Dr. Jim Whitlock
Dr. James A. Whitlock is the Division Head and Women’s Auxiliary Millennium Chair in Haematology/Oncology and Director of the Garron Family Cancer Centre at SickKids, Senior Associate Scientist in the Child Health Evaluative Sciences Program at the SickKids Research Institute, and Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Whitlock’s research interests include the biology and treatment of childhood acute leukemias, the development of new drugs for the treatment of childhood cancers, and the biology and treatment of histiocytic disorders. He was the inaugural Vice-Chair for New Agents and Relapse studies for the Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group, and is current or past Chair or Vice-Chair of several COG clinical trials. He is the lead investigator for an international phase I trial of nelarabine combination therapy for relapsed T-cell ALL (T2008-002: NECTAR) through the Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia (TACL) consortium, and served two terms as the first chair of TACL’s Steering & Prioritization Committee. He is a past President of the Histiocyte Society, an international scientific organization which supports research in, and conducts clinical trials for, histiocytic disorders. He is the current Chair of C17, the national organization for Canadian childhood cancer and blood disorder centres.
Dr. David Malkin
Dr. Malkin is a clinician-scientist and paediatric oncologist in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Director of the Cancer Genetics program at SickKids as well as a Senior Scientist in the Genetics & Genome Biology Program in the SickKids Research Institute. He is a Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and Medical Biophysics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
His research program focuses on genetic mechanisms of childhood cancer susceptibility, and the genetic basis of childhood sarcomas (cancers of bone, muscle and other soft tissues). His research team was the first to demonstrate that highly variable regions of DNA, termed copy number variations, are found in excess in the blood of some people, both children and adults, at very high risk of developing cancer, and may represent the earliest genetic changes that ultimately lead to development of cancer. Recently, his work has focused on application of this genetic/genomic information to develop rational clinical surveillance and treatment guidelines for children and adults deemed at genetic ‘high risk’ for cancer. In his sarcoma work, Dr. Malkin has studied the molecular and cell biology pathways that are associated with the development and progression of these cancers, and has identified molecules that might represent viable targets for novel drug therapies.
Dr. Brent Derry
In 2003 Derry joined the Research Institute as a scientist. His laboratory is focused on the application of genetics, functional genomics, and biochemical techniques to understand signaling pathways deregulated in paediatric diseases, such as cancer and cerebral cavernous malformations.
The broad goal of Derry's research is to understand how genes that are mutated in various diseases function in vivo. He uses the powerful genetics and functional genomics tools of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to understand how tumour suppressors and oncogenes control cell survival, genome stability and organism development. He is particularly interested in how cells communicate with one another to sculpt organs and make life or death decisions when challenged with stresses, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Derry also has a robust research program that is focused on understanding the mechanistic basis of the human neurovascular disease cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM). He is collaborating with an international team of scientists and clinicians to discover drugs that can be used to prevent the onset of CCM in humans.
Dr. Meredith Irwin
Dr. Irwin joined the Division of Haematology-Oncology at SickKids in April 2002 as a Clinician-Scientist. She has set up a research laboratory in the Cell Biology Research Program where she studies the role of the p53-family of genes in tumour cell death pathways, and specifically how treatments, such as chemotherapy, use these genes to kill tumour cells. Her clinical activities are focused on the care of children with solid tumours, and mainly neuroblastoma. Dr. Irwin is the SickKids Primary investigator for several Children's Oncology Group (COG) Neuroblastoma clinical trials and is a member of the COG Neuroblastoma Biology committee. She also runs a SickKids neuroblastoma tumour banking protocol.
Dr. David Kaplan
In 2002, Dr. Kaplan became a senior scientist and head of cancer research at SickKids and professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Cancer and Neuroscience. His laboratory focuses upon examining signal transduction processes in neurons, stem cells and neural tumour cells.
Dr. Taylor joined SickKids, Division of Neurosurgery in 2004. He has an appointment in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program at the SickKids Research Institute. He is a principal investigator at the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre. He also has cross-appointments to the Departments of Surgery & Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. His research is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Genome Canada, National Cancer Institute of Canada, National Institutes of Health (USA), American Brain Tumor Association and SickKids Foundation. He has published close to 100 peer reviewed publications. Dr. Taylor’s laboratory focuses on the genetics of paediatric medulloblastoma and ependymoma. Clinically, he has a special interest in paediatric neuro-oncology.
Dr. Taylor is also a paediatric neurosurgeon at SickKids and does general paediatric neurosurgery, with a special focus on paediatric neuro-oncology. He is interested in the molecular genetics of medulloblastoma and ependymoma, two of the most common malignant paediatric brain tumours. Through a better understanding of the molecular biology of these tumours, he hopes to devise novel, more effective treatment strategies.
Judy Van Clieaf
Judy Van Clieaf is Vice-President, Clinical, and Chief of Professional Practice and Nursing at SickKids where she provides strategic and operational leadership to several clinical programs and services including the Cancer Centre, Solid Organ and Bone Marrow Transplant Programs, Dialysis Unit, Genetics’ Centre, Psychology Department, Operating Room, and Surgical Inpatient Units.