Sunit Das

MD, PhD, MA, BA

Scientist

Biography

Sunit Das is a neurosurgeon and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Kids, and Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He currently serves as the CNS Tumours Lead at Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario). Dr. Das studied English Literature at the University of Michigan and Philosophy at Harvard University before moving to Chicago for medical school at Northwestern University. He completed his doctoral studies in Neurobiology at the National Institutes of Health, where he studied the molecular processes that underlie adult neurogenesis in the lab of Dr. ZuHang Sheng. He returned to Chicago for his neurosurgical residency, during which time he also began work on cancer stem cells in primary brain tumours in the lab of Dr. John Kessler. He was recruited to the University of Toronto in 2010. Dr. Das’s clinical practice is focused on the care of patients with benign and malignant brain tumours. His laboratory in the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Centre at the Hospital for Sick Kids focuses on the molecular and genetic mechanisms that regulate cellular plasticity, fate specification and treatment resistance in glioblastoma. His research group at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute is focused on using real-world data and meta-analysis for knowledge translation. His work has been published in many high impact journals, including Nature, Nature Genetics, Cell Stem Cell, Cancer Cell, JAMA, JAMA Neurology, and the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2017, Dr. Das joined the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto. His work at the Centre for Ethics focuses on the interface of AI with medicine, issues that underlie professional identity in medical practice, and the ethics of surgical innovation. Dr. Das was recently named a Senior Fellow at Massey College.

Recent Publications

  1. Arfaie, S, Laghaei Farimani, P, Mashayekhi, MS, Hakak-Zargar, B, Fatehi Hassanabad, M, Smith-Forrester, J et al.. The Inception of the Canadian Medical Student Interest Group in Neurosurgery (CaMSIGN): A Student-Led Platform Dedicated to Neurosurgical Education, Research, Mentorship, and Advocacy. Can J Neurol Sci. 2022; :1-2. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2022.11. PubMed PMID:35403596 .
  2. Kasper, G, Hart, S, Samuel, N, Fox, C, Das, S. Anxiety and depression in patients with intracranial meningioma: a mixed methods analysis. BMC Psychol. 2022;10 (1):93. doi: 10.1186/s40359-022-00797-6. PubMed PMID:35395829 PubMed Central PMC8994241.
  3. Li, AY, Gaebe, K, Jerzak, KJ, Cheema, PK, Sahgal, A, Das, S et al.. Intracranial Metastatic Disease: Present Challenges, Future Opportunities. Front Oncol. 2022;12 :855182. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.855182. PubMed PMID:35330715 PubMed Central PMC8940535.
  4. McCoy, LG, Chen, SS, Brenna, CTA, Das, S. Big Decisions on a Small Scale: From Evidence-Based Medicine to Personalized Medicine. AJOB Neurosci. ;13 (2):132-134. doi: 10.1080/21507740.2022.2048728. PubMed PMID:35324398 .
  5. Zhu, J, Brenna, CTA, McCoy, LG, Atkins, CGK, Das, S. An ethical analysis of clinical triage protocols and decision-making frameworks: what do the principles of justice, freedom, and a disability rights approach demand of us?. BMC Med Ethics. 2022;23 (1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12910-022-00749-0. PubMed PMID:35148763 PubMed Central PMC8831871.
  6. Richards, LM, Whitley, OKN, MacLeod, G, Cavalli, FMG, Coutinho, FJ, Jaramillo, JE et al.. Gradient of Developmental and Injury Response transcriptional states defines functional vulnerabilities underpinning glioblastoma heterogeneity. Nat Cancer. 2021;2 (2):157-173. doi: 10.1038/s43018-020-00154-9. PubMed PMID:35122077 .
  7. Chen, SS, McCoy, LG, Forster, S, Brenna, CTA, Lipsman, N, Das, S et al.. Continuums of Capacity, Binaries of Guilt: The Sociopolitical Role of Neuroethics in Criminal Justice. AJOB Neurosci. ;13 (1):25-28. doi: 10.1080/21507740.2021.2001082. PubMed PMID:34931954 .
  8. Gaebe, K, Li, AY, Das, S. Clinical Biomarkers for Early Identification of Patients with Intracranial Metastatic Disease. Cancers (Basel). 2021;13 (23):. doi: 10.3390/cancers13235973. PubMed PMID:34885083 PubMed Central PMC8656478.
  9. Yi, E, Gujar, AD, Guthrie, M, Kim, H, Zhao, D, Johnson, KC et al.. Live-Cell Imaging Shows Uneven Segregation of Extrachromosomal DNA Elements and Transcriptionally Active Extrachromosomal DNA Hubs in Cancer. Cancer Discov. 2022;12 (2):468-483. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-1376. PubMed PMID:34819316 PubMed Central PMC8831456.
  10. McCoy, LG, Brenna, CTA, Chen, SS, Vold, K, Das, S. Believing in black boxes: machine learning for healthcare does not need explainability to be evidence-based. J Clin Epidemiol. 2022;142 :252-257. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.11.001. PubMed PMID:34748907 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Associate Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Adjunct Scientist, Brain Tumour Research Centre, Hospital for Sick Children
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