Gideon Koren

Children's Health & Therapeutics Dr. Gideon Koren


Scientist, Division of Children’s Health and Therapeutics, Children’s Health Research Institute
Professor, Departments of Medicine, Paediatrics, Physiology & Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
Ivey Chair in Molecular Toxicology, Western University
Director, The Motherisk Program, The Toronto Hospital for Sick Children
Professor, Departments of Paediatrics, Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto

How my research helps children

My work helps identify pharmacological and toxicological determinants of maternal, fetal and child health, both in terms of medicinal drugs, as well as environmental toxins.


Current Research

Currently, Dr. Koren’s research at Western University includes a wide range of topics in the field of clinical pharmacology.  He has ongoing projects looking at drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding, adverse drug reactions and events, environmental toxicology and applications for hair cortisol as a biomarker for stress.

Research Team

Since his start as the Ivey Chair in Molecular Toxicology at Western University, Dr. Koren has trained ten graduate students who have successfully defended their theses.  At present, his lab consists of six graduate students in both the MSc and PhD programs.  Following the defense of two of his current masters students, several more trainees will become a part of Dr. Koren’s team this fall (2010).  Dr. Koren has collaborations with Dr. Stan Van Uum, Dr. Jack Bend and Dr. Michael Rieder.

Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

Post tonsillectomy use of opioids in children with obstructive sleep apnea - CIHR DSEN (G. Koren-PI).

Behavioral phenotype for FAS - Canadian Foundation for Fetal Alcohol Research (C. Rasmussen-PI).

Hair cortisol for stress in mothers of children with FASD - Canadian Foundation for Fetal Alcohol Research (S. VanUum-PI)

Pregnancy outcome following gestational exposure to Muscle Care products - Ontario Centers of Excellence (G. Koren-PI)

Using a mobile community research laboratory to improve understanding, treatment and prevention of addiction and mental illness co-morbidities at the individual and community level: The Ontario Communities Project (Emerging Team Grant) - CIHR NET grant (G. Koren-Co-I)

Surveillance program for diclectin in pregnancy - Duchesnay Inc. (G. Koren-PI)

Pharmacogenetics of adverse drug events - CIHR DSEN (M. Hayden-PI) (co-I)

Active Surveillance and evaluation of adverse reactions in Canadian healthcare (DSEN SEARCH) - CIHR DSEN (B. Carleton-PI) (co-I)

Access to data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort - The University of Oslo and the Foundation for the Promotion of Norwegian Pharmacies (H. Nordeng-PI) (co-I).

Medication use in pregnance with focus on attitudes, perception of risk and mental well-being - The University of Oslo (H. Nordeng-PI) (co-I).

Long term neurodevelopmental outcome after exposure to psychotropic drugs during pregnance - The Norwegian Research Council (H. Nordeng-PI) (co-I).

International Registry for Gilenya in Multiple Sclerosis - Novartis Inc. (G. Koren-PI).

Developing GeneMed for Canada, Pilot Study - University of Toronto Centre for Applied Genomics (G. Koren-PI).

GeneMed in children - Ontario Ministry of Health (S. Ito-PI) (co-I).

CHIP-Child- Testing the Fetal Programming Hypothesis - CIHR (L. Magee-PI) (co-I).

Development of clinical practice guideline for pharmacogenetic testing - CIHR (B. Carleton-PI) (co-I).

Doctoral Research Award - Priority Announcement - Childhood Cancer (SHOPP), CIHR-Partnerships and Citizen Engineering/CIHR - Institute of Cancer Research/Paediatric Oncology Group of Ontario.  (Lauren Hanly - PhD Candidate).

NIH - Pain in preterm infants in development and effects. (R. Grunan-PI) (Co-applicant).

The Ivey Chair in Molecular Toxicology, University of Western Ontario (PI).

CIHR - Canadian Pharmacogenetic Network for Drug Safety: (B Carleton, M Hayden, PIs) (co-investigator, site PI).

Walkerton Clean Water Center: Bisphenol A and children’s health(with Dr. Yanful). (co-PI)

CIHR - Renal handling of drugs during development (PI)

First Nation & Inuit Branch - Baseline biomonitoring studies and a survey of child-youth health as prerequisites to epidemiological studies to assess the health risk of the Attawapiskat first nation and Walpole island first nation. (J. Bend, PI) (Co-applicant).

North Carolina Translational and Clinical Science Institute. Hair cortisol as a biomarker of chronic HPA axis response to stress. (A. Sanders, PI) (Co-applicant)

American Association of Critical Nurses. The Vulnerable Infant Population (VIP) perinatal stress study. (Purdy I, UCLA, PI). (Co-applicant).

