Skip to content

Faculty Member

Helen Dimaras PhD

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
+1 416 813 7654 x201876
Office Address
The Hospital for Sick Children 555 University Ave Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8
Centre for Global Health
Clinical Public Health Division
Associate Professor
SGS Status
Associate Member
Appointment Status
Status Only
Currently Accepting Doctoral Students?

Research Interests

Dr. Dimaras’ work has contributed to the understanding of the molecular genetic development of the childhood eye cancer, retinoblastoma. Her current research focuses on determining how to deliver optimal retinoblastoma care worldwide and improve patient outcomes, using a blend of methods from global health, cancer genetics and clinical research. Key initiatives include the mapping of retinoblastoma resources worldwide (, development of a patient engagement strategy for retinoblastoma research, and design of comprehensive cancer genetics services to meet the needs of low-resource settings. Her interest in global health education has also led her to study the ethics of voluntourism and global health study abroad/service learning experiences.

Education & Training History

Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2007-2011): Hematology/Oncology & Global Retinoblastoma, The Hospital for Sick Children

PhD (2002-2007): Molecular & Medical Genetics, University of Toronto

Hon BSc (1998-2002): Molecular Genetics & Molecular Biology, University of Toronto

Other Affiliations

Current Affiliations

Assistant Professor (since 2011), University of Toronto, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

Scientist (since 2015), SickKids Research Institute, Child Health Evaluative Sciences Program and Centre for Global Child Health

Director of Global Eye Health Research (since 2015), The Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences

Honorary Lecturer (since 2014), University of Nairobi, Department of Human Pathology, College of Health Sciences

Former Affiliations

Adjunct Scientist (2013 – 2015), The Hospital for Sick Children

Affiliate Scientist (2011- 2014), Toronto Western Research Institute, Division of Vision Science

Representative Publications

Nyamori JM, Kimani K, Njuguna MW, Dimaras H. Retinoblastoma referral pattern in Kenya. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2014 Oct-Dec;21(4):321-7. doi: 10.4103/0974-9233.142270. PubMed PMID: 25371638; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4219224.

Dimaras H, Corson TW, Cobrinik D, White A, Zhao J, Munier FL, Abramson DH, Shields CL, Chantada GL, Njuguna F, Gallie BL. Retinoblastoma. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2015 Aug 27;1:15021. doi: 10.1038/nrdp.2015.21. PubMed PMID: 27189421.

Hill JA, Lee SY, Njambi L, Corson TW, Dimaras H. Cancer genetics education in a low- to middle-income country: evaluation of an interactive workshop for clinicians in Kenya. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 2;10(6):e0129852. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129852. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26035834; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4452713.

Hill JA, Kimani K, White A, Barasa F, Livingstone M, Gallie BL, Dimaras H; Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund & The Kenyan National Retinoblastoma Strategy Group. Achieving optimal cancer outcomes in East Africa through multidisciplinary partnership: a case study of the Kenyan National Retinoblastoma Strategy group. Global Health. 2016 May 26;12(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s12992-016-0160-1. PubMed PMID: 27229322; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4882853.

Qaiser S, Limo A, Gichana J, Kimani K, Githanga J, Waweru W, Dimba EAO, Dimaras H. Design and Implementation of the Retinoblastoma Collaborative Laboratory. Journal of Ocular Oncology and Pathology. 2017 Jan; 73-82. doi: 10.1159/000451000. Pubmed PMID: 28275608

For a complete list of publications, visit: