Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the most common chronic gastrointestinal illness affecting Canadian children. Canada has some of the highest incidence and prevalence rates for IBD in the world – and childhood-onset IBD incidence rates are steadily rising. Children of all ethnicities are affected, including those whose families have immigrated to Canada from parts of the world where IBD has been uncommon.
Individualized precision care that optimizes the health and lives of each child and family with IBD.
The SickKids IBD Centre exists to optimize the health and lives of children and youth with IBD and their families locally and globally by integrating:
- World-leading innovative research that translates into new diagnostics, treatments, precision care, and disease prevention.
- A biopsychosocial approach to clinical care.
- Training and mentoring of the IBD care professionals and scientists of the present and the future.
We will engage, empower, educate, advocate for, and give voice to children, youth, and families living with IBD at each stage of scientific research and patient care.
Well-rounded care for children with IBD
There are two major forms of IBD: Crohn’s disease and chronic ulcerative colitis. IBD treatments for kids need to be personalized because of the unique circumstances with every child. Exclusive to children, particularly those with Crohn’s disease, is the potential for growth impairment and associated pubertal delay as a consequence of chronic inflammation.
We provide complete care for your child, ensuring your loved one is receiving the necessary care and education for their condition.
We take the time to educate you and your family about the disease – we believe a better understanding of IBD leads to better outcomes. This is done on an individual basis, but also via small-group educational sessions for new families.
We’re renowned for our research endeavours. We're grateful for the time and effort patients and families contribute to our research, which we rely on to guide future practices, and provide better care for our IBD patients.
If you’d like to participate in research, you can help us improve IBD care for children at SickKids, and around the world.
Our Centre is at the forefront of IBD treatment. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss current and emerging medical treatments with a physician and a nurse. We engage in research examining outcomes with biologic therapies, as well as nutritional interventions.
The IBD Centre is advancing world-class IBD care through a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients and families with IBD. We continue to develop infrastructure and funding sources competitive with other paediatric IBD centres in North America, positioning SickKids as international leaders in IBD clinical care, research, and education.
What we do
- Define the causes of IBD through state-of-the-art genetic and functional approaches.
- Develop personalized care for IBD patients based on better understanding of the genetic, immunologic, and microbial factors of IBD.
- Improve existing and emerging IBD therapies through collaboration with other specialties.
- Improve IBD clinical care in Canada and around the world through education and training.
Bringing precision medicine to IBD
Through patient-based and translational research and leadership in national (Canadian Children IBD Network/CIDsCANN) and international (NEOPICS) networks, we aim to be on the forefront of bringing precision medicine to IBD.
Developments in gene sequencing technologies and powerful bioinformatic tools are enabling more comprehensive analyses of human gut microbiota compositions, so that its suspected role in triggering chronic inflammation in individuals based on their genetics can be examined.
New treatment algorithms we’re shifting towards has a focus on healing the intestine rather than mere symptom control, aiming for much better long-term health. Ultimately, our goal is to make personalized IBD care a reality.
Dr. Aleixo Muise's research
Dr. Muise established and co-leads the interNational Early Onset Pediatric IBD Cohort Study. He also co-founded and co-directs the international VEOIBD and paediatric COngenital Diarrhea and Enteropathy Consortia.
The NEOPICS network now spans 86 centres in 26 countries. Dr. Muise’s lab is supported by funds from CIHR (Foundation Grant), NIH (RC2) and Helmsley Charitable Trust (renewed in 2018). His lab identified the genetic and functional causes for a number of novel intestinal diseases (Gastroenterology, Gut, Nature Communications, and EMBO Molecular Medicine).
State-of-the-art techniques are used to characterize the molecular defects, including mouse and zebrafish models, and human intestinal organoids/enteroids. Dr. Muise’s ongoing research focuses on novel genes and the use of high-throughput screening to repurpose FDA-approved drugs in rare and common forms of intestinal disease.
Dr. Amanda Ricciuto's research
Dr. Ricciuto is developing a research program focused on PSC/IBD, and is funded by Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to study predictors of response to anti-TNF therapies.
Dr. Anne Griffith's research
Dr. Griffiths is the principal investigator of the Canadian Children IBD Network, also known as CIDsCANN. The Network brings together 12 academic paediatric IBD centres across Canada and has enrolled 1500 children and adolescents newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, who are being prospectively followed with the goal of examining long term outcomes among similar groups of patients. Pre-treatment stools and biopsies are being used to explore the composition of the microbiome and its relationship to outcomes. Emerging therapies in use across the Network are being studied, so that implementation is optimized.
Drs Griffiths, Ricciuto and Muise are principal investigators on a CIHR-funded microbiome group grant led by CIDsCANN colleagues, Dr. Bruce Vallance and Dr. Eytan Wine, which will further explore the role of the microbiome in subgroups of patients with colitis.
Dr. Eric Benchimol's research
Dr. Benchimol uses Canadian population-based health administrative data to conduct epidemiology, outcomes, and health services research in children with IBD and other chronic diseases. Dr. Benchimol also has an interest in improving the methods used to conduct research using routinely-collected health data. In that capacity, he co-chairs the RECORD Steering Committee, an international group which has created reporting guidelines for observational studies that use routine-collected health data for research.
IBD fellowship training
The IBD Centre receives funding from industry partners to support paediatric gastroenterologists acquiring additional clinical and research training in paediatric IBD. Preference is given to fellows in the GHN Divisional training program, but others are eligible to apply. For more information, check out our dedicated resource to fellowship and training opportunities with SickKids.
Paediatric IBD Centre of Excellence Program
This annual event is a one-and-a-half-day, fully interactive case-based education program targeted at young faculty with an interest in paediatric IBD. The program covers current issues in the management of paediatric IBD from diagnosis, to the introduction of advanced and novel therapeutics.
Paediatric IBD Imaging Course
Our biannual event in conjunction with COE program. Email us for more information.
IBD Family Night & Teen Night Series
The IBD Family Night and Teen Night Series are annual and monthly events, respectively, hosted by the IBD Centre. Contact us by email for 2021 dates!
We’ve assembled a one-of-a-kind, multi-disciplinary team that includes physicians, nurse practitioners, a dedicated dietician, a health/clinical psychologist, and access to other subspecialty expertise including specialists in diagnostic imaging and surgery.
Dr. Muise co-leads The interNational Early Onset Paediatric IBD Cohort Study (NEOPICS), that brings together international paediatric gastroenterologists and scientists from academic centres around the world to better understand genetic causes of very early onset IBD and develop treatments.
The consortium was recently awarded renewed funding (2020-2025) from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Brumell and Dr. Muise, co-PIs, were awarded a CIHR Human Immunology Initiative Grant (2019-2023) entitled Immune Dysregulation in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Dr. Benchimol founded and leads the Canadian Gastrointestinal Epidemiology Consortium (CANGIEC), a pan-Canadian network of clinicians, researchers and methodologists that work together to provide the evidence required to improve outcomes and health care services for Canadians with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) using population-level data.
For her doctoral research related to PSC/IBD, Dr. Amanda Ricciuto was awarded the Sickkids Research Institute 2019 Andrew Sass-Kortsak award.
Dr. Griffiths was awarded the 2019 Shwachman award from the North American Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), its highest honour, which recognizes major, lifelong scientific or educational contributions to the field of paediatric gastroenterology.
For general inquiries about the IBD Centre, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For IBD Family Night and IBD Teen Night Series event dates and information, email email@example.com
Key Staff Contacts
Dr. John Brumell, Co-director
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Anne Griffiths, Co-director
- Email: email@example.com
Dr. Aleixo Muise, Co-director
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org