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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Christopher Forrest, MD, M.Sc., FRCS(C), FACS

The Hospital for Sick Children
Division Head
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Craniofacial Surgeon
Cleft Lip and Palate Program

University of Toronto
Associate Professor

Phone: 416-813-8659
Fax: 416-813-6637
Email: christopher.forrest@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

“It is a privilege to be able to work with children and to help change their lives for the better, working with the fantastic team of healthcare professionals at SickKids.”

Dr. Forrest is the chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery, and the medical director of the SickKids Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research. This is the largest centre of its kind in Canada, seeing 450 new patients each year and has approximately 5,000 active patients in its database. Forrest is a plastic surgeon whose practice is focused solely on paediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery; the care of infants and children with complex congenital and acquired (following trauma or tumour) deformities involving the skull and facial skeleton. He has been on full-time staff at SickKids since 1999.

Forrest completed his medical school at the University of Toronto before undertaking post-graduate training in plastic and reconstructive surgery in the Surgeon-Scientist Program at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1990. He undertook fellowship training in adult and paediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery and aesthetic surgery before starting a staff position at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in 1993 with a part-time appointment at the SickKids. In 1999 he was appointed the medical director of the SickKids Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research and joined the staff at SickKids in a full-time capacity. He took over as the chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2003 from Dr. Ronald Zuker. In 2009 the division expanded from five to seven staff surgeons making it the largest division of full-time surgeons dedicated to paediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery in North America.

Forrest is a professor in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He is full member of the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto. He is a team investigator in the SickKids Research Institute, Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program.

Forrest holds a master of science from the University of Toronto, and runs an active basic science research program. His laboratory has studied the mechanism of radiotherapy-induced craniofacial bone growth retardation and the biology of osteoblast behaviour in infants with craniosynostosis. In addition to his research in basic science, Forrest has research experience in the field of craniofacial anthropometry with Dr. Leslie Farkas, CT-based craniofacial morphometry as well as, several clinically-based outcome studies in the field of paediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery.

Forrest has been the principal investigator on two previous Medical Research Council grants and was the recipient of an MRC Scholarship. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, 150 presentations at scientific meetings and has maintained peer-reviewed scientific funding during his academic career. His achievements include a former MRC Scholarship, 2002 Herbie Doctor of the Year, 2003 American College of Surgeons Australia-New Zealand Travelling Fellow, 2009 American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons Scholar, 2010 Rotman Advanced Health Care Leadership Course and 2010 Arnis Freiberg Teacher of the Year.

Forrest is an international authority on paediatric craniofacial deformities, and he is frequently invited to participate in educational symposia around the world. He organizes an active fellowship program at SickKids; training surgeons from around the globe in paediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery and paediatric plastic & reconstructive surgery. He spends his time striving to provide the best possible care for infants and children with craniomaxillofacial conditions.

Academic Background

B.Sc.: Trinity College, University of Toronto, 1979
MD: Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 1983
M.Sc.: Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, 1990

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Toronto, 1990

- Surgeon-Scientist Program: Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, 1990.
- Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Drs. J. Gruss and J. Phillips, 1990.
- Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Santa Ana, California, Dr. Bruce Connell, 1991.
- Pediatric Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Drs. W. Sullivan, R. Phillips and A. Canady, 1992.

Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 1990
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, 2000

Academic Position
Professor, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

Clinical Appointment
Chief, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto.
Medical Director, SickKids Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research


American Association of Plastic Surgeons
American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association
American College of Surgeons
American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
American Society of Plastic Surgery
AO Faculty Member
Canadian Medical Protective Association
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Ontario Medical Association
Plastic Surgery Research Council
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Research Interests

Bone healing, bone growth

Research Activities

Radiation affects on bone growth

Future Research Interests


Learning Interests

Paediatric craniomaxillofacial and cleft surgery

Radiation affects on bone growth, osteoblast behaviour in craniosynostosis, 3D facial anthropometry, patient reported outcome measures


2003 - ACS-ANZ Travelling Scholarship
2002 - Herbie Doctor of the Year


Continuous bupivacaine infusion post-iliac crest bone graft harvesting in pediatric cleft surgery: role and comparison with ketorolac.  Hayes J, Forrest C, Walsh W, Pétroz G, Adeli K, Bissonnette B. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2010 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Vasorelaxation Effect and Mechanism of Action of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-165 in Isolated Perfused Human Skin Flaps.  Huang N, Ashrafpour H, Levine RH, Forrest CR, Neligan PC, Lipa JE, Pang CY.  J Surg Res. 2010 Sep 8. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20934716 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Related citations
En coup de sabre scleroderma and parry-romberg syndrome in adolescents: surgical options and patient-related outcomes.

