Areas of Research

All basic science and clinical research projects at the CHEO Research Institute fall into one or more research programs. This organizational strategy brings our scientific strengths into clear focus and provides a structure under which all of our scientists and clinical investigators can align, share resources, and ultimately make discoveries today for healthier kids tomorrow.

Program – 7 Research Teams

Improvements Now!: Acute and Critical Care Team (INACCT)

For many families, pediatric medical care often comes urgently and without notice. Our researchers involved in the Improvements Now!: Acute and Critical Care Team are answering research questions about care and treatments related to critical and emergency care and surgery. We are making discoveries associated with the medical management of childhood surgical procedures and acute injuries and illnesses. When a child faces an unforeseen condition, our internationally recognized researchers are in the background inacting improvements to pediatric acute care locally and worldwide.

Team Captain / Program Director: Dr. Waleed Alqurashi – Waleed is a pediatric emergency physician with a research program studying allergies and anaphylaxis.

Biology Breakthrough Team

Research can be conducted clinically at the bedside or in the case of our Biology Breakthrough Team, at a molecular level in a laboratory. Our world-class team of lab-based researchers work to understand the underlying mechanisms of conditions at a genetic and molecular level. This research team facilitates both timely diagnoses and effective treatments through biological breakthroughs.

Team Captain / Program Director: Dr. Bernard Thebaud – Bernard is a neonatologist specializing in lung diseases. He develops stem cell and gene therapies for incurable lung disease, from discovery and manufacturing to preclinical testing and clinical trials. 

Ready, Set, GO Team

Children and youth love to be on the go.  Sometimes, either due to a health condition or the world we live in, keeping on the go may not come easy.  We have a diverse team of researchers who are looking to improve mobility and keep our kids active and healthy.  This team brings together researchers who study healthy active living, bone health, orthopedic conditions and rehabilitation every day to discover a way to help children and youth in our community and  around the world get ready, get set, and GO!

Team Captain / Program Director: Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput – JP has a PhD in kinesiology, is a member of the HALO Group and researches sleep, obesity prevention and healthy lifestyles.

Mind Matters Team

The human brain is the body’s most complex organ. Our Mind Matters Team is made up of researchers who conduct research which will lead to a better understanding of brain health in children and youth. Researchers are focused on understanding and protecting brain health, mental health, autism, concussion, or other neurological conditions. This important research team is also focused on research related to improving training and education of all medical staff who care for kids.  Our research discoveries matter to the families of children with intellectual and behavioural conditions and improve child and youth mental health services.

Team Captain / Program Director: Dr. Noah Spector – Noah is a social worker with CHEO’s eating disorder team and has a PhD in educational counselling. His research is in community-hospital collaboration, parental support, and engaging fathers in family therapy.

Data-Driven Discovery Team

Data and technology are used in many aspects of our modern lives, and health research is no exception. The outcomes of the research conducted by our Data-Driven Discovery Team lead to innovations in health care and health services. Our team has access to large data sets and uses machine learning and AI to drive forward medical innovation. Our data discoveries can be used in developing medical devices and algorithms; Advancements in E-health and digital health; Generating clinically actionable insights and other technology-related innovations. This research team uses data and technology as key tools in their discoveries, looking to answer research questions about pediatric conditions and the care we provide.

Team Captain / Program Director: Dr. Dhenuka Radhakrishnan – Dhena is a pediatric respirologist who uses ‘big data’ to understand and deliver better care for asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Best Life Through Science Team

The CHEO Research vision is “discoveries to inspire the best life for every child and youth.” Our Best Life Through Science Team embodies that vision, understanding the pathophysiology and improving the treatment of chronic childhood diseases. With the inclusion of quality of life research, researchers on this team work to improve many chronic conditions and complex care treatments. In this group you will find researchers passionate about diabetes, gastroenterology, respirology, and cardiac conditions, just to name a few.

Team Captain / Program Director: Dr. Robert Klaassen – Rob is a pediatric hematologist whose research focuses on measuring health-related quality of life and patient-reported health outcomes.

Cancer, Infection, Arthritis (CIA) Therapeutic Approach Team

Research investigation of Cancer, Infection, or Arthritis (CIA) to improve outcomes for children and youth is important to the Scientists on this team.  These dedicated researchers can be clinical, laboratory-based, or a combination of the two. Working on discoveries to improve treatments for inflammatory or immunological conditions, infectious disease, or childhood cancers, this acclaimed CIA team works tirelessly to make research discoveries to inspire the best life for every child and youth.

Team Captain / Program Director: Dr. Tommy Alain – Tommy is a PhD virologist specializing in cancer therapy. He bio-engineers viruses to attack cancer cells, and studies how to boost our immune response to make these cancer-killing virus more effective.