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Iris Cohn

Title: Director, Pharmacogenetics Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
Designations: M.Sc. (Pharm), R.Ph.
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 201121
U of T Positions: Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Temerty Faculty of Medicine


Iris Cohn graduated from pharmacy school of the Heinrich-Heine-University in Germany in 1995 and is a registered pharmacist in Germany, USA and Canada.
Iris served as clinical pharmacist in Germany (1996- 1998), a Staff Pharmacist at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, IA (Inpatient and Outpatient services; 1999-2001) and as a clinical pharmacist at the Adult Inpatient Pharmacy, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD (2001-2013).

Iris joined The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in October 2013 as a Clinical Research Pharmacogenetics Advisor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology.

Over the last few years, Iris developed a pilot program that introduced pharmacogenomics testing for clinical care in children at SickKids. The aim of this pilot program is to implement and utilize pharmacogenomics into the daily care for children in Canada.


The goal of Iris’ research is to optimize a design for a future pharmacogenetics service including different technology platforms and to advance pharmacogenetics testing into the therapeutic management of daily clinical care.

Education and experience

  • 1995: Graduating from Heinrich-Heine-University, School of Pharmacy, Duesseldorf, Germany
  • 1996–1998: Staff pharmacist at outpatient pharmacies in Duesseldorf, Germany
  • 1999–2001: Staff Pharmacist at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, IA (Inpatient and Outpatient services)
  • 2001–2013: Clinical Pharmacist at the Adult Inpatient Pharmacy, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
  • 2013–2023: Clinical Research Pharmacogenetics Advisor, SickKids, Toronto, ON
  • 2023 - Present: Director, Pharmacogenetics Program, SickKids Toronto, ON


  1. Cohn I, Manshaei R, Liston E, Okello JBA, Khan R, Curtis MR, Krupski AJ, Jobling RK, Kalbfleisch K, Paton TA, Reuter MS, Hayeems RZ, Verstegen RHJ, Goldman A, Kim RH, Ito S. Assessment of the Implementation of Pharmacogenomic Testing in a Pediatric Tertiary Care Setting. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 May 3;4(5):e2110446.
  2. Waldman L, Shuman C, Cohn I, Kaiser A, Chitayat D, Wasim S, Hazell A. Perplexed by PGx? Exploring the impact of pharmacogenomic results on medical management, disclosures and patient behavior. Pharmacogenomics. 2019 Apr;20(05):319-29.
  3. Cohn I, Cohn RD, Ito S. Professional opportunity for pharmacists to integrate pharmacogenomics in medication therapy. Canadian Pharmacists Journal/Revue des Pharmaciens du Canada. 2018 May;151(3):167-9.
  4. Reuter MS, Walker S, Thiruvahindrapuram B, Whitney J, Cohn I, Sondheimer N, Yuen RK, Trost B, Paton TA, Pereira SL, Herbrick JA. The Personal Genome Project Canada: findings from whole genome sequences of the inaugural 56 participants. CMAJ. 2018 Feb 5;190(5):E126-36.
  5. Cohn, I., Paton, T.A., Marshall, C.R., Basran, R., Stavropoulos, D.J., Ray, P.N., Monfared, N., Hayeems, R.Z., Meyn, M.S., Bowdin, S. and Scherer, S.W., 2017. Genome sequencing as a platform for pharmacogenetic genotyping: a pediatric cohort study. NPJ genomic medicine, 2(1), p.19
Woman stands in front of lab bench and stocked shelves.

SickKids study shows how genome sequencing may help prevent adverse drug events

New research from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) demonstrates yet another way genetic information can benefit clinical care and may even enhance patient safety and preventative medicine. The study, focused on pharmacogenetics, looks at how individual differences in our genes impact how we may react to certain medications.


Pharmacogenetics (PGx) is the study of how differences in our genetic make-up affect each person's response to a certain medication. Currently, PGx testing at SickKids is only available through the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Research Pilot Study.

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