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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Laura Janzen, PhD, C. Psych., ABPP-CN

The Hospital for Sick Children

Research Institute
Project Investigator
Neurosciences & Mental Health

University of Toronto
Assistant Professor

Phone: 416-813-5437
Email: laura.janzen@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Following completion of a PhD in clinical psychology (clinical neuropsychology specialization) at the University of Victoria, including a one-year clinical internship at the London Health Sciences Centre, I pursued post-doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY.  I was then employed as a staff neuropsychologist in the Epilepsy Program at London Health Sciences Centre in London, ON from 2002 to 2005.  From 2005 to 2007, I was employed as a staff neuropsychologist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation in Toronto, ON.  I have been in my current position as a staff neuropsychologist in the Division of Haematology/Oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children since 2007.  

Clinical Activities

I provide neuropsychological assessment and consultation services primarily to patients in the Neuro-Oncology, Leukemia/Lymphoma and Sickle Cell Disease programs, although I see patients with other diagnoses as well.  I am also coordinator of post-doctoral neuropsychology training in the Department of Psychology.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the evaluation and treatment of cognitive deficits associated with medical and neurological disorders. In the past, my work has included studies of the cognitive implications of neuronal migration disorders (e.g., subcortical band heterotopia), seizure disorders, Tourette’s syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). I have co-authored two Cochrane reviews of the effects of nutritional programs for children (e.g., school feeding) on physical and cognitive outcomes.

Currently, my research explores the neurocognitive outcomes of children with leukemia, brain tumors and sickle cell disease. In particular, I am interested in individual variables that moderate disease and treatment-related neurocognitive deficits. Identifying children at greatest risk for future cognitive difficulties would allow for early and directed interventions to ameliorate this risk.    

External Funding

  • Pediatric Cancer Outcomes Initiative (PCOI) (Janzen, L., Spiegler, B. & Hitzler, J.) Is Pre-Morbid Developmental Vulnerability a Risk Factor for Acute neurotoxicity or Adverse Neurobehavioral Outcomes after Treatment for Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?
  • Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) Seed Funding Grant (Janzen, L., Spiegler, B. & Hitzler, J.)  Atypical Development Prior to Diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL): Incidence and Neurocognitive Outcomes.


  • Diplomate in Clinical Neuropsychology (Diploma #5916) American Board of Professional Psychology, with subspecialty certification in Pediatric Clinical Neuropsychology.  


Janzen LA, David D, Walker D, Hitzler J, Zupanec S, Jones H, Spiegler, B. Pre-Morbid Developmental Vulnerabilities in Children With Newly Diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015;62(12):2183-8.

Lafay-Cousin L, Fay-McClymont T, Johnston D, Fryer C, Scheinemann K, Fleming A, Hukin J, Janzen L, Guger S, Strother D, Mabbott D, Huang A, Bouffet E. Neurocognitive evaluation of long term survivors of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRT): The Canadian registry experience. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015;62(7):1265-9.

Kristjansson E, Francis DK, Liberato S, Benkhalti Jandu M, Welch V, Batal M, Greenhalgh T, Rader T, Noonan E, Shea B, Janzen L, Wells GA, Petticrew M. Food supplementation for improving the physical and psychosocial health of socio-economically disadvantaged children aged three months to five years. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015:3:CD009924.

Moxon-Emre I, Bouffet E, Taylor MD, Laperriere N, Scantlebury N, Law N, Spiegler BJ, Malkin D, Janzen L, Mabbott D. Impact of craniospinal dose, boost volume, and neurologic complications on intellectual outcome in patients with medulloblastoma. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2014; 32(17):1760-8

Brinkman TM, Palmer SL, Chen S, Zhang H, Evankovich K, Swain MA, Bonner MJ, Janzen L, Knight S, Armstrong CL, Boyle R, Gajjar A. Parent-reported social outcomes after treatment for pediatric embryonal tumors: a prospective longitudinal study. J Clin Oncol. 2012;30(33):4134-40.

Mabbott DJ, Monsalves E, Spiegler BJ, Bartels U, Janzen L, Guger S, Laperriere N, Andrews N, Bouffet E. Longitudinal evaluation of neurocognitive function after treatment for central nervous system germ cell tumors in childhood. Cancer. 2011;117(23):5402-11.

Palmer SL, Lesh S, Wallace D, Bonner MJ, Swain M, Chapieski L, Janzen L, Mabbott D, Knight S, Boyle R, Armstrong CL, Gajjar A. How parents cope with their child's diagnosis and treatment of an embryonal tumor: results of a prospective and longitudinal study. J Neurooncol. 2011; 105(2):253-9.

Scantlebury N, Mabbott D, Janzen L, Rockel C, Widjaja E, Jones G, Kirby M, Odame I. White matter integrity and core cognitive function in children diagnosed with sickle cell disease. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011; 33(3):163-71.

Schulte F, Bartels U, Bouffet E, Janzen L, Hamilton J, Barrera M. Body weight, social competence, and cognitive functioning in survivors of childhood brain tumors. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010; 55(3):532-9.

Finkelstein-Shechter T, Gassas A, Mabbott D, Huang A, Bartels U, Tabori U, Janzen L, Hawkins C, Taylor M, Bouffet E. Atypical teratoid or rhabdoid tumors: improved outcome with high-dose chemotherapy. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2010; 32(5):e182-6.