Ketan KulkarniMD, FRCPC

Division of Hematology-Oncology, Associate Professor

Phone: 902-470-3795
Fax: 902-470-7216
Mailing Address: 
Division of Hematology-Oncology
IWK Health Centre
PO Box 9700
5850-5980 University Ave.
Halifax, NS B3K 6R8
Research Topics:
  • Pediatric thrombosis
  • Clinical outcomes research
  • Supportive care in oncology
  • Leukemia/Lymphoma
  • Microbiome research in pediatric oncology


  • Pediatric Hematology Oncology (Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta)
  • Pediatric Thrombosis (Clinical and Research Fellowship, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta)

Research interests

I have been interested in studying adverse events related to cancer and its therapy, complications associated with central venous catheters, and survival outcomes. To advance research and knowledge in the same, I am actively engaged in collaboration with basic and translational researchers in pharmacy, pharmacology, gastroenterology, immunology, cancer biology, mathematics and bioinformatics, and epidemiology amongst others to find innovative ways of improving the care of pediatric hematology oncology patients. I attempt to focus on using advanced technologies to improve care and outcome of children with cancer. I am fortunate to have an expanding research program with several students and trainees at all levels of training from undergraduate to postdoctoral and well as medical students and residents. 

I am also interested in studying thrombosis in high risk pediatric populations such as oncology, cardiology, intensive care and neonatology.

