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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.


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 Coordinator

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.

Shannon Hyslop
Clinical Research Project Coordinator

Shannon completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, where she focused her studies on child development and the mechanics of body movement. She has always had a passion for working with children, with the majority of her career and volunteer experience to date coming from child-centred roles. Her other interests include holistic health and wellness, fitness and nutrition.



Eliana Stein
Clinical Research Project Coordinator

Eliana is a Registered Kinesiologist and certified yoga teacher who is passionate about using exercise and yoga as medicine. Eliana shares her time between doing research for Dr. Sung’s team at SickKids and practicing yoga therapy, supporting clients with a range of physical and psychological ailments.



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Sadie Cook
Clinical Research Project Coordinator

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 Coordinator

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.


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Austin Duong
Clinical Research Project Assistant

After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree, Austin completed his Master's Degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Guelph in 2017, where his research focused on the effects of circadian rhythm disruption in heart failure. As a part of Dr. Sung's research team, Austin is able to apply his research experience to a clinical setting, where he hopes to continue learning and being a meaningful contributor in improving the lives of patients.


Kay Ghagar
Clinical Research Project Assistant

Kay received a Master of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour at McMaster University, where she studied metabolism and functional connectivity in the brains of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She simultaneously led the imaging arm of a probiotic trial assessing anxiety and depression in adults.

Kay received her yoga teaching certificate at Power Yoga Canada. In addition to doing research for Dr. Sung’s team, Kay teaches yoga in private, group, and corporate settings.

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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.