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Dr. Lillian Sung MD, PhD

Dr. Sung joined the staff at The Hospital for Sick Children in September 2004 after completing fellowships in Haematology, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Investigation and receiving a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto.

She is a Pediatric Oncologist and Clinician Scientist with an independent research program focused on supportive care for children with cancer. Her overall goal is to optimize supportive care for children with cancer, with an aim to maximize quality of life, survival, and cost-effectiveness. She is the Chair of Cancer Control and Supportive Care for the Children's Oncology Group (COG). This group oversees all studies of supportive care including studies related to symptom management and patient-reported outcomes.

Her clinical focus is on the inpatient care of children and adolescents with leukemia and lymphoma. She also has a major focus on research education. She has taught graduate courses for the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto since her faculty appointment and she currently co-directs an advanced randomized trials course. In addition, she has contributed to the development of the Clinical Research Training Institute supported by the American Society of Hematology and developed a research training course in Latin America and Qatar.

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography


Deborah Tomlinson
Research Project Nurse

Deborah Tomlinson is a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator, working with Dr. Lillian Sung at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, since 2004.

Obtaining her nurse education in the UK, she completed a Master’s Degree in Cancer Nursing at the University of Glasgow. She has many years of previous clinical experience both in the UK and in Toronto. Deborah also held lecturer positions at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Cardiff University, Wales. She was involved in creating and setting up a distance learning post graduate degree in pediatric oncology nursing during these positions.

Deborah has also been fortunate to collaborate with Dr. Nancy Kline, and many wonderful contributors, on a nursing text entitled, Pediatric Oncology Nursing; An advanced clinical handbook. Her current position has included several research projects focused on decision-making for parents with a child in a palliative phase of disease, and development of an instrument to measure oral mucositis in children receiving cytotoxic therapy. Current research involvement includes child report of symptoms.


Erin Plenert
Clinical Research Project Manager

Originally from Winnipeg, Erin moved to Toronto in 2007 to complete a Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of Toronto and has spent over 800-hours in yoga teacher trainings since graduating from school in 2009.

Erin spent a number of years doing qualitative research in the field of psychiatry looking at the connections between housing, homelessness, and mental health before joining Dr. Sung’s team in November 2015.

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Sadie Cook
Clinical Research Project Manager

Sadie completed her honours undergraduate degree in Children’s Education and Development from Wilfred Laurier University focusing her studies on children’s psychology and human rights.

She started working at the Juravinski ICU in 2012 where she completed her Medical Terminology and Behavioral Science certificates. Sadie joined the SickKids team in 2014, and here she is able to combine her hospital experience and passion for working with children.



Emily Vettese
Clinical Research Project Manager

Emily completed her undergraduate degree at Ryerson University where she obtained a Bachelors of Applied Science in the field of Nutrition and Food. This passion for health and wellness inspired her to become a certified yoga instructor, where she has gained over 800 hours of training and education.

As part of Dr. Sung’s research team at SickKids, Emily is able to combine these interests to create impactful and long-term change within the field of health.



Shannon Hyslop
Clinical Research Project Coordinator

Inspired to pursue a career in nursing after beginning to work with Dr. Sung's team, Shannon is currently completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Toronto. Completing a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education at Queen's University as her first undergraduate degree, Shannon has strong interests in holistic health and wellness. She has also always had a passion for working with children.


Cody Watling
Clinical Research Project Assistant

Cody joined Dr. Sung’s team after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Winnipeg and his Master’s in Global Health Science and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford.

 Before joining Dr. Sung’s team, Cody worked as a Project Manager at CancerCare Manitoba where he grew and continues to foster his interest in complementary medicine. Additionally, Cody holds a 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate from Rishikesh, India and has participated in numerous mindfulness courses over the past several years. Drawing from his personal and academic experiences, Cody is enthusiastic to work with Dr. Sung’s team to better support children receiving cancer treatments.

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Lauren Chakkalackal
Clinical Research Project Assistant

Lauren completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from McGill University and her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Studies at King’s College London in the United Kingdom (UK).

Before joining Dr. Sung’s team she worked for many years as a Senior Researcher with the Mental Health Foundation in London (UK) and led on a number of projects focusing on the social determinants of mental health.

Additionally, Lauren is an accredited yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and has studied therapeutic aspects of yoga. She is excited to apply this knowledge and expertise in clinical settings and provide better support to children, their families and health practitioners in pediatric oncology.

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Grace Dadzie
Clinical Research Project Assistant

Grace completed her honours undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Cell Biology from the University of Toronto, with a minor in Bioethics. Following her graduation, Grace went on to work as a research administrative assistant for a mental health clinic in Toronto. Grace is delighted to join Dr. Sung’s team where she will combine her passion for working with children and her experience in healthcare to contribute to the on-going research in pediatric supportive care.

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Hanan Abubeker
Clinical Research Project Assistant

Hanan completed her undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology and Kinesiology at McMaster University.

Before joining Dr. Sung’s team, Hanan worked at Toronto General Hospital conducting qualitative and quantitative research aimed at improving outcomes and quality of life for transplant recipients. Additionally, has volunteered at The Hospital for Sick Children with Child Life since 2017. As part of Dr. Sung’s team, Hanan is excited to contribute her skills, experience, and passion for patient-centered care to the field of pediatric oncology.

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Robyn Loves
Research Student

Robyn joined Dr. Sung’s research team in 2016 after working as a research student at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. She is in her third year of her Honors BSc at the University of Toronto with a double major in neuroscience and immunology and a minor in physiology.

Robyn is also a member of the Varsity Women’s Rowing Team, and hopes to go to medical school and pursue a career in pediatric oncology.