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Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Our history

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition is a world-class academic program, which has established a superlative national and international reputation for its achievements in clinical and laboratory based research, postgraduate training and clinical care.

Prior to 1994, the division was comprised of two distinct entities, namely the Division of Gastroenterology and the Division of Clinical Nutrition.

The Division of Gastroenterology was first established in the 1960's, under the able leadership of Drs. Andrew Sass-Kortsak and J. Richard Hamilton.  The Division quickly emerged as a world-class, academically focused leader of the sub-specialty.  

J Richard Hamilton Sass-Kortsak (far right)


The Division of Clinical Nutrition was established under the leadership of Dr. Paul Pencharz, who was recruited in 1978 to clearly delineate and establish clinical nutrition as a medical/surgical discipline at SickKids.


Paul Pencharz 1978 - 1994


Both former divisions adopted an “integrated” academic model with combined clinical, educational and academic goals and objectives; thus, the former Division Chiefs of each division assumed combined responsibilities under the umbrella of the Department of Paediatrics and the Research Institute. In 1993, the two divisions were amalgamated under the leadership of Dr. Peter Durie.

Division Heads    

J Richard Hamilton
1966 - 1986
Gordon Forstner
1986 - 1993
Paul Pencharz (Nutrition)   1978 - 1994
Peter Durie 1993 - 1998 Stanley Zlotkin 1998 - 2008 Anne Griffiths 2008-2015


Ever since Claude Morin came to train under Andrew Sass-Kortsak in 1966, the Division has prioritized training for the next generation of subspecialists.  Fellows have increased in number over the years, and the nature of their work has evolved.  In addition to comprehensive core training in GHN, trainees also come for to learn advanced skills in IBD, intestinal failure, hepatology and liver transplantation.  The Training Program’s success is demonstrated best by the achievements of the alumni, who have taken the SickKids model of academic gastroenterology and applied it in 9 Canadian Provinces, 13 American States, and 15 countries.  They have taken leadership roles in their local, national and international institutions and made major contributions to furthering clinical care, research and education in our subspecialty.

1980-1981 1996-1997





Training Program Directors              


J Richard Hamilton 1966 - 1984 Peter Durie 1984 - 1993 Philip Sherman 1993 - 1998 Anne Griffiths 1998 - 2004
Nicola Jones 2004 - 2009 Simon Ling 2009 - 2014 Yaron Avitzur 2014 - Present  

In memory of Dr. Peter Durie