Associate Professor

Claudia dos Santos


30 Bond Street, Bond Wing Room 4-008, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5B 1WB
Research Interests
Acute lung injury
Clinical Interests
Critical Illness and Injury
Fellows, Graduates, Summer Students

Research Synopsis


Our research is centered on learning how and why organs fail during critical illness by studying the host's response.

Our research is motivated by the dream of identifying novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of acute organ failure in critically ill patients. The most common reasons for admission to the ICU are Sepsis and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Both syndromes affect people of all ages, all ethnicities with no preference for gender or pre-clinical status. Despite enormous efforts, expertise and resources about 40% of patients die, and those who survive experience significant long term morbidity including muscle weakness, cognitive impairment and a persistently elevated risk of death. Success also comes at a significant societal cost:  ICU care alone consumes 8% of the hospital budget and in Canada about 0.2% of our GDP, or $4 billion annually. On a global level, these costs are staggering rising to hundreds of billions of dollars annually. More importantly, the burden to patients, their loved ones and care givers remains a challenge. Most patients who die with sepsis or ARDS, die from multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). MODS is a continuum, with incremental degrees of physiologic derangements in individual organs; it is a process rather than a single event. Not all organs fail equally, and not all processes of failure are similar. Alteration in organ function can vary widely from a mild degree of organ dysfunction to completely irreversible organ failure; but the degree of organ dysfunction has a major clinical impact and understanding how this happens will provide novel insights regarding how to prevent, treat and reverse organ injury in these patients.



Recent Publications



Amatullah, H, Shan, Y, Beauchamp, BL, Gali, PL, Gupta, S, Maron-Gutierrez, T et al.. DJ-1/PARK7 Impairs Bacterial Clearance in Sepsis. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2017;195 (7):889-905. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201604-0730OC. PubMed PMID:27735193 .

Walsh, CJ, Hu, P, Batt, J, Dos Santos, CC. Discovering MicroRNA-Regulatory Modules in Multi-Dimensional Cancer Genomic Data: A Survey of Computational Methods. Cancer Inform. 2016;15 (Suppl 2):25-42. doi: 10.4137/CIN.S39369. PubMed PMID:27721651 PubMed Central PMC5051584.

Dos Santos, CC, Herridge, M, Batt, J. Early goal directed mobility in the ICU: ‘something in the way you move’. J Thorac Dis. 2016;8 (8):E784-7. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2016.05.96. PubMed PMID:27620874 PubMed Central PMC4999664.

Mei, SH, Dos Santos, CC, Stewart, DJ. Advances in Stem Cell and Cell-Based Gene Therapy Approaches for Experimental Acute Lung Injury: A Review of Preclinical Studies. Hum. Gene Ther. 2016;27 (10):802-812. doi: 10.1089/hum.2016.063. PubMed PMID:27531647 .

Walsh, CJ, Batt, J, Herridge, MS, Mathur, S, Bader, GD, Hu, P et al.. Transcriptomic analysis reveals abnormal muscle repair and remodeling in survivors of critical illness with sustained weakness. Sci Rep. 2016;6 :29334. doi: 10.1038/srep29334. PubMed PMID:27411715 PubMed Central PMC4944143.



Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care
Clnician-Scientist, St. Michael's Hospital, Division of Respirology
Scientist, Keenan Center and Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
Scientist, Institute of Medical Sciences and Collaborative Program in Genome Biology and Bioinformatics, SGS, U of T