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Research activities

The Division of Haematology/Oncology is actively involved in clinical, translational and basic science research related to the field of blood disorders and cancer in children, including paediatric stem cell transplantation. Approximately one-half of the full-time staff haematologists/ oncologists in the Division have formal appointments in the SickKids Research Institute (RI) within one of three RI programs: cancer (Program Head, Dr. David Kaplan), child health evaluative sciences (Program Head, Dr. Martin Offringa) and the infection, immunity, injury and repair program (IIIR) (Program Head, Dr. Chaim Roifman). The Division is an Institutional member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and is one of two Canadian centres in the COG Phase I Consortiums.

A major research focus of the Division is the design of, and participation in, prospective clinical trials; this activity is supported by a clinical trial support unit (Manager, Neghath Chaudary). Other areas of significant research strength and focus are the Cancer Genetics Program (Director, Dr. David Malkin), the new agents and innovative therapies program (Director, Dr. Daniel Morgenstern), the retinoblastoma program (Co-Director, Dr. Helen Chan), the inherited bone marrow failures program (Director, Dr. Yigal Dror) and the paediatric hemostasis program (Director, Dr. Victor Blanchette). The organization of the Division into sections and programs promotes multidisciplinary research in areas such as the paediatric brain tumours (Section Head, Dr. Eric Bouffet), the paediatric solid tumours (Section Head, Dr. Meredith Irwin), the childhood leukemia/lymphomas (Section Head, Dr. Johann Hitzler), stem cell transplantation (Section Head, Dr. Donna Wall), and the paediatric aftercare (long-term follow up) of children cured of cancer (Program Head, Dr. Paul Nathan).

Laboratory-based science research in the Division is active in the following areas: biology of paediatric cancer (Dr. David Malkin and Dr. Meredith Irwin); the etiology of the childhood leukemias with a focus on the megakaryoblastic leukemias of childhood (Dr. Johann Hitzler); the biology of brain tumours in children (Dr. Annie Huang); multi-drug resistance in clinical trials in retinoblastoma (Dr. Helen Chan); the paediatric bone marrow failure syndromes (Drs. Michaela Cada and Yigal Dror); the pathophysiology of inherited platelet disorders (Dr. Walter Kahr); and clinical trials in the inherited and acquired bleeding disorders in children e.g. haemophilia, immune thrombocytopenic purpura (Drs. Victor Blanchette and Manuel Carcao). Research by Scientists in the Division is conducted in collaboration with clinical investigators and scientists in other Divisions/ Departments within SickKids, the Research Institute and the University of Toronto, and with colleagues across Canada and internationally.