• Goldfarb, David


    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Medical Microbiologist, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia

    Degrees / Designations
    Primary Area of Research
    Healthy Starts
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    604-875-2345 ext. 7688
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address

    Children's & Women's Health Centre of BC
    Room 2G5
    4480 Oak St.
    Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Pediatric infectious disease
    • Global health
    • Microbiology 
    • Diarrheal disease 
    • Intestinal microbiome

    Dr. Goldfarb’s current research focuses primarily on novel diagnostic,management and prevention strategies for pediatric infectious disease in resource limited settings.

    Current Projects

    Point of Care Testing of Gastroenteritis in Botswana:  
    I am leading a team of collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Botswana and McMaster that plans to design an innovative, user- and patient-friendly sample collection method that will allow for point of care testing for gastroenteritis. Combined with more recent, highly sensitive detection techniques, this work could have immediate impact in much of the world where diarrheal disease remains deadly and for the large part undiagnosed.

    Improving Neonatal Care in Malawi:
    Malawi has the highest preterm delivery rate (18%) in the world. Inadequate newborn care at the facility level, particularly care of preterm infants, has resulted in an unacceptably high neonatal mortality rate in Malawi. I am a co-principal investigator on a project aimed at implementing various simple, life-saving, evidence-based interventions into routine clinical practice at Malawi hospitals.We hope that our program will result in reduced neonatal mortality and that our knowledge can be applied to other sub-saharan countries.

    Gastrointestinal Infections in the Arctic:
    Nunavut has an unusually high infection rate of cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Children in the region are particularly impacted by these infections. When coupled with malnutrition, the parasite could affect early brain development.  I am involved in a registry aimed at documenting enteric infections in the Canadian Arctic and am also leading a prospective study to investigate outcomes of pediatric cryptosporidium infections in Northern communities.  

    Selected Publications

    Kelly MS, Smieja M, Luinstra K, Wirth KE, Goldfarb DM, Steenhoff AP, Arscott-Mills T, Cunningham CK, Boiditswe S, Sethomo W, Shah SS, Finalle R, Feemster KA. Association of Respiratory Viruses with Outcomes of Severe Childhood Pneumonia in Botswana. PLoS One 2015 May 14;10(5):e0126593.

    Pernica JM, Steenhoff AP, Welch H, Mokomane M, Quaye I, Arscott-Mills T, Mazhani L, Lechiile K, Mahony J, Smieja M, Goldfarb DM. Correlation of clinical outcomes with multiplex molecular testing of stool from children admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis in Botswana. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2015 May 16.

    Wirth KE, Wolf ER, Ho-Foster A, Goldfarb DM, Tolle M, Jacovides C, Kirk B, Chise M and Steenhoff AP. Risk factors for measles in HIV-infected children and adolescents living in Botswana. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 Oct;34(10):1093-5. 

    Goldfarb DM, Steenhoff AP, Pernica JM, Chong S, Luinstra K, Mokomane M, Mazhani L, Quaye I, Goercke I, Mahony J, Smieja M. Evaluation of anatomically-designed flocked rectal swabs for the molecular detection of enteric pathogens in children admitted to hospital with severe gastroenteritis in Botswana. J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Nov;52(11):3922-7.

    MacIntyre J, McTaggart J, Guerrant RL, Goldfarb DM. Early Childhood Diarrheal Disease and Cognition: Are we missing the rest of the iceberg? Paediatr Int Child Health. 2014 Nov;34(4):295-307.

    Audcent T, MacDonnell H, Moreau K, Hawkes M, Sauve L, Crockett M, Gisher J, Goldfarb DM, Hunter A, McCarthy A, Pernica J, Liu J, Luong T-N, Sandhu A, Rashed S, Levy A, Brenner J. Development and Evaluations of Global Child Health Educational Modules. Pediatrics. 2013 Dec;132(6):e1570-6.

