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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Tanja Gonska, MD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Gastroenterologist
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Research Institute
Senior Associate Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Associate Member
Institute of Medical Sciences

Phone: 416-813-7735
Fax: 416-813-6531
Email: tanja.gonska@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact: Sandra Layno
Alternate Email: sandra.layno@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Tanja Gonska is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of Toronto, with a subspecialty focus on paediatric pancreas diseases and cystic fibrosis. She holds appointments in the Institute of Medical Science and as an Associate Scientist in the SickKids Research Institute. Following medical school in Muenster, Germany, she completed her paediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital in Freiburg, Germany, with a focus on paediatric pulmonology, allergology and cystic fibrosis. Attracted by the renowned cystic fibrosis (CF) group, she came to Toronto for a fellowship in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at SickKids. Her mentors were Professors Peter Durie, Christine Bear and Paul Quinton. Dr. Gonska continued her academic career in paediatric pancreatology and cystic fibrosis as a Staff Physician at SickKids. Next to her involvement in an international consortium to advance the knowledge in paediatric pancreatitis, her main research interest is focused on increasing our understanding of transepithelial ion and fluid transport in the airway and intestine. In addition, her innovative approach to develop new measures of functional outcome supports current strategies to cure cystic fibrosis.

Research Interests

  • Functional characterization of modifying channels/transporters of CFTR in epithelia
  • CF diagnostic threshold in newborns and adults
  • Development of new functional tests as disease biomarker for CF
  • Investigating the aetiologies and outcome in pediatric acute recurrent pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis with a special interest in autoimmune pancreatitis

External Funding

Vertex-Investigator Initiated Trial: Extended nutritional investigation and assessment of CFTR function in G551D patients undergoing treatment with Ivacaftor.

CF Centre Catalyst Research Grant, The Hospital for Sick Children, Investigating the role of vitamin D deficiency in the development of cystic fibrosis liver disease

Al Qamri Holding Group/Al Qamri-SickKids CF Therapy Programme, Therapy Development for Cystic Fibrosis Patients in Qatar

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc (CFFT), Extension and Expansion of the Sweat Rate Sub-study as part of the G551D Observational Study (GOAL-e2)

SickKids Foundation - CIHR IHDCYH New Investigator Award, Interrogation of SLC6A14 as a modifier for drug treatment in CF disease


For a complete list of publications, please see PubMed

Keenan K, Avolio J, Rueckes-Nilges C, Gonska T* and Naehrlich L*.  Nasal potential difference best or average result for CFTR-function as diagnostic criteria for cystic fibrosis? JCF. Accepted  * equal senior authorship SRA

Rowe SM, Heltshe SL, Gonska T, Donaldson SH, Borowitz D, Gelfond D, Sagel SD, Khan U, Mayer-Hamblett N, Van Dalfsen JM, Joseloff E, Ramsey BW Clinical Mechanism of the CFTR Potentiator Ivacaftor in G551D-Mediated Cystic Fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Jul 15;190(2):175-84.PMID: 24927234. CA

Morinville VD, Lowe ME, Ahuja M, Barth B, Bellin MD, Davis H, Durie PR, Finley B, Fishman DS, Freedman SD, Gariepy CE, Giefer MJ, Gonska T, Heyman MB, Himes R, Husain S, Kumar S, Ooi CY, Pohl JF, Schwarzenberg SJ, Troendle D, Werlin SL, Wilschanski M, Yen E, Uc A. Design and Implementation of Insppire (International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: in Search for a Cure). J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Sep;59(3):360-4.  PMID: 24824361.CA

Eckford PDW, Ramjeesingh M, Molinski S, Pasyk S, Li C, Ahmadi S, Ip W, Chung TE, Du K, Yeger H, Gonska T, Bear CE. VX-809 and Related Corrector Compounds Exhibit Secondary Activity Stabilizing Active F508del-CFTR after Its Partial Rescue to the Cell Surface. Chem Biol. 2014 May 22;21(5):666-78. PMID: 24726831 CA

Ooi CY, Dupuis A, Gonska T, Ellis L, Ni A, Jarvi K, Martin S, Ray P, Steele L, Kortan P, Dorfman R, Solomon M, Zielenski J, Corey M, Tullis E, Durie P.  Does integration of different ion channel measurements improve diagnostic performance in cystic fibrosis?  Chest.  Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2014 May;11(4):562-70.. CA

Mouzaki M, Vresk L, Gonska T.  An infant with vomiting, diarrhea and failure to thrive. Clinical Challenge and Image in GI. Gastroenterology. 2014 Apr;146(4):912, 1137-8. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.11.035. PMID: 24560855. SRA

Molinski SV, Gonska T, Huan LJ, Baskin B, Janahi IA, Ray PN, Bear CE.  Genetic, cell biological and clinical interrogation of the CFTR mutation 3.3700A>G (p.lle1234Va1) informs strategies for future medical intervention.  Genet Med. 2014 Aug;16(8):625-32. . doi: 10.1038/gim.2014.4. PMID: 24556927. CA

