Michael Rieder


CIHR-GSK Chair in Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology
Departments of Paediatrics, Physiology & Pharmacology and Medicine

Why I Became a Scientist

Growing up in a family of pharmacists I soon appreciated that while there are a lot of medications available there are also lots of questions about how best to use them safely and effectively.  When I became a paediatrician I quickly realized that this is even more the case for children, in that there are many more therapeutic questions than there are answers.  My goal in research is to understand sources of variability in human drug response so that we can provide the safe and effective therapy – the right drug at the right dose at the right time for the right patient.

Research Summary

Our research program is an integrated approach to common and important problems in drug safety which draws on the skills of a talented and multi-disciplinary team to understand how the sources of variability in human drug response – which include variables such as age, genetic background, co-morbid diseases and other drugs – can result in patients tolerating therapy or in patients developing serious adverse drug reactions (side effects).  Our laboratory, the Drug Safety Laboratory, is the core validation laboratory for a national network of drug safety researchers, the Canadian Pharmacogenomic Network for Drug Safety, and in pursuit of these questions with respect to commonly used drugs such as antibiotics or important therapeutic agents such as cancer chemotherapy we work with collaborators and fellow research across Canada and internationally.

Research Questions

How do serious adverse drug reactions evolve and what are the determinants in who develops or does not develop a serious drug side effect?

Serious drug side effects can carry with them a significant risk of death or disability.  Our research has the potential to allow for rapid diagnosis of serious drug side effects and for planning of therapies to reduce the consequences of these side effects.

What are the genetic determinants of serious adverse drug reactions and how can these be used to guide therapy?

The ability to predict which patients are and are not at risk for serious side effects would be a major advantage for health care workers and patients, especially in the setting of serious diseases such as cancer.  We hope to able to identify the genetic determinants of serious drug side effects and use this knowledge to develop guidelines that can change how patients are cared for in pursuit of our goal of optimal safe and effective drug therapy.

Can we apply our knowledge of biochemistry and immunology to develop state of the art diagnostic platforms that can be used at point of care?

This development of point of care diagnostic approaches will provide for rapid and accurate diagnosis of important and serious diseases.  The application of this knowledge to the food safety sector has direct and immediate implications in reducing the spread of and burden from food-borne disease.


  • MD University of Saskatchewan (1980)
  • Ph.D University of Toronto (1992)


  • Pediatric Resident, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • Fellow, Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ont
  • Fellow, Clinical Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont


  • Young Investigator of the Year Award, Canadian Society for Clinical Pharmacology, 1994
  • Leon I. Goldberg Young Investigator Award, American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1996
  • Harvard Macy Scholar, Harvard Medical School, 1996-97
  • Douglas Bocking Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London 1996-97
  • Class of 1962 Award, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Senior Investigator Award, Canadian Society for Clinical Pharmacology, 2008
  • Schulich Undergraduate Award of Excellence in Education, University of Western Ontario, 2008
  • Faculty Scholar, University of Western Ontario, 2009
  • Keynote Presentation Award, Society of Academic Emergency Physicians, 2009
  • Canadian Society for Pharmacology and Therapeutics Publication Award for “Genetic variations in TPMT and COMT are associated with hearing loss in children receiving cisplatin chemotherapy”, Nature Genetics, 2010
  • Canadian Society for Pharmacology and Therapeutics Publication Award for “Reducing the pain of childhood vaccination: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline”, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011


  1. Ross C, Katzov-Eckert H, Dube MP, Brooks B, Rassekh SR, Barhadi A, Feroz-Zada Y, Visscher H, Brown AMK, Rieder MJ, Phillips MS, Carleton B. TPMT and COMT genetic variants are predictive for severe hearing loss in children receiving cisplatin chemotherapy.  Nature Genetics 2009; 41(12):1345-9.

  2. Taddio A, Appleton M, Bortolussi R, Chambers C, Dubey V, Halperin S, Hanrahan A, Ipp M, Lockett D, MacDonald N, Midmer D, Mousmanis P, Palda V, Pielak K, Pillai Riddell R, Rieder MJ, Scott J, Shah, V:   Reducing the pain of childhood immunization: An evidence-based clinical practice guideline.  CMAJ 2010;182(18), p. 1989-1995.

