Pediatric Scientists

Dr. Sara Israels, MD FRCPC

Our platelet research laboratory studies basic mechanisms of platelet function and investigates patients with inherited platelet function abnormalities, in conjunction with the clinical Haemostasis Laboratory. Our projects include:

1) Studies of patients with inherited platelet function disorders, with a particular interest the ultrastructure of platelets as defined by electron microscopy.

2) Development of a national registry of patients with inherited platelet disorders, an opportunity to improve our understanding of these rare conditions, aid in their diagnosis, and evaluate treatment options.

3) Initiatives to standardize laboratory testing of platelet function and evaluate new methods for testing that will be clinically relevant.

4) Investigating the role of CD63, a member of the tetraspanin superfamily present on platelet dense granule and lysosomal granule membranes, and expressed on the platelet surface following activation, where it associates with the platelet integrin αIIbβ3, and with the contractile platelet cytoskeleton. It plays a role in platelet spreading on adhesive surfaces. Understanding the role of CD63 has implications beyond platelet function, as it, and similar molecules, may be involved in tumour cell migration and metastases.

Contact information:

Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
675 McDermot Ave
Winnipeg, Mb
R3E 0V9

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Dr Magimairajan Issai Vanan, MD, MPH, FAAP

Our lab’s main focus is in translational Neuro-Oncology with special emphasis on Radiation and Chemotherapy sensitization of pediatric brain tumors, developmental neurobiology as related to brain tumors and neuro therapeutics (BBB permeability / novel drug delivery methods).

Radiation is an integral part of the therapeutic armamentarium in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology. The therapeutic benefits of radiotherapy are, however, accompanied by late toxicity that severely affects quality of life in children. Our lab has identified several potential targets that mediate radiation and chemotherapy resistance in pediatric brain tumors. Validation of these targets using patient derived xenografts (PDX) in orthotopic murine brain tumor models will provide us with novel radio-sensitization drugs with larger therapeutic window; when used with current treatment protocols, this may lead to low dose therapeutic radiation and less long term side effects in survivors of childhood brain tumors.

The blood vessels that vascularize the central nervous system (CNS) possess unique properties, termed the blood–brain barrier (BBB), which allow these vessels to tightly regulate the movement of ions, molecules, and cells between the blood and the brain. However the same barrier also prevents chemotherapeutic drugs from reaching the tumor. The BBB is frequently intact in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and restricts the delivery of systemically administered conventional and biological therapies. In collaboration with Dr Miller we are working on chemical (HAV / Cyclic peptides) and biological (SHH and Wnt) methods of transient alteration of BBB permeability in orthotopic tumor models (DIPG). This transient increase in BBB permeability will help us increase the efficacy of current therapy and hopefully improve outcome in this devastating tumor.  

Contact information

Dr Babu Sajesh PhD.

ON5025a-675 McDermot Ave
Winnipeg, MB, R3E 0V9, Canada.
Ph: 204-787-4171

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