Medicine & Dentistry-Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
University of Alberta
Summary of research:
Dr. Sis is an Associate Professor and Staff Physician in the Department of Laboratory of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Alberta. She is also a Principal Investigator running a research laboratory at the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation. Dr. Sis is a board-certified Anatomical Pathologist (Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada). She completed two clinical subspecialty fellowships in renal pathology at the University of Alberta and in liver pathology at the University of Pittsburgh, and completed a three-year post-doctoral research fellowship at the Alberta Transplant Applied Genomics Centre, where she studied applied genomics in kidney and liver tissues. In 2008, she was recruited as a Faculty to the University of Alberta. Her clinical practice includes nephropathology, hepatopathology, transplant pathology, and gastrointestinal pathology. Dr. Sis studies inflammation and fibrosis of kidney and liver. She described endothelial gene expression profiles in kidney transplant biopsies from patients with antibody-mediated rejection. By these molecular studies, she discovered a new type of organ rejection and uncovered the fact that many patients with this detrimental disease remain under-diagnosed and do not receive treatment. These findings led to a major change in the Banff international diagnostic classification to include complement C4d-negative antibody-mediated rejection as a distinct diagnostic category (2013). At present, her laboratory is working on three research projects; 1. A novel mouse model to study effector cellular and molecular mechanisms of antibody-mediated rejection (CIHR-funded). The ultimate aim is to discover effective drugs to treat antibody-mediated rejection, a major cause of kidney transplant failure and increased mortality; 2. Single center and multicenter studies for developing a molecular test for personalized diagnostics of antibody-mediated rejection in standard-of-care biopsy tissues with an aim to improve definitive rejection diagnosis and better guide anti-rejection immunosuppressive therapies (CIHR, UHF, CNTRP, KFOC-funded); 3. Uncovering a multigene signature for progressive liver fibrosis, which is shared by common chronic liver diseases in humans. The gene signature findings will provide new insights into chronic liver disease progression in humans and likely produce an early dynamic surrogate (biomarker test) for predicting advanced liver fibrosis. (UHF, ROTRF-funded). Dr. Sis received several awards for her research activities including the Canadian Association of Pathologists Junior Scientist Award, which is one of the two top recognition awards in Canadian Laboratory Medicine. She has served in specialty societies in the area of renal pathology and organ transplantation such as a lead or co-lead of three Banff Working Groups.