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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Robert Hamilton, MD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Cardiologist, Electrophysiology

Former Director

Research Institute
Senior Associate Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Department of Paediatrics

Email: robert.hamilton@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact: Shreya Shah
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 204055
Alternate Email: shreya.shah@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Hamilton was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he completed his undergraduate degree, medical degree, paediatric training and initial training in children’s heart disorders. He then underwent fellowships to complete his cardiology training, spending a year each at Alberta Children’s Hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto and Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston. While training in Toronto in 1987, Dr. Robert Freedom requested that Hamilton join the staff and complete his training in children’s heart rhythm disorders. Between 1988-89, Hamilton completed his training under Dr. Arthur (Tim) Garson Jr. and subsequently became a staff member at SickKids.

Hamilton became Section Head of the Heart Station/Electrophysiology Service in 1998 and went on to recruit three additional partners and a core group of trained technicians who provide expert invasive and non-invasive care of children’s arrhythmias and prevention of sudden death. He acted as acting division chief from 2000 to 2001 and was promoted to professor in 2004.

Hamilton is cross-appointed to the SickKids Research Institute as an Associate Scientist, and runs research programs in the basic science of congenital heart block (CIHR funded) and the diagnosis and mechanisms of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (Caitlyn Morris Memorial Fund of the SickKids Foundation).

Hamilton was the founding scientific advisor to the SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes) Canada patient support group and organizes and contributes to annual patient support events. He also has completed a Masters in Health Policy and Management from the University of Toronto, and is a member of the Expert Advisory Committee on the Vigilance of Health Products (Health Canada). He is completing a term as the Medical Director of the SickKids Telemedicine Program.

Clinical Care Activities

  • Catheter ablation as curative therapy for heart rhythm disorders
  • Genetics & Therapy of High-Risk Hereditary Heart Conditions
  • Pacemaker & Defibrillator Therapy in Children

Lab Members:

  • Lab Manager: Diptendu Chatterjee, PhD        
  • Clinical Research Project Coordinator: Meena Fatah        
  • Post-doctoral Fellow: Kirti Mittal, PhD


  •  Research Volunteer: Shayenthiran Sreetharan

Research Interests

  • Etiology of Congenital Heart Block (in children of mothers with lupus or Sjøgren’s syndrome). CHB is a potentially preventable cause of heart block in children; CHB requires repeated pacemaker operations every 5 to 7 years from childhood throughout life.
  • Mechanism of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. ARVC is the most common cause of sudden death during athletics in Europe, and a frequent cause of sudden death in children & young adults.

Research Activities

Investigation using techniques of isolated (Langendorff) rabbit heart, immunized mouse models with fetal mice investigated by Doppler echocardiography, cell culture models (including heart muscle cell culture), recombinant human proteins, transfection of cardiac mutations & inhibitory RNAs, rtPCR, flow cytometry, double/triple immunofluorescence & confocal microscopy (in collaboration with C Ackerley), multiparticle immunogold electron microscopy, protein interactions and colocalization, patch clamp experiments (in collaboration with G Gross) and optical mapping of myocyte conduction velocity (with K Nanthakumar).

