ideas Grant Program: (2007). PI. Epigenetics of urinary tract infection.


  • 1st prize Basic Science-Robson Research Day for Stat 3 Kinase in Bladder Stretch Injury (Sarel Halachmi presented). 2003
  • 2nd Prize Basic Science-Robson Research Day for Dissociated autologous urolthelial grafting for bladder augmentation in a porcine model (John Hodapp presented). 2003
  • 2nd Prize Clinical Research-Robson Research Day for The role of bacterial infection in pediatric acute epidydimo-orchitis (Sarel Halachmi presented). 2003
  • Service Award- Society for Basic Urologic Research received at the Spring 2004 annual meeting in recognition of your tremendous efforts, valuable service and insight in structuring and expanding the SBUR website and maintaining its function at a professional level. 2004