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Dilan Dissanayake

Title: Staff Rheumatologist, Division of Rheumatology
Designations: MD, PhD, FRCPC
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 407707
Fax: 416-813-4989
Alternate Contact Name: Felicia Alli
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 407707
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics

Research Positions

Transition Clinician-Scientist, Cell Biology


Dr. Dissanayake is a staff rheumatologist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and holds a position as a Transition Clinician-Scientist at SickKids Research Institute.  He is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. 

He received his medical degree in 2014 from the University of Toronto as part the MD/PhD Program. His graduate work was completed under the Department of Immunology, with a research focus on dendritic cells and their contribution to autoimmunity. 

He subsequently completed residency programs in Paediatrics and Paediatric Rheumatology at the University of Toronto, before joining as a staff rheumatologist at SickKids, where he has clinics in General Rheumatology and Autoinflammatory Diseases. 


Dr. Dissanayake’s current research interests include using high-dimensional methods to better characterize the immune cells that cause rheumatologic diseases and investigations into the functional consequences of genetic changes that lead to inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Dissanayake is part of the UCAN CAN-DU Canada-Netherlands Personalized Medicine Network in Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases and is a collaborator on a study that investigates genetic causes for systemic inflammatory diseases.

Education and experience


  • 2004–2014: Doctor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • 2006–2012: Doctor of Philosophy, Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada,
  • 2000–2004: Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours), Faculty of Health Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Postgraduate, Research and Specialty Training

  • 2017–2019: Clinical Fellow, Pediatric Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • 2014–2017: Resident, Core Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Qualifications, Certifications and Licenses

  • 2019–Present: Independent Practice License, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada,
  • 2018–Present: Fellow, Pediatrics, Royal College of Physicians of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada


  • 2014: Dr. Yumin Li Access to Excellence in Paediatric Research Award, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • 2013: Geoffrey Samuel Gangbar Memorial Award for excellence in Haematology/Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • 2010: International Congress of Immunology Travel Award, Canadian Society for Immunology, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
  • 2009: Award for Best Oral Presentation, Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation/Clinician Investigator Trainee Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


  1. Tao P, Sun J, Wu Z, Wang S, Wang J, Pan H, Bai R, Zhang J, Wang Y, Lee P, Ying W, Zhou Q, Hou J, Wang W, Sun B, Yang M, Liu D, Han H, Yang Z, Fang R, Deuitch N, Zhang Y, Dissanayake D, Haude K, McWalter K, Roadhouse C, MacKenzie J, Laxer R, Aksentijevich I, Yu X, Wang X, Yuan A dominant autoinflammatory disease caused by non-cleavable variants of RIPK1. Nature. 2020 Jan;577(7788):109-114.

  2. Lind EF, Millar DG, Dissanayake D, Savage JC, Grimshaw NK, Kerr WG, Ohashi PS. miR-155 upregulation in dendritic cells is sufficient to break tolerance in vivo by negatively regulating SHIP-1. Journal of Immunology. 2015 Nov 15;195(10):4632-40.

  3. Dissanayake D, Murakami K, Tran MD, Elford AR, Millar DG, Ohashi PS. Peptide-pulsed dendritic cells have superior ability to induce immune-mediated tissue destruction compared to peptide with adjuvant. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 19;9(3):e92380.

  4. Dissanayake D, Hall H, Berg-Brown N, Elford AR, Hamilton SR, Murakami K, Summers Deluca L, Gommerman JL, Ohashi PS.  Nuclear factor-kB1 controls the functional maturation of dendritic cells and prevents the activation of autoreactive T-cells. Nature Medicine2011 Nov 13;17(12):1663-7. 

  5. Lin ACC, Dissanayake D, Dhanji S, Elford AR, Ohashi PS.  Different toll-like receptor stimuli have a profound impact on cytokines required to break tolerance and induce autoimmunity. PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e23940. 

See a full list of Dilan Dissanayake's publications

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