Future Research Interests

  • Transplantation of the cardiac atrioventricular conduction system

External Funding

  • 2006-2009 CIHR
  • 2008-2010 HSFO
  • 2013-2016 CIHR
  • 2015-2018 CANet
  • 2015-2018 CHRP


  • Yoo SJ, Grosse-­‐Wortmann L, Hamilton RM: Magnetic resonance imaging assessment of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia in children. Korean Circ J. 2010 Aug;40(8):357-­‐67.
  • Krishnamurthy S, Adhisivam B, Hamilton RM, Baskin B, Biswal N, Kumar M: Arrhythmogenic Dilated Cardiomyopathy Due to a Novel Mutation in the Desmoplakin Gene. Indian journal of pediatrics, 2011. 78(7): p. 866-9.
  • Jaeggi, E., et al., The importance of the level of maternal anti-Ro/SSA antibodies as a prognostic marker of the development of cardiac neonatal lupus erythematosus a prospective study of 186 antibody-exposed fetuses and infants. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2010. 55(24): p. 2778-84.
  • Ackerman, M.J., et al., HRS/EHRA expert consensus statement on the state of genetic testing for the channelopathies and cardiomyopathies this document was developed as a partnership between the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA). Heart rhythm : the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, 2011. 8(8): p. 1308-39.
  • Gollob, M.H., et al., Recommendations for the use of genetic testing in the clinical evaluation of inherited cardiac arrhythmias associated with sudden cardiac death: Canadian Cardiovascular Society/Canadian Heart Rhythm Society joint position paper. The Canadian journal of cardiology, 2011. 27(2): p. 232-45.
  • Graham, J., et al., European guidelines on managing adverse effects of medication for ADHD. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 2011. 20(1): p. 17-37.
  • Hamilton, R.M., Tinker, tailor: foretelling the future in long QT syndrome. Heart rhythm : the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, 2011. 8(10): p. 1544-5.
  • Hamilton, R.M., Risk vs benefit for catheter ablation in the small child: when does the Bough break? The Canadian journal of cardiology, 2011. 27(4): p. 523 e1-2.
  • Hamilton, R.M., et al., Cardiovascular considerations of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medications: a report of the European Network on Hyperactivity Disorders work group, European Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Guidelines Group on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug safety meeting - CORRIGENDUM. Cardiology in the young, 2011: p. 1.
  • Lin, A.E., et al., Clinical, pathological, and molecular analyses of cardiovascular abnormalities in Costello syndrome: a Ras/MAPK pathway syndrome. American journal of medical genetics. Part A, 2011. 155A(3): p. 486-507.
  • Strandberg LS*, Cui X*, Rath A, Liu J, Silverman ED, Liu X, Siragam V, Ackerley C, Su BB, Yan JY , Capecchi M, Biavati L, Accorroni A, Yuen W, Quattrone F, Lung K , Jaeggi ET, Backx PH, Deber CM, Hamilton RM. Congenital heart block maternal sera autoantibodies target an extracellular epitope on the α1G T-type calcium channel in human fetal hearts. PLoS ONE, 2013. 8(9): e72668.    
  • Siragam V, Cui X, Masse S, Ackerley C, Aafaqi S, Strandberg L, et al. (2014) TMEM43 Mutation p.S358L Alters Intercalated Disc Protein Expression and Reduces Conduction Velocity in Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. PLoS ONE 9(10): e109128. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109128
  • Jun Liu, Vinayakumar Siragam, Jun Chen, Michael D. Fridman, Robert M. Hamilton, Yu Sun (2014). High-throughput measurement of gap junctional intercellular communication. American Journal of Physiology. 306(1708-1713) doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00110.2014
  • Robert M. Hamilton, Eric Rosenthal, Martin Hulpke-Wette, John G. I. Graham and Joseph Sergeant (2012). Cardiovascular considerations of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medications: a report of the European Network on Hyperactivity Disorders work group, European Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Guidelines Group on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug safety meeting. Cardiology in the Young, 22, pp 63-70. doi:10.1017/S1047951111000928.
    Michael H. Gollob, Louis Blier, Ramon Brugada, Jean Champagne, Vijay Chauhan, Sean Connors, Martin Gardner, Martin S. Green, Robert Gow, Robert Hamilton, Louise Harris, Jeff S. Healey, Kathleen Hodgkinson, Christina Honeywell, Michael Kantoch, Joel Kirsh, Andrew Krahn, Michelle Mullen, Ratika Parkash, Damian Redfearn, Julie Rutberg, Shubhayan Sanatani, Anna Woo, Recommendations for the Use of Genetic Testing in the Clinical Evaluation of Inherited Cardiac Arrhythmias Associated with Sudden Cardiac Death: Canadian Cardiovascular Society/Canadian Heart Rhythm Society Joint Position Paper, Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Volume 27, Issue 2, March–April 2011, Pages 232-245, ISSN 0828-282X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2010.12.078.
  • Samuel Wang, Wei Zhu, Robert M. Hamilton, Joel A. Kirsh, Elizabeth A. Stephenson, Gil J. Gross, Diagnosis-specific characteristics of ventricular tachycardia in children with structurally normal hearts, Heart Rhythm, Volume 7, Issue 12, December 2010, Pages 1725-1731, ISSN 1547-5271, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2010.07.037.