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surgeons operating
Department of Surgery

Research activities

Clinical research  |  Leadership in research  |  Leading-edge innovation

Research activities are coordinated at the SickKids Research Institute under various research programs which range from basic science at the sub-molecular level to organ systems to population health. 

These internationally competitive and highly integrated programs approach child health from all angles, disciplines and spectrums from wellness and normal development through to causes of disease, diagnostics, treatments and therapies.


Approximately a third of the research conducted at SickKids Research Institute is clinical research. Clinical research is patient-oriented research, and includes mechanisms of human disease, therapeutic interventions, clinical trials, the development of new technologies as well as epidemiologic and behavioral research, outcomes research and health services research.


Research is fundamental to improving the health of children. In contrast to many other centres, the surgeons at SickKids are usually the leaders of their research program. 

In 2014-15, 25 of the 42 surgeons have a total of 107 funded research programs. The Department is engaged in a wide variety of clinical and basic research supervising 31 research fellows, 30 masters students, and 9 PhD students.


Surgeons are developing innovative approaches to surgical disease, such as:

    • robotics and image-guided therapy; 
    • basic mechanisms of diseases, such as genetics and developmental biology;
    • translational approach to curing disease using stem cells and regenerative medicine;
    • clinical research to test therapeutic interventions, including multicentre randomized clinical trials; 
    • population studies including global health, such as injury control in Africa, and 
    • improved methods of teaching, such as competency-based curriculum and simulation.

Funding allows us to perform basic research, clinical research and even research on ways to improve teaching and collaboration.


For examples of the great research activities conducted by each division, please view the links below.

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