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Laura McAdam, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Laura McAdam, MSc, MD, FRCP(C)

Clinician Investigator, Physician Director, Child Development Program


Research Focus:
Dr. McAdam's research focuses on improving outcomes and quality of life of children and youth with neuromuscular conditions. Her current studies focus on co-creating new rehabilitation interventions for individuals with Spinal Muscular Atrophy who have received genetic based therapies, understanding the bullying experiences of youth with neuromuscular conditions to develop prevention strategies, running clinical drug trials, and helping youth with neuromuscular disorders be a leader in their care.

Education & Profession


  • M.D., University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario FRCP C, Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Pediatrics. 
  • M. Sc., University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario. Physiology, Program of Neuroscience
  • B. Sc., Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

Professional Memberships:

  • Canadian Medical Association Ontario
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario
  • Medical Association Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada
  • World Muscle Society

University Positions / Affiliations:

  • Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario , Department of Pediatrics, Division of Development

Honours and Awards:

  • Elsevier WMS Membership Award, World Muscle Society, Algarve, Portugal. October 2011.
  • Young Investigation Award - Neurobiology of Disease in Children Muscular Dystrophy, 38th Annual Meeting Child Neurology Society. 2009.

Current Projects

Bullying and Youth with Neuromuscular Conditions

Intensive Rehabilitation Interventions for Children/Youth with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR)

  • Actively recruiting

Solution-focused Coaching

  • Implementation and evaluation of solution focused coaching strategy within a Paediatric Multidisciplinary Neuromuscular Clinic (recruitment closed)
  • Improving Healthcare professionals' capacity for facilitating Self-determination among children with Neuromuscular conditions: Addressing the need (recruitment closed)

Bone Health

  • Bone fragility in boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Rett Rehabilitation and Clinical Care

  • Understanding Current the State of Rett Syndrome Care and Rehabilitation

Givinostat and Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

  • DSC 14/2357/48: Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, multi-centre study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of givinostat in ambulant patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
  • DSC 14/2357/51: Open label, long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy study of GIVINOSTAT in all DMD patients who have been previously treated in one of the GIVINOSTAT studies


Click to see Dr. McAdams's publications on PubMed.

Hodgkinson V, Oskoui M, Lounsberry J, M’Dahoma J, Butler E, Campbell C, Mackenzie A, McMillan H, Simard L, Vasjar J, Brais B, Chapman K, Chrestian N, Crone M, Dobrowolski P, Dojeiji S, Dowling J, Dupre N, Genge A, Gonorazky H, Hasal S, Izenberg A, Johnston W, Leung E, Lochmuller H, Mah J, Marerro A, Massie R, McAdam L, McCormick A, Melanson M, Mezei M, Nguyen C, O’Connell C, O’Ferrall E, Pfeffer G, Phan C, Plamondon S, Poulin C, Rodrigue X, Schellenberg K, Selby K, Sheriko J, Shoesmith C, Smith G, Taillon M, Taylor S, Warman Chardon J, Worley S, Korngut L. A National Spinal Muscular Atrophy Registry for Real-World Evidence. Can J Neurol Sci, 2020 Nov;47(6):810-815. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2020.111. Epub 2020 Jun 4. PMID: 32493524; PMCID: PMC7656664.

Hodgkinson V, Lounsberry J, M’Dahoma S, Russell A, Benstead T, Brais B, Campbell C, Johnston W, Lochmuller H, Mccormick A, Nguyen CT, O’Ferrall E, Oskoui M, Briemberg H, Bourque P, Botez S, Cashman N, Chapman K, Chrestian N, Crone M, Dobrowolski P, Dojeiji S, Dowling JJ, Dupre N, Genge A, Gonorazky H, Grant I, Hasal S, Izenberg A, Kalra S, Katzberg H, Krieger C, Leung E, Linassi G, Mackenzie A, Mah JK, Mattero A, Massie R, Matte G, McAdam L, McMillan H, Melanson M, Mezei MM, O’Connell C, Pfeffer G, Phan C, Plamondon S, Poulin C, Rodrigue Z, Schellenberg K, Selby K, Sheriko J, Shoesmith C, Smith G, Taillon M, Taylor S, Venance S, Warman-Chardon J, Worley S, Zinman, L, Korngut L. The Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry 2010-2019: A Decade of Facilitating Clinical Research Through a Nationwide, Pan-Neuromuscular Disease Registry. J Neuromuscular Dis 2020 Aug 31. Online ahead of print.

