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Melissa McCradden

Title: Bioethicist, Department of Bioethics
Designations: PhD, M.HSc.
Phone: 416-813-2241
U of T Positions: Assistant Professor (status only)


Dr. McCradden is a Bioethicist with the Department of Bioethics at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Melissa holds a PhD in Neuroscience (McMaster University) and a M.HSc. in Bioethics (University of Toronto). In her role, she provides clinical and organizational consultation, gives education to staff and trainees, participates and leads policy development, and conducts research. Her areas of scholarship and research include artificial intelligence/machine learning, precision child health, paediatric bioethics, and research ethics.

Melissa brings her background in clinical research to her work at SickKids as she explores the intersections of ethics and evidence. She has had a focus on paediatrics since her graduate work in youth concussion, and is particularly interested in highlighting the value of a young person’s voice and agency in healthcare.


Melissa’s research focuses on novel technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, precision health, and neurotechnologies. She is particularly interested in how to responsibly evaluate these new technologies from an evidence perspective, integrating research ethics and evidence-based medicine. This work involves exploring the accountability of clinicians, informed consent in paediatrics, and public and patient/family perspectives about AI. These projects involve a unique integration of ethics, computer science, and paediatric healthcare.

Her past work has focused on sport ethics, specifically concerning youth athletes and sport violence, and the integration of paediatric bioethics concepts into youth sport. Her graduate thesis explored the neuropsychiatric sequelae of sport-related concussion in youth athletes.


  • 2010–2017: PhD, Neuroscience, McMaster University, Hamilton ON
  • 2017–2020: M.HSc., Bioethics, Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, Toronto ON


  • 2011–2014: Course Instructor, Neuroscience Graduate Program, McMaster University, Hamilton ON
  • 2017–2019: Postdoctoral fellow, Neurosurgery, St. Michael’s Hospital/Unity Health, Toronto ON
  • 2019: Postdoctoral fellow, Ethics of AI in Healthcare, The Hospital for Sick Children - Bioethics and Vector Institute, Toronto ON


  1. Clinical research underlies ethical integration of healthcare artificial intelligence. McCradden M, Stephenson E. Anderson JA. Nature Medicine, 2020. (Publication data Sept 8 2020)
  2. Ethical concerns around use of artificial intelligence in health care research from the perspective of patients with meningioma, caregivers and health care providers: a qualitative study. MD McCradden, A Baba, A Saha, S Ahmad, K Boparai, P Fadaiefard, Cusimano MD. CMAJ Open 8 (1), E90.
  3. Ethical limitations of algorithmic fairness solutions. McCradden MD, Joshi S, Mazwi M, Anderson JAA. Lancet Digital Health, 2020.
  4. The voices of survivors: “you will not destroy our light.” McCradden MD, Cusimano MD. British Journal of Sport Medicine, 2018.
  5. When is death in a child’s best interest? Examining decisions following severe brain injury. McCradden MD, Anderson J, Cusimano MD. JAMA Pediatrics, 2019

See a full list of Melissa McCradden's publications

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