• Ross, Colin

    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital

    Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia
    Associate Member, Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia
    Genotyping Leader, B.C. Clinical Genomics Network

    Degrees / Designations
    B.Sc.(h), M.Sc., PhD.
    Primary Area of Research
    Evidence to Innovation
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    604-875-2000 ext. 5238
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address

    BC Children's Hospital Research Institute
    Room A3-216
    950 West 28th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Pharmacogenomics of adverse drug reactions
    • Medical Genetics
    • Genetics
    • Gene therapy
    • Clinical pharmacology
    • Clinical investigation
    • Pediatric pharmacology
    • Pharmacoepidemiology
    • Pharmacoeconomics/outcomes
    • Drug safety
    • Biochemical pharmacology
    • Childhood cancer
    • Late effects of childhood survivors of cancer
    • Clinical trials in pediatric oncology
    • Genetic testing
    • Lipoprotein Lipase Deficiency

    The goal of my research is to understand why certain patients respond positively to a medication, while others receive no benefit, or worse, develop debilitating or life-threatening adverse drug reactions(ADRs) to the same dose of medication. Individual patients respond differently to many medications because of small genetic differences that change the way a medication is metabolised.

    By working collaboratively with clinicians and researchers from across Canada and around the world, we have recruited patients that have suffered specific serious ADRs, as well as control patients that have recived the same drugs without ADRs. We use high-throughput genomics and next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to identify the genetic factors of severe ADRs of key clinical importance.

    The research involves many approaches from statistical, computational and molecular genetics, to molecular biology, and cell biology. The program’s mission is to translate these findings into new diagnostics that will improve the quality of lives of patients and families by preventing ADRs.

    Current Projects
    Canadian Pharmacogenomic Network for Drug Safety (CPNDS)

    Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Genome British Columbia

    The goal of CPNDS is to prevent adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in childhood by identifying predictive genomic markers for specific ADRs. Within five years, CPNDS intends to incorporate these markers into diagnostic tools that will be used to predict and prevent ADRs in children through specific dosing recommendations for commonly used drugs based on an individual's genetic make-up. The long-term goal for this project is to develop a user-friendly, and effective ADR monitoring tool and national database, to proactively prevent adverse drug reactions in susceptible children.

    Specific projects seek to identify the key causal genetic factors of serious ADRs in children, including severe hearing loss caused by cisplatin chemotherapy; a lethal reaction to codeine in newborns and young children, anthracycline-induced heart failure, vincristine-induced peripheral neurotoxicity and drug-induced severe rash.

    Selected Publications

    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. Pediatrics. 2012 May;129(5):e1343-7. Epub 2012 Apr 9. PMID: 22492761

    Sistonen J, Madadi P, Ross CJ, Yazdanpanah M, Lee JW, Landsmeer ML, Nauta M, Carleton BC, Koren G, Hayden MR. Prediction of codeine toxicity in infants and their mothers using a novel combination of maternal genetic markers. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Apr;91(4):692-9. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2011.280. Epub 2012 Mar 7. PMID: 22398969

    Shaw, K., Amstutz, U., Jimenez-Mendez, R., Ross, CJD., Carleton, B.C. Suspected Opioid Overdose Case Resolved by CYP2D6 Genotyping. Ther Drug Monit. 2012 Apr;34(2):121-3. PMID: 22406651

    Visscher, H, Ross, CJD, Rassekh, R, Barhdadi, A, Dubé, MP, al-Saloos, H, Sandor, GS, Caron, HN, van Dalen, EC, Kremer, LC, van der Pal, HJ, Brown, AMK, Rogers, PC, Phillips, MS, Rieder, M, Carleton, BC, Hayden, MR, & the CPNDS consortium. Pharmacogenomic prediction of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity in children. J Clin Oncol. Epub 2011 Sep 6. 2012 May 1;30(13):1422-8. PMID: 21900104

