Catherine Tsilfidis profile picture

Contact Information

Catherine Tsilfidis, PhD

ORCID logo

Catherine Tsilfidis

Senior Scientist, Neuroscience
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Associate Professor, Departments of Ophthalmology and Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Former Assistant Dean, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Research Interests

Retinal diseases, retinal gene therapy, apoptosis of retinal cells as a cause for retinal disease, anti-apoptotic strategies for preserving retinal cells and delaying retinal disease progression

Brief Biography

Catherine Tsilfidis is a senior scientist in the Neuroscience Program of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Her research is aimed at developing a gene therapy strategy that blocks apoptosis and slows down retinal disease progression. She has applied this approach to the treatment of animal models of retinal disease. Her laboratory is currently optimizing gene therapy parameters for application to human disease.

Dr. Tsilfidis is also the former Assistant Dean of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. She organized and delivered workshops to medical students, residents, graduate students and faculty on harassment and intimidation, respect in the workplace, and unconscious bias. Dr. Tsilfidis is passionate about promoting the advancement of underrepresented groups in science and continues to be involved in EDI advisory roles.

Selected Publications

Sobh M, Lagali PS, Montroy J, Ghiasi M, Dollin M, Hurley B, Leonard BC, Dimopoulos I, Lafreniere M, Daham Z, Fergusson DA, Lalu MM, Tsilfidis C (2023). Safety and efficacy of adeno-associated viral gene therapy in patients with retinal degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2023; 12(11):24. 

Visuvanathan S, Baker AN, Lagali PS, Coupland SG, Miller G, Hauswirth WW, Tsilfidis C (2022).  XIAP gene therapy preserves retinal ganglion cell structure and function in a mouse model of glaucoma.  Gene Therapy 29 (3-4): 147-156.

Wassmer SJ, De Repentigny Y, Sheppard D, Lagali P, Fang L, Coupland SG, Kothary R, Guy J, Hauswirth WW, Tsilfidis C (2020). XIAP protects retinal ganglion cells in the mutant ND4 mouse model of Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.  Invest Opthal Vis Sci 61(8):49.

Zadro-Lamoureux, L.A., D.N. Zacks, A.N. Baker, Q.-D. Zheng, W.W. Hauswirth, and C. Tsilfidis (2009). XIAP effects on retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor apoptosis. Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. 50(3):1448-53.

Leonard, K.C., D. Petrin, S. G. Coupland, A. N. Baker, B. C. Leonard, W. W. Hauswirth, R. G. Korneluk and C. Tsilfidis (2007). XIAP Protection of Photoreceptors in Animal Models of Retinitis Pigmentosa. PLoS ONE Mar 21; 2 (3):e314.


Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Research and clinical approaches