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Sean (Ari) Bitnun

Title: Staff Physician and Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases
Designations: MD, M.Sc., FRCPC
Phone: 416 813-7654
Alternate Contact Name: Grace Baiano
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7910
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Professor, Department of Paediatrics

Research Positions

Project Investigator
SickKids Research Institute


Dr. Ari Bitnun is a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. His primary appointment is as an academic clinician in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, SickKids. He is also Director of the Family-Centered HIV Clinic and the Congenital & Perinatal Infection Clinic.


Dr. Bitnun’s main areas of research are paediatric HIV and childhood encephalitis. He conducts clinical research pertaining to paediatric HIV and prevention of vertical HIV transmission. He is the lead investigator for the SickKids Encephalitis Registry, a project designed to enhance our understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of acute childhood encephalitis.

Education and experience

  • 1982–1985: Undergraduate training in Biochemistry (3 years)
  • 1985–1989: Doctor of medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1989–1990: Rotating Internship, Lions gate Hospital, North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1990–1992: General Practice, Locum Tenens, British Columbia
  • 1992–1997: Pediatrics Training, Israel Medical Association
  • 1997–1999: Clinical Infectious Diseases fellowship, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1999–2002: CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network research fellowship
  • 2000–2003: M.Sc., University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2004: FRCP(C), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Pediatrics)
  • 2005: Pediatric Infectious Diseases certification, Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada


  • 1999–2002: CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network Associateship Award
  • 2007: Paediatric Resident Lecture Series (PERLs) teaching award
  • 2011: Kindred Spirit Tapestry Award. Awarded to the SickKids HIV Care Team
  • 2011: Junior Faculty Award for Clinical Excellence in Paediatric Medical Care


  1. Kakkar F, Lee T, Hawkes MT, Brophy J, Samson L, Singer J, Dieumegard H, Sauvé L, Alimenti A, Vaudry W, Seigel S, Tan B, Karatzios C, Lamarre V, Read S, Soudeyns H, Bitnun A; EPIC4 Study Group. Challenges to achieving and maintaining viral suppression among Canadian children living with perinatal HIV infection in the EPIC4 cohort. AIDS. 2020 Apr 1;34(5):687-697. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002454. (Published ahead of print 2019 Dec 2)
  2. Bitnun A, Brophy J, Kakkar F, Hawkes MT, Samson LE, Annabi B, Pagliuzza A, Morand JA, Sauve L, Chomont N, Lavoie S, Kim J, Sandstrom P, Wender PA, Lee T, Singer J, Read SE, Soudeyns H, for the EPIC4 Research Group. Clinical correlates of HIV-1 DNA and inducible HIV-1 RNA reservoirs in peripheral blood in children with perinatally acquired HIV-1 infection with sustained virologic suppression for at least 5 years. Clin Infect Dis 2020;70(5):859–66 (Epub aead of print 2019 Mar 28. pii: ciz251.)
  3. Bitnun A, Lee T, Brophy J, Samson LE, Kakkar F, Vaudry W, Tan B, Money DM, Singer J, Sauve L, Alimenti A, for the Canadian Perinatal HIV Surveillance Program. Missed Opportunities for the Prevention of Vertical HIV Transmission in Canada, 1997 – 2016: a surveillance study. cmajOPEN 2018;6(2):E202-E210.
  4. Schwartz KL, Richardson SE, MacGregor D, Mahant S, Raghuram K*, Bitnun A. Adenovirus-associated central nervous system disease in children. J Pediatr. 2019 Feb;205:130-137. (Epub 2018 Nov 6. PMID:30413311)
  5. Al-Zaidy SA, MacGregor D, Mahant S, Richardson S, Bitnun A. Neurological complications of PCR-proven M. pneumoniae infections in children: prodromal illness duration may reflect pathogenetic mechanism. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2015;61(7):1082-8 (Epub June 18, 2015).


  • Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
  • Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR)
  • Physician’s Services Incorporated Foundation
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