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About the Institute

Researchers in Profile

Cell Biology

Dr. Julie Brill
Mother of two, Dr. Julie Brill loves spending time with her children and has a passion for music. Her lab uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model for understanding animal development and human disease. learn more

Dr. John Brumell
New dad Dr. John Brumell chose a career in science because he finds the taste for discovery and working out giant puzzles highly addictive. He is currently studying how bacteria can manipulate human cells and cause infection. learn more

Dr. Sean Egan
Egan praises the SickKids Research Institute for its unmatched synergy and positive feeling. His lab studies the mutation networks that cause cancer to spread through the body. learn more

Dr. Greg Fairn
Sports fan, Dr. Greg Fairn, is a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Sergio Grinstein’s lab. He works primarily on how cells produce and balance their fat metabolism and how white blood cells engulf and destroy pathogens. learn more

Dr. Sergio Grinstein
Originally from Mexico, Dr. Sergio Grinstein enjoys swimming and playing squash in his spare time. He is currently studying the ways that white blood cells fight disease from invading the immune system and how diseases eventually do get in. learn more

Dr. Cynthia Hawkins
Passionate about asking questions and coming up with new ways to answer them, Hawkins has always been a lover of science. By looking at the biology of paediatric brain tumours, her lab is working to come up with better therapies. learn more

Dr. Annie Huang
A self-professed science nerd, Huang’s research focus is collecting and analyzing rare tumour samples to find reliable methods of diagnosis and treatment for patients. learn more

Dr. Meredith Irwin
Dr. Meredith Irwin is a cancer researcher who focuses her studies on a paediatric cancer called neuroblastoma, the third most common cancer in kids. learn more

Dr. Danielle Johnson
Hailing from Calgary Alberta, Danielle Johnson is an avid rock climber who also loves to snowboard. In the lab she studies the balance of acids and bases in our bodies.  
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Dr. Nicola Jones
Dr. Nicola Jones spends her winters on skating rinks with her family. While in the lab, she is currently studying stomach bacteria known as H. pylori and how it can cause chronic infection. learn more

Dr. Ran Kafri
Dr. Ran Kafri’s favourite scientists are the brilliant individuals that work in his lab; it is their drive that makes him love his job! Outside of the lab, Kafri loves reading the works of famous philosphers. learn more

Dr. Peter Kim
Dr. Kim is an avid traveller who believes it is important to step outside your immediate surroundings and explore the different cultures and places the world has to offer. Meeting his favourite scientist Michael Smith was an inspirational moment that fueled his desire to help his community through his research in organelle maintenance.  learn more

Dr. Amira Klip
Music is a huge part of Dr. Amira Klip’s life. This classical music enthusiast is currently researching how muscle and fat cells respond to insulin. learn more

Dr. Christoph Licht
Dr. Christoph Licht’s strong love of learning translates directly to his research of complement-mediated kidney diseases. A proud father of four, Christoph still finds time to pursue his love of music and travelling the world. learn more

Dr. Vito Mennella
Born and raised in Italy, Dr. Vito Mennella is a new scientist at SickKids who is just recently moved to the city of Toronto. As you would expect from an Italian, he loves to cook and play soccer and is excited to be a Cell Biologist at the dawn of the protein revolution.  
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Dr. Aleixo Muise
Dr. Aleixo Muise loves travelling with his family and playing hockey. While in the lab, he is currently researching the genes that cause Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome. learn more

Dr. Joydeep Mukherjee
Originally from India, Dr. Joydeep Mukherjee was the recipient of the 2008 Exceptional Trainee award for the Cell Biology Program. Dr. Mukherjee’s current research focus is glioblastoma multiforme (GMB), a particularly aggressive type of tumour. learn more

Dr. Lisa Robinson
The founder of the science-based youth outreach program Kids Science, Dr. Robinson is currently studying the pathways of the white blood cell migration and looking for treatments to prevent this migration and subsequent increased inflammation. learn more

Dr. James Rutka
Rutka travelled the globe to pursue science before coming to SickKids. As a scientist, Rutka investigates novel treatments for brain tumours. Outside the lab Rutka is a classically trained pianist who enjoys playing the works of Beethoven, Bach and Chopin. learn more

Ivette Valencia Sama
PhD candidate Ivette Valencia Sama’s life-long passion for science has brought her from her home in Monterrey, Mexico, to SickKids, where she focuses on finding new therapies to treat paediatric cancer. Outside of the lab, you can find Ivette practicing with her ukulele and singing along to some of her favourite music. learn more

Dr. Philip Sherman
Prairie boy, Dr. Philip Sherman hails from Edmonton, Alberta. His research team assesses both harmful microbes that cause human disease, like colitis, and beneficial microbes called probiotics. learn more

Dr. Rae Yeung
From the top of the ski hill, Dr. Yeung comes up with some of her most creative research ideas which she takes back to the lab where she studies Kawasaki disease and childhood arthritis. learn more

Dr. Darren Yuen
For Yuen, it’s all about impact. Part clinician, part scientist, he is seeking to improve liver transplantation – both by treating patients and by making advancements in the lab. A proud father, Yuen claims he learns the important things in life through the eyes of his young son. learn more