About Sickkids
About SickKids

Gideon Koren, MD, FRCPC

The Hospital for Sick Children
Director, Motherisk Programs
Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

University of Toronto

Phone: 416-813-5781
Fax: 416-813-7562
e-mail: gideon.koren@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:


Brief Biography

Dr. Koren is the founder and director of the Motherisk Program and a professor of Pediatrics, pharmacology, pharmacy and medicine. He is a staff physician at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the author/co-author of hundreds of scientific articles, book chapters and abstracts. He is a member of numerous professional societies. In 1999 he received the Irving Sunshine Award (awarded by the International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring & Clinical Toxicology), and in 1997 he received the prestigious Rawls-Palmer Award. Both awards were for outstanding contributions to clinical toxicology. In March 2000 Dr. Koren received the Medical Research Council of Canada's Senior Scientist award for his work in Population Health Sciences, and in September 2003 he was awarded the Pippenger Award for outstanding achievement by the International Association for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology. Dr. Koren is founder of the FACE (Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise) Network and the peer reviewed Journal of FAS International.  In 2004 Dr. Koren was appointed as the Ivey Chair in Molecular Toxicology at the University of Western Ontario.  He is creating a Canadian Network of Human Toxicology. In 2011 Koren and the Motherisk team received the CIHR/ CMAJ award for Innovation in Health Care. In 2012 he was awarded the Sumner Yaffe Career Award in Pediatric Pharmacology.


Career Development:

  • Founder and Director of the Motherisk Program
  • Founder and Leader of FACE research network (Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise).
  • Founder and Editor of JFAS International.
  • Ivey Chair in Molecular Toxicology, UWO.
  • Chair of Steering Committee, NIH-Obstetric Pharmacology Research Units.


  • Member: Hospital for Sick Children Mortality-Morbidity Committee.
  • Chair: Hospital for Sick Children Foundation National Competition on Complementary Alternative Medicine in Children.
  • Chair: NIH peer review committee for Obstetrics Pharmacology Research Units.
  • Chair: Steering Committee, Breaking the Cycle.
  • Member: CIHR Pharm/Tox grant panel.

Supervisory Experience:

  • Presently supervisor for 5 MSc and 16 PhD students as well as 9 postgraduate trainees.


  • Editor in Chief: Therapeutic Drug Monitoring.
  • Editor in Chief: J of FAS International.

Research Interests

  • Paediatric Pharmacology
  • Perinatal Toxicology
  • Renal Handling of Drugs

Research Activities

Pediatric pharmacology: The disposition and effects of drugs on the developing organism. Special interest in the very low birth weight infant and in pediatric cancer chemotherapy - involves both basic and clinical studies. This work aims at tailoring a rational drug schedule for the developing infant and child.

Renal handling of drugs: Application of various in vitro and in vivo methods to study the handling of drugs by the kidney on a molecular and physiological level - clearance studies; binding studies to the brush border and antiluminal membranes; the multiple indicator injection technique; and tissue culture studies. Currently I am studying the renal handling of digoxin by the tubular cell.

Perinatal toxicology: Adverse effects of drugs and chemicals in the perinatal period. Special interest on the teratogenic and developmental effects of drugs and chemicals. The "Motherisk" program for antenatal counseling of drug/chemical exposure is the first such program in North America and is a prospective project which assesses both exposed mothers and their offspring. Currently we are focusing on the developmental effect of intrauterine exposure to cocaine and carbon monoxide.


Choi JS, Koren G, Nulman I. Pregnancy and isotretinoin therapy. CMAJ 2013 Jan. 7. [Epub ahead of print]).

Nordeng H, Lupattelli A, Romøren M, Koren G. Neonatal outcomes after gestational exposure to nitrofurantoin. Obstet Gynecol 2013; 121 (2 Pt 1): 306-13.

Ross LE, Grigoriadis S, Mamisashvili L, Vonderporten EH, Roerecke M, Rehm J, Dennis CL, Koren G, Steiner M, Mousmanis P, Cheung A.  Selected pregnancy and delivery outcomes after exposure to antidepressant medication: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry 2013; 70: 436-43.

Matok I, Clark S, Caritis S, Miodovnik M, Umans J, Hankins G, Koren G.  Comparing the pharmacokinetics of doxylamine/pyridoxine delayed-release combination in nonpregnant women of reproductive age and women in the first trimester of pregnancy. J Clin Pharmacol 2013; 53:334-8.

Hutson JR, Lubetsky A, Eichhorst J, Hackmon R, Koren G, Kapur BM. Adverse placental effect of formic acid on hCG secretion is mitigated by folic acid. Alcohol      Alcohol. 2013; 48: 283-7.

