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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Elizabeth Donner, MD, FRCP(C)

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Neurologist

Research Institute
Project Director
Neurosciences & Mental Health

Phone: 416-813-7037
Fax: 416-813-6334
Email: elizabeth.donner@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Donner graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in the Biological Basis of Behaviour from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. Following this, she received a degree in medicine from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She then completed the Residency Program in Paediatric Neurology at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children. During this time, Dr. Donner developed an interest in the care of children with epilepsy, which eventually led her to Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, to pursue a fellowship in Clinical Paediatric Epilepsy and Neurophysiology at Children’s Hospital. She then completed her training with a fellowship in Functional Neuroimaging and Epilepsy at Children’s Hospital, Boston. Dr. Donner successfully completed fellowship examinations in Neurology (Paediatrics) and certification in electroencephalography from the Canadian Association of Clinical Neurophysiology. Dr. Donner joined the staff of the Division of Neurology at The Hospital for Sick Children in September 2003.

Clinical Care Activities 

  1. Medical, surgical, and other treatments for children with epilepsy, including the use of the vagal nerve stimulator and the ketogenic diet.
  2. Functional magnetic resonance imaging for pre-operative brain mapping in children with epilepsy.
  3. Evoked potentials in children.

Areas of Specialty 

Epilepsy, functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Academic Background

Fellow, Functional Neuroimaging & Epilepsy
Division of Epilepsy & Clinical Neurophysiology, Children's Hospital, Boston, Ha, 2002-07-01 - 2003-07-01

Fellow, Clinical Pediatric Epilepsy & Neurophysiology
Division of Epilepsy & Clinical Neurophysiology, Children's Hospital, Boston, Ha, 2001-07-01 - 2002-07-01

Research Interests

  1. Methods for language mapping in children with epilepsy.
  2. Evaluation of non-medical treatments for epilepsy in children, including the vagal nerve stimulator and ketogenic diet.

Research Activities 

  • development of new methods for language mapping using functional magnetic resonance imaging in children with epilepsy.
  • innovative use of functional imaging in brain disorders in children

Future Research Interests 

Evaluation of vagal nerve stimulator and ketogenic diet in the treatment of epilepsy in children.


2002-2003 - Farley Fellowship Award, Children’s Hospital, Boston

2001 - PAIRO Trust Fund Resident Teaching Award, University of Toronto

2000 - The President’s Prize, Canadian Association of Child Neurology


Mohamed IS, Otsubo H, Shroff M, Donner E, Drake J, Snead III, OC: Magnetoencephalography and diffusion tensor imaging in gelastic seizures secondary to a cingulate gyrus lesion. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 2007: 109(2): pp182-7.

Kossoff EH, Pyzik PL, Rubenstein JE, Bergqvist AGC, Buchhalter JR, Donner EJ, Nordi Jr DR, Wheless JW: Combined ketogenic diet and vagus nerve stimulation: rational polytherapy? Epilepsia 2007: 48(1): pp 77-81.

Mohamed IS, Otsubo H, Donner EJ, Ochi A, Sharma R, Drake J, Rutka JT, Chuang SH, Holowka S, Snead III OC: Magnetoencephalography for surgical treatment of refractory status epilepticus. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 2007: 115, S 186: pp 29-36.

Ochi A, Otsubo H, Donner EJ, Elliott I, Iwata R, FunakiT, Akizuki Y, Akiyama T, Imai K, Rutka JT, Snead III OC: Dynamic changes of Ictal high-frequency oscillations in neocortical epilepsy: using multiple band frequency analysis. Epilepsia 2007: 48(2): pp 286-296.

Benifla M, Rutka JT, Logan WJ, Donner EJ: Vagal nerve stimulation for refractory epilepsy in children: indications and experience at The Hospital for Sick Children. Child's Nervous System 2006: 22 (8): pp 1018-26.

Donner EJ, Snead OC III: New generation anticonvulsants for the treatment of epilepsy in children. NeuroRx: The Journal of the American Society for Experimental Neuro Therapeutics 2006: 3(2):170: pp 170-180.

Ramachandran Nair R, Otsubo H, Ochi A, Rutka J, Donner EJ: Mirror movements following cortical resection of polymicrogyria in a child with intractable epilepsy. Pediatric Neurology 2006: 34 No. 2: pp 135-138.