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SickKids

Wendy Ungar

Title: Senior Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences
Designations: M.Sc., PhD
Email: wendy.ungar@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact Name: Navpreet Kaur
Alternate Phone: 416 813-7654 ext. 309510
Alternate Email: navpreet.kaur@sickkids.ca
REACH Profile: Wendy Ungar's REACH profile
U of T Positions: Professor, Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Chair Positions: Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Economic Evaluation and Technology Assessment in Child Health

Research Positions

Director
Technology Assessment at SickKids (TASK)

Biography

Dr. Wendy Ungar is a Senior Scientist in the Child Health Evaluative Sciences Program at SickKids Research Institute, and Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. She holds a BA cum laude from Brandeis University, a master's degree in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from McGill University, and a PhD in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Ungar holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Economic Evaluation and Technology Assessment in Child Health. Dr. Ungar founded TASK (Technology Assessment at SickKidsin 2007, where she and her team apply health economic methods to child health with a focus on genomics and neurodevelopmental disorders. She and her team maintain the PEDE database, a user-friendly searchable online database of paediatric economic evaluations published since 1980 used by HTA agencies around the world. 

In 2017, Dr. Ungar was appointed Chair of the Ontario Genetic Testing Advisory Committee which makes funding recommendations on emerging genetic testing technologies for Ontario. Her book, Economic Evaluation in Child Healthwas published by Oxford University Press in 2010.

Research

Dr. Ungar leads a program of research in the application of health economic methods to the paediatric population. In recent years, Dr. Ungar and her team at Technology Assessment at SickKids (TASK) have completed studies evaluating genomic testing technologies across several clinical areas and have examined the cost-effectiveness of treatments and services for children with brain disorders including autism. These studies have been used to inform and improve child health policy in Canada.  

Dr. Ungar and her crew also maintain the PEDE database, a popular online tool that allows users to search for paediatric economic evaluations published on any topic.

Education and experience

  • 2006–Present: Senior Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, Toronto, ON 
  • 2014–Present: Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 
  • 2001–Present: Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON 
  • 2005–2016: University of Toronto Program Director, International Masters Degree in Health Technology Assessment & Management (Ulysses Program), Toronto, ON 
  • 1993–1997: PhD, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 
  • 1981–1984: M.Sc., Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, QC 
  • 1977–1981: BA cum laude, Biology, Brandeis University, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

Achievements

  • 2020: Dr. Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment - Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health 
  • 2019–Present: Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Economic Evaluation and Technology Assessment in Child Health 
  • 2017–Present: Chair, Ontario Genetics Advisory Committee (OGAC) - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care 
  • 2017–Present: Member, Ontario Health Technology Assessment Committee (OHTAC) - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care 
  • 2002–2007: New Investigator Award - Canadian Institutes of Health Research 
  • 2006: Literary Award for Health Services Policy - Society of Graduates, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Publications

  1. Jegathisawaran J, Tsiplova K, Hayeems R, Ungar WJ. Determining precise costs for genomic sequencing technologies -- A necessary prerequisite. Journal of Community Genetics, 2020: 11(2): 235-238
  2. Goh E S-Y, Miller FA, Marshall DA, Ungar WJ. Genetic counsellors’ preferences for coverage of preimplantation genetic diagnosis: A discrete choice experiment.  Clinical Genetics 2019; 95(6): 684-692
  3. Tsiplova K, Ungar WJ, Flanagan HE, den Otter J, Waddell C, Murray P, D’Entremont B, Garon N, Léger N, Bryson SE, Smith IM. Types of services and costs of programs for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder across sectors: A comparison of two Canadian provinces. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2019; 49(6): 2492-2508
  4. Yuen T, Penner M, Carter MT, Szatmari P, Ungar WJ. Cost-effectiveness of genome and exome sequencing in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Applied Health Economics & Health Policy, 2018; 16(4): 481-493
  5. Ungar WJ (Editor). Economic Evaluation in Child Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

See a full list of Dr. Ungar's publications

  • Government of Australia Medical Research Futures Fund 2020: Preventive and Public Health InitiativeTools to Value Health Changes in Paediatric Populations.  
  • PhRMA Foundation Value Assessment Initiative Research AwardFamily Matters: Expanding the economic value paradigm for precision medicine diagnostics to include the costs and health consequences of family members. 
  • Genome Canada Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP)Optimization and implementation of a clinical genome-wide sequencing service for rare disease diagnosis in Ontario. 
  • BC Ministry of Children and Family Development Parent Coaching Research Project. Cost-effectiveness analysis of  BC-ESDM Parent Coaching in autism.  
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Analyses of Existing Canadian Cohorts & DatabasesThe Pathways in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) cohort study – Examining how child and youth health, education and community services are integrated to support optimal trajectories of developmental health 
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research. Health Economics Evaluation Platform within CHILD-BRIGHT: Child Health Initiatives Limiting Disability - Brain Research Improving Growth and Health Trajectories.  
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