Director of Global Eye Health Research
Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
U of T Positions
Associate Professor & Director of Global Health & Outreach, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
Associate Professor, Division of Clinical Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Associate Member, Institute of Medical Sciences
Dr. Helen Dimaras is Director of Global Eye Health Research in the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children; Scientist in the Child Health Evaluative Sciences program and Centre for Global Child Health, SickKids Research Institute; and Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, School of Graduate studies, and Division of Clinical Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Much of her work is focused on how to deliver optimal retinoblastoma care worldwide and improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Dimaras completed a PhD in Molecular & Medical Genetics and post-doctoral training in clinical trials and global health. Her graduate work contributed to the understanding of the molecular genetic development of the childhood eye cancer, retinoblastoma.
Dr. Dimaras’ research program spans the disciplines of ophthalmology, cancer genetics and global health. Using the childhood eye cancer (retinoblastoma) as a model, she studies and implements approaches aimed at achieving optimal care and outcomes for childhood cancer patients globally, often with patients as partners on the study team.
Selected research projects include:
- Development of a patient engagement strategy and patient-oriented research for retinoblastoma
- Global epidemiology of and health service capacity for retinoblastoma
- Development and testing of educational tools to improve patient understanding of genetics
- Development and evaluation of a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship program in Ethiopia
Education and experience
- 2020–Present: Associate Professor, The University of Toronto
- 2015–Present: Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children
- 2011–2020: Assistant Professor, The University of Toronto
- 2007–2011: Post-doctoral Fellow, Division of Hematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children
- 2002–2007: PhD, Molecular and Medical Genetics, The University of Toronto
- 2018: Canadian Women in Global Health List, Canadian Society for International Health
- Flegg K, Gelkopf MJ, Johnson SA, Dimaras H; Canadian Retinoblastoma Research Advisory Board Priority Setting Steering Committee. The top 10 retinoblastoma research priorities in Canada as determined by patients, clinicians and researchers: a patient-oriented priority-setting partnership. CMAJ Open. 2020;8(2):E420-E428. Published 2020 Jun 9.
- Gelkopf MJ, Avramov I, Baddeliyanage R, et al. The Canadian retinoblastoma research advisory board: a framework for patient engagement. Res Involv Engagem. 2020;6:7. Published 2020 Feb 28. doi:10.1186/s40900-020-0177-8
- White E, Baddeliyanage R, Shaikh F, Dimaras H. Meaningful Patient Engagement in Research: Lessons From Retinoblastoma. Pediatrics. 2019;143(6):e20182166. doi:10.1542/peds.2018-2166
- Gedleh A, Lee S, Hill JA, et al. "Where Does it Come from?" Experiences Among Survivors and Parents of Children with Retinoblastoma in Kenya. J Genet Couns. 2018;27(3):574-588. doi:10.1007/s10897-017-0174-8
- Dimaras H, Corson TW, Cobrinik D, et al. Retinoblastoma. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2015;1:15021. Published 2015 Aug 27. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2015.21