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The Hospital for Sick Children
Endocrinology

Research Activities

Mark Palmert

Professor - Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children

I conduct research in a variety of areas, but my main research activity is centred on understanding variations in the timing and pace of pubertal development. My research program involves the combination of clinical research and an active laboratory-based program designed to identify and study genetic factors that modulate the timing of puberty. My second area of research focus is related to improving treatment outcomes in types 1 and 2 diabetes.

Denis Daneman

Professor - Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children

My research has focused on three main areas: (I) eating disorders in adolescent females with type 1 diabetes. Our group has shown that these disorders are about twice as common in these females as in their non-diabetic peers, contribute to poor metabolic control and early onset of microvascular complications, and are difficult to treat. Ongoing research aims to determine which factors predispose to the development of eating pathology and how these may best be modified. (II) Early diabetic nephropathy: Our goal has been to determine which factors predispose children and teens with type 1 diabetes to the development and progression of early nephropathy. Work has focused on cellular sodium transport, ACE inhibition and tight metabolic control. We have also assessed the natural history of this complication in terms of microalbuminuria, kidney volume and BP regulation. (III) Factors affecting metabolic control in children and teens with diabetes. Current studies include assessment of the use of insulin sensitizing agents in modulating the insulin resistance of puberty.

Jill Hamilton

Professor - Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children

My research interests include the clinical and biochemical manifestations of insulin resistance and pancreatic beta cell function in the paediatric age group. Recent studies include: (i) risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome and pathophysiologic mechanisms related to the development of hypothalamic obesity in children treated for craniopharyngioma; (ii) early life risk factors for the development of obesity and diabetes in infants born to women with gestational diabetes; (iii) incidence and clinical presentation of type 2 diabetes in Canadian children (iv) risk for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease in girls with Turner Syndrome;  (iv) role of ectopic fat deposition and metabolic consequences in obese children and adolescents.  

Farid Mahmud

Associate Professor - Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children

My special research interest is the study of diabetes complications. This includes celiac disease in type 1 diabetes as well as the evaluation of early atherosclerosis in young patients with endocrine conditions who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease including, obesity and type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We are also evaluating the impact of Vitamin D on vascular health as well as the impact of novel electronic learning tools in chronic disease care.

Etienne Sochett

Associate Professor - Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children

My research involves the study of the determinants of microalbuminuria expression in puberty in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.  My colleagues and I are following a cohort of adolescents from early puberty until the onset of microalbuminuria to ascertain causative and predictive factors.  All planned measurements (kidney size, ambulatory blood pressure, sodium-lithium countertransport, Haemoglobin A1c, and urinary albumin excretion rate) are complete.  I also study renal function and early ambulatory blood pressure monitoring abnormalities in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.  Eleven of 14 subjects (7 with normal and 7 with high night-to-day ratios on ambulatory blood pressure monitoring) have been studied to date.  The results suggest that those with high night-to-day ratios are hyperfiltering and have activation of the local (kidney) renin-angiotensin system. 

Stacey Urbach

Assistant Professor- Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto,The Hospital for Sick Children

My research focuses on the endocrine late effects experienced by survivors of childhood cancer. Outcomes of interest include pituitary disorders, metabolic abnormalities and bone health.

Diane Wherrett

Associate Professor - Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children

My special research interest is in the immunology of type 1 diabetes, particularly in clinical trials of prevention of type 1 diabetes.  I am also interested in the care of children with disorders of sex development.