Featured Presenters

William T. Gibson

MD, PhD, FRCPC, FCCMG, Associate Professor, Department of Medical Genetics and Genomics, University of British Columbia; Senior Clinician Scientist, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Severe Early-Onset Obesity: Genetic Causes and How to Diagnose Them

William Gibson MD PhD is a Senior Clinician Scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, affiliated with UBC. He is best known for his team’s discovery of the gene for Weaver syndrome in late 2011, and for their more recent discovery of EED-related overgrowth (Cohen-Gibson syndrome) in 2015-2016. Dr. Gibson did his MD at UWO, residency in Medical Genetics in Calgary and PhD at the University of Cambridge in the O’Rahilly lab.

As an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at UBC, his team solves genetic disorders, with a focus on rare obesity and overgrowth syndromes. With funding from CIHR, his group is actively recruiting patients with severe, early-onset obesity, macrocephaly and/or tall stature. They are also actively recruiting patients with familial brain aneurysms (funded by the HSFC and the Brain Aneurysm Foundation). Dr. Gibson’s team welcomes contact and referrals from colleagues and trainees at every stage of their careers.


Dan Holmes

MD FRCPC, Clinical Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia; Division Head, Clinical Chemistry, St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Daniel Holmes earned his undergraduate degree in Chemical Physics from the University of Toronto. He went to medical school at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he also did his residency in Medical Biochemistry. He is a Clinical Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UBC and Division Head of Clinical Chemistry at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Interests include laboratory medicine statistics, clinical endocrinology with a focus on secondary hypertension, clinical lipidology and clinical mass spectrometry. Assay development efforts in the last five years have focused on novel use of mass spectrometry for assays directed at specialized endocrine testing.


Mark Inman

MD, FRCPC, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Department of Pediatrics, Royal University Hospital; Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Finishing Fellowship: Tips for Transition to Practice

Mark Inman is a pediatric endocrinologist at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan. He obtained his BSc at Acadia University in Wolfville NS (2005), MD at the University of Toronto in Toronto ON (2009), Pediatric Residency at Dalhousie University and IWK Health Center in Halifax NS (2013) and Pediatric Endocrine Fellowship at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children (2015). He currently serves as the coordinator of the undergraduate medical education endocrine module at the University of Saskatchewan. His research interests include social determinants of health within pediatric diabetes care as well as quality improvement initiatives enhancing pediatric care.


Katie Larson Ode

MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Iowa City, IA, USA

Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes Mellitus (CFRD): A Common Rare Disease

Dr. Larson Ode obtained her MD from the University of Wisconsin and her residency in categorical pediatrics at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Case Western Reserve University. She completed fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Minnesota, where she also completed a Masters in clinical research. Dr. Larson Ode is currently faculty at the University of Iowa. She has an active research program with ongoing NIH funding investigating the early pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis related diabetes mellitus (CFRD) in young children with CF. The University of Iowa has a rich environment of excellent basic science models for studying Cystic Fibrosis and CFRD; Dr. Larson Ode is a close collaborator with the CFRD teams which have developed two novel animal models (the CF ferret and CF pig), allowing, for the first time ever, animal models of CFRD where diabetes arises spontaneously in the context of the natural history of the disease. Dr. Larson Ode has also been recognized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) as an emerging leader in CF endocrinology and has received grant support from the CFF for her clinical work in CFRD at the University of Iowa.


Dan Metzger

MD, Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital; Pediatric Endocrinologist, BC Children’s Hospital; Clinical Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Endocrine Care of Trans Youth

Dr. Dan Metzger is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, and a Pediatric Endocrinologist working on the Endocrinology & Diabetes Unit of BC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Metzger and his team, working with mental-health colleagues at BCCH and in the community as a “clinic without walls”, began seeing transgender kids in 1998. They have now seen nearly 400 kids, with one of the busiest clinics in Canada. In 2014, they published one of the first North American reports on the results of their experience caring for trans and gender-questioning children and youth.


Nikhil Pai

MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology and Nurtrition, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Bugs at the Dinner Table: The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Nikhil Pai is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at McMaster Children’s Hospital. He completed his training in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition through Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. His postdoctoral research was through the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital under Dr Lee Kaplan and Peter Turnbaugh, where he studied therapeutic manipulation of gut bacteria in obesity, and post-bariatric surgery mouse models. He is the Medical Lead of the Clinic Nutrition Service at McMaster Children’s Hospital and his research focuses on the role of fecal microbiota transplant for pediatric ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. He loves talking to patients and colleagues about why poop is so fascinating, and doesn’t find it the least bit gross.


Mark Palmert

MD, PhD, Associate Chair of Pediatrics (Ambulatory Care), Head, Division of Endocrinology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada

DEBATE: Be it resolved that growth hormone should be used in the treatment of children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) (Con Side)

Dr. Palmert is a Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology at the University of Toronto. Mark graduated from the Medical Scientist Training Program at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, with a MD and PhD in 1992 and then completed his pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology training at the Children’s Hospital, Boston. Prior to moving to Toronto in 2007 to become Head of the Division of Endocrinology, Mark held staff positions in Boston and at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. In 2017 Mark began a new role as Associate Chair of Pediatrics (Ambulatory Care) at SickKids.


