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What we do

Over the past decade, the divisional activities, in close collaboration with surgical and intensive care colleagues, have contributed to our markedly improved preoperative diagnosis and postoperative outcomes for children undergoing cardiac surgery, led the field in development of therapeutic catheter techniques, made important contributions to our understanding of fetal cardiac medicine, established one of the largest paediatric cardiac transplantation centres world wide, and has won international recognition for its contribution in the field of epidemiology of acquired and congenital heart disease and surgical outcomes. 

Each of these areas has provided the substrate for the large clinical research output of the division which is underpinned by a world class laboratory science program. One of the recent exciting clinical developments was the commissioning of an integrated suite of catheter laboratories and magnetic resonance scanning facilities. This unique fusion will allow ‘simultaneous’ multi-mode research, investigation and treatment, setting the scene for MRI-guided interventional procedures and physiologic measurements in children. 

The cardiovascular research focus within the Research Institute has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the cellular biology and molecular genetics of pulmonary vascular bed, with recent diversification to include the study of the fetal myocyte, detailed study of the intercellular structure of the heart and vessels, electrophysiology of the developing heart and immunology of cardiac transplantation. 

While undergoing a change in leadership, it is expected that high quality basic and translational research, with an emphasis on direct clinical applicability, will continue to form the bedrock of our academic program. As an example, the Heart Centre is making a major investment in the development of a biobanking facility in which DNA and tissue samples will be held for future fundamental, translational and clinical research investigations. 

The Royal College accredited Paediatric Cardiology Training Program, is the largest in Canada and one of the largest and most sought after in North America. As such, its fellows have populated cardiology groups throughout the world, many going on to become leaders of our specialty. 

The single most important development of the last decade, however, has been the establishment of the Labatt Family Heart Centre. Following on from a series of important internal initiatives, the extraordinary generosity of the Labatt family has funded the redevelopment and future activities of the Heart Centre at SickKids.