U of T Crest Faculty of Medicine / University of Toronto
Department of Paediatrics
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Dr. Jeremy Friedman - Interim Division Head

As the home of the Canadian Center for Primary Immunodeficiency, the Division of Immunology/Allergy provides unique clinical and laboratory diagnostic services for immunodeficiency. It is the nation's home for complex treatments, such as bone marrow transplantation. Another major focus in the division is to provide tertiary consultation for complex allergic disorders.

The great exposure to a variety of patients with allergic disorders and immunodeficiency in our division provides an ideal environment for educating young subspecialists in Allergy and clinical Immunology as well as core paediatric and Internal Medicine specialists. The division offers a structured and flexible training program which is approved by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as well as by the American Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Research in the division is directly linked to the clinical and educational goals as it concentrates on studying the molecular and genetic basis of immunodeficiency, susceptibility to infection and allergy. This translational research is backed by related basic science in the areas of lymphocyte development and signal transduction.


Modern clinical immunology began at the hospital with the appointment of Dr. Robert Orange as Head of the Division of Immunology in 1971. During his tenure at SickKids, Dr. Oranges work on mediators of inflammation had an enormous impact on the emerging field of immunology.

Dr. Erwin Gelfand, who took over the leadership of the Division after Dr. Oranges premature death, can be credited with the creation of a world-renowned research and clinical centre thanks to his work in complement deficiencies and fetal thymus transplantation. He also enhanced the horizons of the field by hiring a group of clinician-researchers with expertise in rheumatology.

Since Dr. Gelfand's departure in 1987, Rheumatology has evolved into an independent division, and Immunology and Allergy were merged into a single division in 1991 under the leadership of Dr. Chaim Roifman. Major achievements since that time include pioneering work in bone marrow transplants for patients who do not have a suitable donor in their family, exploration of the benefits of intravenous immune globulin for patients with immunodeficiency and autoimmunity, and groundbreaking research into the molecular and genetic bases of immune disorders.

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