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About the Institute

Scientific Advisory Board

SickKids Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is comprised of internationally respected research leaders. The SAB advises the Chief of Research, the CEO and the hospital’s board, in order to build on scientific excellence at SickKids. The SAB provides advice on the strategic direction of the Research Institute, helps to establish and monitor key performance indicators, provides feedback on the strengths and areas for development for the Research Institute and leads external reviews of the seven research programs.

SickKids Scientific Advisory Board members:

Dr. Nancy Cox
Director, Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, Director, Division of Genetic Medicine, Mary Phillips Edmonds Gray Professor of Genetics

Nancy Cox, PhD, is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Genetic Medicine in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Cox completed her PhD at Yale University in 1982 and conducted postdoctoral research at Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1987, where she spent her academic faculty career until she was recruited to Vanderbilt in January 2015 to lead the new Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI).

As Founding Director of the VGI, Dr. Cox is focused on recruiting world-class genetics and genomics scientists to the Institute, with the primary goal of making Vanderbilt’s DNA databank, BioVU, into an unparalleled engine for discovery and translation in human genetics and genomics. Dr. Cox initiated the first large-scale genetic/genomic consortium in type 2 diabetes, and she has active research and advisory roles in many of the top genomic consortia that provide the foundation for current studies in human genetics and genomics. Dr. Cox also has an active research program in data integration, particularly in the integration of functional genomic information to aid in discovery and interpretation of associations of genome variation with common disease. Her lab was the first to show that most of the common variant associations to common human diseases and complex human traits appear to be regulatory in function.

She has more than 280 peer-reviewed publications and was a co-winner of the 2008 American Association of Cancer Research Landon Award and winner of the 2010 Leadership Award in Genetic Epidemiology. She was named a Pritzker Scholar in 2012 and a Distinguished Faculty from the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago in 2013. She is former editor of Genetic Epidemiology (2006-2011), a former member of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Human Genetics, and is Member-at-Large for Biological Sciences in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Jacques Michaud
Chief of Research, CHU Sainte-Justine, Full Time Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal

Dr. Jacques Michaud is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of rare disease genetics. After completing residencies in pediatrics and medical genetics at the Université de Montréal and the University of Toronto, he pursued postdoctoral studies in developmental genetics at the Collège de France and CNRS (Paris) and at Johns Hopkins University. (Baltimore). He began his career as an independent researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine and the Université de Montréal in 1999.

Dr. Michaud has had the opportunity to demonstrate his leadership in research on an ongoing basis over the past 18 years at CHU Sainte-Justine. His lab uses genomic approaches to identify genes for intellectual disability, epilepsy and autism. His group, among other things, discovered more than 20 genes associated with these disorders and showed that spontaneous mutations - which are not inherited from parents - represent a major cause of intellectual disability. Dr. Michaud is also studying the function of these genes in order to develop therapeutic strategies. Its research program is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Genome Canada, Génome Québec, the Quebec Research Fund - Health and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

In parallel, Dr. Michaud is working to develop, validate and integrate genomic analyzes for the clinical investigation of human diseases as part of the activities of the Genome Québec - CHU Sainte-Justine Integrated Center for Genomic Clinical Pediatrics, for which he is the Scientific Director.

Dr. Michaud is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Neuroscience of the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. Among his numerous distinctions, let's emphasize that he was National Researcher of the Quebec Research Fund - Health and Specialist of the Year 2015 (Quebec Region) of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He holds the Jeanne and Jean-Louis Lévesque Chair in Genetics of Brain Diseases and the Research Chair in Intellectual Disabilities Jonathan Bouchard.

Dr. Bonnie Ramsey
Director, Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Associate Director, Pediatric Clinical Research Center

Bonnie W. Ramsey, MD, is director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research at Seattle Childrens Research Institute. She is the co-PI of the UW Institute for Translational Health Sciences which provides extensive clinical research infrastructure at Seattle Childrens Hospital. She is also the PI for a P30 for Cystic Fibrosis Research from the NIDDK. She is Professor and Vice Chair for research in the Department of Pediatrics and holds the Endowed Chair in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Dr. David Rowitch
Professor and Head of Paediatrics at University of Cambridge

Dr. David Rowitch is Professor and Head of Paediatrics at University of Cambridge, and he holds a joint appointment at UCSF (Pediatrics and Neurological Surgery). He trained at UCLA Medical School, University of Cambridge and Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. 

Professor Rowitch is a neonatologist and neuroscientist whose laboratory investigates genetic factors that determine development and diversity of glial cells of the brain and the response to injury. He has applied these principles to better understand white matter injury in premature infants, brain cancer and leukodystrophy. Rowitch led the first human clinical trial of direct neural stem cell transplantation focused on the rare and fatal leukodystrophy, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease. 

His work in the field of neurobiology has earned him numerous awards. He became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2008 and Professor of Paediatrics at Cambridge University and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator in 2016. His interest in precision medicine focuses on applications of genomic technologies to diagnose and better understand the biological basis and rational treatment of rare neurological disorders.

Prof. Rosalind Smyth, 
Director and Professor of Child Health, UCL Great Ormond St Institute of Child Health 

Rosalind Smyth is Director of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Honorary Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Non-Executive Director of Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Her current research interest  include clinical studies of viral/host interactions in RSV bronchiolitis, clinical trials and systematic reviews of treatments for childhood respiratory disease. Smyth previously served as Professor of Paediatric Medicine at The University of Liverpool UK and held the position of Director of the UK Medicines for Children Research Network, which supports a variety of paediatric research with children across all of England.

Additionally, Smyth has been involved in drug regulation in an advisory capacity and has chaired the Paediatric Expert Advisory Group of the Commission on Human Medicines (2002-2013) and served as a member of CHM (2009-2013). She graduated in medicine from Clare College, Cambridge and University of London and trained in paediatrics in London, Cambridge and Liverpool.