• Hursh, Brenden E.


    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

    Degrees / Designations


    Primary Area of Research
    Childhood Diseases
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Lisa Wong
    Assistant Phone
    Mailing Address
    BC Children's Hospital

    4480 Oak Street, Room K4-213
    Vancouver, BC, V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
    • Childhood Obesity 

    A main focus of my academic work involves the development and assessment of clinical programs for children with type 1 diabetes. This includes the development of a diabetes telehealth program to provide improved access to specialist care for children across the province.  I am also currently involved in an assessment of the BC Children’s Hospital insulin pump program. I am engaged with Child Health BC in work around provincial planning for type 1 diabetes care, and I have a specific interest in the development and assessment of diabetes care for children in the school setting.

    My current diabetes research interests include assessing the effectiveness of coaching for families of children with type 1 diabetes. We have also recently completed a study documenting the prevalence of acute kidney injury in children with diabetic ketoacidosis.

    I am currently the site-investigator for several multicenter trials of long-acting growth hormone therapies.

    Another recent research area of interest is childhood obesity, with a recently completed study of the autonomic nervous system and inflammation in normal weight and obese children. This research has added to our understanding of the physiologic changes that accompany obesity in children.


    Current Projects

    Coaching for parents of children with type 1 diabetes
    This study will evaluate the impact of providing a behavioural approach called coaching for families of children with type 1 diabetes.  This novel study brings together the Diabetes Team with the staff of the New Knowledge & Innovation Division to integrate a coach into the diabetes team.  The coach will work directly with families of children with type 1 diabetes.  We will be looking at the impact of this intervention on the children’s quality of life, family conflict, self-management and blood glucose management.

    Acute kidney injury in diabetic ketoacidosis
    This study recently assessed the proportion of acute kidney injury in children presenting to BC Children's Hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis.  Current fluid management in diabetic ketoacidosis is guided in large part by concern for cerebral edema; however, we must also be aware of other possible outcomes of our current standard of care treatment, such as kidney injury. This study is the first large-scale assessment for acute kidney injury in children with diabetic ketoacidosis, and the results of this study will inform our monitoring and treatment of kidney related issues that may arise during the course of treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.

    Inflammation and the autonomic nervous system in childhood obesity
    I have recently conducted a pilot study at BC Children's Hospital and CFRI to look for differences in both the autonomic nervous system and inflammation between children with healthy weight and those with obesity. There is evidence that nervous system changes may occur in childhood obesity, and if so this indicates the burden of obesity the nerve pathways that control important functions such as heart rate. In this study we assessed for an association between autonomic nervous system changes and the level of inflammation in these children.

    Selected Publications

    Hursh BE, Fazeli M, Wang S, Marchant E, Woo P, Elango R, Lavoie P, Chanoine JP, Collet JP. Cardiac Autonomic Function at Baseline and under Stress and Its Relationship to Circulatory Markers of Inflammation in Obese Compared to Nonobese Children: A Pilot Study. Horm Res Paediatr. 2016;85(5):339-46. doi: 10.1159/000445685. PMID: 27105080.

    Harel S, Hursh BE, Chan ES, Avinashi V, Panagiotopoulos C. Adrenal Insufficiency Exists for both swallowed Budesonide and Fluticasone propionate in the Treatment of Eosinophilic Esophagitis. J Pediatr. 2016 Jul;174:281. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.02.056. PMID: 27004676

    Woo P, Murthy G, Wong C, Hursh B, Chanoine, JP, Elango R. Assessing resting energy expenditure in overweight and obese adolescents in a clinical setting: validity of a handheld indirect calorimeter. Pediatr Res. 2017 Jan;81(1-1):51-56. doi: 10.1038/pr.2016.182. PMID: 27653085 

    Harel S, Hursh BE, Chan ES, Avinashi V, Panagiotopoulos C. Adrenal suppression in children treated with oral viscous budesonide for eosinophilic esophagitis: a pilot study. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2015;61(2):190–193. PMID: 25950088.

    Hursh BE, Dedhar A, Panagiotopoulos D. Edema in a Child with Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Paediatr Child Health. 2014 May;19(5):233-4. PMID: 24855422.

    Inman M, Hursh BE, Mokashi A, Pinto T, Metzger DL, Cummings EA. Occurrence of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis in Children Undergoing Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonist Therapy for the Treatment of Central Precocious Puberty. Horm Res Paediatr. 2013;80(1):64-8. PMID: 23859950.

    Fox DA, Matsell DG, Hursh BE, Mammen C. A Rare Cause of Hypertension in a Healthy 2-Year-Old Female: Questions and Answers. Pediatr Nephrol. 2012;27:2053-4 and 2055–7. PMID: 22534766.


    Institute of Coaching Harnisch Grant, 2015

    CFRI Canucks for Kids Fund Diabetes Catalyst Grant, 2015

    Canadian Pediatric Endocrine Group : Fellowship Award, 2013-2014. Salary Support for one year of research fellowship in pediatric endocrinology.Amount: $60,000.

    Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism: Dr. Fernand Labrie Fellowship Research Award, October 2013. Operational funds for a pilot study in childhood obesity. Amount: $10,000.

    Honours & Awards

    BC Children’s Hospital Resident Research Award, December 2012. 

    Research Group Members