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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Debra Katzman, MD, FRCP(C)

The Hospital for Sick Children
Eating Disorders Program

Research Institute
Senior Associate Scientist
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

University of Toronto
Department of Paediatrics

Phone: 416-813-5084
Fax: 416-813-5392
Email: debra.katzman@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Debra Katzman is a Professor of Paediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Paediatrics and the University of Toronto. Dr. Katzman is also an Associate Scientist at the Research Institute at The Hospital for Sick Children. She holds academic cross appointments as an Associate Member in the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and is a Member of the Institute of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

She received her medical degree from McMaster University, completed her paediatric internship and residency at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at Stanford University. Dr. Katzman was on faculty at Stanford University prior to her appointment at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Katzman is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Adolescent Medicine, serves as the Director of Publications for the Society of Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Katzman is a Fellow of the Society of Adolescent Medicine and a Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders. She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Ontario Community Outreach Program. Dr. Katzman is a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Eating Disorders. She also services as Director, Patient-Based Research in Adolescent Medicine, Population Health Sciences, The Department of Paediatrics and The Research Institute.

Her primary academic interest is the medical complications of adolescent eating disorders. She has focused her research in the area of osteoporosis in young girls with anorexia nervosa. Dr. Katzman is also investigating brain structure and function in young women with anorexia nervosa using magnetic resonance imaging.

Research Interests

  • Medical Complications of Eating Disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Structural Brain Changes

Research Activities

My primary academic interest is the medical complications of pediatric and adolescent eating disorders. We have shown that osteopenia is a serious complication of anorexia nervosa (AN) which may not be reversible. We are evaluating the effects of low-dose estrogen therapy on bone mineral density in AN. We are also exploring brain changes in young women with AN using magnetic resonance imaging. We found significant deficits in both grey-matter and white-matter volumes and that weight-recovered adolescents have persisting deficits in grey-matter volume. Little is known about the functional significance of these brain abnormalities. We plan to investigate the persistence of the brain abnormailities and cognitive deficits, and the association between them. This will help us to understand how these factors affect the potential for recovery from this debilitating disorder.

The Eating Disorder Program at The Hospital for Sick Children is investigating the effect of three different treatment modalities on clinical outcome for adolescents with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. This work will facilitate identifying the characteristics of adolescents with eating disorders and their parents that predict response to three different treatment modalities.


Hick KM, Katzman DK. Self-assessment of sexual maturation in adolescent females with anorexia nervosa. Journal of Adolescent Health, 24: 206-211, 1999.

Katzman DK, Zipursky RB, Lambe EK, Mikulis DJ. A longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study of brain changes in adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 151: 793-797, 1997.

Pinhas L, Geist R, Katzman DK. Trichotillomania and anorexia nervosa in an adolescent female: a case study of comorbidity. Journal of Adolescent Health, 19: 141-144, 1996.

Katzman DK, Lambe EK, Mikulis DJ, Ridgley JN, Goldbloom DS, Zipursky RB. Cerebral gray matter and white matter volume deficits in adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa. Journal of Pediatrics, 129: 794-803, 1996.