Tackling cancer and hematologic disorders

By providing close-to-home clinical care, ground-breaking research and educational programs, Dalhousie’s Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology is able to help children with:

  • bleeding disorders
  • thrombotic disorders
  • hemoglobinopathies
  • cancer
  • vascular malformations
  • blood disorders

Clinical activities

Together with members of the IWK’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Service, our clinicians collaborate with community health professionals across the Maritimes to provide children with health care that is as close to home as possible.

The hematology oncology service in addition to having general hematology and cancer clinics runs the following specialty clinics and welcomes referrals: 

  1. Pediatric interdisciplinary vascular anomalies clinic
  2. Pediatric bleeding disorder clinics (such as hemophilia and von Willebrand's disease)
  3. Pediatric hemoglobinopathy clinics (such as sickle cell and thalassemia)
  4. Long term followup clinic for long term survivors of cancer treatment
  5. Bone marrow transplant clinic
  6. Brain tumor clinic
  7. Targeted therapies clinic

We offer a multi-disciplinary inpatient and ambulatory care unit that provides each child and their family with a family-care coordinator. This specialist hematology or oncology nurse coordinator makes it easier for families to get the answers they need, and to connect with the tertiary care centre and the home community health centre.

We belong to the Atlantic Pediatric Hematology Oncology Network (APPHON- https://www.apphon-rohppa.com/). This supports a Level of Care system that matches each phase of the child’s treatment to available resources in each care site to ensure that the child receives the best and safest care possible. APPHON is also host to a number of standardized guidelines to facilitate state of the art care for children with cancer and blood disorders. We also participate in outreach teaching with other health centers within the Maritime provinces through APPHON.

Teaching activities

Our faculty members participate in a wide range of educational activities by:

  • attending weekly patient management rounds
  • supporting a weekly general oncology Tumor Board [PDF - 25 KB], a biweekly brain tumor rounds and regular hematology and leukemia case rounds
  • teaching other health professionals, including a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons subspecialty training program in Pediatric Hematology Oncology
  • acting as mentors and supervisors for elective students from a variety of backgrounds
  • participating in Medical School teaching, clinical clerk teaching and resident seminars
  • presenting at various Grand Rounds (pediatric, adult hematology, medical oncology)
  • contributing to national and international educational sessions and conferences at Dalhousie
  • Dr. Bruce Crooks is the RCSPC specialty resident program director. We currently have two specialty residents in training. He is also the current Student Electives Coordinator. Please contact Dr. Crooks or his administrative assistant Jennifer Curran for further information.

Research interests

We are a full member of the Children's Oncology Group—(an international clinical trials group with more than 200 member institutions from around the world). At any one time, we have more than 60 research trials open. Dr. Erker is the site PI and a member of the CNS Disease Committee.  Dr. Fernandez is the COG Chair of the Renal Tumors Committee.

The IWK’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Service is actively participating in a number of other national and international clinical research groups working to improve health outcomes for children and adolescents with hematologic or oncologic disorders. In addition to clinical trial involvement, there are a wide variety of research interests represented in the division including the impact of the microbiome on outcomes, quality of life measurement in hemophilia patients, thromboembolism, targeted therapies in brain tumors, and research ethics to name just a few. Please see the linked bibliographies of each of the faculty for more detailed information.

Research support

COG office:

Divisional Research Associates:

Our full-time people 


  • Dr. Alan Fine, Departments of Physiology & Biophysics, Medicine (Neurology), and Biomedical Engineering, Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Kerry Goralski, College of Pharmacy, Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Melanie Keats, School of Health & Human Performance (Kinesiology), Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Tobias Karakach, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University


  • Dr. Mark Bernstein, MD, FRCPC

Contact info

  • Jennifer Curran (administrative assistant to Bruce Crooks and Stephanie Villeneuve); Email: Jennifer.Curran@iwk.nshealth.ca; Phone: 902-470-8048; Fax: 902-470-7216
  • Manusurah Aziz (administrative assistant to Vicky Price and Conrad Fernandez); Email: mansurah.aziz@iwk.nshealth.ca
    Phone: 902-470-6839; Fax: 902-470-7216
  • Mady Bastias (administrative assistant to Craig Erker and Ketan Kulkarni); Email: madelaine.bastias@iwk.nshealth.ca; Phone: 902-470-7290; Fax: 902-470-7216

Division of Hematology/Oncology
Department of Pediatrics
IWK Health Centre
5850/5980 University Avenue
Halifax, NS  B3K 6R8

Dalhousie University
Faculty of Medicine
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada  B3H 4R2
Tel: 1-902-494-6592

Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada E2L4L5