Selected publications  

  1. Wertman J, Dunn KA, Kulkarni K. The impact of the host intestinal microbiome on carcinogenesis and the response to chemotherapy. Future Oncol (published ahead of print) (Note: Trainee underlined) Role: Lead and senior investigator
  2. Dunn KA, Forbrigger Z, Connors J, Rahman M, Cohen A, Van Limbergen J, Langille MGI, Stadnyk A, Bielawski JP, Penney SL, MacDonald T, Kulkarni K. Gut bacterial gene changes following pegaspargase treatment in pediatric patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Leuk Lymphoma. 2021 Jul 19:1-12 (ahead of print) DOI:10.1080/10428194.2021.1953006 (Note: Trainee underlined. Role: Lead and senior investigator) Dalhousie media release:
  3. P-Marcotte Marie-Claude, Kulkarni K, Athale U, Pole J Brandão L, Sung S. Thrombosis is associated with worse survival in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a report from CYP-C. Am J Hematol. 2021;96:796-804.DOI: 10.1002/ajh.26193 Role: Co-investigator, second author
  4. Bhatt MD, Hamilton K, Kulkarni K, Raffini L, Simpson E, Thabane L, Chan AK. A pilot feasibility and safety multicenter trial of administering weight adjusted FiXED dose of low molecular weight heparin (ENOXAPARIN) to neonates and children with thrombosis. Med Case Rep Study Protoc. 2021;2:2(e0053) (Role: Randomized control trial co-investigator and site PI)
  5. Howie C, Erker C, Moorehead P, Crooks B, Kulkarni K. Incidence and risk factors of venous thrombotic events in pediatric patients with CNS tumors compared with non-CNS cancer: a population-based cohort study. Thromb Res. 2021;200:51-55. (Note: Trainee as first author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  6. Dunn KA, Connors J, Bielawski J, Nearing J, Langille M, Van Limbergen J, Fernandez C, MacDonald T, Kulkarni K. Investigating the gut microbial community and genes in children with differing levels of change in serum asparaginase activity during Pegaspargase treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma. 2021;64:927-936. (Note: Trainee underlined. Role: Lead and senior investigator, co-corresponding author)
  7. Patterson J, Comeau J, Khan N, Kulkarni K. A case of disseminated Candida krusei infection in a child with acute myeloid leukemia. Pediatr Hematol Oncol J. 2021;6:52-54. (Note: Trainee as first author) Role: Lead and senior investigator
  8. Kulkarni K, Chiasakul T, Riva N, Eslick R, Casari C for the ISTH Early Career Committee. Exciting times for the ISTH Early Career professionals.  J Thromb Hemostat.2020;18:2437-2438. (Role: Lead Author Note: Invited editorial by ISTH)
  9. MacNevin W, Padhye K, Alkhalife Y, Price V, El-Hawary R, Branchford BR, Stevens S, Kulkarni K. Optimizing pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis use in pediatric orthopedic surgical patients through implementation of a perioperative venous thromboembolism risk screening tool. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2020;e28803. (Note: Trainees as first 3 authors. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  10. Shenouda S, Kulkarni K, Abuetabh Y, Sergi C. Cancer stem cells and their management in cancer therapy.  Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2020 Jul 13 (e published ahead of print) doi:10.2174/1574892815666200713145931 (Role:co-author/investigator)
  11. Sharathkumar AA, Biss T, Kulkarni K, Ahuja S, Regan M, Male C, Revel-Vilk S. Epidemiology and outcomes of clinically unsuspected venous thromboembolism in children: a systematic review. J Thromb Hemostat. 2020;18:1100-1112. Role: International guideline panel expert. Review commissioned by the Pediatric Thrombosis subcommittee of the International Society of Thrombosis Hemostasis.
  12. Forbrigger Z. Kulkarni K. Use of tissue plasminogen activator as a surrogate measure for central venous catheter dysfunction and survival outcome in children with cancer: a population-based retrospective cohort study. Pediatric Hematol Oncol (in press) (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  13. Padhye K, El-Hawary R, Price V, Stevens S, Branchford B, Kulkarni K. Development of a perioperative venous thromboembolism prophylaxis algorithm for pediatric orthopedic surgical patients. Pediatric Hematol Oncol. 2020;37:109-118. doi: 10.1080/08880018.2019.1695030. (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  14. Howie C, Crooks B, Moorehead P, Kulkarni K. Pediatric CNS tumor patients have significantly lower requirement of tissue plasminogen activator for episodes of central venous catheter dysfunction compared with other pediatric oncology patients: Results of a population-based cohort study. J Pediatric Hematol Oncol. 2019 Nov 12. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001670. (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  15. Loeffen EAH, Kremer L, van de Wetering MD, Mulder R, Font-Gonzalez A, Dupuis L, Campbell F, Tissing WJE; Pain in children with cancer guideline development panel. Reducing pain in children with cancer: Methodology and an overview of the evidence. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2019 Mar 7:e27698. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27698. [Epub ahead of print] (Role: Collaborator and panel member)
  16. Nearing JT, Connors J, Whitehouse­ S, Limbergen JV, Macdonald T, Kulkarni K, Langille M. Infectious complications are associated with alterations in the gut microbiome in pediatric patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 9:28.doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00028 (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Study PI and co-lead and corresponding author for the article)
  17. Loeffen EAH, Stinson JN, Birnie KA, van Dijk M, Kulkarni K, Rijsdijk M, Font-Gonzalez A, Dupuis L, van Dalen EC, Mulder R, Campbell F, Tissing W, van de Wetering MD, Gibson F. Measurement properties of instruments to assess pain in children with cancer: A systematic review protocol. Syst Rev. 2019;28;8:33. (Role: Co-investigator)
  18. Pike M, Kulkarni K, MacDonald T. Asparaginase activity monitoring experience from the Maritimes, Canada. Leuk Lymphoma. 2019; Feb 5:1-4. doi: 10.1080/10428194.2019.1571196 (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Co-Investigator and trainee supervisor)
  19. Forbrigger, Kuhle S, Brown MM, Moorehead PC, Digout C, Kulkarni K. The association of venous thromboembolism with survival in pediatric cancer patients: A population-based cohort study. Ann Hematol. 2018;97:1903-1908. (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  20. P.-Marcotte M-C; Pole J; Kulkarni K, Athale U, Stammers D, Brandão LR, Sung L. Thrombo-embolism in children with cancer: a population-based study. Thromb Haemost.  2018;118:1646-1655. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1668543. (Role: Co-investigator)
  21. Maclean J, MacDonald T, Digout C, Smith N, Rigby K, Kulkarni K. Need for tissue plasminogen activator for central venous catheter dysfunction is significantly associated with thrombosis in pediatric cancer patients. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018;65:e27015. doi:10.1002/pbc.27015. (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  22. Truong T, Pole J, Barber R, Dix D, Kulkarni K, Martineau E, Randall A, Stammers D, Strahlendorf C, Strother D, Sung L. Enrollment on clinical trials does not improve survival for children with acute myeloid leukemia: a population-based study. Cancer. 2018124:4098-4106. doi: 10.1002/cncr.31728 (Role: Co-investigator)
  23. Kulkarni K, Muia J, Boulaftali Y, Blondon M, Lauw M. Early career professionals: a challenging road. Res Pract Thromb Hemost.2018;2:11-13. rth2.12070 (Role: Lead author)
  24. Strahlendorf C, Pole J, Barber R, Dix D, Kulkarni K, Martineau E, Randall A, Stammers D, Strothers D, Truong T, Onysko J, Sung L. Does enrolling children with ALL on a clinical trial make a difference? A population based study. Br J Cancer. 2018; 118,744–749. Doi:10.1038/bjc.2017.462 (Role: Co-investigator)
  25. Nurullah, R, Kuhle S, Maguire B, Kulkarni K. Seasonal trends in paediatric cancer diagnoses in the Maritimes. Ind J Pediatr.2018;85:785-787. (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  26. Borretta L, MacDonald N, Digout C, Smith N, Fernandez C, Kulkarni K. Management Experience of Peripherally inserted central catheters in Pediatric Oncology Patients: A 15 year Population-Based review from Maritimes, Canada. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol.2018;40:e55–e60 (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  27. Asyyed Z, MacDonald T, Digout C, Kulkarni K. Incidence and characteristics of venous thrombotic events in pediatric cancer patients: A 20-year experience in the Maritimes, Canada. Pediatric Hematol Oncol.2017;34:90-99 (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Lead and senior investigator)
  28. Pole J, Barber R, Bergeron R, Caret AS, Dix D, Kulkarni K, Martineau E, Randall A, Stammers D, Strahlendorf C, Strothers D, Truong T, Sung L. Most children with cancer are not enrolled on a clinical trial in Canada: a population-based study. BMC Cancer.2017;17:402 DOI:10.1186/s12885-017-3390-3396 (Role: Co-investigator)
  29. Roy Moulik N, Kulkarni K, Kumar A. Tracking children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who abandoned therapy: Experience, Challenges, Parental perspectives and Impact of treatment subsidies and intensified counselling. Pediatric Hematol Oncol.2016;33:327-337 (Note: Trainee as lead author. Role: Co-investigator)
  30. Kulkarni KP. The continuing evolution of technology in cancer care. Future Oncol.2016;12:1961-1965 (Role: Lead author)
  31. Kulkarni KP. Not just another “guidance document”: much more. J Thromb Hemostat. 2016.doi: 10.1111/jth.13509 (Role: Lead author)
  32. MacDonald T, Kulkarni K, Bernstein M, Fernandez CV. Allergic reactions with intravenous compared to intramuscular pegasparagase in children with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a population based study from the Maritimes, Canada. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol.2016;38:341-344 (Role: Co-lead author)
  33. Mostert S, Lam C, Njuguna F, Patenaude A, Kulkarni K, Salaverria C. Hospital Detention practices: Statement of global task force. Lancet.2015;386:649 (Role: Co-author, member of global task force on detention practices in oncology)
  34. Kulkarni KP. New frontiers of “techno-oncology” as a platform for global improvement in the outcomes of childhood cancer. Expert Rev hematol.2015;8:1-4 (Role: Lead author)
  35. Kulkarni KP, Halton J, Spavor M, Israels SJ, Abish S, Yong J, Yasui Y, Mitchell LG. Increased requirement for central venous catheter replacement in pediatric oncology patients with deep venous thrombosis: A multicentre study. Thromb Haemost.2015;113:434-435 (Role: Lead author)

