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Linda Hiraki

Title: Staff Physician, Division of Rheumatology
Designations: MD, FRCPC, ScD
Email: linda.hiraki@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact Name: Tiffany Lagman
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 228108
Alternate Email: tiffany.lagman@sickkids.ca
Chair Positions: Canada Research Chair in Genetics of Rare Systemic Inflammatory Diseases

Research Positions

Scientist, Genetics & Genome Biology

U of T Positions

Assistant Professor, Departments of Paediatrics & Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science (IMS)

Biography

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.

Research

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.

Education

  • 1995–1999: Bachelor of Sciences, Honours, Human Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 1999–2003: Medical Doctorate (MD), Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
  • 2008–2009: Master of Science (SM), Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
  • 2009–2013: Doctor of Science (ScD), Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA

Employment

  • 2015–Present: Staff Physician, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 2015–Present: Assistant Professor, Paediatrics, 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
  • 2019–Present: Assistant Professor, Full Member, Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, (DLSPH), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 2019–Present: Scientist, Genetics and Genome Biology, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 2021–Present: Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science (IMS), University of Toronto, ON, Canada

Achievements 

  • 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)
  • 20172021: 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

Publications

  1. SRA. Gerstein M*, Borgia E, Dominguez D, Feldman BF, Liao F, Levy DM, Ng L, Abdelhaleem M, Silverman ED, Hiraki LT. Predicting macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE) patients at diagnosis. J Rheumatol. 2020 Dec 1:jrheum.200292. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.200292. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33262295
  2. SRA. Webber D*, Cao J, Dominguez D, Gladman D, Levy DM, Ng L, Paterson AD, Touma Z, Urowitz M, Wither J, Silverman ED, Hiraki LTAssociation of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Genetic Susceptibility Loci with Lupus Nephritis in Childhood-onset and Adult-onset with SLE. Rheumatology. 2019 Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31236574. (*Student)
  3. SRA. Sontichai W*, Webber D, Liao F, Dominguez D, Ng L, Levy DM, Almutari M, Wasserman J, Silverman E, Hiraki LT. Timing of Childhood-onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Diagnosis Relative to Menarche Impacts Final Height. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2020 Sep 25. doi: 10.1002/acr.24461. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32976694
  4. SRA. Borgia RE*, Gerstein M, Levy D, Silverman ED*, Hiraki LT(*Co-senior authors)Features, treatment and outcomes of macrophage activation syndrome in pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis & Rheumatology. 2018 April;70 (4): 616-624. PMID: 29342508. (*Student)
  5. PA. Hiraki LT, Silverman ED. Genomics of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): Insights Gained by Studying Monogenic Young-Onset SLE. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 2017 August: 43 (3): 415-434. PMID: 28711143.

  • 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.
    $50,000 CAD.
  • 2019–2021: Principal Investigator. Genetics of manifestations and complications of systemic lupus erythematosus. Star Careers Development Award, The Arthritis Society. Principal Investigator: Hiraki, LT.
    $375,000 CAD.
  • 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.
    $520,200 CAD
  • 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.
    $10,000 CAD.
  • 2017–2020: Co-Applicant. Defining disease phenotypes in SLE: towards personalized medicine. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Project Scheme. PI: Murray Urowitz.
    $800,000 CAD.
  • 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.
    $25,000 USD.

 

 

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