Dong C, Zhao W, Solomon C, Rowland KJ, Ackerley C, Robine S, Holzenberger M, Gonska T, Brubaker PL. The intestinal epithelial insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor links glucagon-like peptide-2 action to gut barrier function. Endocrinology. 2014 Feb;155(2):370-9. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1871.PMID 24265452 CA

Ooi Cy, Dupuis A, Ellis L, Jarvi K, Martin S, Ray PN, Steele L, Kortan P, Gonska T, Dorfman R, Solomon M, Zielenski J, Corey M, Tullis E, Durie P.  Does extensive genotyping and nasal potential difference testing clarify the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis among patient with single-organ manifestations of cystic fibrosis?  Thorax. 2014 Mar;69(3):254-60. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-203832. PMID 24149827. CA

Rickels MR, Bellin M, Toledo FG, Robertson RP, Andersen DK, Chari ST, Brand R, Frulloni L, Anderson MA, Whitcomb DC; PancreasFest Recommendation Conference Participants (Gonska T). Detection, evaluation and treatment of diabetes mellitus in chronic pancreatitis: recommendations from PancreasFest 2012. Pancreatology. 2013 Jul-Aug;13(4):336-42.. doi: 10.1016/j.pan.2013.05.002. PMID: 23890130 CA

Smith RW, Korenblum C, Thacker K, Bonifacio HJ, Gonska T, Katzman DK Severely elevated transaminases in an adolescent male with anorexia nervosa. Int J Eat Disord. 2013 Nov;46(7):751-4. Epub 2013 Jul 23. PMID: 23881604 CA

Naehrlich L, Ballmann M, Davies J, Drichs N, Gonska T, Hjelte L, van Konigsbruggen-Rietschel S, Leal T, Melotti P, Middleton P, Tummler B, Vermeulen F, Wilschanski M, on behalf of the ECFS Diagnostic Network Working Group.  Nasal potential difference measurements in diagnosis of cystic fibrosis: An international survey.  J Cyst Fibros 2013 Sept 7, S1569-1993(13)00139-2, Epub ahead of print. PMID 23890130. CA

Quinton P, Molyneux L, Ip W, Dupuis A, Avolio J, Tullis E, Conrad D, Shamsuddin AK, Durie P, Gonska T.  -adrenergic sweat secretion as a diagnostic test for cystic fibrosis.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2012: 186(8):pp 732-739. PMID 22859523 SRA

Ooi CY, Dupuis A. Ellis L, Jarvi K, Martin S. Gonska T, Dorfman R, Kortan P, Solomon M, Tullis E. Durie PR.  Comparing the American and European diagnostic guidelines for cystic fibrosis: same disease, different language?  Thorax 2012: 67(7): pp 618-624.PMID 22504961 CA

Gonska T, Choi P, Stephenson A, Ellis L, Martin S, Solomon M, Dupuis A, Dorfman R. Zielenski J, Ooi CY, Weiser W, Durie PR. Tullis E.  Role of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in patients with chronic sinopulmonary disease.  Chest 2012: 142(4); pp 996-1004. PMID 22423042 PA

Gonska T.  Early in vivo testing to assess new therapeutic interventions in CF patients. Current Pharmaceutical Design 2012: 18(5): pp 663-673. PMID 2222955 PA

Ooi K, Dorfman R, Cipolli M, Gonska T, Castellani C, Keenan K, Freedman SD, Zielenski J, Berthiaume Y, Corey M, Schibli S, Tullis E, Durie PR.  Type of CFTR mutation determines risk of pancreatitis in patient with cystic fibrosis.  Gastroenterology 2011: 140(1): pp 153-161. PMID 20923678 CA

Ardelean DS, Gonska T, Wires S, Cutz E, Griffiths A, Harvey E, Tse SM, Benseler SM.  Severe ulcerative colitis after rituximab therapy.  Pediatrics  2010: 126(1): pp e243-246. PMID 20566611 CA

Ooi K, Gonska T, Durie P, Freedman SD. Genetic testing in pancreatitis. Gastroenterology 2010: 138(7): pp 2202-2206. PMID 20416310 CA

Dorfman R, Nalpathamkalam T, Taylor C, Gonska T, Keenan K, Yuan XW, Corey M, Tsui LC, Zielenski J, Durie P. Do common in silico tools predict the clinical consequences of amino-acid substitutions in the CFTR gene? Clin Genet  2010: 77(5): pp 464-473.  CA

Gonska T, Ip W, Turner D, Han WS, Rose J, Durie P, Quinton P. Sweat gland bioelectrics differ in cystic fibrosis: a new concept for potential diagnosis and assessment of CFTR function in cystic fibrosis. Thorax 2009: 64(11): pp 932-938. PA

Rose JB, Ellis L, John B, Martin S, Gonska T, Solomon M, Tullis E, Corey M, Adeli K, Durie PR.  Does the Macroduct collection system reliably define sweat chloride concentration in subjects with intermediate results? Clin Biochem 2009: 42(12): pp 1260-1264. CA