Recent Publications


Fetal pharmacotherapy 3: magnesium sulfate
Namouz-Haddad S, Koren G
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Dec; 35(12):1101-4

Hair-Normalized Cortisol Waking Response as a Novel Biomarker of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal
Axis Activity following Acute Trauma: A Proof-of-Concept Study with Pilot Results
Walton DM, Macdermid JC, Russell E, Koren G, Van Uum S
Pain Res Treat. 2013 Dec

Pruritus in pregnancy: Treatment of dermatoses unique to pregnancy
Bergman H, Melamed N, Koren G
Can Fam Physician. 2013 Dec; 59(12):1290-4

Herbal medicine use in pregnancy: results of a multinational study
Kennedy DA, Lupattelli A, Koren G, Nordeng H
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Dec 12; 13:355

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in human pregnancy: On the way to resolving the controversy
Ornoy A, Koren G
Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Dec 6

Rates of fetal polydrug exposures in methadone-maintained pregnancies from a high-risk population
Delano K, Gareri J, Koren G
PLoS One. 2013 Dec 2; 8(12):e82647

Human hair cortisol analysis: Comparison of the internationally-reported ELISA methods
Albar WF, Russell EW, Koren G, Rieder MJ, Van Uum SH
Clin Invest Med. 2013 Dec 1; 36(6):E312

Sex differences in the pharmacokinetics and bioequivalence of the delayed-release combination of
doxylamine succinate-pyridoxine hydrochloride; implications for pharmacotherapy in pregnancy
Koren G, Vranderick M, Gill SK, Macleod S
J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Dec; 53(12):1268-76

Cortisol and testosterone in hair as biological markers of systolic heart failure
Pereg D, Chan J, Russell E, Berlin T, Mosseri M, Seabrook JA, Koren G, Van Uum S
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Dec; 38(12):2875-82

Fetal pharmacotherapy 2: fetal arrhythmia
Namouz-Haddad S, Koren G
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Nov; 35(11):1023-7

Botulinum toxin type A in pregnancy
Tan M, Kim E, Koren G, Bozzo P
Can Fam Physician. 2013 Nov; 59(11):1183-4

Clinical practice guideline: CYP2D6 genotyping for safe and efficacious codeine therapy
Madadi P, Amstutz U, Rieder M, Ito S, Fung V, Hwang S, Turgeon J, Michaud V, Koren G, Carleton BC; CPNDS Clinical Recommendations Group
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2013; 20(3):e369-96

Sex dependent pharmacokinetics and bioequivalence--time for a change
Koren G
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2013; 20(3):e358-61

Protecting young children from life-threatening drug toxicity
Koren G
J Pediatr. 2013 Nov; 163(5):1249-50

Characteristics and publication patterns of obstetric studies registered in
Stockmann C, Sherwin CM, Koren G, Campbell SC, Constance JE, Linakis M, Balch A, Varner MW, Spigarelli MG
J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Oct 25

Fetal pharmacotherapy 1: prenatal glucocorticoids
Namouz-Haddad S, Koren G
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Oct; 35(10):920-2

Identifying the neurobehavioral phenotype of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in young children
Breiner P, Nulman I, Koren G
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2013; 20(3):e334-9

Alcohol exposure among pregnant women in sub-saharan Africa: a systematic review
Culley CL, Ramsey TD, Mugyenyi G, Kiwanuka GN, Ngonzi J, Macleod S, Koren G, Grunau BE, Wiens MO
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2013; 20(3):e321-33

Adopted children from the former Soviet Union: are they at risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder?
Koren G
Can Fam Physician. 2013 Oct; 59(10):1063-4

Hair cortisol as a biomarker of stress among a first nation in Canada
Henley P, Jahedmotlagh Z, Thomson S, Hill J, Darnell R, Jacobs D, Johnson J, Williams NC, Williams RM, Van Uum S, Bend JR, Koren G
Ther Drug Monit. 2013 Oct; 35(5):595-9

Risks and safety of pandemic h1n1 influenza vaccine in pregnancy: birth defects, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, and small for gestational age infants
Chambers CD, Johnson D, Xu R, Luo Y, Louik C, Mitchell AA, Schatz M, Jones KL; OTIS Collaborative Research Group
Vaccine. 2013 Oct 17; 31(44):5026-32

Neurodevelopment of children assessed after prenatal exposure to polybrominated diethyl ethers from collapse of world trade center
Poon S, Koren G
Ther Drug Monit. 2013 Oct; 35(5):560-1

Counseling about medication-induced birth defects with clinical decision support in primary care
Schwarz EB, Parisi SM, Handler SM, Koren G, Shevchik G, Fischer GS.
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Oct; 22(10):817-24

Pregnancy outcomes following gabapentin use: Results of a prospective comparative cohort study
Fujii H, Goel A, Bernard N, Pistelli A, Yates LM, Stephens S, Han JY, Matsui D, Etwell F, Einarson TR, Koren G, Einarson A
Neurology. 2013 Apr 3. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23553472

Pregnancy and isotretinoin therapy
Choi JS, Koren G, Nulman
ICMAJ. 2013 Apr 2; 185(6):508. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.113-2112. PubMed PMID: 23550057

A child exposed to primidone not prescribed for her
Tanoshima R, 't Jong GW, Merlocco A, Simpson J, Friedman JN, Colantonio D, Koren G
Ther Drug Monit. 2013 Apr; 35(2):145-9. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e3182843206. PubMed PMID: 23503440.

