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Associate Professor, Departments of Surgery, Pediatrics & Child Health and Physiology
In 2010 I joined Pediatric General Surgery and the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (Biology of Breathing Theme) as a pediatric surgeon/scientist. I did my clinical training (General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery) at ErasmusMC-Sophia in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and a fellowship in Pediatric Endoscopic Surgery in The Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama. My research training consisted of a MSc in Molecular Medicine and a PhD at the departments of Pediatric Surgery and Cell Biology & Genetics of ErasmusMC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and the Department of Lung Biology Research in the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. After completion of my General Surgery training I did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Physiology & Experimental Medicine of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Lung development, pulmonary hypoplasia, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, microRNA’s, prenatal (cellular) therapy, congenital anomalies.
My clinical interest concentrates on minimal invasive Pediatric General Surgery and my research focuses on congenital anomalies in general and congenital diaphragmatic hernia and pulmonary hypoplasia in particular. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a developmental defect of the diaphragm and affects one in 2,000-3,000 newborns. It accounts for approximately 8% of the known major birth defects. Every year approximately 50 babies are born with CDH in Canada. Although surgical closure of the diaphragmatic defect is relatively easy, children with CDH suffer from pulmonary hypoplasia and persistent pulmonary hypertension and are more prone to illnesses and premature death, due to this abnormal lung development. The pathogenesis of CDH and pulmonary hypoplasia is currently not known.
I have expertise in mechanisms of normal and abnormal lung development due to congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Currently, my laboratory focuses on the role of two microRNAs: miR-10a and miR-200b during normal and abnormal lung development due to CDH. In the near future I want to explore methods for prenatal therapeutic intervention to modulate the natural course of pulmonary hypoplasia and CDH to improve the outcome of babies born with this anomaly.?? I strongly believe that improving our understanding of the pathogenesis of CDH and its abnormal pulmonary development will aid in our search for therapies to positively modulate the abnormal pulmonary development and improve the outcome in these babies.