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Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada

  • University of Toronto, Canada B.Sc. 1972-1975 Biology
  • McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada M.D. 1975-8 Medicine
  • Royal College of Physicians of Canada FRCP(C) 1982 Internal Med
  • Royal College of Physicians of Canada FRCP(C) 1983 Hematology


Over the last 5 years, my main contributions can be divided into three major directions within the hemoglobinopathies. The first research thrust has focused on the in vivo efficacy and toxicity of deferoxamine, the only available treatment for iron overload. With collaborators at Harvard we had provided the first evidence that the incidence of iron-induced cardiac disease in thalassemia major could be reduced with deferoxamine therapy, followed by the first demonstration that iron-induced gonadal dysfunction and abnormalities in sexual maturation in thalassemia could be prevented with deferoxamine. We then reported the improvement in survival achieved with sustained reduction in body iron with deferoxamine, establishing that the magnitude of the body iron burden is the principal determinant of survival in thalassemia. Recognizing the primary obstacle to survival in these patients as poor compliance with subcutaneous deferoxamine, we designed a novel delivery system of continuous ambulatory intravenous deferoxamine. In parallel, toxicities of deferoxamine,including severe deferoxamine-associated neurotoxicity, pulmonary and renal toxicity, deferoxamine-induced cartilagenous changes and failure of growth, were extensively characterized.

The second focus, arising out of the first, have focused on the development of new chelating agents as the use of deferoxamine, while lifesaving, is associated with erratic compliance and great expense. In studies of a new orally active iron chelating agent, deferiprone, we defined dose-responses to this agent, reported the first evidence of reduction in tissue iron stores with any orally active iron chelator, and later extensively characterized its toxicity.

The third area of research focus has been the development and evaluation of agents to augment fetal hemoglobin synthesis. This developed from early observations leading to studies to increase fetal hemoglobin synthesis in vitro. We have reported the first hematologic response toarginine butyrate in thalassemia. After observing a promising initial response to the latter, the nominee extended therapy to a larger cohort of patients, demonstrating the complexity of response to this compound.


1986-1991 Salary Award, Ontario Ministry of Health
1991-1996 Salary Award, Ontario Ministry of Health
1996-2001 Salary Award, Medical Research Council of Canada
1999 Shafeek Trust - Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage
1999 - Governor's Award
2000 - L'Ordine al Merito
2001 , Civil Justice Foundation's
- .


American Society for Clinical Investigation,
Society for Pediatric Research,
American Society of Hematology,
American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology,
Canadian Society of Hematology,
Canadian Society of Clinical Investigation;
Editorial Board, Hemoglobin,
Editorial Board, Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology;
International Collaborative Study Group on Oral Iron Chelators, 1990-;
Medical Advisory Board, Cooley's Anemia Foundation, 1991-;
NIH NHLBI Cooley's Anemia Progress Review Committee 1994-1995;
Scientific Subcommittee, Hemoglobin/Red Cell, American Society of Hematology, 1997-2001.


The most current publications can be found at .

Copyright 2001 Doctors for Research Integrity.