Canadian Alliance of Pediatric Rheumatology (Toronto)

Research Activities

The central theme of my research program is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing autoimmunity towards discovery of molecular tools for improved disease diagnosis, treatment, outcomes and prevention. Specifically, I study the mechanisms responsible for initiating and sustaining the immune response in autoimmunity.


Kawasaki Disease (KD):  KD is the most common cause of multi-system vasculitis in childhood. The vessels most commonly damaged are the coronary arteries, making KD the number one cause of acquired heart disease in children from the industrialized world.  I use KD as an experimental model for studying autoimmunity and have applied our findings to study childhood arthritis. Exposure to an environmental agent in a genetically susceptible host is common to systemic autoimmune diseases, making KD a prototypic disease model. I study the molecular mechanisms responsible for inflammation and vessel breakdown and am also actively involved in clinical care of affected children.


Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA):  To foster research, improve efficiencies and combine resources to study rare diseases, I helped develop a national research network (CAPRI-Canadian Alliance of Paediatric Rheumatology Investigators), and served as the inaugural chair, helping to lead four Canada-wide, multi-disciplinary group grants to study childhood arthritis, continuing my thematic studies on immune activation in childhood autoimmunity. We have developed a robust national research infra-structure to support translational research including: a standardized data collection system for clinical phenotyping, processing and storage of biologic specimens, communications website, partnership funding for trainee support, and a strong organizational structure to develop guidelines, monitor research and tackle issues related to science, education, publication and knowledge translation and exchange. My laboratory currently houses the national tissue repository.


Developing platforms and tools to improve research efficiency and magnify impact: One of the largest obstacles to international collaboration is uniformity of data collection, analysis and assay performance. Site of sample collection is one of the most important factors responsible for differences in multi-center biomarker studies, likely due to differences in biologic data handling. The need for standardized operating procedures and core resources for analysis are critical first steps to ensure high quality translational research. I established an international research consortium to address this challenge.  Together, we represent over 50 countries and 300 sites, to jointly endorse the UCAN (Understanding Childhood Arthritis Network) initiative. Our goal is to discover novel genetic, biologic and phenotypic markers to define childhood arthritis in the broadest sense.



  • CAN – Canadian Arthritis Network
  • CIHR – Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Province of Ontario, Ministry of Research and Innovation
  • The Hospital For Sick Children (Sickkids)



Contact information: 

Rae S. M. Yeung – Canadian Lead and contact for these organizatios

  • Institute & address – The Hospital For Sick Children, University of Toronto, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Telephone, Fax  1-416-813-8964, 1-416-813-8883
  • Email:

Rae S. M. Yeung MD PhD FRCPC

The Hospital For Sick Children

Staff Rheumatologist

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Paediatrics


Research Institute

Senior Scientist

Program in Cell Biology


University of Toronto

Associate Professor

Paediatrics, Immunology and Institute of Medical Science,


Phone: 416-813-8833

Fax:     416-813-8883




CAPRI members

 Adam Huber

Alan Rosenberg

Anne-Laure Chetaille

Bianca Lang

Brian Feldman

Ciaran Duffy  

Claire LeBlanc

David Cabral  

Deborah M. Levy

Earl Silverman

Elie Haddad

Elizabeth Stringer

Gaelle Chedeville  

Gilles Boire

Heinrike Schmeling  

Jaime Guzman 

Janet Ellsworth

Jennifer Stinson 

Johannes Roth

Karen Duffy  

Katherine Gross 

Kiem Oen

Kristin Houghton

Lori Tucker

Lynn Spiegel 

Nicole Johnson 

Paivi Miettunen

Paul Dancey 

Peter Dent 

Rae Yeung   

Ray Lewkonia  

Rayfel Schneider 

Ron Laxer

Rosie Scuccimarri

Ross Petty

Roxanna Bolaria

Sarah Campillo

Shirley Tse 

Susa Benseler

Susanne Ramsey