    Puryear S, Seropola G, Ho-Foster A, Arscott-Mills T, Mazhani L, Firth J, Goldfarb DM, Neube R, Bisson GP, Steenhoff AP. Yield of Contact Tracing from Pediatric Tuberculosis Index Cases in Gaborone, Botswana. Int J of TB and Lung Disease.  2013 Aug 17(8);1049-1055.

    Welch H, Steenhoff AP, Chakalisa U, Arscott-Mills T, Tiwarenge S, Madan S, Gokhale N, Mazhani L, Mokomane M, Foster-Fabiano S, Wirth K, Skinn A, Pernica JM, Smieja M, Goldfarb DM. Hospital-based Surveillance for Rotavirus Gastroenteritis using Molecular Testing and Immunoassay during the 2011 Season in Botswana. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2013 May;32(5):570-572. 

    Goldfarb DM, Dixon B, Moldovan I, Barrowman N, Mattison K, Zentron C, Baikie M, Bidawid S, Chan F, Slinger R, Nanolitre Real-time PCR Detection of Bacterial, Parasitic and Viral Agents from Patients with Diarrhea in Nunavut, Canada. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 2013:72;19903.

    2015 Apr - 2020 Mar. Dube, Q (PI), Goldfarb, DM (co-PI), Integrating a Neonatal Health Care Package in Malawi, International Development Research Centre/CIHR - $1,000,000 (awarded)

    2015 Apr - 2018 Mar. Yansouni, C (PI), Goldfarb, DM (co-PI), Diarrheal Illness and Enteric Infections Among Young Children in Nunavik and Nunavut, ArcticNet PhaseIV, Research - $120,000 (awarded)

    2015 Jan - 2016 Jan. Goldfarb DM (PI), Building an Arctic Enteric Infections Research Agenda. Canadian Institutes of Health Research Planning and Dissemination Grant, $12,000

    2014 Apr - 2016 Mar. Goldfarb DM (PI), Establishment of a project for diarrhoeal illness surveillance at sentinel sites in Nunavut, Grant, The Government of Nunavut and Public Health Agency of Canada, Research - Subgrant, $185,000

    2013 May - 2015 Jun. Steenhoff AP (co-PI), Goldfarb DM (co-PI), Establishment of a National Rotavirus Surveillance Program in Botswana, Grant, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Health, Research - $275,000

    2013 Jul - 2015 Jun. Kelly M (PI), Goldfarb DM (co-I), The Effect of In Utero Exposure to HIV and Antiretroviral Therapy on the Microbilogy and outcomes of Severe Pneumonia, Grant, International AIDS Society (IAS), Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) program, Operating, $150,000

    2013 Apr - 2014 Oct. Pernica JM (PI), Goldfarb DM (co-I) Measuring the Impact of Novel Enteric Diagnostics: How May Children’s Lives Could be Saved? Grant, Grand Challenges Canada, Research - New Project, $113,000

    2011 Jun - 2015 Feb. Goldfarb DM (PI), Development of novel flocked swab transport system for the detection of diarrheal pathogens., Grant, Grand Challenges Canada, Operating, $629,645

    2012 Nov - 2013 Oct. Pernica JM (PI), Goldfarb DM (co-I), Short Course Antimicrobial Therapy for Paediatric Community-Acquired Pneumonia: A Pilot Study, Grant, New Investigator Fund - Hamilton Health Sciences, Research - New Project, $48,000

    Honours & Awards

    2008 Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Popham Fellowship

    2008 University of Ottawa, Dept of Pathology & Lab Medicine Annual Research Day - 2nd prize

    2008 Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Best Sub-specialty Resident Presentation

    2007 Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Best Overall Presentation

    2006 Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 2006 Resident Award for Health Advocate

    2005 Canadian Pediatric Society, Don Elizabeth Hillman International Travel Grant

    2001 Canadian Infectious Diseases Society, Janssen-Ortho Summer Studentship Award

    2001 Dalhousie University School of Medicine, Pendrigh Scholarship for Academic Achievement

    Research Group Members
    • Michelle Dittrick, Research Program Manager
    • Mokomane, Margaret (PhD)
    • Mabua, Ingrid (MMED)