Clinical Research

The division of Pediatric General Surgery at CHEO is very productive with clinical research. We are dedicated to investigate many surgical problems with evidence based approach.

Dr. Ahmed Nasr, who recently joined the division, holds a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology from University of Toronto. He has also completed a PhD at Cairo University in the field of autologous fat injection. He has over 30 publications to date and developed an expertise in the field of Meta-analysis and controlled trials.

He is currently working on developing an Evidence Based Resource in pediatric surgery with collaboration with other pediatric centers across Canada. He is also in addition to several retrospective studies, conducting two randomized controlled trials:

  • Interval appendectomy in Children, is it really necessary? A randomized, noninferiority trial. (The Interval Trial)
  • Operative versus conservative management of perforated appendicitis. A randomized controlled trials. (The PADDLE trial)

Dr. Nasr is cross appointed with both the CHEO Research Institute and the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at University of Ottawa where he will be participating actively in teaching and supervising Masters or PhD students interested in the field of pediatric surgery. Trainees involved with our research activities will be encouraged to apply for research funding grants provided either internally by our Research Institute or externally by other funding agency.

The division is in the process of hiring a research coordinator to help with the organization of our research endeavors.

Translational Basic Science 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. As a scientist of 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 is readily expanding to include undergraduate, graduate (MSc and PhD) and post-graduate students as well as trainees in the surgeon scientist tract.

Joining the laboratory as a research associate, 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
  • Role of pannexins in the regulation of skeletal muscle differentiation and tumourigenesis associated with rhabdomyosarcoma