Dina Panagiotopoulos

MD, FRCPC, Investigator, Canucks for Kids Fund Childhood Diabetes Laboratories, BC Children’s Hospital; Pediatric Endocrinologist, BC Children’s Hospital; Clinical Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Metabolic Effects of Antipsychotic Treatment in Children with Mental Health Conditions

Dr. Dina Panagiotopoulos is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia and an endocrinologist at B.C. Children’s Hospital where she also serves as the Medical Director for both the Type 2 Diabetes/Insulin Resistance Clinic and the Provincial Mental Health Metabolic Program. Her research spans both forms (type 1 and type 2) of childhood diabetes. She is the clinical core leader of a research team in childhood autoimmunity at B.C. Children’s Hospital, where she has developed a provincial biobank/clinical registry for childhood type 1 diabetes. She also serves as the Vancouver affiliate principal investigator for TrialNet, a multicentre international research effort to understand the natural history of type 1 diabetes. In the area of type 2 diabetes, her research focus is on vulnerable and “at-risk” populations – including Aboriginal youth, and children with mental health challenges.


Sheila Pritchard

MD, FRCP(C), Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia; Pediatric Oncologist/Hematologist, BC Childrens Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Fertility after Childhood Cancer: Possibilities for Improving Success

Dr Sheila Pritchard is a pediatric oncologist at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and is the Director of the Late Effects program for BC. Sheila has a particular interest in the late effects of cancer treatment on fertility and the possibilities for fertility preservation for young oncology patients.


Stacey Urbach

MD, MPH, FRCPC, Division of Endocrinology, The Hospital for Sick Chidren; Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Endocrine Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Therapy: What We Know and What We Still Need To Learn

Dr. Stacey Urbach is a staff physician in the Division of Endocrinology at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She completed medical school at The University of Toronto and went on to do her pediatric residency and endocrine fellowship at SickKids. Dr. Urbach spent part of her fellowship training in Portland, Oregon where she completed a Master’s in Public Health. Her thesis examined the predictors of glucose control in children with Type 1 Diabetes. During her clinical training, Dr. Urbach had the opportunity to work with the members of the long term follow-up cancer care team at SickKids. Her area of interest lies is in the endocrine care of childhood cancer survivors and she has been instrumental in building the long term follow-up program which provides coordinated care for this vulnerable population.


John Vandermeulen

MD, FRCPC, Division Head & Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

DEBATE: Be it resolved that growth hormone should be used in the treatment of children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) (Con Side)

Dr. VanderMeulen is a professor of pediatrics, McMaster University, and has been the division head of pediatric endocrinology at McMaster Children’s Hospital since 1989. He obtained his MD from the University of Toronto in 1984 and his PhD in 1985 from the department of medical biophysics, division of cell biology, at the University of Toronto. His doctoral research focus was in the field of molecular mechanisms underlying secretion by exocytosis. He trained in pediatric endocrinology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto prior to undertaking post-doctoral training at McMaster University in the area of G-protein coupled signal transduction. His early research career was focused in the same area, receiving research funding from both the Medical Research Council of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. From a one-person division in 1989, the division of pediatric endocrinology has grown to 5 full-time and 1 part-time faculty. Among numerous other benefits, this has resulted in major improvements to his call schedule.


Nursing program

Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents (2 speakers)

Sabrina Gill

RN, BSN, Nurse Clinician, Division of Adolescent Medicine, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sabrina graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University College of the Cariboo. She also holds certificates from the Mental Health Specialty Program and Practice Education for Health and Human Services. Sabrina has gained extensive experience working with the Adolescent population as an RN and has a special interest in educating adolescents on how to build resilience and strength. She has the opportunity to work in a diverse role as a clinician, educator, and resource for staff, patients and the community. Her main goal is to advocate and encourage “youth friendly care” for the adolescent patients at BCCH.


Joanna McDermid,

MD, FRCPC, Consulting Psychiatrist BC Children’s Hospital, UBC Department of Psychiatry Clinical Instructor, Vancouver, BC

Joanna McDermid is a Consulting Psychiatrist with BC Children’s Hospital and Clinical Instructor with Department of Psychiatry UBC Faculty of Medicine. Her work is centered around mindfulness and resilience and the creation of mindful organizations.


Irena Hozjan

RN (EC), MN, NP-Pediatrics, Nurse Practitioner, Endocrine Program, Division of Pediatrics, SickKids, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Alternative and Emerging Therapies Promoted for the Treatment of Prader-Willi Syndrome: Clinical Necessity, Economic Burden, Hope or Hype?

Irena Hozjan is a pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the ambulatory endocrine program at SickKids in Toronto, Ontario and is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. She is a graduate of the Master of Nursing and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs at the University of Toronto.
Ms. Hozjan is Past-President of the Canadian Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses and past executive member of the Canadian Pediatric Endocrine Group. She is a regional, national and international speaker on pediatric nursing and pediatric endocrine conditions and has been a consultant to College of Nurses of Ontario (CON), Registered Nurses of Ontario (RNAO), and SickKids International. Irena is a recipient of the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society (PENS) Nursing Excellence Award for Advanced Clinical Practice.