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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Lisa Robinson, MD, FRCP(C)

The Hospital for Sick Children
Division Head

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Cell Biology

University of Toronto
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics

Associate Dean, Inclusion & Diversity
Faculty of Medicine

Chair Positions

Full Member
Institute of Medical Science

Phone: 416-813-6289
Fax: 416-813-6271
Email: lisa.robinson@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Lisa Robinson attended medical school at the University of Toronto. She trained in Internal Medicine at The Toronto Hospital from 1991-1992, then completed her residency in Paediatrics at the University of Western Ontario from 1992-1995. She received her Paediatric Nephrology training at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina from 1995-1999.

While at Duke University she pursued basic research training in the Departments of Immunology and Medicine, with her research interests focusing on exploring the mechanisms whereby leukocytes traffic within inflamed tissues. Lisa served on the faculty of Duke University Medical Center from 1999-2002 as a Clinician-Scientist. In 2002, she joined the Division of Nephrology at the Hospital for Sick Children as a Staff Nephrologist, as well as the Sick Kids Research Institute as a Scientist-track Investigator in the programme in Inflammation, Immunity, Injury and Repair. Her research continues to actively explore the mechanisms whereby chemokines modulate not only recruitment of leukocytes into sites of inflammation, but also the immune functions of leukocytes bearing the corresponding chemokine receptors. A complementary line of research focuses on the biosynthesis and targeting of endothelial-expressed chemokines during an immune response.

Academic Background

Degrees, Diplomas, Licensures and Certifications

1991 M.D., Medical Council of Canada

1991 M.D., The University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

1995 FRCP(C), Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Certification in Paediatrics

Specialty Training

1991 - 1992 The Toronto Hospital
Toronto, Ontario
Internal Medicine

1992 - 1995 Children's Hospital of Western Ontario
London, Ontario

1992 The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

1993 FLEX Examination
New York State

1995 Board of Medical Examiners of the State of North Carolina
North Carolina

1995 Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics

1999 Certification in Pediatric Nephrology, American Board of Pediatrics


1995 - 1999 Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina
Pediatric Nephrology

1996 - 1999 Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina
Research Fellowship Training, Pediatric Scientist Development Program

Research Interests

Study of the mechanisms controlling leukocyte migration into sites of inflammation.

The body’s response to injury is to lure white blood cells from the bloodstream to the affected site. Once there, white cells stick to blood vessels overlying the inflamed tissue. When activated by the right signals, white cells migrate through the vessel into the injured organ, ready to combat the invader. Sometimes, however, the system goes awry, causing excessive infiltration of white cells. The resulting inflammation characterizes many seemingly different diseases, including transplant rejection, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Our studies investigate signals that “master-regulate” white cell trafficking and explore novel strategies to interrupt white cell influx into specifically targeted organs.

Previous work, including our own, has shown that fractalkine, a blood vessel wall protein that is highly produced in inflamed tissues, plays a critical role in rejection of transplanted organs and cardiovascular disease. However, very little is known about the signals that stimulate expression of fractalkine during inflammatory responses. Our work has identified several novel mechanisms by which both expression and function of fractalkine are turned on during inflammation. It is hoped that this work will aid the development of new strategies to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, as well as heart attack and stroke.

Emerging evidence indicates that many signals that direct traffic of cells within the whole organism are not, as previously thought, system- or tissue-specific, but that instead, several of these signals are conserved among organ systems. In this regard, our laboratory is also studying the processes whereby cues that guide migration of cells within the brain during fetal development also help to direct trafficking of white blood cells during inflammation. This work combines genetic and pharmacologic approaches at both the cellular and whole organism level.

Clinical Interests

  • Care of the renal transplant recipient
  • Immune-mediated kidney disease
  • Haemolytic-uremic syndrome
  • General care of the child with kidney disease

External Funding

Last 5 Years

  • Regulation of Leukocyte-Endothelial Interactions. Lisa Robinson: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (2012-2017)
  • Ischemia Reperfusion Injury Therapeutic   Agonistic Anti-Robo 1 Antibody. Lisa Robinson: MaRS Innovation 2012 Proof of Principle Program (2012-2013)
  • Ischemia Reperfusion Injury Therapeutic   Agonistic a Robo 1 Humanized Antibody. Lisa Robinson: MaRS Innovation 2011 Proof of Principle Program (2011-2012)
  • Modulation of Vascular Injury by the Motility Regulators, Slit and Roundabout. Lisa Robinson: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2011 – 2016)
  • Multi-mode spinning disc confocal platform for live cell imaging. Lisa Robinson, Amira Klip, William Trimble: Canada Foundation for Innovation (2010 –12)   
  • The Biology of Chronic Preconditioning: Genomic and Physiologic Mechanisms of Response. Andrew N Redington, Brian W McCrindle, Lisa Robinson: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2010–12)
  • Slit and Robo: New Targets in Atherothrombosis and Vascular Injury. Lisa Robinson: MaRS Innovation 2010 Proof of Principle Program (2010-2011)
  • The Role of Slit/Robo Signaling in Renal Inflammation.  Lisa Robinson: Canada Research Chair, Tier 2 (2010 - 2015)
  • A prospective study of the multidimensional quality of life and behavioral health of pediatric renal transplant recipients.  Stacey Pollock-BarZiv, Samantha Anthony, Diane Hebert, Moira Korus, Valerie Langlois, Rita Pool, Lisa Robinson, Angela Williams: Astellas Pharmaceuticals (2009 - 2010)
  • Slit and Roundabout: New Players in Vascular Injury. Lisa Robinson: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2009 - 2010)
  • Conversion of stable renal transplant patients from immediate-release tacrolimus (Prograf) to extended release tacrolimus (Advagraf).  Diane Hébert, Lisa Robinson, Valerie Langlois, Nadya Nalli, Cynthia Leung, Stacey Pollock-BarZiv: Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.  (2009 - 2010)
  • The Role of Slit-Robo Signaling in Kidney Inflammation. Lisa Robinson: The Kidney Foundation of Canada (2007 - 2009)
  • Regulation of the Membrane-anchored Chemokine, Fractalkine, by Thromboxane A2.  Lisa Robinson: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (2007 - 2010)
  • Kids Science.  Lisa Robinson: Ministry of Research and Innovation, Youth Science and Technology Outreach Program (2006 - 2009)
  • The Role of Slit/Robo Signaling Pathways in Kidney Inflammation.  Lisa Robinson: Early Researcher Award, Government of Ontario (2006 - 2008)
  • Cellular Regulation of Fractalkine.  Lisa Robinson: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Grant-in-Aid (2005 - 2007)
  • The Role of Slit/Robo Signaling in Renal Inflammation.  Lisa Robinson: Canada Research Chair, Tier 2 (2004 - 2009)   



