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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Gregory Wilson, MD, MSc, FRCPC

The Hospital for Sick Children

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

Phone: 416-813-5973
Fax: 416-813-5974
Email: gregory.wilson@sickkids.ca
Alternate Phone: 416-813-4795

Research Interests

  • Ischemic Preconditioning
  • Blood Vessel Replacement

Research Activities

I have two different cardiovascular research interests (1) ischemic preconditioning of the heart and (2) blood vessel replacements made with synthetic or biological materials.

In my studies of ischemic preconditioning of the heart a brief (e.g., 5 minutes) cessation of blood flow protects the heart against a subsequent much longer period of blood-flow cessation that occurs within an hour of the first ischemic episode. Understanding this phenomenon at a biochemical level may lead to better protection of the heart muscle during cardiac surgery. I am seeking this understanding through studying the effects of ischemia on protein phosphorylation in heart muscle cells, emphasizing the role of enzymes known as kinases.

In my work on blood vessel prosthetic devices, synthetic arteries and endovascular grafts have reached the stage of clinical trials, and a biological vascular graft based on removing all cells but retaining the key structural proteins, termed the acellular matrix, is under development. Acellular matrix grafts transplanted within the same species (allografts) have stimulated no inflammatory response, unlike those transplants across species (xenografts). A recent process modification, however, inhibited this inflammation and may prove to be a major advance towards clinical application of this technology.


Diaz RJ, Losito VA, Mao GD, Ford MK, Backx PH, Wilson GJ. Chloride channel inhibition blocks the protection of ischemic preconditioning and hypo-osmotic stress in rabbit ventricular myocardium. Circulation Research, 84: 763-775, 1999.

Courtman DW, Cho A, Langille L, Wilson GJ. Eliminating arterial pulsatile strain by external banding induces medial but not neointimal atrophy and apoptosis in the rabbit. American Journal of Pathology, 153: 1723-1729, 1998.

Caspi J, Coles JG, Benson LN, Wilson GJ. Brain damage and myocardial dysfunction: protective effects of magnesium in the newborn pig. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 65: 1730-1736, 1998.

Sandhu R, Diaz RJ, Mao GD, Wilson GJ. Ischemic preconditioning: differences in protection and susceptibility to blockade with single-cycle versus multicycle transient ischemia. Circulation, 96: 984-995, 1997.

Diaz RJ, Wilson GJ. Selective blockade of AT1 angiotensin II receptors abolishes ischemic preconditioning in isolated rabbit hearts. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 29: 129-139, 1997.

Wilson GJ, Klement P, Kato YP, Martin JB, Khan IJ, Alcime R, Dereume J-P, MacGregor DC, Pinchuk L. A self-expanding bifurcated endovascular graft for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. An initial study in a canine model. American Society for Artificial Internal Organs Journal 42:M386-M393, 1996.

Sandhu R, Thomas U, Diaz RJ, Wilson GJ. Effect of ischemic preconditioning of the myocardium on cAMP. Circulation Research, 78: 137-147, 1996.

Wilson GJ, Courtman DW, Klement P, Lee JM, Yeger H. Acellular matrix: a biomaterials approach for coronary artery bypass and heart valve replacement. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 60: S353-S358, 1995.