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SickKids Research Institute

Driving clinical impact with every
research question

SickKids Research Institute (RI) is where over 2,000 researchers, trainees, and staff are working together to take on the toughest challenges in child health. As Canada’s largest, hospital-based child health research institute, we conduct and translate groundbreaking research to improve child health outcomes, policy, and clinical care, train the next generation of researchers, and support global scientific communities with knowledge and state-of-the-art facilities.  

Innovation and collaboration across our seven distinct research programs have led to a number of incredible discoveries at SickKids, uncovering the mechanisms and outcomes of childhood disease. And with every research question in the lab, we are driving clinical changes.

By challenging existing care models and maximizing research translation, we’re taking more discoveries from the lab bench to the bedside, making a bigger impact on children’s lives around the world, sooner.

By the numbers

276 scientists

1,018 research trainees

394 project & team investigators

1,126 research support staff

$262.6M research spend

2,099 publications

Explore the Institute

Our Researchers

Meet the researchers working across the spectrum of child health, from basic science at the sub-molecular level, to clinical diagnostics, treatments and prevention.

Our Labs

Browse a list of labs to learn more about the exciting research taking place at SickKids Research Institute.

Two staff members having a discussion while seated at a table with a laptop and notebook open

Research Training Centre

The Research Training Centre offers trainees hands-on opportunities to contribute to some of the most important research projects in Canada and to work with top scientists.

Staff member sits in front of a microscope while looking at a scientific image on a nearby computer screen

Core Facilities

Learn about our cutting-edge equipment and infrastructure that’s powering new innovation and advancements in care.

Adolescent sits in a chair wearing a headband connected to a laptop with wires while an adult is standing behind her adjusting this headband

Participate in Clinical Research

As one of Canada's top research hospitals, families that walk through our doors have a chance to participate in clinical research to help address our greatest health challenges.

Clinical Research Services

Clinical Research Services supports quality clinical research by providing research facilities, tools, education and services for SickKids staff and researchers worldwide.

Latest research news

Dr. Emily Tam stands in front of a bed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

March 23, 2023

Blood sugar levels in newborns may predict likelihood of brain injury

A SickKids research team has linked high blood sugar levels in the first 48 hours of life with brain injury in infants with neonatal encephalopathy.

Dr. Adam Shlien examines a computer in his lab.

March 20, 2023

Novel machine-learning algorithm creates atlas of cancer with potential as universal diagnostic platform

A new platform developed at SickKids classifies every known major childhood cancer, allowing physicians and researchers to identify specific cancer types faster and more accurately.

Owen Rose stands smiling outside a pool in his backyard, with medical tubes attached to his chest.

March 20, 2023

Coordinated care program helps alleviate burden from families of children with medical complexities

New research evaluates the impact of a paediatric complex care program on the outcomes of patients and families navigating the Ontario health-care system.

Research programs

Discover what our researchers are working on across SickKids' seven research programs that cover the spectrum of child health.

Cell Biology Research Program icon

Cell Biology

Cutting-edge methods in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and microscopy allow us to understand how cells function, and how these functions go awry in disease states.

Visit Cell Biology

Child Health Evaluative Sciences Research Program icon

Child Health Evaluative Sciences

By conducting and translating research into clinical practice, system, and policy, this research aims to improve the health and well-being of children and their families.

Visit Child Health Evaluative Sciences

Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Research Program icon

Developmental & Stem Cell Biology

Using development genetics, genomics, and stem cell biology, these research teams are developing new therapeutic approaches for children and youth.

Visit Developmental & Stem Cell Biology

Genetics and Genome Biology Research Program icon

Genetics & Genome Biology

Next-generation genomic sequencing tools are revolutionizing our understanding of disease and approaches to science.

Visit Genetics & Genome Biology

Molecular Medicine Research Program icon

Molecular Medicine

Researchers are developing new molecular approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases.

Visit Molecular Medicine

Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Program icon

Neurosciences & Mental Health

This research focuses on advancing understanding of the brain to develop novel approaches to therapy and prevention strategies.

Visit Neurosciences & Mental Health

Translational Medicine Research Program icon

Translational Medicine

Multidisciplinary teams across SickKids are blending their expertise to facilitate new clinical and biological ideas.

Visit Translational Medicine

More from the Research Institute

Canada Research Chairs showcase the calibre and diversity of scientists and clinicians working at the SickKids Research Institute.

View Canada Research Chairs

SickKids is home to 48 scientific and academic chairs. See who holds current chairs in Canada.

View Chairs

Led by internationally-recognized leaders in research, the SickKids Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) guides the strategic direction for the RI, establishes and monitors KPIs, and leads external reviews of the seven SickKids research programs.

Board Members

Professor 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.

The Research Institute is currently seeking new members for the Scientific Advisory Board.

Research Awards & Financial Services (RAFS) supports researchers through the grant lifecycle, from grant applications and contract management, to monitoring and financial reporting.

Learn About RAFS

The SickKids Institutional Research Data Management (RDM) strategy outlines our commitment to fostering sound RDM practices and supporting researchers in following the FAIR principles to make data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.  

Learn about RDM at SickKids 

Contact the Research Institute

For all inquiries about SickKids Research Institute, please contact Jelena Djurkic, Manager, Communications (Research Institute & Strategic Initiatives), Communications & Public Affairs

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