Lim J, Greenspoon D, Hunt A, McAdam L. Rehabilitation Interventions in Rett Syndrome: A Scoping Review.  Dev Med Child Neurol. 2020 Aug;62(8):906-916

McPherson AC, Amin R,  McAdam L, Kalnins D, Lui T. Growth assessment and weight management in paediatric neuromuscular clinics:  a cross-sectional survey across Canada. Disabil Rehabil. 2020 Feb 14:1-6. Doi: 10.1080. [Epub ahead of print]. Coauthor or Collaborator

Moola F, Moothathamby N, McAdam L, Solomon M, Varadi R, Tullis D, Reisman J.  Telling My Tale: Reflections on the Process of Visual Storytelling for Children and Youth Living With Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy in Canada.  International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 2020 Jan 27. Volume 19. Coauthor or Collaborator

Spitali P, Zaharieva I, Bohringer S, Hiller M, Chaouch A, Roos A, Scotton C, Claustres M, Bello L, McDonald CM, Hoffman EP, CINRG Investigators. TCTEX1D1 is a genetic modifier of disease progression in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Eur J Hum Genet. 2020 Jan 2 [epub ahead of print]

Conrado DJ, Larkindale J, Berg A, Hill M, Burton J, Abrams KR, Abresch RT, Bronson A, Chapman D, Crowther M, Duong T, Gordish-Dressman H, Harnisch L, Henricson, Kim S, McDonald CM, Schmidt S, Vong C, Wang X, Wong BL, Yong F, Romero K, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Regulatory Science Consortium (D_RSC).Towards regulatory endorsement of drug development tools to promote the application of model-informed drug development in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn. 2019 Oct;46(5):441-455.. Coauthor or

Lindsay S, Cagliostro E, McAdam L. Meaningful occupations of young adults with muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular disorders . Can J Occup Ther. 2019 Oct;86(4):277-288. Coauthor or Collaborator

Setchell J, Abrams T, McAdam L, Gibson B. Cheer* in Health Care Practice:  What it excludes and why it matters.Qual Health Res. 2019Nov;29(13):1890-1903. Coauthor or Collaborator

Bian Q, McAdam L, Grynpas M, Mitchell J, Harrington J. Increased rates of vitamin D insufficiency in boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy despite higher vitamin D3 supplementation. Global Pediatric Health.2019 Mar (6):1-7

Vukovic S, McAdam L, Zlotnik-Shaul R, Amin R. Putting our best foot forward: Clinical, treatment-based and ethical considerations of nusinersen therapy in Canada for spinal muscular atrophy. J Paediatr Child Health. 2019 Jan;55(1):18-24. Coauthor or Collaborator

Propp R, McAdam LC, Davis A, Salbach N, Weir S, Encisa C, Narayanan U. Development and content validation of the Muscular Dystrophy Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities questionnaire for children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2019 Jan;61(1):75-81. Coauthor or Collaborator

Fishman H, Massicotte C, Li R, Zabih W, McAdam LC, Al-Saleh S, Amin R; The Accuracy of an Ambulatory Level III Sleep Study Compared to a Level I Sleep Study for the Diagnosis of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children with Neuromuscular Disease. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018 Dec 15;14(12):2013-2020. Coauthor or Collaborator

McDonald CM, Gordish-Dressman H, Henricson EK, Duong T, Joyce NC, Jhawar S, Leinonen M, Hsu F, Connolly AM, Cnaan A, Abresch RT; CINRG investigators for PubMed. Longitudinal pulmonary function testing outcome measures in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Long-term natural history with and without glucocorticoids. Neuromuscul Disord. 2018 Nov;28(11):897-909. Coauthor or Collaborator

Thille P, Gibson B, Abrams T, McAdam LC, Mistry B, Setchell J. Enhancing the human dimensions of children’s neuromuscular care:  Piloting a methodology for fostering team reflexivity. Advances in Health Sciences Education. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2018 May 24 (Epub ahead of print). Coauthor or Collaborator

Wei Y, McCormick A, MacKenzie A, O’Ferrall E, Venance S, Mah J, Selby K, McMillan H, Smith G, Oskoui M, Hogan G, McAdam L, Mabaya G, Hodgkinson V, Lounsberry J, Korngut L, Campbell C. The Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry:  Connecting patients to national and international research opportunities. Paediatric Child Health 2018 Feb 23 (1):20-26. Coauthor or Collaborator

McDonald CM, Henricson EK, Abresch RT, Duong T, Joyce NC, Hu F, Clemens PR, Hoffman EP, Cnaan A, Gordish-Dressman H; CINRG Investigators. Long-term effects of glucocorticoids on function, quality of life, and survival in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a prospective cohort study. Lancet. 2018 Feb 03;391(10119):451-461. Coauthor or Collaborator

Setchell J, Thille P, Abrams T, McAdam LC, Mistry B, Gibson BE. Enhancing human aspects of care with young people with muscular dystrophy: Results from a participatory qualitative study with clinicians. Child Care Health Dev. 2018 03;44(2):269-277. Coauthor or Collaborator

Anderson J, Seol H, Gordish-Dressman H, Hathout Y, Spurney CF, CINRG Investigators. Interleukin 1 receptor-like protein (ST2) is a potential biomarker for cardiomyopathy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Pediatr Cardiol. 2017 Aug 18 (epub ahead of print)

