Meet The Team

Program Investigators

Jeannie Callum

Director of Utilization, Department of Lab Medicine and Molecular Diagnostics, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Associate Professor, Dept of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP), University of Toronto (UofT)

Christine Cserti-Gazdewich

Associate Medical Director, Blood Transfusion Laboratory, University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Keyvan Karkouti

Chief of Anesthesia and Pain Management, UHN, Toronto General Hospital; Professor and Vice-Chair, Innovation and Research, Dept of Anesthesia, UofT

Lani Lieberman

Associate Medical Director, Blood Transfusion Laboratory, University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Yulia Lin

Division Head, Transfusion Medicine & Tissue Bank, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Associate Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Jacob Pendergrast

Associate Medical Director, Blood Transfusion Laboratory, University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Nadine Shehata

Medical Director, Transfusion Medicine Laboratory, Mount Sinai Hospital; Associate Professor, Dept of Medicine, UofT

Donald R. Branch

Senior Scientist, Canadian Blood Services Centre for Innovation; Professor in Medicine, UofT; Staff Scientist, Hematology/Oncology, UHN; Affiliated Scientist, Division of Diagnostic Therapeutics, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute

Alan Lazarus

Senior Scientist, Canadian Blood Services Center for innovation and St. Michaels hospital. Professor, Depts Medicine and LMP, UofT

Heyu Ni

Scientist, Canadian Blood Services Centre for Innovation; Professor, Departments of LMP, Physiology, and Medicine, UofT. Platform Director for Hematology, Cancer and Immunological Diseases, St. Michael's Hospital

Program Collaborators and Partners

Wendy Lau

Medical Officer, Donor and Clinical Services, Canadian Blood Services, Transfusion Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children; Program Director, Transfusion Medicine Area of Focused Competence, UofT; Medical Officer, Diagnostic Services, Canadian Blood Services

Katerina Pavenski

Director, Transfusion Medicine and Apheresis, St. Michael’s Hospital; Assistant Professor , Dept of LMP, UofT

Robert Skeate

Associate Medical Director, East, Canadian Blood Services, Assistant Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

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Jeannie Callum

Director of Utilization, Department of Lab Medicine and Molecular Diagnostics, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Associate Professor, Dept of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP), University of Toronto (UofT)

Expertise: RCTs, transfusion guidelines, education, transfusion management in trauma

Jeannie L. Callum, MD, FRCPC, is a Transfusion Medicine Specialist and Hematologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto and Professor of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. She is the Director of Utilization for the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Diagnostics. She also serves as the sponsor lead for the Ontario Regional Blood Coordinating Network for Central Ontario. 

Her primary interests in transfusion medicine include error tracking and the management of the coagulopathy associated with traumatic injury and post-cardiac surgery. She was involved in the development of the U.S. Biovigilance Network and the Canadian Transfusion Error Surveillance System. She has been involved with numerous transfusion clinical trials including ABLE, PROPPR, FIIRST, TACS, FIBRES, ROC-TXA, FARES and FiiRST-2.

She has written extensively about issues in transfusion medicine, publishing more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and authoring numerous book chapters. She also was the lead author on the Provincial (Ontario) transfusion handbook titled “Bloody Easy,” now preparing its fourth edition. In addition, she is on the editorial board for the “Transfusion Medicine Reviews” and “Transfusion” journals. 

She earned her medical degree and completed a fellowship in internal medicine at the University of Toronto. In addition, Callum received transfusion medicine fellowship training with Canadian Blood Services. 

Contact:

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Diagnostics

Clinical Pathology/Blood Bank
2075 Bayview Ave Rm B204
Toronto Ontario M4N 3M5
Office: 416-480-4045
Email: Jeannie.Callum@sunnybrook.ca 

Christine Cserti-Gazdewich

Associate Medical Director, Blood Transfusion Laboratory, University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Expertise: study design and methodology, hemovigilance, immunohematology/serology

Dr. Christine Cserti-Gazdewich is Associate Medical Director of Blood Transfusion Laboratories at University Health Network and Assistant Professor in the Department of LMP at the UofT. She has expertise in study design, methodology and implementation as the PI of the Cytoadherence in Pediatric Malaria Study and co-PI of the Tissue Oxygenation by Transfusion in Severe Anemia with Lactic Acidosis (TOTAL) trial. She is an expert in malarial and evolutionary immunogenetics, immunohematology, and hemovigilance. She serves in Ontario’s Transfusion Transmitted Injury Surveillance System (TTISS) with its core reporting and educational outreach activities. Under her leadership, we have increased participation in TTISS across Ontario and improved the reporting rate by nurses and physicians throughout our affiliated community hospitals. She has published extensively on the adverse consequences of blood transfusion and has lectured across Canada on the adverse consequences of transfusion to national subspecialty organizations.

