Dr. Malkin received his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1984 and completed his residency in paediatrics and paediatric hematology/oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He completed post-doctoral research training in molecular genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, where he discovered the link between germline mutations on the p53 tumor suppressor gene and the Li-Fraumeni cancer susceptibility syndrome. Dr. Malkin returned to Canada to accept a faculty position at SickKids and University of Toronto.
Dr. Malkin is currently a clinician-scientist and paediatric oncologist in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Director of the Cancer Genetics program at SickKids as well as a Senior Scientist in the Genetics & Genome Biology Program in the SickKids Research Institute. He is a Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and Medical Biophysics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Malkin has an active clinical oncology practice at the Hospital and both undergraduate and post-graduate teaching responsibilities there as well as at the University.
His research interests are closely integrated with his clinical field of expertise. Specifically, his research program focuses primarily on genetic mechanisms of childhood cancer susceptibility, and the genetic basis of childhood sarcomas (cancers of bone, muscle and other soft tissues). His research team was the first to demonstrate that highly variable regions of DNA, termed copy number variations, are found in excess in the blood of some people, both children and adults, at very high risk of developing cancer, and may represent the earliest genetic changes that ultimately lead to development of cancer. Recently, his work has focused on application of this genetic/genomic information to develop rational clinical surveillance and treatment guidelines for children and adults deemed at genetic ‘high risk’ for cancer. In his sarcoma work, Dr. Malkin has studied the molecular and cell biology pathways that are associated with the development and progression of these cancers, and has identified molecules that might represent viable targets for novel drug therapies.
Dr. Malkin has published over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters in the fields of cancer genetics and sarcoma biology. In addition, he has a long-standing interest in the ethical and medical issues raised by the creation of comprehensive biorepositories of tissues, blood and derivative biological samples from children with cancer.