John Laffey, MD, FCAI, MA

Dr. Laffey is Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Co-Director of the Critical Illness and Injury Research Centre at the Keenan Research Centre, St. Michael’s hospital. He is a Clinician Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre, and Professor of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Physiology at the University of Toronto. His research is focused on ARDS, particularly the mechanisms underlying ventilation induced lung injury. He has a longstanding interest in the effects and mechanisms of hypercapnic acidosis in ARDS and sepsis. His current research focus is the investigation of the therapeutic potential of cell therapies for ARDS.


Mirjana Jerkic

Research Associate

Mirjana Jerkic is an MD, PhD scientist in the field of cardio-respiratory physiology. She was Assistant Professor at the Institute for Medical Research in Belgrade (Serbia) and then post-doc and visiting Professor in Spain (at the University of Salamanca). After moving to Canada she started to work as Research Associate in SickKids Hospital in Toronto (Molecular structure and function program) and investigated role of TGFβ receptors and pathways in cardio-respiratory and vascular function. Mirjana joined our research group in July 2013 as a Research Associate. Her major research interest now is to study the mechanisms of therapeutic action of human mesenchymal stromal/stem cells in pre-clinical models of acute lung injury and systemic sepsis and to translate this knowledge to the clinics.

Stéphane Gagnon

Laboratory Technician

Stéphane Gagnon worked previously at SickKids as a lab technician, in the Lab that was investigating how female sex hormones might contribute to disease severity in Cystic Fibrosis.  He was also involved in studies focused on the role of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in lung development using mice expressing GR in different cell types of the lung.

Stephane plays a key role in our studies that test the efficacy of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) in rat pre-clinical models of polymicrobial abdominal sepsis.

Razieh Rabani

Post-doctorate Fellow

Razieh Rabani completed her Ph.D thesis in Dec 2015 at McGill University, Department of experimental medicine studying the regulation of NAD kinase in human neutrophils. She joined research group in January 2016 as a post-doc fellow. She is co-supervised by Drs Ger Curley and Katalin Szaszi. Currently, she is studying the mechanisms involved in interaction of human mesenchymal stromal/stem cells and macrophages, focusing on the role of pro-resolving lipid mediators.

Muskan Gupta

Research Volunteer

Muskan Gupta is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto (St. George campus) and joined our Lab last year as a volunteer. Now she is project student studying the mechanisms by which human mesenchymal stromal/stem cells enhance phagocytic properties of human macrophages.

Sakshi Goyal

Research Volunteer

Sakshi Goyal graduated in Biomedical Sciences at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.  As undergrad student, her early research interest was in the field of infection, immunity and stem cells. Since Oct 2016 she is being trained in our Lab to work on pre-clinical pneumonia rat model and the efficacy of MSCs in this model. She is looking for the opportunity to become Master student at the U of T and to continue her research project in our Lab.


Gerard Curley

Research Collaborator

Dr. Gerard Curley is an Associate Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science of St. Michael’s Hospital. His research interests include studying mesenchymal stem/stromal cell therapy for sepsis and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, macrophage biology, ex-vivo lung perfusion, carbon dioxide and critical illness and systematic review/meta-analysis of interventions in anesthesia and intensive care.