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Meet the Team

We are committed to providing all patients with safe, high-quality and compassionate care. Mount Sinai is both a clinical care centre and a teaching hospital, which means that you will be cared for by a medical team. Here are some of the health professionals you may meet during your hospital visit.

Dr. Nigil Haroon
MD, PhD, DM, FRCPC, MBA, Head of the Division of Rheumatology for Sinai Health and University Health Network

Dr. Nigil Haroon, MD, PhD, is the Head of the Division of Rheumatology at Sinai Health and the University Health Network as well as the President of the Canadian Rheumatology Association. He is an associate professor of medicine and rheumatology at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute and the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, a state of the art research facility in Toronto.

Dr. Haroon is an internationally renowned clinician scientist in the field of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). Dr. Haroon has a well-established translational research program at the University Health Network, Toronto and is known for his work in functional genomics of AS. He has published paradigm-shifting studies in AS including the first study to show that spinal progression in AS could be reduced with the use of TNF inhibitors. He identified the role for MIF, an innate immune molecule that can drive both inflammation and bone formation in AS patients.

Dr. Sindhu R. Johnson
MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
Director, Toronto Scleroderma Program

Dr. Johnson is a rheumatologist, Director of the Toronto Scleroderma Program, a Clinician-Scientist, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She an internationally regarded Rheumatologist and Clinical Epidemiologist. Her program of research develops methodologic platforms that combine data-driven and expert-based methods with advanced analytic techniques to define disease states, develop outcome measures, develop guidelines, and study treatment effects. This methodologic work was initially developed using the model of scleroderma and has expanded across rheumatic diseases.

Her scleroderma research focuses on improving the lives of people with scleroderma with the goal of finding a cure. Rheumatologists and graduate student from around the world train with her, completing a fellowship or graduate degree (MSc or PhD). She has authored ‘Management of Scleroderma with Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs’ for the European League Against Rheumatism School of Rheumatology, which is taken by 2000 students globally/year.

Internationally, Dr. Johnson has led collaborations between the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism for the development of classification criteria for systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus, respectively. She is an investigator in clinical trials evaluating novel treatments for scleroderma, including the first 2 United States Food and Drug Administration approved treatments for scleroderma. Most recently, Dr. Johnson served the American College of Rheumatology COVID-19 Clinical Guidance Task Force, and American College of Rheumatology COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force. She is currently a principal investigator for the American College of Rheumatology guidelines of the screening, monitoring and treatment of interstitial lung disease in patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases. With over 200 scientific publications, her work has been published in Nature Review Rheumatology, the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, The Lancet Rheumatology and Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Dr. Bindee Kuriya
MD, MSc, FRCP(C)

Dr. Bindee Kuriya completed her medical school, internal medicine residency and rheumatology fellowship at the University of Toronto. She earned a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Kuriya joined the faculty at Sinai Health in 2013 as a clinician investigator and her main interest is the evaluation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) outcomes. Specifically, she uses RA registries and real-world population-level data to study important comorbidities associated with RA, including mental health conditions and cardiovascular disease. She is also actively involved in clinical trials of RA therapeutics and treatment strategies. In addition, Dr. Kuriya is the Director of the Rheumatology Rapid Access Clinic that serves to triage urgent referrals from the emergency department at Mount Sinai Hospital. Her practice is currently open for referrals for suspected or confirmed inflammatory arthritis only.

Dr. Heather McDonald-Blumer
MD, MScCH, FRCP(C)

Dr. Heather McDonald-Blumer is the Director for the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Toronto. Her clinical work at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network focuses on the care of patients with inflammatory arthritis and the assessment and management of osteoporosis. She is Associate Director of the Osteoporosis Program at the University Health Network, and has been a longstanding member of the Executive of the Scientific Advisory Council of Osteoporosis Canada, including being Chair of their Guidelines Committee.

Dr. McDonald has a strong interest in medical education. She has a leadership role for Competence by Design implementation in the Department of Medicine and is a past Program Director for the Royal College training programs in both rheumatology and in internal medicine.

Dr. Ahmed Omar
MBBCh, MRCP, MSc

Dr. Ahmed Omar completed his core rheumatology training and subsequent fellowships in spondyloarthritis and vasculitis at the University of Toronto. He was appointed as an assistant professor and a clinical teacher at Mount Sinai Hospital in 2019. He runs a general rheumatology clinic, and has a particular interest in seronegative arthropathies. 

Medical education and teaching is his primary academic focus.

Dr. Christian Pagnoux
MD, MSc, MPH

Dr. Christian Pagnoux trained in internal medicine and clinical immunology in Paris, France. Between 2002 and 2010, he worked in the division of Prof. Loic Guillevin, who created the French Vasculitis Study Group (FVSG), and he has served as vice-president of this latter research group.

He moved to Toronto in 2010 and was appointed in the Division of Rheumatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. He joined the steering committee of the North American Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC), and founded CanVasc, the Canadian network for research in vasculitis.

He has been involved in many important studies in vasculitis, has written or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and several textbook chapters on vasculitis as well as the first Canadian educational case-based book on vasculitis, CAVALI (available for free at canvasc.ca).

View Dr. Pagnoux’s articles published in medical journals here.

Dr. Alexandra Saltman
B.A. (Hons), MD, FRCPC

Dr. Alexandra ("Alex") Saltman is a clinician teacher in the Divisions of Rheumatology and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network, and an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

She completed her medical school, Internal Medicine and Rheumatology residency training at the University of Toronto. She subsequently pursued a fellowship in Palliative Care at the University Health Network, and completed additional training through the Palliative Care Education Practice course at Harvard University and the Master Teaching Training Program at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Saltman practices at the intersection of Rheumatology and Palliative Medicine – caring for patients with life-limiting systemic rheumatic diseases, as well as patients with immunotherapy-related autoimmune side effects and other cancer-related arthropathies. Dr. Saltman sees this intersection as addressing an unmet patient need and as a model for teaching trainees about an interdisciplinary and patient-centered approach to the management of complexity, multi-morbidity, and chronic disease.