Matlow JN, Lubetsky A, Aleksa K, Berger H, Koren G. The transfer of ethyl glucuronide across the dually perfused human placenta. Placenta 2013; 34: 369-73.

Koren G, Nordeng H, MacLeod S.  Gender differences in drug bioequivalence: time to     rethink practices. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2013; 93: 260-2.

Orbach H, Matok I, Gorodischer R, Sheiner E, Daniel S, Wiznitzer A, Koren G, Levy A. Hypertension and antihypertensive drugs in pregnancy and perinatal outcomes. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2013; 208: 301.e1-6.

Fujii H, Goel A, Bernard N, Pistelli A, Yates LM, Stephens S, Han JY, Matsui D, Etwell F, Einarson TR, Koren G, Einarson A. Pregnancy outcomes following gabapentin use: results of a prospective comparative cohort study. Neurology 2013; 80: 1565-70.

Koren G.  Systematic review of the effects of maternal hypertension in pregnancy and antihypertensive therapies on child neurocognitive development. Reprod Toxicol 2013; 39: 1-5.

Zelner I, Kenna K, Brien JF, Bocking A, Harding R, Walker D, Koren G.  Meconium fatty acid ethyl esters as biomarkers of late gestational ethanol exposure and indicator of ethanol-induced multi-organ injury in fetal sheep. PLoS One 2013; 8: e59168.

Maltepe C, Koren G. Preemptive treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: results of a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol Int 2013; 2013: 809787. doi: 10.1155/2013/809787.

Zarek J, DeGorter MK, Lubetsky A, Kim RB, Laskin CA, Berger H, Koren G. The transfer of pravastatin in the dually perfused human placenta. Placenta 2013; 34: 719-21. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Delano K, Gareri J, Koren G. Rates of fetal polydrug exposures in methadone-maintained pregnancies from a high-risk population. PLoS One 2013; 8: e82647. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082647.

Lalkin A, Kapur BM, Koren G. Contamination of antibiotics resulting in severe pediatric methadone poisoning. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 33: 314-317, 1999.

Atanackovic G, Koren G. Young women taking isotretinoin still conceive. Role of physicians in preventing disaster. Canadian Family Physician, 45: 289-292, 1999.

Mankuta D, Bar-Oz B, Koren G. Erythema infectiosum (Fifth disease) and pregnancy. Canadian Family Physician, 45: 603-605, 1999.

Ito S, Lieu M, Chan W, Koren G. Continuing drug therapy while breastfeeding. Part 1. Common misconceptions of patients. Canadian Family Physician, 45: 897-899, 1999.

Koren G, Moretti M, Ito S. Continuing drug therapy while breastfeeding. Part 2. Common misconceptions of physicians. Canadian Family Physician, 45: 1173-1175, 1999.

Koren G, Kennedy D. Safe use of valproic acid during pregnancy. Canadian Family Physician, 45: 1451-1453, 1999.

Nulman I, Rovet J, Greenbaum R, Loebstein M, Wolpin J, Pace-Asciak P, Koren G. The effects of intrauterine cocaine exposure on neurodevelopment of adopted children: The Toronto adoption study. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 65: 138, 1999.

Klein J, Koren G. Hair analysis--a biological marker for passive smoking in pregnancy and childhood. Human Experimental Toxicology, 18: 279-282, 1999.

Khattak S, K-Moghtader G, McMartin K, Barrera M, Kennedy D, Koren G. Pregnancy outcome following gestational exposure to organic solvents: a prospective controlled study. JAMA, 281: 1106-1109, 1999.

Loebstein R, Atanackovic G, Bishai R, Wolpin J, Khattak S, Hashemi G, Gobrial M, Baruchel S, Ito S, Koren G. Risk factors for long-term outcome of ifosfamide-induced nephrotoxicity in children. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 39: 454-461, 1999.

Magee LA, Nulman I, Rovet JF, Koren G. Neurodevelopment after in utero amiodarone exposure. Neurotoxicology Teratology, 21: 261-265, 1999.

Schuler L, Pastuszak A, Sanseverino TV, Orioli IM, Brunoni D, Ashton-Prolla P, Silva da Costa F, Giugliani R, Couto AM, Brandao SB, Koren G. Pregnancy outcome after exposure to misoprostol in Brazil: a prospective, controlled study. Reproductive Toxicology, 13: 147-151, 1999.

Diav-Citrin O, Atanackovic G, Koren G. An investigation into variability in the therapeutic response to deferiprone in patients with thalassemia major. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, 21: 74-81, 1999.

Berkovitch M, Eshel G, Lushkov G, Reznik S, Chen-Levy Z, Pinto O, Koren G. The effect of diazepam in the recovery of rabbits from acute acetaminophen intoxication. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, 21: 267-273, 1999.