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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Linda Hiraki, MD, FRCPC, MS, ScD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Clinician Scientist

Research Institute
Scientist-Track Investigator
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

Phone: 416-813-7654 (x309977)
Fax: 416-813-4989
Email: linda.hiraki@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact: Kamela Ramlackhan
Alternate Phone: 416-813-5828
Alternate Email: kamela.ramlackhan@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Linda Hiraki is a Clinician-Scientist in the Division of Rheumatology and Scientist-Track investigator in the Child Health Evaluative Sciences program at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Hiraki completed her medical degree at Queen’s University, and her clinical training in paediatrics and rheumatology at SickKids. She is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in the specialties of paediatrics and paediatric rheumatology. Hiraki went on to pursue clinical research training at the Harvard School of Public Health where she completed a Masters and Doctor of Science in Epidemiology. She also completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Andrew Paterson, a Senior Scientist studying Genetics & Genome Biology here at SickKids. Hiraki is coordinating a large, international cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus patients followed prospectively over years of disease to understand the genetics of lupus, its many manifestations, the disease course and related outcomes.

Research Interests

  • Genetics of complex diseases/phenotypes
  • Paediatric rheumatic diseases
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Disease outcomes over time

Research Activities 

Hiraki’s current research interests include examining the genetic contribution to complex, rheumatic diseases and their associated long-term outcomes. She is applying methods that take advantage of rich, longitudinally collected clinical data along with both common and low-frequency genetic variants to discover new genetic associations with manifestations and complications of the complex disease. Hiraki is also employing novel methods to transethnic studies of admixed populations with complex diseases.  

She is also interested in using repeated measures to better characterize disease course, and identify both environmental and genetic risk factors for adverse outcomes in rheumatic disease.

Understanding the genes influencing the presentation and evolution of complex diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus will provide novel insights into disease mechanisms. This will in turn lead to improved disease outcomes via risk stratification, prevention, early intervention and new treatments.


  • Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP) Career Enhancement Award, 2013-2015
  • CIHR Strategic Training for Advanced Genetic Epidemiology (STAGE) Postdoctoral Award, 2013-2015
  • CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, 2013-2015
  • Banting & Best Diabetes Centre Post-doctoral Fellowship, 2013
  • Pediatric Rheumatology Symposium (PRSYM) Abstract Award Winner, 2011
  • CIHR Doctoral Fellowship Award, 2010-2013
  • Harvard University, Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship, 2008-2010
  • The Christopher Ondaatje Award for Excellence in Third Year Clinical Teaching, SickKids, 2005-2006


For a complete list of publications, please see PubMed

Feldman CH, Hiraki LT, Winkelmayer WC, Marty FM, Franklin JM, Solomon DH, Kim SC, Costenbader KH. Serious infections among adult medicaid beneficiaries with systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis. Arthritis & Rheum. 2015. PMID: 25772621.

Hiraki LT, Joshi AD, Ng K, Fuchs CS, Ma J, Hazra A, Peters U, Karlson EW, Giovannucci E, Kraft P, Chan AT. Joint effects of colorectal cancer susceptibility loci, circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of colorectal cancer. PloS One. 2014. PMID: 24670869.

Hiraki LT, Arkema EV, Cui J, Malspeis S, Costenbader KH, Karlson EW. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology.  2014. PMID: 25065001.

Hiraki LT, Qu C, Hutter CM, Baron JA, Berndt SI, Bezieau S, Brenner H, Caan BJ, Casey G, Chang-Claude J, Chanock SJ, Conti DV, Duggan D, Fuchs CS, Gallinger S, Giovannucci EL, Harrison TA, Hayes RB,  Hazra A, Henderson B, Hoffmeister M, Hopper JL, Hudson TJ, Jenkins MA, Kury S, Le Marchand L, Lemire M, Ma J, Manson JE, Nan H, Newcomb PA, Ng K, Potter JD, Schoen RE, Schumacher FR, Seminara D, Slattery ML, Wactawski-Wende J, White E, Wu K, Zanke BW, Kraft P, Peters U, Chan AT. Genetic predictors of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of colorectal cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013. PMID: 23983240.

Vimaleswaran KS, Berry DJ, Lu C, Tikkanen E, Pilz S, Hiraki LT, Cooper JD, Dastani Z, Li R, Houston DK, Wood AR, Michaelsson K, Vandenput L, Zgaga L, Yerges-Armstrong LM, McCarthy MI, Dupuis J, Kaakinen M,  Kleber ME, Jameson K, Arden N, Raitakari O, Viikari J, Lohman KK, Ferrucci L, Melhus H, Ingelsson E, Byberg L, Lind L, Lorentzon M, Salomaa V, Campbell H, Dunlop M, Mitchell BD, Herzig KH, Pouta A, Hartikainen AL, Giant Consortium Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits, Streeten EA, Theodoratou E, Jula A, Wareham NJ, Ohlsson C, Frayling TM, Kritchevsky SB, Spector TD, Richards JB, Lehtimaki T, Ouwehand WH, Kraft P, Cooper C, Marz W, Power C, Loos RJ, Wang TJ, Jarvelin MR,  Whittaker JC, Hingorani AD, Hypponen E. Causal relationship between obesity and vitamin D status: bi-directional Mendelian randomization analysis of multiple cohorts. PLoS Med. 2013. PMID: 23393431.

Hiraki LT, Major JM, Chen C, Cornelis MC, Hunter DJ, Rimm EB, Simon KC, Weinstein SJ, Purdue MP, Yu K, Albanes D, Kraft P. Exploring the genetic architecture of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Genet Epidemiol. 2013. PMID: 23135809.

Hiraki LT, Munger KL, Costenbader KH, Karlson EW. Dietary intake of vitamin D during adolescence and risk of adult-onset systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care Res. 2012. PMID: 22744978.

Hiraki LT, Feldman CH, Liu J, Alarcon GS, Fischer MA, Winkelmayer WC, Costenbader KH. Prevalence, incidence, and demographics of systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis from 2000 to 2004 among children in the US Medicaid beneficiary population. Arthritis Rheum. 2012. PMID: 22847366.

Hiraki LT, Lu B, Alexander SR, Shaykevich T, Alarcon GS, Solomon DH, Winkelmayer WC, Costenbader KH. End-stage renal disease due to lupus nephritis among children in the US, 1995-2006. Arthritis Rheum. 2011. PMID: 21445963.

Hiraki LT, Benseler SM, Tyrrell PN, Harvey E, Hebert D, Silverman ED. Ethnic differences in pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol. 2009. PMID: 19833755.

Hiraki LT, Benseler SM, Tyrrell PN, Hebert D, Harvey E, Silverman ED. Clinical and laboratory characteristics and long-term outcome of pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus: a longitudinal study. J Pediatr. 2008. PMID: 18346514.

Hiraki LT, Hamilton J, Silverman ED. Measuring permanent damage in pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus. 2007. PMID: 17711904.