Dr. Jorge Sanchez-Guerrero
MD, MSc

Dr. Jorge Sanchez-Guerrero was the Rheumatology Division Chief for both Mount Sinai Hospital and UHN from July 2011 to March 2022. Born and raised in Mexico, Dr. Sanchez-Guerrero received his medical degree from the University of Guadalajara and trained in internal medicine and rheumatology at the Instituto Nacional de la Nutrition (National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition). Moving to Boston, he completed a Master of Science Degree from Harvard Medical School, and finished post-doctoral training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard.

Returning to Mexico as a staff internist and rheumatologist at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, Dr. Sanchez-Guerrero took over as Head of the Department of Immunology and Rheumatology between 2002 and 2011.

Dr. Sanchez-Guerrero oversees systemic lupus erythematosus, antiphospholipid syndrome and systemic autoimmune diseases clinics. He is focused on improving our understanding of rheumatic and related disorders.

His main area of research is systemic autoimmune diseases, targeting lupus in particular, measuring its causes and breaking down how to best diagnose and treat the disease. Dr. Sanchez-Guerrero has many accolades including the Edmund L. Dubois Award for lupus research from the American College of Rheumatology in 2001. More than 160 of his articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Katherine Siminovitch
MD, FRCP(C)

Dr. Katherine Siminovitch is a rheumatologist who studies the molecular mechanisms underpinning development of immunodysregulatory disease. As a senior investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Siminovitch aims to provide new knowledge and technologies enabling more efficacious and “individualized” therapies for immunological diseases.

Dr. Siminovitch’s research program is directed at identifying the molecular and cellular interactions which regulate normal immune responses and which, when disrupted, result in immune deficiency or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis. Using both basic research tools and clinical sample sets, Dr. Siminovitch focuses on defining the genetic lesions predisposing to these diseases and the molecular pathways which couple these lesions to immune cell dysfunction and disease.

Dr. Siminovitch is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and serves as the Director of the Fred A. Litwin Family Centre of Genetic Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network. She also directs the MSH/UHN Clinical Genomics Centre and a Centre of Excellence in Precision Medicine in Autoimmune Disease.

Dr. Siminovitch was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Immunogenomics and previously received a CIHR Senior Scientist Award, an Arthritis Society of Canada Research Scientist Award, an Ontario Ministry of Health Career Scientist Award and the Canadian Life and Health Association Medical Scholarship.

She holds an MD from the University of Toronto and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Dr. Amanda Steiman
MD, MSc, FRCP(C)

Dr. Amanda Steiman is a clinician in Quality and Innovation at Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network. She received her MD from Western University and completed Internal Medicine and Rheumatology training at the University of Toronto. She pursued a fellowship in lupus and Master’s training through the Institute of Medical Science, and further training in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. Her clinical focus is in lupus. She runs the Young Adult SLE (YASLE) Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital with pediatric rheumatologist, Dr. Earl Silverman, to support young lupus patients through this formative period. Her quality improvement initiatives are focused on collaborative care models for patients with rheumatic diseases.

  • Dr. Zareen Ahmad, MD, FRCP(C)
  • Dr. Medha Soowamber MD, FRCPC, MSc
Dr. Carlo Ammendolia
DC, PhD

Dr. Carlo Ammendolia is the Director of the Chiropractic Spine Clinic and the Spinal Stenosis Program at the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases. He is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, the Department of Surgery and the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. He is a Faculty member of the University of Toronto Spine Program and The Collaborative Program in Musculoskeletal Sciences and an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Work and Health. In 2012, Dr. Ammendolia was the recipient of the Professorship in Spine Award from the Department of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine. He has been in clinical practice for over 30 years and now combines clinical practice, teaching and research in the area of non-operative treatment of mechanical, degenerative and inflammatory spinal disorders with a special interest in degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis.

Dr. Ammendolia is the author of more than 35 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and book chapters and has been the recipient of the “Chiropractor of the Year” in 2015 for outstanding contribution to the profession from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Aksa Ahmed
DC

Dr. Aksa Ahmed is a chiropractor at The Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis & Autoimmune Disease and the research coordinator for the University of Toronto’s Lumbar Spinal Stenosis study at Mount Sinai Hospital. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree with Honours at the University of Toronto, specializing in Biochemistry and Human Biology, and graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College with Clinic Honours in 2015. Dr. Ahmed is a diversified practitioner and is also certified in Medical Acupuncture from McMaster University.

Dr. Ahmed is passionate about leading a healthy and active lifestyle. She is strongly committed to providing exceptional patient-centered, high quality health care using a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach. Dr. Ahmed keeps up-to-date with current literature and incorporates evidence-based chiropractic care in her practice.

Dr. Joshua Plener
DC, MSc

Dr. Joshua Plener is a chiropractor at the Chiropractic Spine Clinic and the Spinal Stenosis Program at the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases. He graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and completed his Masters degree through the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He combines clinical practice and research within the area of non-operative treatment of spinal disorders, with a special interest in degenerative conditions.

Dr. Plener is the author of numerous peer-reviewed papers and has been the recipient of provincial and national awards within the Chiropractic profession. He is committed to providing the highest quality care within a patient-centered approach.

The administrative team is essential in keeping the clinic organized – from the preparing of a patient’s first visit to booking of follow up appointments. They also make sure the clinic day runs smoothly and that patients receive that extra special care and attention.