Palmero ML, Uziel Y, Laxer RM, Forrest CR, Pope E.  J Rheumatol. 2010 Oct;37(10):2174-9. Epub 2010 Sep 15. Erratum in: J Rheumatol. 2010 Nov;37(11):2444.  PMID: 20843909 [PubMed - in process]

Sleep-related disordered breathing in children with syndromic craniosynostosis.  Al-Saleh S, Riekstins A, Forrest CR, Philips JH, Gibbons J, Narang I.  J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2010 Jun 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Predictive value of weight gain and airway obstruction in isolated robin sequence.
Stubenitsky BM, Taylor HO, Peters D, Kelly C, Harkness M, Forrest C. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2010 Jul;47(4):378-81.

Gevorgyan A, La Scala GC, Neligan PC, Pang CY, Forrest CR: Radiioprotection of craniofacial bone growth.  Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 2007: 18(5): pp 995 - 1000.  C

Gevorgyan A, La Scala GC, Sukhu B, Leung IT, Ashrafpour H, Yeung I, Neligan PC, Pang CY, Forrest CR: An in vitro model of radiation induced craniofacial bone graft inhibition.  Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 2007: 18(5): pp 1044-1050.  

Murray DJ, Chong DK, Sandor GKB, Forrest CR: Dentigerous cyst following distraction osteogenesis of the mandible:  A case report.  Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 2007: 18/6: pp 1349-1352.  

Farkas L, Katic M, Forrest C: Comparison of craniofacial measurement of yong adult African-American and north American white males and females.  Annals of Plastic Surgery 2007: 59: pp 692 - 698.  

Chong DK, Murray DJ, Britto JA, Tompson B, Forrest CR, Phillips JH: A cephalometric analysis of maxillary and mandibular parameters in Treacher Collins syndrome.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2008: 121(3): pp 77e - 84e.  

Gevorgyan AM, La Scala GC, Sukhu B, Leung IT, Ashrafpour H, Yeung I, Neligan P, Pang CY, Forrest CR: Radiation induced craniofacial bone growth inhibition:  In vitro cytoprotection in the rabbit orbito-zygomatic complex periosteum derived cell culture.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2008: 121(3): pp 763-771.  

Budai M, Farkas LG, Tompson B, Katic M, Forrest CR. Relation between anthropometric and cephalometric measurements and proportions of the face of healthy young white adult men and women. J Craniofac Surg. 2003 Mar;14(2):154-61.

Farkas LG, Katic MJ, Forrest CR. Age-related changes in anthropometric measurements in the craniofacial regions and in height in Down's syndrome. J Craniofac Surg. 2002 Sep;13(5):614-22.

Farkas LG, Katic MJ, Forrest CR. Surface anatomy of the face in Down's syndrome: age-related changes of anthropometric proportion indices in the craniofacial regions. J Craniofac Surg. 2002 May;13(3):368-74.

Forrest CR, O'Donovan DA, Yeung I, Zeman V, La Scala G, Neligan PC, Pang CY. Efficacy of radioprotection in the prevention of radiation-induced craniofacial bone growth inhibition. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002 Apr 1;109(4):1311-23.

Forrest CR. Application of endoscope-assisted minimal-access techniques in orbitozygomatic complex, orbital floor, and frontal sinus fractures. J Craniomaxillofac Trauma. 1999 Winter;5(4):7-12.

O'Donovan DA, Yeung I, Zeman V, Neligan PC, Pang CY, Forrest CR. Radiation-induced craniofacial bone growth inhibition: development of an animal model. J Craniofac Surg. 2001 Nov;12(6):533-43.

Fialkov JA, Holy C, Forrest CR, Phillips JH, Antonyshyn OM. Postoperative infections in craniofacial reconstructive procedures. J Craniofac Surg. 2001 Jul;12(4):362-8.

Lee C, Mankani MH, Kellman RM, Forrest CR. Minimally invasive approaches to mandibular fractures. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2001 Aug;9(3):475-87.

Al-Sannaa N, Forrest CR, Teebi AS. Trigonomicrocephaly, severe micrognathia, large ears, atrioventricular septal defect, symmetrical cutaneous syndactyly of hands and feet, and multiple cafe-au-lait spots: new acrocraniofacial dysostosis syndrome? Am J Med Genet. 2001 Jul 1;101(3):279-82.

Farkas LG, Forrest CR, Phillips JH. Comparison of the morphology of the "cleft face" and the normal face: defining the anthropometric differences. J Craniofac Surg. 2000 Mar;11(2):76-82.

Hopper RA, Zhang JR, Fourasier VL, Morova-Protzner I, Protzner KF, Pang CY, Forrest CR. Effect of isolation of periosteum and dura on the healing of rabbit calvarial inlay bone grafts. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2001 Feb;107(2):454-62.