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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Eve Roberts, MD, FRCP(C)

The Hospital for Sick Children
Gastroenterologist
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Research Institute
Adjunct Scientist
Genetics & Genome Biology

University of Toronto
Professor
Depts. of Medicine, Paediatrics & Pharmacology


Phone: 416-813-5028
Email: eve.roberts@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Eve Roberts is a Hepatologist in the Division of Gastroenterology & Nutrition, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Dr. Roberts was educated at Bryn Mawr College and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she obtained her M.D. degree in 1973. Her postgraduate training included a training in hepatology with Dame Sheila Sherlock at the Royal Free Hospital in London, UK, and research training relating to hepatic pathophysiology and pharmacology in Toronto at the Addiction Research Foundation, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute. She joined the staff of the Hospital for Sick Children and its Research Institute in 1984, where she has focused on paediatric hepatology. She has been president of the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver, chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of the Canadian Liver Foundation, and is currently chairman of the Board of the Canadian Liver Foundation. She served on the Executive Council of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and on the Practice Guidelines Committee of American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Her clinical research interests include a broad spectrum of pediatric liver disorders including neonatal lupus erythematosus, perinatal hemochromatosis, paediatric hepatitis B and hepatitis C, primary sclerosing cholangitis, childhood non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, Wilson disease, and drug hepatotoxicity in children. She was the principal clinician-researcher on the research team which identified the gene abnormal in Wilson disease. She was the inaugural recipient of the University of Toronto Department of Paediatrics Subspecialty Teaching Award in 2000. She is an honorary member of the Hans Popper Hepatopathology Society. She has written and lectured extensively on paediatric liver disease.

Research Interests

  • Wilson disease
  • Perinatal hemochromatosis
  • Metals-related hepatotoxicity
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Paediatric hepatology

As a translational clinician-scientist, her laboratory research has examined expression and regulation of human hepatic cytochromes P450 in novel in vitro systems for culturing human hepatocytes. More recently, she has turned her attention to Wilson disease: to determine mechanisms of liver cell damage in an inbred mouse model for Wilson disease, and to develop a new approach to studying hepatic copper handling, hepatocellular metalloproteomics.

Research Activities

The focus of my laboratory research is childhood liver diseases where a metal, such as copper or iron, damages liver cells. Although copper is essential for the normal function of numerous critically important enzymes in humans, it is toxic in excess. Likewise, iron is normally found in the liver of newborns, but in some conditions hepatic iron deposition is increased and liver damage occurs. We are especially interested in the mechanism of liver damage in Wilson disease (copper overload), due to mutations in a P-type ATPase (ATP7B, also known as WND), and perinatal hemochromatosis (iron overload), associated with neonatal liver failure. By developing pertinent animal and in vitro cell culture models for these disorders, we will find novel and innovative therapies.

Publications

Jackson R, Roberts EA: Identification of neonatal liver failure and perinatal hemochromatosis in Canada. Paediatr Child Health;6:248-250, 2001.

Wilson DC, Phillips MJ, Cox DW, Roberts EA: Severe hepatic Wilson disease in preschool children. J Pediatr;137:719-722, 2000.

Rashid M, Roberts EA: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr;30:48-53, 2000.

Roberts EA, Harper PA, Li W, Yang S: Failure of Ah receptor to mediate induction of cytochromes P450 in the CYP1 family in the human hepatoma line SK-Hep-1. Arch Biochem Biophys;384:190-198, 2000.

Kono Y, Roberts EA: Extended primary culture of human hepatocytes in a collagen gel sandwich system. In Vitro Cell Devel Biol Anim;33:467-472, 1997.

Roberts EA, Cox DW: Wilson Disease. Baillière's Clinical Gastroenterology;12:237-256, 1998.