https://www.uhnresearch.ca/researcher/christine-cserti-0

Keyvan Karkouti

Chief of Anesthesia and Pain Management, UHN, Toronto General Hospital; Professor and Vice-Chair, Innovation and Research, Dept of Anesthesia, UofT

Expertise: senior advisor/mentor, study design and methodology, RCTs, perioperative anemia, coagulopathy and transfusion

 Dr. Keyvan Karkouti is the Chief of Anesthesia and Pain Management at the University Health Network (Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and Princess Margaret Hospital), Sinai Health System, and Women’s College Hospital. He is also a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Toronto.  His research is on perioperative medicine in general, focusing on improving the management of coagulopathy and bleeding, one of the most serious complications of surgery. Dr. Karkouti will act as a senior mentor and advisor for the UofT QUEST research program. He has a large research team with proven ability to launch, manage and complete multicentre trials.

https://www.uhnresearch.ca/researcher/keyvan-karkouti

Lani Lieberman

Associate Medical Director, Blood Transfusion Laboratory, University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Expertise: pediatric hematologist/oncologist; pediatric, neonatal and obstetrical transfusion medicine

Dr. Lani Lieberman is a transfusion medicine specialist and pediatric hematologist in the Department of LMP at University Health Network and Assistant Professor in the Department of LMP at the UofT. She is an expert in neonatal, pediatric and obstetrical transfusion medicine. She has founded the Canadian Obstetrics and Pediatric Transfusion Medicine Network with a goal to standardize and share best practices as well as promote collaborative research in the field of pediatric and obstetrical transfusion medicine. She is lead author on the International Collaboration of Transfusion Medicine Guidelines (ICTMG) group Fetal/Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) guideline which she presented at the AABB annual meeting in 2016.

http://www.lmp.utoronto.ca/research/faculty-research-database/lieberman-lani

Yulia Lin

Division Head, Transfusion Medicine & Tissue Bank, Interim Medical Director, Blood & Tissue Bank, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Associate Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Expertise: transfusion education, quality improvement (implementation), patient blood management

Dr. Yulia Lin is the Division Head of Transfusion Medicine & Tissue Bank at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Associate Professor in the Department of LMP at the UofT. She is a nationally recognized leader in the areas of transfusion education (Chair, UofT Transfusion Camp); quality improvement (Transfusion Lead, Choosing Wisely Canada); and patient blood management (Chair, Ontario Transfusion Coordinators Steering Committee). Her expertise relates to improving physician transfusion knowledge, quality improvement in transfusion practice and patient blood management. She has published several studies in high impact journals in the area of transfusion medicine education.

http://www.lmp.utoronto.ca/research/faculty-research-database/lin-yulia

Jacob Pendergrast

Associate Medical Director, Blood Transfusion Laboratory, University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Expertise: Quality Improvement, Transfusion Support of Sickle Cell Disease, Laboratory Informatics

Dr. Jacob Pendergrast is an Associate Medical Director of the Blood Transfusion Service of the University Health Network and its affiliated laboratory partners in the Greater Toronto Area and Northern Ontario. He is ranked as Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, where he holds a cross-appointment with the Department of Medicine’s Division of Hematology.  He was the principal investigator of both a landmark prospective observational study of IVIG-associated hemolysis, and the first randomized controlled clinical trial of pre-transfusion diuresis for the prevention of circulatory overload (TACO-BEL).  Other areas of interest include the transfusion support of patients on extracorporeal life support systems and patients undergoing stem cell transplantation, hyperhemolytic transfusion reactions, and blood bank inventory management

http://www.lmp.utoronto.ca/research/faculty-research-database/pendergrast-jacob

Nadine Shehata

Medical Director, Transfusion Medicine Laboratory, Mount Sinai Hospital; Associate Professor, Dept of Medicine, UofT

Expertise: knowledge translation, guideline development, RCTs and systematic reviews

Dr. Nadine Shehata is the Director of Transfusion Medicine at Sinai Health Systems and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the UofT. She is cross-appointed to the Department of LMP and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Her research interests focus on knowledge translation. She is an expert in both systematic review methodology and guideline development as the course co-instructor for the graduate course, Evidence-based guidelines with IHPME and Chair of the ICTMG. She is the co-PI for the Transfusion Requirements in Cardiac Surgery III (TRICS III) randomized controlled trial, in which UofT cardiac surgery centres are participating.

http://www.lmp.utoronto.ca/research/faculty-research-database/shehata-nadine?demo1=calendarlist

