About Sickkids
About SickKids

Cynthia Hawkins, MD, PhD, FRCPC

The Hospital for Sick Children
Paediatric Laboratory Medicine

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Cell Biology

Principal Investigator
The Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre

University of Toronto
Associate Professor
Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology

Phone: 416-813-5938
Fax: 416-813-5974
e-mail: cynthia.hawkins@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:

The Hawkins' Lab

Brief Biography

Dr. Hawkins obtained her PhD in 1996 and her MD in 1997 from the University of Western Ontario. She completed her residency training in neuropathology at the University of Toronto in 2002, including a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Zurich. Dr. Hawkins joined The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) as a neuropathologist in 2002 and has been appointed at the Research Institute in the Cell Biology program since 2004. She is a principal investigator at the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre and a Professor at the University of Toronto.

Clinical Care Activities

Dr. Hawkins is a paediatric neuropathologist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Her practice involves both surgical and autopsy neuropathology and includes neuro-oncologic, neuromuscular and neurodevelopmental disease.

Research Interests

  • Molecular pathogenesis and therapeutics for paediatric astrocytomas, in particular diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)
  • Identification and clinical implementation of novel prognostic and therapeutic markers for paediatric brain tumours

External Funding

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Canadian Cancer Research Society
  • The Cure Starts Now
  • b.r.a.i.n.child


  • Lucien J. Rubinstein Award, American Association of Neuropathologists 2011, 2013
  • Lotte-Strauss Prize, Society for Pediatric Pathology, 2010
  • 2003-2007 CIHR/Eli Lilly/ CCO Charles H. Hollenberg Translational Research Award
  • HFSP Long-term Fellowship, 2001
  • Mary Tom Award, Canadian Association of Neuropathology, 2000


Buczkowicz P, Hoeman C, Rakopoulos P, Pajovic S, Letourneau L, Dzamba M, Morrison A, Lewis P, Bouffet E, Bartels U, Zuccaro J, Agnihotri S, Ryall S, Barszczyk M, Chornenkyy Y, Bourgey M, Bourque G, Montpetit A, Cordero F, Castelo-Branco P, Mangerel J, Tabori U, Ho KC, Huang A, Taylor KR, Mackay A, Bendel AE, Nazarian J, Fangusaro JR, Karajannis MA, Zagzag D, Foreman NK, Donson A, Hegert JV, Smith A, Chan J, Lafay-Cousin L, Dunn S, Hukin J, Dunham C, Scheinemann K, Michaud J, Zelcer S, Ramsay D, Cain J, Brennan C, Souweidane MM, Jones C, Allis CD, Brudno M, Becher O, Hawkins C. Genomic analysis of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas identifies three molecular subgroups and recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations. Nature genetics 2014

Munoz DM, Singh S, Tung T, Agnihotri S, Nagy A, Guha A, Zadeh G, Hawkins C. Differential transformation capacity of neuro-glial progenitors during development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2013

Khuong-Quang DA, Buczkowicz P, Rakopoulos P, Liu XY, Fontebasso AM, Bouffet E, Bartels U, Albrecht S, Schwartzentruber J, Letourneau L, Bourgey M, Bourque G, Montpetit A, Bourret G, Lepage P, Fleming A, Lichter P, Kool M, von Deimling A, Sturm D, Korshunov A, Faury D, Jones DT, Majewski J, Pfister SM, Jabado N, Hawkins C. K27M mutation in histone H3.3 defines clinically and biologically distinct subgroups of pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. Acta neuropathologica 2012;124:439-47

A complete list of Dr. Hawkins' publications is available at Pub Med.