Leanne Ward

Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

Dr. Leanne Ward is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa where she has held a Research Chair in Pediatric Bone Health since 2010. She is the Scientific Director of the Ottawa Pediatric Bone Health Research Group, the Medical Director of the Pediatric Bone Health and Rare Bone Disease Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), a Senior Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute, and a Pediatric Endocrinologist in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at CHEO.

Dr. Ward’s research program is dedicated to the study of bone development, and the diagnosis and treatment of bone disorders, in children with osteogenesis imperfecta, hypophosphatemic rickets, and osteoporosis due to chronic illnesses (e.g. cancer, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and rheumatic disorders). She has served as an advisor to various international organizations including the Centres for Disease Control Clinical Care Guidelines for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, The International Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Guideline Harmonization Group, and the International Society for Clinical Densitometry. She is the Founder and Chair of the Canadian Consortium for
Children’s Bone Health, the Chair of the Scientific Planning Committee for the 2021 International Conference on Children’s Bone Health, and the Principal Investigator of the Canadian STeroid-induced Osteoporosis in the Pediatric Population (STOPP) study.

Leanne has published over 130 original peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, and has delivered more than 80 invited lectures at international scientific meetings. She works with a team of highly skilled research staff and physician collaborators from CHEO, across Canada, and internationally. She has received numerous awards for her work in pediatric bone health, including a Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Career Development Award, a Canadian Institutes for Health Research New Investigator Award, a Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Career Enhancement Award, and two, five-year Research Chairs in Pediatric Bone Health (University of Ottawa, 2010 and 2015).

In 2019, Dr. Ward was named a Fellow of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, a lifetime achievement award in recognition of significant contributions to bone and mineral science.

Related News

Research Projects

  1. When Should Bisphosphonates Be Used in Children with Chronic Illness Osteoporosis?


    The decision to treat a child with a bisphosphonate hinges on distinguishing bone fragility from typical childhood fractures, and determining the potential for medication-unassisted recovery following an osteoporotic fragility fracture. While improvements in BMD are a well-known sign of recovery, restitution of bone structure is also a key indicator of recuperation, one that is unique to childhood, and that plays a pivotal role in the decision to intervene or not.

  2. Vitamin D supplementation for children with cancer: a systematic review and consensus recommendations


    Further research is needed; until then, we recommend dietary vitamin D/calcium intake in keeping with standard national guidelines, and periodic 25OHD monitoring to detect levels <20 ng/ml. Vitamin D/calcium supplementation is recommended in children with low levels, to maintain levels ≥20 ng/ml year-long.

  3. Advances in Bone Assessment Methods in Children


    INTRODUCTION Pediatric bone diseases present with a variety of signs and symptoms. Although some diagnoses may be straightforward based on history and physical examination, other presentations require more extensive bone assessments. In addition, clinical followup, research studies, and drug trials are predicated on strong bone health assessment.

  4. The Accuracy of Prevalent Vertebral Fracture Detection in Children Using Targeted Case‐Finding Approaches


    Back pain was assessed by patient report, LS BMD was measured by dual‐energy X‐ray absorptiometry, and PVF were quantified on spine radiographs using the modified Genant semiquantitative method. Forty‐four patients (11.0%) had PVF.

  5. Burosumab versus conventional therapy in children with X-linked hypophosphataemia: a randomised, active-controlled, open-label, phase 3 trial


    Significantly greater clinical improvements were shown in rickets severity, growth, and biochemistries among children with X-linked hypophosphataemia treated with burosumab compared with those continuing conventional therapy.