Hendriksen RGF, Lionarons JM, Hendriksen JGM, Vles JSH, McAdam LC, Biggar WD. Development of a new self-reporting instrument measuring benefits and side effects of corticosteroids in Duchenne muscular dystrophy:report from a pilot study. J Neuromuscul Dis. 2017;4(3):217—236. Coauthor or Collaborator

McPherson AC, McAdam L, Keenan S, Schwellnus H, Biddiss E, DeFinney A, English K. A feasibility study using solution-focused coaching for health promotion in children and young people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dev Neurorehabil. 2017 Mar 8:1-10. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Lindsay S, McAdam L, Mahendiran T. Enablers and barriers of men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy transitioning from an adult clinic within a pediatric hospital. Disabil Health J. 2017 Jan 1;10(1):73-79. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Bello L, Flanigan KM, Weiss RB, United Dystrophinopathy Project., Spitali P, Aartsma-Rus A, Muntoni F, Zaharieva I, Ferlini A, Mercuri E, Tuffery-Giraud S, Claustres M, Straub V, Lochmüller H, Barp A, Vianello S, Pegoraro E, Punetha J, Gordish-Dressman H, Giri M, McDonald CM, Hoffman EP, Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group. Association Study of Exon Variants in the NF-κB and TGFβ Pathways Identifies CD40 as a Modifier of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Am J Hum Genet. 2016 Nov 3;99(5):1163-1171. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Cnaan A, Thangarajh M, Abresch RT, Henricson E, Viswanatha V, McAdam L, Mah J, Tulinius M, Ryan M, Nevo Y, Dubrovsky A, Clemens P, Connolly A, Teasley J, Bertorini T, Webster R, Kolksi H, Gorn K, Lotze T, Karachunski P, Bodensteiner J, Carlo J  Investigators. DMD genotypes and loss of ambulation in the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group Duchenne Natural History Study. Neurology. 2016 Jul 26;87(4):401-9. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Banihani R, Baskin B, Halliday W, Kobayashi J, Kawamura A, McAdam L, Ray PN, Yoon G. A Novel Mutation in DMD (c.10797+5G>A) Causes Becker Muscular Dystrophy Associated with Intellectual Disability. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2016 Apr 1;37(3):239-44. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Banihani R, Smile S, Yoon G, Dupuis A, Mosleh M, Snider A, McAdam L. Cognitive and Neurobehavioral Profile in Boys With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. J Child Neurol. 2015 Oct 1;30(11):1472-82. Senior Author.

Bello L, Gordish-Dressman H, Morgenroth LP, Henricson EK, Duong T, Hoffman EP, Cnaan A, McDonald CM, CINRG Investigators. Prednisone/prednisolone and deflazacort regimens in the CINRG Duchenne Natural History Study. Neurology. 2015 Aug 26. In Press. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Bello L, Kesari A, Gordish-Dressman H, Cnaan A, Morgenroth LP, Punetha J, Duong T, Henricson EK, Pegoraro E, McDonald CM, Hoffman EP, Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group Investigators. Genetic modifiers of ambulation in the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group Duchenne Natural History Study. Ann Neurol. 2015 Apr 1;77(4):684-96. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Spurney C, Shimizu R, Morgenroth LP, Kolski H, Gordish-Dressman H, Clemens PR, CINRG Investigators. Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group Duchenne Natural History Study demonstrates insufficient diagnosis and treatment of cardiomyopathy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Muscle Nerve. 2014 Aug 1;50(2):250-6. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Korngut L, Campbell C, Johnston M, Benstead T, Genge A, Mackenzie A, McCormick A, Biggar D, Bourque P, Briemberg H, O’Connell C, Dojeiji S, Dooley J, Grant I, Hogan G, Johnston W, Kalra S, Katzberg HD, Mah JK, McAdam LC, McMillan HJ, Melanson M, Selby K, Shoesmith C, Smith G, Venance SL, Wee J, CNDR Investigator Network. The CNDR: collaborating to translate new therapies for Canadians. Can J Neurol Sci. 2013 Sep 1;40(5):698-704. Coauthor or Collaborator

 Lebel DE, Corston JA, McAdam LC, Biggar WD and Alman BA. Glucocorticoid treatment for the prevention of scoliosis in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: long-term follow-up. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013 Jun 19;95(12):1057-61. 2013 Jun 19;95(12):1057-61. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.01577. Coauthor or Collaborator.

McAdam LC, Mayo AL, Alman BA, Biggar WD. The Canadian experience with long-term deflazacort treatment in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Acta Myologica. 2012 May 1;1:16-20. Principal Author.

Contact Info

Contact Information:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 
150 Kilgour Road, Toronto ON, M4G 1R8 
Tel: 416-425-6220 x.6605

For research inquiries, contact the research team at