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About Sickkids
About SickKids

March 4, 2020

Dr. Meredith Irwin appointed Chief of Paediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children

Following an extensive international search, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Board of Trustees and The University of Toronto’s Governing Council are pleased to announce the appointment of Meredith Irwin to the position of Chief of Paediatrics at SickKids and Chair of Paediatrics at The University of Toronto (U of T). Dr. Irwin will assume her responsibilities on April 1, 2020.

Dr. Irwin is an outstanding paediatric oncologist and clinician-scientist, a global leader in the development of clinical trials and novel biomarkers for patients with neuroblastoma, the third most common paediatric cancer. She is currently the Associate Chair of Paediatrics (Research) and a Professor of Paediatrics at U of T, with cross-appointments in Medical Biophysics and Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology. At SickKids, Dr. Irwin is Co-Director of the Neuroblastoma Program and Head of the Solid Tumour Section of the Division of Haematology/Oncology, where she also serves as an Attending Physician. She is a Senior Scientist in the Cell Biology program in SickKids’ Research Institute. Dr. Irwin is the first woman to be appointed Paediatrician-in-Chief and Chair of Paediatrics.

“Meredith’s combination of leadership experiences, track record as a researcher and clinician, and dedication to mentoring the next generation of clinicians and scientists makes her ideally suited to lead the Department of Paediatrics into what will surely be an historic and exciting new era for SickKids,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO, SickKids. “We are embarking on a fundamental change, a future of Precision Child Health, with data-driven, predictive and individualized care. The Department of Paediatrics, under Meredith’s leadership and guidance, will be at the forefront of this movement.”

Dr. Irwin’s research has had two main areas of focus: understanding the role of the p53-family proteins in mediating tumour cell death, and identifying the molecular and genetic determinants of neuroblastoma to discover novel therapies. She is also involved in the development of precision medicine trials locally and internationally. Dr. Irwin has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell, Cancer Research and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

After earning her BSc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Irwin received her MD from Harvard Medical School. She completed her internship and residency in paediatric medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, followed by a paediatric haematology/oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital, and a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School. She joined SickKids and the University of Toronto in April of 2002 as a Clinician-Scientist and Assistant Professor.

Widely respected in her field, Dr. Irwin's leadership positions include Chair of the Children's Oncology Group Neuroblastoma Biology Committee, Member of the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group Executive Committee, and Chair of Canadian Institutes of Health Research Peer Review Committee. She was elected to the Society for Pediatric Research and the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Advisory Board, and was honoured with the Israel Cancer Research Fund’s 2013 Women of Action Award.