Kyle Cowan (Program Director - Pediatric Surgery)


Kyle Cowan (Program Director - Pediatric Surgery)
Paediatric Surgery Training Program Director, Trauma Team Leader (CHEO) and Assistant Professor, Cross Appointed Assistant Professor, Principle Investigator at The Apoptosis Research Center

Room: Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario , 401 Smyth Road, Room 3360 , Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Adminstrative Assistant: Angela Haworth (613-737-7600 (ext. 2878))
Office: 613-737-7600
Work E-mail:

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Dr. Cowan received his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in 1996. Following this he completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2000 in cardiovascular research at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto under the supervision of Marlene Rabinovitch, an internationally acclaimed leader in the fields of pulmonary vascular development and vascular biology. Dr. Cowan’s work on the pathophysiology of primary pulmonary hypertension and approaches to its reversal has been published in the journals Circulation Research, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nature Medicine, and FASEB Journal and garnered him with over 20 awards including the Medical Council of Canada KM Hunter Award, Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society Research Award, as well as the American College of Cardiology Young Investigator’s Award.

Dr. Cowan subsequently received his MD at the University of Toronto in 2004, and then joined the general surgery residency program at Western University. Beginning in 2007, Dr. Cowan also undertook a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Western University under the supervision of Dale W. Laird, a pioneer in the field of connexins and pannexins. Dr. Cowan’s research work in this capacity focused on characterization of the newly discovered pannexins and pioneered work to understand the role of their cellular communication in human health and disease. For this work, which has been broadly published in the journals of Molecular Biology of the Cell, Journal of Cell Science, Cancer Research, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, he was named a scholar of the Canadian Institute of Health Research as well as being honored with awards including the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, Physician Services Incorporated Foundation, and the Canadian Institute of Health Research awards. After completing both his general surgery training and his post-doctoral research degree in 2009, he trained in pediatric surgery at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa.

Dr. Cowan was recruited to the faculty of the University of Ottawa in 2011 with appointments in the Department of Surgery as well as the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. In 2012, he was named program director for pediatric surgical training and in 2015 became the medical director for surgical services at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Dr. Cowan is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons. He serves on the specialty committee for pediatric surgery at the Royal College as well as the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (CAPS) and the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) committees of training program directors.

Dr. Cowan established a translational vascular and tumour biology clinical basic science research laboratory within the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute focusing on two distinct, yet complementary, programs. One program explores how pannexins and cell communication contribute to human health and disease, with a particular focus on pediatric cancers. The other program is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of pulmonary vascular disease associated with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Dr. Cowan’s research has been published in the journals Oncogene, Journal of Biochemistry, Journal of Pediatric Surgery, Scientific Reports, and Journal of Cellular Physiology, and consistently earned extramural support from organizations such as the Cancer Research Society. He has served as a reviewer for numerous journals, has authored invited reviews on his research, and has lectured widely in both Canada and abroad.


Fellowship Training

  • Paediatric Surgery Fellow, Division of Paediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, CHEO, University of Ottawa, (Completed 2011)


Residency Training

  • General Surgery Residency, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, (Completed 2009)


Medical Doctorate

  • University of Toronto, (Completed 2004)


Other Degrees

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Western Ontario Completed, (Completed 2009)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Division of Cardiovascular Research, Hospital for Sick Children Completed, (Completed 2000)


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