Ortho Award

Dr. Christine Cserti-Gazdewich

Dr. Christine Cserti-Gazdewich is a Transfusion Medicine Specialist at the University Health Network, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, and an Adjunct Scientist with Canadian Blood Services. Dr. Cserti-Gazdewich completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University, her medical degree at the University of Toronto, both Internal Medicine and Haematology training at the University of Toronto, and then finally her transfusion medicine training at Harvard University. She has received numerous awards for her academic contributions including the Gerry Scott Award for excellence in Teaching, not once but twice.

She is an exceptional researcher and educator. She is Canada’s foremost expert in serologic complications of transfusion and adverse reactions from transfusion. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She has a google scholar H-index of 27 and 2699 citations to her work. She is a fabulous team player and has supervised dozens of students through important transfusion research projects, both here in Canada and internationally. Her three most cited papers are on the impact of the ABO blood group system on malarial outcomes in the journal Blood, the TOTAL transfusion randomized trial conducted in Uganda published in JAMA, and mortality and biomarkers in children with malaria published in Plos One. Her research has proven that ABO allele frequency has been driven by malarial natural selection, and in addition, her work has shown the importance of novel biomarkers in children with malaria. She identified novel host biomarkers of pediatric severe and fatal malaria and assessed interacting drivers of death in an African pediatric population. This research will inform the development of novel therapeutics for children with malaria.

Today, and through the QUEST team with the support of Canadian Blood Services, another deconstructive approach is being applied to cardiorespiratory transfusion reactions in the prospective TADPOL study.

Dr. Cserti-Gazdewich has served on both the Transfusion-Transmitted Injury Surveillance System (TTISS) and the Transfusion Error Surveillance System (TESS) at the Public Health Agency of Canada (Health Canada). Through her work with the TTISS committee, the system has been continuously revised to keep pace with the evolving literature in this area. For TTISS, she is also actively involved with TTISS Ontario and has spoken countless times at the TTISS Ontario annual meeting. In addition, her work with the ISBT Haemovigilance panel ensures Canada maintains its alignment with other countries. For TESS, she has numerous publications on transfusion-related errors that continue to ensure transfusion-related errors are at the forefront of our minds for continuous quality improvement.

Dr. Cserti-Gazdewich has several areas of active research including her focus on malaria and blood group antigens, adverse reactions to transfusion, serologic complications of transfusion, serologic challenges for the “untransfusable” (including her focus on MMA, hyperhemolysis, and hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers), as well as immunohematologic complications of solid organ and stem cell transplantation.