    Visscher, H, Ross, CJD, Rassekh, SR, Sandor, G, Caron, HN, van Dalen, EC, Kremer, LC, van der Pal, J, Rogers, PC, Rieder, MJ, Carleton, BC, Hayden, MR, & the CPNDS consortium. Validation of variants in SLC28A3 and UGT1A6 as genetic markers predictive of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity in children. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. Epub 2013 Feb 25. PMID: 23441093

    Visscher H, Amstutz U, Sistonen J, Ross CJ, Hayden MR, Carleton BC. Pharmacogenomics of cardiovascular drugs and adverse effects in pediatrics. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;58(3):228-39. PMID: 21386709

    VanderVaart S, Berger H, Sistonen J, Madadi P, Matok I, Gijsen VM, de Wildt SN, Taddio A, Ross CJ, Carleton BC, Hayden MR, Koren G. CYP2D6 polymorphisms and codeine analgesia in postpartum pain management: a pilot study. Ther Drug Monit. 2011 Aug;33(4):425-32. PMID: 21743374

    Warby SC, Visscher H, Collins JA, Doty CN, Carter C, Butland SL, Hayden AR, Kanazawa I, Ross CJ, Hayden MR. HTT haplotypes contribute to differences in Huntington disease prevalence between Europe and East Asia. Eur J Hum Genet. 2011 May;19(5):561-6. Epub 2011 Jan 19. PMID: 21248742

    Ding Y, Zhang L, Wang Y, Huang W, Tang Y, Bai L, Ross CJ, Hayden MR, Liu G. Amelioration of hypertriglyceridemia with hypo-alpha-cholesterolemia in LPL deficient mice by hematopoietic cell-derived LPL. PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25620. Epub 2011 Sep 29. PMID: 21980507

    Ross, CJD, Visscher, H., Rassekh, S.R., Castro-Pastrana, L., Shereck, E., Carleton, B.C., and Hayden, M.R. Pharmacogenomics of serious adverse drug reactions in pediatric oncology. Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology. J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2011;18:e134-51. PMID: 21467604

    Ross CJD, Visscher H, Sistonen J, Brunham LR, Pussegoda K, Loo TT, Rieder MJ, Koren G, Carleton BC and Hayden MR and the CPNDS Consortium. The Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety - A Model for Safety Pharmacology. Thyroid. 2010 Jul;20(7):681-7. PMID: 20578893

    • Identification of pharmacogenomic variants for the prevention of vincristine-induced neurotoxicity – CIHR (2013-2014) 
    • Pharmacogenetics of Warfarin Safety and Effectiveness in Children Canadian – CIHR (2012-2013) 
    • Champions of Genetics New Investigator Award: Drug Safety Pharmacogenomics Evaluation (SAPHE) Initiative - Canadian Gene Cure Foundation (2012-2014)
    • Development of clinical practice guidelines for pharmacogenetic testing, CIHR. (2011)
    • Canadian Gene Cure Foundation Champions of Genetics Program. (2011)
    • Whole exome mutation screening in patients with drug-induced Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. Cdn Dermat. Fdn. (2011)
    • Implementation of a Pharmacogenetic ADR Prevention Program in B.C. Genome BC. (2011)
    • Vincristine-induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Children with Cancer, CIHR (2011)
    • The Neonatal Safety of Breastfeeding During Maternal Use of Opioid Analgesics, CIHR. (2011)
    • Discovery of novel genetic variants of cisplatin-induced hearing loss in adult patients with cancer, B.C. Clinical Genomics Network. (2011)
    • Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety (PIs: Hayden & Carleton), CFI-CIHR: (2009)
    Honours & Awards

    2012 - New Investigator Award, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
    2011 - Canadian Gene Cure Foundation Champions of Genetics Award for New Investigators
    2010 - Publication Award by the Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    2009 - Boehringer Ingelheim Award in Pharmacology Research by The Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    2005 - Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Postdoctoral Fellow, Child & Family Research Institute

    Research Group Members
    • Amit Bhavsar – Research Associate
    • Folefac Aminkeng – Post-doctoral Fellow
    • John Lee – M.Sc student
    • Michelle Higginson – Laboratory Technician
    • Fudan Miao – Laboratory Technician
    • Nasim Massah – Laboratory Technician