U of T Crest Faculty of Medicine / University of Toronto
Department of Paediatrics
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Dr. Lisa Robinson - Division Head

The major focus of clinical activity within the Nephrology Division remains tertiary care of patients with end-stage renal disease and post-renal transplantation. A major shift from inpatient to ambulatory care has occurred over
the past couple of years.

The division is Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada approved and provides complete postgraduate training in Paediatric Nephrology, as well as elective experience for Nephrology trainees from Ottawa and Edmonton. In addition, the division members contribute substantially to undergraduate training of medical students at the University of Toronto, as well as elective students from other universities.

A strong bench-research program has been developed and focuses in the area of renal morphogenesis; clinical research covers a broad range of topics including hypertension, antenatally diagnosed renal disorders, and vesico-ureteral reflux, renal transplantation and anemia in renal disease.


Following its establishment in 1966, the division's first major achievement was the development of a program for kidney transplantation and replacement therapy. The first kidney transplant was undertaken in 1969, and as of December 2005, over 600 transplants have been performed. Over the past few years, living-donor transplantation has been initiated in collaboration with the Toronto Hospital.

Another innovation of the division, started in the 1970's, was the development of peritoneal dialysis techniques for children, leading to an international reputation in this area and an increasing shift toward outpatient treatment.

Basic research in the division has expanded in recent years, with two specific areas of focus: a) understanding the triggers of renal development in the fetus; and b) study of the mechanisms that direct leukocyte trafficking into sites of inflammation. This research is being applied at the translational level to help understand the signals that recruit leukocytes from the circulation into transplanted organs undergoing rejection.

The division's clinical and research arms are connected through the recent development of antenatal and neonatal renal clinics and studies of the genetic basis of renal congenital abnormalities. A balanced mix of staf members has created a dynamic working environment in which clinical and research interests enhance each other.

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