Dr. Peter Dirks

Co-Leader, Brain Cancer TRI

Dr. Peter Dirks is a paediatric neurosurgeon and senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He co-leads OICR’s Brain Cancer Translational Research Initiative.

Dr. Dirks’ clinical interests lie with the entire spectrum of pediatric neurosurgical practice, with emphasis on the surgical treatment of childhood brain tumours and brain vascular malformations. His research laboratory is within the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children where his focus is on the biology of brain tumours of children and adults, with a primary aim to understand how the molecular programs in normal neural stem cells become perturbed to cause and sustain the growth of these hard-to-treat cancers.  In addition, he is interested in brain tumour heterogeneity and how the diverse cell types that comprise these tumours contribute to tumour maintenance and therapeutic resistance.

Current affiliations

Research interests

  • Brain cancer
  • Pediatric cancers
  • Brain tumours
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Neural stem cells
  • Molecular biology

Top publications

See Dr. Dirks’ recent publications on PubMed.


  • Fellowship, Royal Society of Canada (FRSC), Canada, 2017
  • The Hospital for Sick Children, Garron Family Chair in Childhood Cancer Research, 2014
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, The Farber Award, 2009
  • The Terry Fox Foundation, Terry Fox Young Investigator Award, 2008
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Gold Medal in Surgery, 2005
  • Caldwell Partners, Globe and Mail Report on Business, Canada’s Top 40 under 40

Previous experience

  • PhD, University of Toronto
  • MD, Queen’s University

Opportunities to collaborate

To collaborate with Dr. Dirks, please contact him directly.

Visit OICR’s Collaborative Research Resources directory for more opportunities to collaborate with OICR researchers.

Related links

University of Toronto Surgery Faculty Page – Dr. Peter Dirks

The Hospital for Sick Children Researcher Page – Dr. Peter Dirks


Dr. Peter Dirks