Donald R. Branch

Senior Scientist, CBS Centre for Innovation; Professor in Medicine, UofT; Staff Scientist, Hematology/Oncology, UHN; Affiliated Scientist, Division of Diagnostic Therapeutics, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute

Expertise: Transfusion-related serology, auto- and alloimmune hemolytic anemias, monocyte monolayer assay, antibody investigations

Dr. Don Branch is a CBS Senior Scientist in the Centre for Innovation and Professor in the Department of Medicine at the UofT. He is cross-appointed to the Department of LMP and the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. His research interests focus on the selection of blood for transfusion using a monocyte monolayer assay in difficult serological incompatibilities and in predicting the likelihood of hemolysis from IVIG, as well as finding a replacement for IVIG use in conditions other than immunodeficiencies. He is currently exploring a possible role for cellular-mediated hemolysis in patients with seronegative hemolytic anemia, hyperhemolysis, or failure to respond to transfusion.

Alan Lazarus

Senior Scientist, CBS Center for innovation and St. Michaels hospital. Professor, Depts Medicine and LMP, UofT

Expertise: innate immunology, role of antibodies and cytokines in immune responses, pathophysiology of murine models of autoimmunity including ITP, autoimmune hemolytic anemia and arthritis, mechanisms of action of antibodies, Fc receptor related therapeutics, the study of IVIg and anti-D, animal models related to hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn

Dr. Alan Lazarus is a CBS scientist in the Centre for Innovation and Professor in the Departments of Medicine, and LMP at the UofT. His research interests are in the mechanism of action and replacement of IVIG and anti-D with recombinant monoclonal antibodies. He has published on the use of IVIG to prevent transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) and the mechanisms associated with alloimmunization to platelet antigens after transfusion.

http://stmichaelshospitalresearch.ca/researchers/alan-h-lazarus/

Heyu Ni

Scientist, CBS Centre for Innovation; Professor, Departments of LMP, Physiology, and Medicine, UofT. Platform Director for Hematology, Cancer and Immunological Diseases, St. Michael's Hospital

Expertise: platelet biology and immunology, autoimmune thrombocytopenia, fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, intravital microscopy to evaluate in vivo events following blood product transfusion

Dr. Heyu Ni is a CBS scientist in the Centre for Innovation and Professor in the Departments of LMP, Physiology, and Medicine at the UofT. His research interests are transfusion related platelet function and thrombocytopenias including immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and FNAIT as well as IVIG and alternative therapies to manage these hemorrhagic disorders. He is an expert in the intravital microscopy system to evaluate the in vivo events following blood product transfusion. Through the collaboration with UofT QUEST investigators (Callum, Lin), his group demonstrated that platelet desialylation caused by anti-platelet antibodies in ITP, may be lethal and may resist both IVIG therapy and platelet transfusion.

http://stmichaelshospitalresearch.ca/researchers/heyu-ni/

Wendy Lau

Medical Officer, Donor and Clinical Services, Canadian Blood Services, Transfusion Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children; Program Director, Transfusion Medicine Area of Focused Competence UofT; Medical Officer, Diagnostic Services, CBS

Expertise: neonatal and pediatric transfusion medicine; transfusion education; immunohematology/serology

http://www.lmp.utoronto.ca/research/faculty-research-database/lau-wendy

Katerina Pavenski

Director, Transfusion Medicine and Apheresis, St. Michael’s Hospital; Assistant Professor , Dept of LMP, UofT

Expertise: apheresis, contingency planning, transfusion management in trauma, patient blood management.

Dr. Katerina Pavenski is the Head of the Division of Transfusion Medicine, clinical hematologist, and medical director of the Patient Blood Management (PBM) and Therapeutic Apheresis at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. She is an associate professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Laboratory Medicine and is cross-appointed to the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is a member of the ISBT Clinical Transfusion Working Party, the Chair of the Topics Committee of the ICTMG (International Collaboration for Transfusion Medicine Guidelines) and was the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the 35th International Congress of the ISBT held in 2018 in Toronto, Canada. She is a member of National Blood Advisory Committee; member of Ontario Blood Advisory Committee and has previously served as its Vice-Chair and Chair. Her research interests include clinical transfusion medicine, patient blood management and TTP/aHUS.

http://www.lmp.utoronto.ca/research/faculty-research-database/pavenski-katerina

Robert Skeate

Associate Medical Director, East, CBS, Assistant Professor, Dept of LMP, UofT

Expertise: blood product manufacture, testing, composition and quality, acquisition of blood products including rare products, transfusion reactions, blood donor and donation procedures and policies

http://www.lmp.facmed.utoronto.ca/research/faculty-research-database/skeate-robert