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Kyle Cowan
Scientist, CHEO Research Institute
Staff Pediatric Surgeon, Division of Pediatric General Surgery,
Department of Surgery, CHEO
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery,
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Cross Appointed Associate Professor,
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa
Pediatric Surgery Training Program Director, Department of Surgery,
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Trauma Team Lead
613-737-7600 Ext. 2878
Research Practice Areas:
  • Cancer Research
  • Congential Diaphragmatic Hernia
  • Pulmonary Vascular Disease/Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Skeletal Muscle Health and Disease
Current Research:

Role of elastases, matrix metalloproteinases, and extracellular matrix in the progression of pulmonary vascular disease associated with congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

Use of a stem cell approach to treat the pulmonary vascular disease associated with congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

Role of pannexins in the regulation of skeletal muscle differentiation and tumourigenesis associated with rhabdomyosarcoma – potential new therapeutic targets?

Fighting the Deadliest Newborn Diseases click here to watch video.

Research Team:
Dr. Cowan is a newly appointed peadiatric general surgeon at CHEO, scientist at the CHEO Research Institute, and assistant professor in the department of Surgery and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Cowan completed a PhD in cardiovascular research under the supervision of Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch at the Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto where he studied the pathophysiology of primary arterial hypertension and approaches to its reversal. He then started medical studies at the University of Toronto, which followed by a 5 years of general surgery residency at the University of Western Ontario. During his residency, Dr. Cowan continued his basic science training with the completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in the area of cell communication (connexins and pannexins) and tumor biology in the laboratory of Dr. Dale W. Laird at the University of Western Ontario, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. After finishing his general surgery residency and postdoctoral fellowship in 2009, Dr. Cowan completed a paediatric surgery fellowship (2009-2011) at CHEO. Dr. Cowan is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation joint Resident Research Award, Physician Services Incorporated Foundation Resident Research Award, and the American College of Cardiology Young Investigator's Award.

Openings available for graduate students and post-doctoral fellow. Please send CV and cover letter describing your research interests to  

Sample Publications:

Xiang X1,2, Langlois S1,3, St-Pierre ME1, Barré JF 1, Grynspan D4, Purgina B5, Cowan KN6,7,8. Pannexin 1 inhibits rhabdomyosarcoma progression through a mechanism independent of its canonical channel function.Oncogenesis.2018 Nov 21;7(11):89. doi: 10.1038/s41389-018-0100-4.

Pham, T.L., St-Pierre, M.E., Ravel-Chapuis, A., Crawford Parks, T.E., Langlois, S., Penuela, S., Jasmin, B.J., and Cowan, K.N. Expression of Pannexin 1 and Pannexin 3 during skeletal muscle development, regeneration, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 2018. 233(10):7057-7070.
Crawford Parks, T.E., Marcellus, K.A., Langill, J., Ravel-Chapuis, A., Michaud, J., Cowan, K.N., Côté, J., and Jasmin, B.J. Novel Roles for Staufen1 in Embryonal and Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma via c-myc-dependent and -independent events. Scientific Reports, 2017, 7:42342.

Wild, B., St-Pierre, M.E., Langlois, S., and Cowan, K.N. Elastase and Matrix Metalloproteinase Activities are Associated with Pulmonary Vascular Disease in the Nitrofen Rat Model of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2017, 52(5):693-701.

Langlois, S., and Cowan, K.N. Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Myoblast Differentiation and Proliferation by Pannexins. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2017; 925:57-73.

Dobson, C.C., Langlois, S., Grynspan, D., Cowan, K.N., and Holcik, M. 2016. Engaging cell death pathways for the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma. Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis, 2016, 21(3-4):221-239.

Faye, M.D., Beug, S., Graber, T.E., Earl, N., Xiang, X., Wild, B., Langlois, S., Cowan, K.N., Korneluk, R.G., Michaud, J. and M. Holcik. Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 mRNA Binding Protein 1 (IGF2BP1) Controls Cell Death and Drug Resistance in Rhabdomyosarcomas by Regulating Translation of cIAP1. Oncogene, 2015, 34(12):1532-41.

Langlois, S., Young, K., Cowan, B.J., Penuela, S. and K.N. Cowan. Pannexin 1 and Pannexin 3 Channels Regulate Skeletal Muscle Myoblast Proliferation and Differentiation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2014, 289(44):30717-31.

Wilson, M., Emil, S., Cowan, K.N., Kalechstein, S., Puligandla, P.S., Nguyen, V-H., Laberge, J-M., and S. Chou. Infantile Myofibromas Obstructing Opposite Ends of the Gastrointestinal Tract. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2013, 48:449-453.

Cowan, K.N., Langlois, S., Penuela, S., Cowan, B.J., and D.W. Laird. Pannexin1 and Pannexin3 Exhibit Distinct Localization Patterns in Human Skin Appendages and are Regulated during Keratinocyte Differentiation and Carcinogenesis. Cell Communication and Adhesion, 2012, 19: 45-53.

Gauvin, G., Cowan, K.N., and M. Bettolli. A Unique Presentation of a Standard Type C Esophageal Atresia in a Very Low Birth Weight Neonate. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2012, 47: 1460-1462.

Cowan, K.N., Puligandla, P.S., Laberge, J-M., Skarsgard, E.D., Bouchard, S., Yanchar, N., Kim, P., Lee, S.K., McMillan, D., von Dadelszen, P., and The Canadian Paediatric Surgical Network. The Gastroschisis Prognostic Score: Reliable Outcome Prediction in Gastroschisis. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2012, 47: 1111-1117.

Grynspan, D., Ying, Y., Nizalik, E., Cowan, K.N., de Nanassy, J. and S. Chou. A Forme-Fruste Variant of Congenital Midline Cervical Cleft with Hamartomatous Adnexal Elements Managed without Z-Plasty. Pediatric Developmental Pathology, 2012, 15: 245-248.
To view a complete list of publications on PubMed - Click here
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