Scientist, Genetics & Genome Biology
U of T Positions
Full Member, Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science (IMS)
Dr. Linda Hiraki is a Clinician-Scientist in the Division of Rheumatology and Scientist in Genetics & Genome Biology Program at SickKids Research Institute. Hiraki completed her medical degree at Queen’s University, and her clinical training in paediatrics and rheumatology at SickKids. She is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in the specialties of paediatrics and paediatric rheumatology. Hiraki went on to pursue research training at the Harvard School of Public Health where she completed a Masters and Doctor of Science in Epidemiology. Hiraki holds a Canada Research Chair in Genetics of Rare Systemic Inflammatory Diseases
Hiraki is coordinating a large, international cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus patients followed prospectively over years of disease to understand the genetics of lupus, its many manifestations, the disease course, and related outcomes. She is also leading studies to identify rare genetic changes leading to systemic inflammatory diseases, as well as Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus (NLE) studies.
Dr. Hiraki’s current research interests include examining the genetic contribution to complex, rheumatic diseases and their associated long-term outcomes. She is applying methods that take advantage of rich, longitudinally collected clinical data along with both common and low-frequency genetic variants to discover new genetic associations with manifestations and complications of the complex disease. Hiraki is also employing novel methods to transethnic studies of admixed populations with complex diseases.
She is also interested in using repeated measures to better characterize disease course, and identify both environmental and genetic risk factors for adverse outcomes in rheumatic disease.
Understanding the genes influencing the presentation and evolution of complex diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus will provide novel insights into disease mechanisms. This will in turn lead to improved disease outcomes via risk stratification, prevention, early intervention and new treatments.
- 2009–2013: Doctor of Science (ScD), Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
- 2008–2009: Master of Science (SM), Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
- 1999–2003: Medical Doctorate (MD), Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
- 1995–1999: Bachelor of Sciences, Honours, Human Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2022–Present: Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2021–Present: Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science (IMS), University of Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2019–Present: Scientist, Genetics and Genome Biology, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2019–Present: Assistant Professor, Full Member, Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, (DLSPH), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2016–2019: Assistant Professor, Associate Member, Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2015–2022: Assistant Professor, Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2015–Present: Staff Physician, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2020–Present: Founding Co-Chair Lupus Genetics Work Group, Childhood Arthritis & Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA)
- 2018–2020: Member of ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC), Pediatrics Team
- 2018–2020: Member of ACR's Special Committee on Pediatrics (2018-2020)
- 2017–2020: Co-Chair ACR/CARRA Mentoring Interest Group (AMIGO)
- 2017–2021: Elected Chair, Scientific Protocol Evaluation Committee (SPEC), CAPRI
- 2017: EUREKA Institute for Translational Medicine, 2017 Certificate Program, Siracusa, Italy. Competitive Application supported by University of Toronto, Dept. of Pediatrics
- 2023 Emerging Research Leadership Award, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children
- SRA. Sontichai W, Liao F, Dominguez D, Levy DM, Al Mutairi M, Ng L, Silverio F, Silverman ED, Wasserman JD, Hiraki LT. Timing of Childhood-Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Diagnosis Relative to Menarche and the Impact on Final Adult Height. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2022 Feb;74(2):199-207. doi: 10.1002/acr.24461. Epub 2022 Jan 10. PMID: 32976694.
- SRA. Lahiry P, Naumenko S, Couse M, Liao F, Dominguez D, Knight A, Levy DM, Misztal M, Ng LWK, Hiraki LT. Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis Gene Variants in Childhood-Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus With Macrophage Activation Syndrome. J Rheumatol. 2022 Oct;49(10):1146- 1151. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.211200. Epub 2022 Jun 1. PMID: 35649546.
- SRA. Misztal MC, Liao F, Couse M, Cao J, Dominguez D, Lau L, Marshall CR, Naumenko S, Knight AM, Levy DM, Hiraki LT. Genome-Wide Sequencing Identified Rare Genetic Variants for Childhood-Onset Monogenic Lupus. J Rheumatol. 2022 Nov 15:jrheum.220513. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.220513. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36379578.
- SRA. Webber D, Cao J, Dominguez D, Gladman DD, Knight A, Levy DM, Liao F*, Ng L, Paterson AD, Touma Z, Wither J, Urowitz M, Silverman ED, Hiraki LT. Genetics of Osteonecrosis in Children and Adults with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2023 Jan 18:kead016. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kead016. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36651668.
- SRA. Tang TS, Liao F, Webber D, Gold N, Cao J, Dominguez D, Gladman D, Knight A, Levy DM, Ng L, Paterson AD, Touma Z, Urowitz MB, Wither J, Silverman ED, Pullenayegum EM, Hiraki LT. Genetics of longitudinal kidney function in children and adults with systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2023 Mar 14:kead119. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kead119. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36916720.
- 2021–2023: Principal Investigator. Understanding the Genetics of childhood-onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) Large Grant, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Principal Investigator: Hiraki, LT. Co-Applicants: Lewandowski, L, Thompson
- 2020–2021: Principal Investigator. Genetics of monogenic systemic inflammatory disease (SID). McLaughlin Centre, Accelerator Grants in Genomic Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Principal Investigator: Hiraki, LT. Co-Applicants: Laxer R, Dissanayake D, Marshal C, Batthish M, Roth J, Berard R.
- 2019–2021: Principal Investigator. Genetics of manifestations and complications of systemic lupus erythematosus. Star Careers Development Award, The Arthritis Society. Principal Investigator: Hiraki, LT.
- 2018–2021: Principal Investigator. Identifying genetic determinants of lupus nephritis and kidney function in children and adults with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Project Scheme. Principal Investigator: Hiraki, LT. Co-Applicant: Andrew Paterson; Dafna Gladman; Earl Silverman.
- 2018–2021: Co-Applicant. Genetics of Monogenic Systemic Inflammatory Disease. SickKids, Paediatric Consultants Partnership Grants for Creative Professional Activity. Principal Applicant: Ronald Laxer. Co-Applicants: Peter Kannu, Rayfel Schneider.
- 2017–2020: Co-Applicant. Defining disease phenotypes in SLE: towards personalized medicine. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Project Scheme. PI: Murray Urowitz.
- 2017–2020: Principal Investigator. Discovering genetic variants for early onset and familial lupus in the thousand faces of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) Small Grant. Principal Investigator: Hiraki, LT. Co-Applicants: Silverman ED, Levy DM.