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Dr. Katherine Siminovitch

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
Sinai Health
600 University
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 1X5

Tel.: 416-586-4800 ext.8470

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Dr. Katherine Siminovitch


Dr. Siminovitch has a long-standing interest in characterizing signaling pathways that regulate immune cell function. Her lab played seminal roles in defining the functions of the SHP-1 tyrosine phosphatase in autoimmune responses and the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) actin regulator in immune deficiency, and her group continues to generate new mouse models that can be used to delineate the contributions of these and other tyrosine phosphatases and cytoskeletal modulatory proteins to immune cell function.

Dr. Siminovitch is also an acclaimed leader in genomic medicine. Working with other physicians at the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis and Autoimmune Disease, Dr. Siminovitch has discovered some of the key gene variants conferring risk for rheumatoid arthritis and primary biliary cirrhosis. 

By coupling her studies of human patient cohorts with the generation of unique mouse models, she is characterizing the genes that regulate normal immune responses, defining the mechanisms whereby certain proteins contribute to immune system function, and identifying the molecular pathways whereby such variants evoke cell dysfunction and disease. Dr. Siminovitch also directs a core facility that provides genotyping and sequencing services as well as guidance for design of genomics projects aimed at delineating the genetic factors modulating disease risk and outcome.

At a Glance

Clinician and geneticist who studies rheumatoid arthritis, primary biliary cirrhosis and Wegener's granulomatosis

Holds the Canada Research Chair in the Mechanisms Regulating Immunologic Disease; and the Sherman Family Research Chair in Genomic Medicine

Developed a genetic test for a rare and usually fatal immune deficiency disorder called Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome

Identified gene variants associated with risk for rheumatoid arthritis and other debilitating autoimmune diseases

Aims to provide new knowledge that will lead to individualized medicine

Major Research Activities

Dr. Siminovitch's research program is directed at identifying the genetic and cellular mechanisms modulating expression of the immune response and development of immunologic diseases. The lab is now focused on defining the molecular events conferring risk for and modulating outcome of chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases and in particular rheumatoid arthritis, primary biliary cirrhosis and Wegener's granulomatosis. To this end, the lab capitalizes on its access to unique mouse models and patient cohorts to delineate the gene variants conferring risk for these diseases and the effector pathways linking such variants to disease.