Anne-Marie Guerguerian, MD, PhD, FAAP, FRCPC

Principal Investigator
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Dr. Anne-Marie Guerguerian received her MD in 1993 from the Université de Montréal and followed up with a specialization in Paediatrics. In 1998, she undertook a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She attended Johns Hopkins University in 2002, completing another Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation. Guerguerian is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, has certification with Pediatrics and Critical Care Medicine, the American Board of Pediatrics and Pediatrics & Pediatric Critical Care Sub-Specialist.

In 2002 Guerguerian served as an instructor in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and in 2003 became an Assistant Professor. She joined SickKids in 2004.

Her program of research aims to bridge the gap that lies between neuroprotective research in animal models and clinical trials in the developing brain of critically ill children. Particular research projects involve the development and implementation of methods that allow the measurement of cerebral physiologic and neurochemical changes occurring after injury. This research will allow better understanding of how therapies can be adapted to target the developing brain to improve early and longer-term outcomes after acquired brain injury.


Saptharishi (Rishi) Lalgudi, MBBS, MD, DM

Pediatric Neurocritical Care Fellow
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Dr. Saptharishi Lalgudi completed his medical school degree (MBBS) at JIPMER, Puducherry, India where he received more than 20 endowment awards and was the best outgoing graduate of his class. He went on to pursue his paediatric residency (MD) and paediatric critical care fellowship (DM) at PGIMER, Chandigarh, India, one of Asia’s largest tertiary care pediatric hospitals. Subsequently, he moved to Toronto to pursue his passion in neurocritical care. After completing his clinical neurocritical care fellowship under the guidance of Dr. Anne-Marie Guerguerian, he continues to work as a clinical-research fellow in neurocritical care in the Department of Critical Care Medicine. He is an astute clinician with a clear understanding of the physiological processes-at-play, and is keen on improving clinical outcomes in the critically ill paediatric population with neurological problems.

Critical care neurophysiology is his primary research interest. He has around 15 publications, including two randomized controlled trials and a novel score development study to his credit. He has won numerous awards and honors for his academic and research excellence. His papers have been cited more than 100 times. He has won the prestigious RESTRACOMP Research Grant and the Center for Brain & Mental Health’s (C-BMH) Integrative Research Training Grant. He won the Best Research Abstract award in the 2017 Annual Brain & Mental Health day for his work on ‘Quantitative EEG use by critical care providers’. With ample support from the Guerguerian lab team-members, he is currently working on utilizing neurophysiological signals to identify brain injury in real-time in critically ill children. He is focused on building his career as a Clinician-Scientist in Neurocritical care at one of the academic, tertiary-care pediatric ICUs in Canada.

Anna Colucci, RN

Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator
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Anna Colucci joined SickKids in 1989, beginning her nursing career in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This clinical experience inspired a passion for paediatrics with a focus in research. Her research experience includes several disciplines including Neonatology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology and currently Neuroscience Research for the Dept. of Critical Care Medicine.  Her numerous contributions and global initiatives have allowed her to impact children’s health internationally. She has witnessed firsthand how research at SickKids extends all over the globe.

Colucci is currently working on the QBIct study. The purpose of the study is to validate a new method of analyzing CT scans to improve outcomes in children with traumatic brain injury.

Colucci enjoys cooking and traveling, especially sharing those passions with her husband and three children. She volunteers with various kids ministries in the city of Toronto, desiring to leave the world a better place.

Geraldine Goco, B.A., B.S.N.

Clinical Research Project Coordinator


Geraldine Goco is a nurse with a BA Hons. in psychology.  Prior to joining the Guerguerian lab, she worked on large-scale study investigating the effectiveness of math instruction in elementary education.

Here, she works on the QBIct Research Team. She is passionate about her work as it combines her interests and experience in research and paediatric health care.

When she’s not working on these projects, she is planning her next travel adventure and visiting new cafés, in search of the perfect cup of coffee.

Helena Frndova, Dipl.Ing

Senior Data Analyst
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Helena Frndova came from the field of animal studies, focusing on the physiology of their respiratory system. Following, she worked on clinical data collection and analysis in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), mostly focusing on the lung mechanics of ICU patients. She then transitioned into data mining in clinical and administrative databases in ICU, database creation/administration with web support in single and multisite research studies (some of these studies: YTBI, ATBI, BTBI, EPOCH, BPEWS validation, DETECT).

In Guerguerian’s lab she works on the QBIct project’s database, including the development of a screening portal for potential participants.

She likes the outdoors no matter what the season.

Poorva Deshpande, MD, MBBS, MRCPCH

Neonatal Intensivist
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Poorva Deshpande is a neonatologist currently working as a junior staff at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. She became interested in cerebral hemodynamics of preterm infants during her neonatal fellowship program at Sickkids. She did targeted neonatal echocardiography training at SickKids and wishes to learn more about relationship between cerebral function and hemodynamics through multimodal monitoring.

Her current project asks: “does the use of combined non-invasive cerebral monitoring and hemodynamic assessments predict cerebral hemorrhages in babies born extremely preterm?”

She is passionate about crafting nutritious (most of which are palatable) meals for her family.

Eva Ta, RN, M.Sc.

Research Assistant
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Eva Ta completed her master’s with Dr. Guerguerian on “Classifying Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Using an Automated Digital Measurement Algorithm to Detect Cerebral Edema”. It focused on assessing an automated algorithm based on quantifiable visual injuries, specifically cerebral edema, on initial computed tomography (CT) scans from children after moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. This project is being used in Guerguerian’s QBIct study. Eva currently works as an ER nurse and helps the team with data entry.

Emily Taylor, B.Sc., M.Sc. Candidate

Research Student
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Emily Taylor is a graduate of chemical engineering from Queen’s University. She works in the Guerguerian lab as a research assistant for the QBIct study as well as an “artist-on-hand.” She has collaborated with different teams to develop visual aids for various projects. She is enrolled in the Biomedical Communications program at U of T.


Donna Cuscuna

Administrative Contact
Head Shot of Donna Cuscuna

Donna began her employment at the Hospital for Sick Children in 2000, in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.  She joined the CCM Program in 2001 to cover a maternity leave and never left!  She provides administrative assistance to Drs. Anne-Marie Guerguerian, Michael-Alice Moga & Roxanne Kirsch and to Dr. Guerguerian’s research team. Donna provides administrative support for the Extracorporeal Life Support Program at SickKids.  She is also responsible for many other administrative responsibilities that keep the department running smoothly!

Judith Van Huyse, RN, CCRP

Research Manager of Critical Care Medicine
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Judy Van Huyse has been a registered nurse in the critical care unit for 26 years and for the past seven years has been involved in many research projects in critical care. In the past year she has taken on the role of research manager for critical care. She is currently overseeing all the research projects and personnel for the critical care unit and is the Paediatric Executive Representative for the Canadian Critical Care Research Group within the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG).

She loves music, the cottage and being with family.