Dimaras Lab

SickKids Garron Family Cancer Centre – Cancer Research Day 2019

On January 23, 2019, the Dimaras lab participated in the annual SickKids Garron Family Cancer Centre Cancer Research Day. Ana Janic spoke about her research during the Rapid Fire Session and presented a poster entitled "Patient-Derived Patient-Reported Outcome Measures are Needed in Retinoblastoma." Ana presents at Cancer Research Day Arunan Selvarajah presented a poster entitled "Clinically preventable causes of unfavourable retinoblastoma treatment outcomes". He won Best Poster - Congratulations Arunan! Arunan presents at Cancer Research Day Ivana Ristevski presented a poster entitled "The Top 10 Retinoblastoma Research Priorities in Canada as Determined by Patients, Clinicians and Researchers." Ivana presents at Cancer Research Day Stephanie Nanos presented a poster entitled "The Canadian Retinoblastoma Research Registry". Stephanie presents at Cancer Research Day Taylor Irvine presented a poster entitled "Using stakeholder engagement to develop an evaluation protocol for a retinoblastoma patient information booklet in Kenya." Taylor presents at Cancer Research Day Kelsey Yang presented a poster entitled "Utilization-focused evaluation of a breast cancer genetics educational tool" Kelsey [...]

January 23rd, 2019|

New Publication: Retinoblastoma Genetics in Kenya

We are excited to announce the first publication from the 2016 cohort of the University of Nairobi/University of Toronto Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholars program. Entitled 'Where Does it Come from?' Experiences Among Survivors and Parents of Children with Retinoblastoma in Kenya, the study explores how retinoblastoma genetics are understood and conceptualized by those who are affected by the disease. The study was published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling and can be accessed here. Congratulations to first author Amal Gedleh, as well as her fellow student researchers April Lee, Yvonne Umukunda and Seemi Qaiser for their hard work. Congratulations also to Dr. Jessica A. Hill, who developed the study as part of her post-doctoral work in the Dimaras lab, and helped the student team get the study off the ground in Nairobi. Importantly, the study would not have proceeded without the scientific leadership and guidance of University of Nairobi faculty members Dr. Kahaki Kimani, Dr. Lucy Njambi and Dr. Grace Kitonyi, and PCEA Kikuyu Hospital faculty Dr. Joy Kabiru, who worked in  collaboration [...]

December 1st, 2017|

Congratulations to Adrina and Kai for winning best poster!

On October 28, 2017, team members Adrina Zhong and Kai Xia presented a poster at the Global Health Students and Young Professionals summit in Ottawa. The student-led event was organized alongside the annual Global Health Conference of the Canadian Society for International Health. Adrina and Kai presented their study, "Barriers and opportunities for genetic service delivery in Kenya from a healthcare professional perspective: a mixed methods study." We are happy to announce that they won the Best Poster prize! Congratulations to Adrina, Kai and the broader research team for your hard work on this research study. Adrina and Kai present their poster at the Global Health Students and Young Professionals Summit.

November 3rd, 2017|

New Publication!

We’re proud to announce our new publication entitled, “Ethical, social, and cultural issues related to clinical genetic testing and counseling in low- and middle-income countries: protocol for a systematic review”, has been published in the journal Systematic Reviews. We’re currently busy analysing the results of the review, which will help us better understand the ethical, cultural and social issues important to the design of genetic services in LMICs.

October 6th, 2017|

Summer Presentations

Our students had some incredible opportunities to present their work this summer. Below are some pictures from the Nairobi International Scientific Conference, Centre for Global Child Health Rounds, Ophthalmology Rounds, and student poster presentations. Students from our Kenya group presented at the Nairobi International Scientific Conference in June 2017.  Hannah presented on her work with the social network analysis of the One Retinoblastoma World Map network.  Adrina presented on her findings of a systematic review of cultural issues surrounding clinical genetic testing. Our Toronto based students presented about their retinoblastoma research projects at the Centre for Global Child Health Rounds in August 2017. Left to Right: Max, Beth, Jamie  Beth presenting on meaningful patient engagement in the retinoblastoma community.  Jamie presenting on the global retinoblastoma network: One Retinoblastoma World Map.  Max presenting on establishing the “top 10” priorities for retinoblastoma research. Arunan presented his retrospective chart review, and the process of attempting to identify preventable causes of retinoblastoma treatment failures Victoria presented on the process of establishing a novel pediatric eye-specific biobank. Victoria also [...]

September 1st, 2017|

Canada 150+

The Dimaras Lab recently celebrated Canada 150+ with the Centre for Global Child Health. Top (left to right): Dr. Helen Dimaras, Arunan Selvarajah, Max Gelkopf, Kaitlyn Hougham Bottom (left to right): Beth White, Victoria Lee-Kim, Jamie Fujioka As part of the celebrations, some of our students were featured on the Centre for Global Child Health Twitter. They shared their thoughts on how Canada can play a leading role in global child health. For more information, please click here.

August 18th, 2017|

How is summer almost over?

This summer has been incredibly busy and we can’t believe it’s almost over! We’ve been working with two incredible student teams in Toronto and Kenya on a variety of projects. To get an idea of current research being conducted in the Dimaras lab, our students have provided a little information on their projects below. Beth White MPH Candidate, University of Toronto I am currently working on a national retinoblastoma (RB) patient engagement strategy that was developed to create meaningful, co-directed RB research that is relevant to patients and improves outcomes. Including patients in research leads to knowledge that is more likely to be relevant to patients and adopted into common practice. It is my hope that this work will shape the future of retinoblastoma research.           Jamie Fujioka MPH Candidate, University of Toronto I am currently supporting the One Retinoblastoma World Map (, an online platform that maps existing retinoblastoma health services across the globe. Currently, there are huge disparities in retinoblastoma survivorship between the developed and developing world. This initiative is instrumental in identifying priority [...]

August 4th, 2017|