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Kate Nelson

Title: Staff Physician, Paediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT), Division of Paediatric Medicine
Designations: MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
Phone: 416-813-6905
Alternate Contact Name: Luxzonica Young
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 224637
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Assistant Professor, Paediatrics

Research Positions

Scientist-Track Investigator
Child Health Evaluative Sciences 


Dr. Nelson is a clinician scientist in the Division of Paediatric Medicine, a scientist-track investigator in Child Health Evaluative Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children’s (SickKids) Research Institute, and an adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). She is also an Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.

She received undergraduate degrees in chemistry and English at the University of Missouri-Columbia, her medical degree from Harvard University and a PhD in clinical epidemiology from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She completed her residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a paediatric palliative care fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her program of research focuses on supporting families making difficult decisions for children with potentially life-limiting illnesses.


As a paediatrician on the PACT team, Dr. Nelson helps families of children with potentially life-limiting illnesses find ways to make time at home or in hospital a little better. Very often, this process involves difficult decisions, usually in situations where there is little evidence to guide us. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Nelson’s goal is to support family decision-making for children with advanced illnesses.

Her research agenda falls into two broad themes: Leveraging Ontario health administrative data to answer questions asked by families about clinical decisions for children with potentially life-limiting illnesses, and using systems-oriented interventions to better support families during the decision-making process.


  • 2012–2018: PhD, Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Supervisor: Dr. Astrid Guttmann 
  • 2003–2008: MD, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • 1998–2003: Bachelor of Arts, English and chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri, USA


  • 2019–present: Adjunct Scientist, Life Stage Research Program, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  
  • 2019–present: Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2019–present: Scientist-Track Investigator, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
  • 2019–present: Staff Physician (Clinician Scientist), Paediatric Advanced Care Team, Division of Paediatric Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
  • 2014–2019: Clinical Associate, Palliative Care, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


  • 2017: Andrew Sass-Kortsak Award, The Hospital for Sick Children
  • 2016: Claire Bombardier Award, Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto


  1. Nelson KE, Rosella LC, Mahant S, Cohen E, Guttmann A. Survival and Health Care Use After Feeding Tube Placement in Children With Neurologic Impairment. Pediatrics2019 Feb;143(2): e20182863. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2863.
  2. Nelson KE, Feinstein JA, Gerhardt CA, Rosenberg AB, Widger K, Faeber JA, Feudtner. C. Emerging methodologies in Pediatric Palliative Care research: Six Case StudiesChildren 2018 Mar, 5(3), 32; doi:10.3390/children5030032.
  3. Nelson KE, Rosella LC, Mahant S, Guttmann A. Survival and Surgical Interventions for Children with Trisomy 13 and 18JAMA. 2016 Jul 26;316(4):420–8.
  4. Nelson KE, Lacombe-Duncan A, Cohen E, Nicholas DB, Rosella LC, Guttmann A, Mahant S. Family Experiences with Feeding Tubes in Neurologic Impairment: A Systematic ReviewPediatrics. 2015; 136(1):e140-151.
  5. Nelson KE, Mahant S. Shared Decision-Making about Assistive Technology for the Child with Severe Neurologic ImpairmentPediatr Clin North Am2014 Aug;61(4):641-52

View a full list of Kate Nelson's publications

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