  3. Zelcer S, Chen B, Mangel J, Vujovic O, Thiessen-Philbrook HR, Rieder M, Mahmud FH.   Impaired vascular function in asymptomatic young adult survivors of Hodgkin Lymphoma following mediastinal radiation.  J Cancer Surviv 2010;4:218-24.
    Pereg D, Gow R, Mosseri M, Lishner M, Rieder M, Van Uum S, Koren G: Hair cortisol and the risk for acute myocardial infarction in adult men.  Stress  2010; 14(1):73-81.

  4. Shah A, Mosdossy G, Lehnhardt K, McLeod S, Peddle M, Rieder M.  A prospective blinded randomized controlled trial to evaluate ketamine-propofol versus ketamine alone for procedural sedation in children.  Ann Emerg Med 2010 Oct 12.

  5. Elzagallaai A, Rieder M, Koren G. In vitro Platelet Toxicity Assay (iPTA): A Novel Diagnostic Test for Drug Hypersensitivity Syndrome J Clin Pharmacol 2011 Mar;51(3):428-35

  6. Hanly LN, Chen N, Aleksa K, Cutler M, Bajcetic M, Palassery R, Regueira O, Turner C, Baw B, Malkin B, Freeman D, Rieder MJ, Vasylyeva TL, Koren G. N-acetylcysteine as a Novel Prophylactic Treatment for Ifosfamide-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Children: Translational Pharmacokinetics.  J Clin Pharmacol 2011 Jan 24.

  7. Sherwin CMT, Sagcal-Gironella ACP, Tirona RG, Rieder MJ, Brunner HI, Vinks AA: Pharmacokinetics of prednisolone in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE) Clin Ther 2011;33(10):1524-36

  8. Visscher H, Ross CJ, Rassekh SR, Barhdadi A, Dubé MP, Al-Saloos H, Sandor GS, Caron HN, van Dalen EC, Kremer LC, van der Pal HJ, Brown AM, Rogers PC, Phillips MS, Rieder MJ, Carleton BC, Hayden MR; Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety Consortium.  Genetic determinants of anthracycline cardiotoxicity in children.  J Clin Oncol 2011 Oct 11

  9. Elzagallaai AA, Koren G, Bend JR, Rieder MJ.  In vitro testing for hypersensitivity-mediated adverse drug reactions:  challenges and future directions.  Clin Pharmacol Ther 2011 Sep;90(3):455-60.   

  10. Lin D, Seabrook JA, Matsui DM, King SM, Rieder MJ, Finkelstein Y.  Palatability, adherence and prescribing patterns of antiretroviral drugs for children with human immunodeficiency virus infection in Canada.  Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2011 Dec;20(12):1246-52

  11. Du W, Tutag Lehr V, Lieh-Lai M, Koo W, Ward RM, Rieder MJ, Van Den Anker JN, Reeves JH, Mathew M, Lulic-Botica M, Aranda JV.  An algorithm to detect adverse drug reactions in the neonatal intensive care unit:  a new approach.  J Clin Pharmacol 2012 Jan 18.

  12. Brisson AR, Matsui D, Rieder MJ, Fraser DD.  Translational research in pediatrics:  Tissue sampling and biobanking.  Pediatr 2012 Jan;129(1):153-62.

  13. Kelly LE, Rieder M, van den Anker J, Malkin B, Ross C, Neely MN, Carleton B, Hayden MR, Madadi P, Koren G.  More codeine fatalities after tonsillectomy in North American children.  Pediatr 2012;129(5):e1343-7

Contact Info

Research Office:
Drug Safety Laboratory
Robarts Research Institute
1151 Richmond Street, North
London, Ontario, Canada
N6A 5B7
Phone: 519-931-5777 ext. 24209
Fax: 519-931-5789
Clinical Office:
Section of Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology
Department of Paediatrics
Children’s Hospital
268 800 Commissioner’s Road
London, Ontario, Canada
N6C 2V5
Phone: 519-685-8293
Fax: 519-685-8156
Email: mrieder@uwo.ca