Karim Ladha


Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute


Dr. Karim Ladha is a clinician-scientist and staff anesthesiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto. Dr. Ladha received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He then completed his anesthesia training at Massachusetts General Hospital and obtained a fellowship in cardiac anesthesia at Toronto General Hospital. He also holds a Master’s degree in clinical epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. His program of research uses mixed methodologies to obtain a multifaceted view of pain and recovery after surgery including retrospective analyses of administrative databases, prospective observational studies, and multi-center randomized controlled trials. His research has been published in top-tier journals including JAMA, BMJ, British Journal of Anesthesia and Anesthesiology. He has received numerous awards for his work including the International Anesthesia Research Society Mentored Research Award, a new investigator award from the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society and the IMPACT award in anesthesia.

His current research interests include:

–       Exploring the use of anesthetic drugs such as ketamine and nitrous oxide to treat depression

–       Understanding the role of cannabis in mitigating pain

–       Using wearable technology and mobile applications to track recovery after surgery

Please note: Dr. Ladha is not accepting any students at this time.

Recent Publications

  1. Diep, C, Lee, S, Xue, Y, Xiao, M, Pivetta, B, Daza, JF et al.. Preoperative depression and outcomes after metabolic and bariatric surgery: A systematic narrative review. Obes Rev. 2024; :e13743. doi: 10.1111/obr.13743. PubMed PMID:38572605 .
  2. Di Renna, T, Burke, E, Bhatia, A, Clarke, H, Flamer, D, Flannery, J et al.. Improving access to chronic pain care with central referral and triage: The 6-year findings from a single-entry model. Can J Pain. 2024;8 (1):2297561. doi: 10.1080/24740527.2023.2297561. PubMed PMID:38562673 PubMed Central PMC10984115.
  3. Ladha, KS, Lavand'homme, P. Unveiling the Uncertainties: Opioid-free Anesthesia and the Road Ahead. Anesthesiology. 2024;140 (4):646-647. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000004898. PubMed PMID:38470119 .
  4. Miles, SJ, Peer, M, Ladha, KS, Clarke, H. Cannabinoids dosing for osteoarthritis. Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2024;38 :100850. doi: 10.1016/j.lanepe.2024.100850. PubMed PMID:38322713 PubMed Central PMC10844729.
  5. Pagé, MG, Ganty, P, Wong, D, Rao, V, Khan, J, Ladha, K et al.. A Prospective Cohort Study of Acute Pain and In-Hospital Opioid Consumption After Cardiac Surgery: Associations With Psychological and Medical Factors and Chronic Postsurgical Pain. Anesth Analg. 2024; :. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000006848. PubMed PMID:38295119 .
  6. Malhotra, AK, Shakil, H, Smith, CW, Mathieu, F, Merali, Z, Jaffe, RH et al.. Admitting Hospital Influences on Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Treatment Decision for Patients With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Neurosurgery. 2024; :. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002840. PubMed PMID:38289070 .
  7. Ladha, KS, Lee, J, Mattina, GF, Pazmino-Canizares, J, Wijeysundera, DN, Gholamali Nezhad, F et al.. Sustained Mood Improvement with Laughing Gas Exposure (SMILE): Study protocol for a randomized placebo-controlled pilot trial of nitrous oxide for treatment-resistant depression. PLoS One. 2024;19 (1):e0297330. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0297330. PubMed PMID:38241247 PubMed Central PMC10798444.
  8. Malhotra, AK, Shakil, H, Smith, CW, Sader, N, Ladha, K, Wijeysundera, DN et al.. Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Treatment for Pediatric Patients With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. JAMA Surg. 2024;159 (3):287-296. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2023.6531. PubMed PMID:38117514 PubMed Central PMC10733846.
  9. Shakil, H, Malhotra, AK, Jaffe, RH, Smith, CW, Harrington, EM, Wang, AP et al.. Factors influencing withdrawal of life-supporting treatment in cervical spinal cord injury: a large multicenter observational cohort study. Crit Care. 2023;27 (1):448. doi: 10.1186/s13054-023-04725-x. PubMed PMID:37980485 PubMed Central PMC10656773.
  10. Ladha, KS, Vachhani, K, Gabriel, G, Darville, R, Everett, K, Gatley, JM et al.. Impact of a Transitional Pain Service on postoperative opioid trajectories: a retrospective cohort study. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2023; :. doi: 10.1136/rapm-2023-104709. PubMed PMID:37940350 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management – University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital