The Division of Pediatric General Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is very productive in terms of clinical research. We are dedicated to investigating a variety of surgical problems with an evidence-based approach.
Dr. Ahmed Nasr, Associate Professor, holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto, and a PhD from Cairo University. He has over 70 peer-reviewed publications to date and has developed expertise in the field of systematic review and meta-analysis.

Dr. Nasr is the founder of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons Evidence-Based Resource (CAPS EBR). This online resource is open-access and responds directly to the information needs of pediatric surgeons by providing them with critically appraised and summarized evidence obtained through systematic reviews on questions that they have identified as being of critical importance to the provision of optimal patient care. Although still in its infancy, the CAPS EBR has established itself as a popular resource for pediatric surgeons worldwide.

Recently, Dr. Nasr launched the Patient and Family Decision Aids Project as an extension of the CAPS EBR. Decision aids are evidence-based tools that facilitate shared decision making in healthcare by increasing patient/family knowledge of the available options, allowing them to feel more informed and clear about what matters most to them, and establishing accurate expectations of benefits and harms.

Dr. Nasr takes an active role in teaching and supervising students interested in the field of pediatric surgery. Trainees involved with our research activities gain a broad understanding of the research process and acquire specific research skills that are valuable for their future careers.

Basic Science Translational Research

Our division is actively engaged in translational basic science research in areas relevant to pediatric surgery and encourages the active participation of trainees at all levels.
Dr. Cowan is the principle investigator for the division’s translational vascular and tumour biology basic science research program within the CHEO Research Institute. Dr. Cowan completed a PhD in cardiovascular research under the supervision of Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch at the Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto where he studied the pathophysiology of primary arterial hypertension and approaches to its reversal. Dr. Cowan continued his basic science training with the completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in area of cell communication and tumour biology in the laboratory of Dr. Dale W. Laird at the University of Western Ontario, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. For his work, Dr. Cowan has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation Joint Resident Research Award, Physician Services Incorporated Foundation Resident Research Award, and the American College of Cardiology Young Investigator’s Award.

As a scientist in the Molecular Biomedicine Program at the CHEO Research Institute, with cross-appointment to the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Faculty of Graduate and Post-graduate Studies affiliation, Dr. Cowan’s translational vascular and tumour biology research program includes undergraduate, graduate (MSc and PhD) and post-graduate students as well as trainees in the surgeon scientist tract and clinical research fellows.

Joining the laboratory as a senior research associate / laboratory manager, Dr. Stéphanie Langlois offers additional knowledge and expertise in the area of tumour biology. Dr. Langlois’ extensive training in this area includes an MSc and PhD from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Université du Québec à Montréal and post-doctoral fellowships at both the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa.

Current translational research projects

  • Role of elastases, matrix metalloproteinases, and extracellular matrix in the regulation of pulmonary vascular disease associated with congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Use of stem cell approaches to treat the pulmonary vascular disease associated with congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Role of pannexins in the regulation of skeletal muscle differentiation, regeneration, and dystrophy
  • Role of pannexins in the tumourigenesis of rhabdomyosarcoma and their potential use as therapeutic targets

Contact and application information

For additional information or to apply to the Translational Vascular and Tumour Biology Research Program, please contact:

Dr. Kyle Cowan
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
401 Smyth Road, Room 3360
Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1
613-737-7600 ext. 2675