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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Norman Rosenblum, MD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Nephrologist

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology

University of Toronto
Professor, Associate Dean, Physician Scientist Training
Depts. of Paediatrics, Physiology, Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology

Chair Positions

Canada Research Chair
Developmental Nephrology

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 305667
Fax: 416-813-5252
Email: norman.rosenblum@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:

Rosenblum Lab

Brief Biography

Dr. Rosenblum is a clinician scientist trained in Paediatric Nephrology and experimental nephrology. Since joining The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto in 1993, Norman has established a research program in kidney development within the Program in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology at SickKids and the University of Toronto Collaborative Program in Developmental Biology. His research is focused on genetic and molecular mechanisms that control normal and disrupted mammalian renal development and clinical outcomes in affected humans. Support for this work is provided via grants from the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canada Research Chairs program.

Dr. Rosenblum has a major interest in the education and career development of clinician scientists at an individual and program level. As Associate Dean, Physician Scientist Training in the Faculty of Medicine, he directs the MD-PhD program, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Clinician Investigator Program and serves as Associate Director (Education) of the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine. Dr. Rosenblum played a leading role in the founding of the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP), an interdisciplinary training program aimed at generating the next generation of clinician scientists in the field of child health in Canada, and has acted as Principal Investigator of the CCHCSP since its inception. 

Research Interests

  • Kidney development
  • Branching morphogenesis
  • Congenital kidney-urinary tract malformation
  • Cerebellum development
  • Growth factor signaling

Research Activities

The major focus of Dr. Rosenblum’s laboratory research is molecular and cellular mechanisms that control renal development in humans and animal models, a model of human renal development. His laboratory is investigating the functions of signaling pathways controlled by Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs), Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and WNT proteins during normal kidney formation and in renal malformation. Work resulting from these endeavors has demonstrated distinct functions for these effectors in controlling renal branching morphogenesis and nephron formation. Further, Dr. Rosenblum’s work invokes increased expression of beta-catenin, the central effector in the canonical WNT pathway, in the pathogenesis of renal dysplasia. Dr. Rosenblum leads a North American six-centre study aimed at identifying genetic defects in human renal malformation. 

A recently developed theme in the Rosenblum Lab, arising from genetic animal models developed to interrogate the Hedgehog signaling pathway, is focused on the formation of the cerebellum.


  • Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence - 2011
  • Maureen Andrew Mentor Award, Society for Paediatric Research - 2010
  • Paediatric Academic Leadership-Clinical Investigator Award, Paediatric Chairs of Canada - 2009
  • New Member Outstanding Science Award, American Paediatric Society - 2006
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology - 2005 - present
  • Aventis Pasteur Research Award, Canadian Paediatric Society - 2004


For a complete list of publications, please see PubMed

Chi L, Galtseva A, Chen L, Mo R, Hui CC, Rosenblum ND. (2013) Kif3a controls murine nephron number via GLI3 repressor, cell survival, and gene expression in a lineage-specific manner. PLoS One. 8(6):e65448.

Kamath BM, Spinner NB, Rosenblum ND. (2013) Renal involvement and the role of Notch signalling in Alagille syndrome. Nature Reviews: Nephrology. 9(7):409-18.

Di Giovanni V, Alday A, Chi L, Mishina Y, Rosenblum ND. (2011) Alk3 controls nephron number and androgen production via lineage-specific effects in intermediate mesoderm. Development. 138(13):2717-27.

Cain JE, Islam E, Haxho F, Blake J, Rosenblum ND. (2011) GLI3 repressor controls functional development of the mouse ureter. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 121(3):1199-206.

Bridgewater D, Di Giovanni V, Cain JE, Cox B, Jakobson M, Sainio K, Rosenblum ND. (2011) β-catenin causes renal dysplasia via up-regulation of Tgfβ2 and Dkk1. Journal of American Society of Nephrology. 22(4):718-31.

Kim JJ, Gill PS, Rotin L, van Eede M, Henkelman RM, Hui CC, Rosenblum ND. (2011) Suppressor of fused controls mid-hindbrain patterning and cerebellar morphogenesis via GLI3 repressor. Journal of Neuroscience. 31(5):1825-36.

Cain, JE, Islam E, Haxho F, Chen L, Bridgewater D, Nieuwenhuis E, Hui CC, Rosenblum ND. (2009) GLI3 repressor controls nephron number via regulation of Wnt11 and Ret in Ureteric Tip Cells. PLoS ONE. 4(10):e7313.

Hartwig S, Bridgewater D, Cain J, Di Giovanni V, Mishina Y, Rosenblum ND.  (2008) The BMP receptor ALK3 controls collecting system formation during murine kidney development. Journal of American Society of Nephrology. 19:117-124.

Bridgewater D, Cox B, Cain J, Lau A, Althaide V, Gill P, Kuure S, Sainio K, Rosenblum ND. (2008) Canonical WNT/beta-catenin signaling is required for ureteric branching. Developmental Biology. 317:83-94.

Hu MC, Mo R, Bhella S, Wilson CW, Chuang P-T, Hui CC, Rosenblum ND. (2006) GLI3-dependent transcriptional repression of Gli1 and Gli2 and kidney patterning genes disrupts renal morphogenesis. Development. 133:569-578.

Hartwig S, Hu MC, Cella C, Piscione TD, Filmus J, Rosenblum ND. (2005) Glypican-3 Modulates Inhibitory Bmp2-Smad Signaling to Control Renal Development in vivo. Mechanisms of Development. 122: 928-938.

Leung-Hagestejn C, Hu MC, Mahendra AS, Hartwig S, Klamut H, Rosenblum ND, Hannigan GE. (2005) Integrin-linked kinase mediates BMP7 dependent renal epithelial cell morphogenesis. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 25: 3648-3657.

Hu MC, Rosenblum ND. (2005) Smad1, beta-catenin and TCF4 associate in a molecular complex with the c-MYC promoter in dysplastic renal tissue and cooperate to control c-MYC transcription. Development. 132:215-225.

Hu MC, Hartwig S, Wasserman D, Rosenblum ND. (2004) p38MAPK Acts in the BMP7-dependent stimulatory pathway during epithelial cell morphogenesis and is regulated by Smad1. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 279: 12051-12059.

Hu MC, Piscione TD, Rosenblum ND. (2003) Elevated Smad1/beta-catenin molecular complexes and renal medullary dysplasia in ALK3 transgenic mice. Development. 130:2753-2766.