  • Elected to the Society for Pediatric Research.  2002
  • Canada Research Chair Tier 2.  2004
  • Nominee: Canada's Top 40 Under 40.  2006
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Synapse Mentorship Award.  2008
  • Canada Research Chair Tier 2.  2010
  • 2010 Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) Harry Jerome Health Sciences Award.  2010
  • CFI Leader's Opportunity Fund, University of Toronto.  2010



Patel S, Huang YW, Reheman A, Pluthero FG, Chaturvedi S, Tole S, Liu GY, Li L,  Durocher Y, Ni H, Kahr WA, Robinson LA: The Cell Motility Modulator Slit2 is a Potent Inhibitor of Platelet Function. Circulation. 2012 (Published online ahead of print Aug 3 2012) SRI

Petruzziello TN, Yuen DA, Page AV, Patel S, Soltyk A, Matouk CC, Wong D, Tsui AK, Turgeon PJ, Fish JE, Ho JJD, Steer BM, Khajoee V, Tigdi J, Lee WL, Motto DG, Advani A, Gilbert RE, Karumanchi SA, Robinson LA, Tarr PI, Liles WC, Brunton JL, Marsden PA: The CXCR4/CXCR7/SDF-1 pathway contributes to the pathogenesis of Shiga toxin-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome in humans and mice. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2012: 122(2): pp 759-776. C  

Waters AM, Wu MYJ, Huang YW, Liu GY, Holmyard D, Onay T, Jones N, Egan SE,     Robinson LA, and Piscione TD: Notch promotes dynamin-dependent endocytosis of nephrin.  Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2012: 23(1): pp 27-35. C

Frieling M, Williams A, Al Shareef T, Kala G, Teh JC, Langlois V, Allen U, Hebert D, Robinson LA: Novel Influenza (H1N1) Infection in Pediatric Renal Transplant Recipients: a Single-Center Experience. Pediatric Transplantation 2012: 16(2):123-130 SRI

Quinn K, Henriques M, Tabuchi A , Han B, Yang H, Cheng WE, Tole S, Yu H, Luo A, Charbonney E, Tullis E, Lazarus A, Robinson LA, Ni H, Peterson BR, Kuebler WM, Slutsky AS, Zhang H: Human neutrophil peptides mediate endothelial-monocyte interaction, foam cell formation, and platelet activation. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 2011: 31: pp 2070-2079. C

Tole S, Durkan AM, Huang Y-W, Liu GY, Leung A, Jones LL, Taylor JA, Robinson LA: Thromboxane prostanoid receptor stimulation induces shedding of the transmembrane chemokine, CX3CL1, yet enhances CX3CL1-dependent leukocyte adhesion.  American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology 2010: 298: pp C1469-80.  SRI

Anthony SJ, Hebert D, Todd L, Korus M, Langlois V, Pool R, Robinson LA, Williams A, Pollock-BarZiv S: Child and parental perspectives of multidimensional quality of life outcomes after kidney transplantation.  Pediatric Transplantation 2010: 14: pp 249-256.  C

Tole S, Mukovozov IM, Huang Y-W, Magalhaes MAO, Yan M, Crow MR, Liu GY, Sun CX, Durocher Y, Glogauer M, Robinson LA: The axonal repellent, Slit2, inhibits directional migration of circulating neutrophils.  Journal of Leukocyte Biology 2009: 86: pp 1403-15.  SRI

Huang Y-W, Su P, Guang YL, Crow MR, Chaukos D, Yan H, Robinson LA: Constitutive endocytosis of the chemokine, CX3CL1, prevents its degradation by cell surface metalloproteases.  Journal of Biological Chemistry 2009: 284: pp 29644-653.  SRI

Durkan A, Alexander RT, Liu GY, Rui M, Femia G, Robinson LA: Expression and targeting of CX3CL1 (Fractalkine) in Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells.  Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2007: 18: pp 74-83.  SRI