Selected awards and honours

  • IWK Stars Hemoglobinopathy team award 2019. Shared with Dr. Victoria Price, Gloria Gallant, Tracy McNeil, Amanda Bettle, Doug Campbell
  • International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) 2018. Best Poster Award. MacLean J, Digout C, Rigby K, MacDonald T, Kulkarni K. Age, sarcoma and use of tunneled lines are independently associated with requirement of tissue plaminogen activator for episodes of central venous catheter dysfunction. Pediatr Blood Cancer.2017;64:Supplement S3:S139
  • Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute establishment grant (2018-2020)
  • Clinical Application of Microbiome in Pediatrics (CAMP) WAVE 2 competition: Successful nomination (2017)
  • Nova Scotia Health research foundation establishment grant (2017-2020)
  • International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) 2014 Young Investigator Award for the abstract “Establishing Incidence and Characteristics of Symptomatic Venous Thrombotic Events in Pediatric Cancer Patients in the Maritimes, Canada:  A population-based study"

Leadership positions

  • Pediatric Hematology Oncology Research Committee (PHORC), Pediatric Hematology Oncology (IWK). July 2016 onwards (member); August 2019 onwards (Chair)
  • Junior faculty representative, Academic and Strategic council, Department of Pediatrics (elected April 2018)
  • Site PI (IWK): Provincial Cancer in Young People (CYP-C) database: April 2016 onwards
  • Member, Steering committee for Standards of Care, Pediatric Oncology (IWK): January 2020 onwards
  • Physician Wellness Representative, Department of Pediatrics, Lead representative for the Department of Pediatrics on the recently formed Faculty wellness committee, Dalhousie University

Selected International Committee Membership:

  • International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) Scientific Programme Advisory Committee (SPAC): February 2020 onwards
  • International Society of Thrombosis Hemostasis (ISTH) Education committee: October 2018 onwards

Administrative interests

  • Junior and early career faculty representative, Department of Pediatrics
  • Medical leadership and coaching (Madelaine Scholarship awardee, Department of Pediatrics)