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Zahi Touma, MD, PhD

Zahi Touma, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto; Clinician Scientist, Krembil Research Institute

DR. ZAHI TOUMA, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine with the University of Toronto, Clinician-Scientist and Staff Rheumatologist with the University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital and adjunct scientist with the Institute for Work and Health. He holds cross-appointments with the Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation (IHPME) and Institute of Medical Sciences graduate programs.  He is also a Clinician-Scientist with the Krembil Research Institute.  

His research is focused on patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and measurement science with a particular interest in the assessment of disease activity, patient reported outcomes and cognitive function. One of his most significant contributions has been the development of the SLE disease activity indices – the SLEDAI Responder Index-50 (S2K RI-50) and SLEDAI-2K Glucocorticoids Index (SGI). He has published 89 peer reviewed original research papers and the majority is focused on the assessment and management of SLE. Dr Touma is a member of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) subcommittee for the development of classification and response criteria for rheumatic diseases and has recently participated in the development of the new classification criteria for SLE. He is also the coordinator of the measurement in clinical research course at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, UoT. Another major focus of his research is the assessment of cognitive impairment in patients with SLE. Dr. Touma has established the NeuroLupus Program which consists of a team of experts in psychometrics, neuropsychology, neurology, psychiatry, measurement and bioinformatics with the goal of developing improved methods of identifying cognitive impairment in SLE and understanding it’s course over time and impact on quality of life and productivity.  

Dr. Touma’s work has been supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Arthritis Society of Canada, Lupus Canada and Physician Services Incorporated.   He is also the recipient of an Early Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and salary awards from the Arthritis Society and Canadian Rheumatology Association.