Selected Pregnancy and Delivery Outcomes After Exposure to Antidepressant Medication: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Ross LE, Grigoriadis S, Mamisashvili L, Vonderporten EH, Roerecke M, Rehm J, Dennis CL, Koren G, Steiner M, Mousmanis P, Cheung AJ
AMA Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 1; 70(4):436-43. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.684. PubMed PMID: 23446732

Systematic Review of the Effects of Maternal Hypertension in Pregnancy and Antihypertensive Therapies on Child Neurocognitive Development
Koren G
Reprod Toxicol. 2013 Mar 28. doi:pii: S0890-6238(13)00071-3. 10.1016/j.reprotox.2013.03.006 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23542230

Meconium Fatty Acid ethyl esters as biomarkers of late gestational ethanol exposure and indicator of ethanol-induced multi-organ injury in fetal sheep
Zelner I, Kenna K, Brien JF, Bocking A, Harding R, Walker D, Koren G
PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59168. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059168. Epub 2013 Mar 22. PubMed PMID: 23533604; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3606447

Towards Identifying a Characteristic Neuropsychological Profile for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Specfic Caregiver-and Teacher-Rating
Stevens SA, Nash K, Fantus E, Nulman I, Rovet J, Koren G
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2013;20(1):e53-62. Epub 2013 Mar 4. PubMed PMID: 23513046

Towards Identifying a Characteristic Neuropsychological Profile for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Analysis of the Motherisk FASD Clinic
Nash K, Stevens S, Rovet J, Fantus E, Nulman I, Sorbara D, Koren G
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2013;20(1):e44-52. Epub 2013 Mar 4. PubMed PMID: 23513044

Water by the spoonful: Children of addiction
Koren G
Can Fam Physician. 2013 Mar;59(3):e141-2. PubMed PMID: 23486813; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3596221

Cancer chemotherapy and pregnancy
Koren G, Carey N, Gagnon R, Maxwell C, Nulman I, Senikas V
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Mar;35(3):263-79. PubMed PMID: 23470115

Comparing the pharmacokinetics of doxylamine/pyridoxine delayed-release combination in nonpregnant women of reproductive age and women in the first trimester of pregnancy
Matok I, Clark S, Caritis S, Miodovnik M, Umans J, Hankins G, Koren G
J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Mar; 53(3):334-8. doi: 10.1177/0091270012445207. Epub 2013 Jan 24. PubMed PMID: 23444286

A 2013 Updated Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis of 36 Randomized Controlled Trials; No Apparent Effects of Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents on the Risk of Bleeding After Tonsillectomy
Riggin L, Sommer D, Koren G, Ramakrishna J
Clin Otolaryngol. 2013 Feb 28. doi: 10.1111/coa.12106. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23448586

Prevalence of renal dysfunction in tacrolimus-treated pediatric transplant recipients: A systematic review
Gijsen VM, Hesselink DA, Croes K, Koren G, de Wildt SN
Pediatr Transplant. 2013 Feb 28. doi: 10.1111/petr.12056. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23448292

Preemptive treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: results of a randomized controlled trial
Maltepe C, Koren G
Obstet Gynecol Int. 2013;2013:809787. doi: 10.1155/2013/809787. Epub 2013 Feb 17. PubMed PMID: 23476657; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3588181

Safety of procedural sedation in pregnancy
Neuman G, Koren G
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Feb; 35(2):168-73. PubMed PMID: 23470068

The maternal drinking history guide: development of a national educational tool
Koren G, Sarkar M, Rosenbaum C, Orrbine E
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2013; 20(1):e42-3. Epub 2013 Feb 7. PubMed PMID: 23429281

Treating morning sickness PRN?
Koren G
Can Fam Physician. 2013 Feb; 59(2):150-1. PubMed PMID: 23418239

Neonatal outcomes after gestational exposure to nitrofurantoin
Nordeng H, Lupattelli A, Romøren M, Koren G
Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Feb; 121(2 Pt 1):306-13. doi: http://10.1097/AOG.0b013e31827c5f88. PubMed PMID: 23344280

Higher cortisol predicts less improvement in verbal memory performance after cardiac rehabilitation in patients with coronary artery disease
Saleem M, Herrmann N, Swardfager W, Oh PI, Shammi P, Koren G, Van Uum S, Kiss A, Lanctôt KL
Cardiovasc Psychiatry Neurol. 2013;2013:340342. doi: 10.1155/2013/340342. Epub 2013 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 23401745; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3562642

Mothersisk update: reproductive outcomes after assisted conception
Neuman G, Koren G
Can Fam Physician. 2013 Jan; 59(1):33-4, 36. PubMed PMID: 23341654

Additional publications



Phone: (416) 813-5781
Fax: (416) 813-7562
Email: gideon [dot] koren [at] sickkids [dot] ca

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