Department Executive Team

Meredith Irwin MD  
Chair of Paediatrics

Dr. Irwin received her Bachelors of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed residency and fellowship training in paediatrics and Haematology/Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts followed by a research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. William Kaelin, a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute studying the role of the p53-related genes, p73 and p63, in cancer.  After three years on faculty at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Irwin joined the Division of Haematology/Oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in April 2002 as a Clinician-Scientist.

She is currently a Senior Scientist in Cell Biology, Professor of Paediatrics (cross-appointed to the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP), Medical Biophysics (MBP)) and the Associate Chair for Paediatrics (Research). She also holds many leadership roles in international committees including the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG), and Advances in Neuroblastoma Research (ANR).


Rulan Parekh, MD, MS, FRCP(C), FASN 
Associate Chair of Paediatrics - Clinical Research

Dr. Parekh is a Clinician Scientist and Professor of Medicine and Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children and University Health Network. The focus of Dr. Parekh’s research is to study risk factors both clinical and genetic leading to progression of chronic kidney and cardiovascular disease. She has published over 90 peer reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, and has mentored over 25 postdoctoral fellows and students. She leads both NIH and Canadian Institute of Health Research sponsored observational studies in kidney disease including: “Predictors in Arrhythmic and Cardiovascular Disease in End Stage Renal Disease (PACE)”, a new cohort study in dialysis patients to identify risk factors for sudden cardiac death;   the “ Insight into Nephrotic Syndrome: Genes, Health and Therapeutics (INSIGHT)”, a cohort study of childhood nephrotic syndrome; a pediatric solid organ transplant cohort; and is also site PI for the Family Investigation of Nephropathy in Diabetes (FIND).  She is a co-investigator on the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Kidney Disease Research Network and leads the aims to study genetic risk, specifically APOL1, for chronic kidney disease in West and East Africa. She has recently been inducted into the American Society of Clinical Investigation and Society for Pediatric Research.


Adelle Atkinson, MD 
Associate Chair of Paediatrics - Education

Dr. Atkinson is a Professor of Paediatrics in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, with a Staff Position in the Division of Immunology and Allergy at SickKids.  Her clinical work focuses on patients with primary immunodeficiencies, bone marrow transplantation, and complex allergic diseases with an emphasis on reactions to food, drugs and biologics.


Jeremy Friedman, MB. ChB FRCPC 
Associate Chair of Paediatrics - Clinical

Dr. Jeremy Friedman graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1985. After completing his internship in South Africa he worked as a family doctor in rural Saskatchewan for 3 years. He began his residency at Sickkids in Toronto in 1990 and finished as chief paediatric resident in 1994. Since then he has worked as fulltime faculty at Sickkids as a general paediatric hospitalist, including as Division Head of Paediatric Medicine from 2004-2014. In 2012 he was appointed Associate Paediatrician-in-Chief at Sickkids and Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. He has previously served as MSA President and is currently co-chair of the hospital MAC as well as interim Paediatrician-in-Chief at Sickkids and Chair of the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.

Dr Friedman’s academic interests relate to the care provided to the hospitalized child. He is an academic leader in the rapidly growing field of Hospitalist Paediatrics, and introduced the highly regarded Sickkids ‘complex care’ program which has developed into a world leader in care for the medically complex child. A current area of focus relates to resource stewardship and overuse of tests and therapies, where he leads the Sickkids Choosing Wisely initiative. He has consulted broadly to childrens hospitals in Canada and around the world related to models of clinical care.

Dr. Friedman was appointed to the examination board of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons for Paediatrics in 2006. He chaired the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Annual Conference 2009-15, and represented hospitalists on the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Acute Care Committee authoring many national clinical guidelines. He has published over 100 manuscripts and book chapters, and has edited two Paediatric handbooks and seven best-selling books for parents sold around the world.

Dr Friedman has been recognized with many awards for his outstanding contributions to clinical care and teaching. He currently acts as the national medical advisor for the Children's Wish Foundation and as a director for the Jacobs Ladder Foundation. 


Mark Palmert, MD, PhD 
Associate Chair of Paediatrics - Clinical (Ambulatory)

Dr. Mark R. Palmert joined the Department of Paediatrics as Head of the Division of Endocrinology in September 2007 and held the role until March 2018 when he assumed the role of Associate Chair of Paediatrics for Ambulatory Care. Dr. Palmert graduated from the Medical Scientist Training Program at Case Western Reserve University with an MD and PhD in 1992. He trained in paediatrics and paediatric endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Palmert has a long-standing interest in the regulation and disorders of pubertal timing. He has conducted clinical studies of precocious and delayed puberty and in parallel has directed a laboratory-based program designed to identify and understand genetic factors that regulate the onset of puberty. His interest in the regulation of pubertal timing and in male-female differences in its onset has led to the expansion of his laboratory-based program to include investigation of the bases of sex differences in the brain, including examination of the effects of sex steroids and sex chromosomes on brain structure and function. In the clinical realm, Dr. Palmert has conducted research focused on improving outcomes of youth with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, improving the care of transgender adolescents, and optimizing the use of resources and diagnostic tests within the endocrine clinics. 


Associate Chair of Paediatrics - Faculty Development & Equity Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Narang completed medical school and paediatric training in the U.K. She completed her respirology fellowship program at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, U.K. Following this, she undertook training in Sleep Medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, U.S. Dr. Narang also completed a three-year research degree in paediatric pulmonology and was awarded her Doctor of Medicine (MD research) degree at the University of London. She was appointed as Faculty and the Director of Sleep Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in 2007.

Dr. Narang’s ultimate research goal is to advance clinical care and reduce morbidity related to sleep disorders in both healthy children and children with underlying co-morbidities. Currently, Dr. Narang’s research focuses on identifying children with obesity most at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and their neurocognitive, metabolic, and cardiovascular outcomes. This research is being undertaken as part of the wider Canadian Sleep and Circadian Network (CSCN) funded by CIHR, for which Dr. Narang is the paediatric lead member ( Dr. Narang, along with Dr. Andrea Kassner, is also evaluating cerebrovascular injury and related adverse neurocognition using brain MRI in obese youth with OSA (funded by Heart and Stroke Foundation).


Chris Carew, MBA 
Director of Strategy, Finance & Administration

Chris joined the Department of Paediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in November 2016 as the Director of Strategy, Finance and Administration.

Chris serves as the strategic administrative, financial and operational partner to the Chair, Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and Paediatrician-in-Chief at SickKids, and is the chief financial steward for the Department of Paediatrics. Chris is responsible for the overall management of the department’s Alternate Funding Plan and also champions a collaborative, participative planning process for the Department of Paediatrics and the University of Toronto including a comprehensive communication system to ensure that all stakeholders have the opportunity for appropriate involvement in and information pertaining to strategic directions.

Previously Chris served as the director of strategy for the Centre for Genetic Medicine at SickKids. In this role, Chris brought together research and clinical leaders through the translation of new genetic knowledge with the goal to improve children’s health outcomes through individualized genetic medicine and research while building a more integrated service delivery model for genetics across Ontario.

Prior to joining SickKids in 2007, Chris held senior positions as Executive Director of the Grand River District Health Council and most recently as the Chief Executive Officer leading provincial planning and research initiatives for the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. 

Chris completed his Master of Business Administration from Royal Roads University in Victoria British Columbia, a Master in Project Management from Schulich School of Business at York University, and is a Scholarship recipient of Schulich’s Business Executive Program from York University in Toronto Ontario.