Professor  |  Co-Vice Chair, Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (WIDE)

Gino Somers

Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology - Anatomic Pathology


Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
555 University Ave., Division of Pathology Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1X8
Research Interests
Cancer, Molecular & Cell Biology
Clinical Interests
Pathology: Anatomical, Pathology: Autopsy
Appointment Status

You can follow Dr. Somers on Twitter: @GSomersPath

Dr. Somers graduated with a medical degree (M. B., B. S.) from Monash Medical School in Melbourne in 1991 with First Class Honours and went on to complete his PhD thesis ("Molecular cloning and characterization of the human P2Y6 nucleotide receptor) in 1998. 

He then completed his specialty training in Anatomical Pathology from the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2002.

He moved to Toronto in 2003 for completion of a Pediatric Pathology fellowship at the University of Toronto.

He is currently the head of the Division of Pathology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and is Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for research, including the Young Achiever’s award, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia; the John Brennan award from the Australasian Society of Dermatopathology; the Gordon Vawter Award from the Society for Paediatric Pathology; and the Harry Neustein Award from the Society for Pediatric Pathology. 

Research Synopsis

I perform both independent and collaborative research.

My independent research has focused on pediatric sarcomas, specifically, a group termed "primitive round cell sarcomas (PRCSs)."

PRCSs are a unique group of undifferentiated sarcomas composed of primitive mesenchymal cells with no evidence of differentiation. As such, they represent the most primitive paediatric sarcoma described to date and form an attractive model to study the early molecular and genetic aberrations involved in sarcomagenesis.

My analyses have led to a greater understanding of these tumours, and along with my collaborators, I have led one of the first groups to discover the poorly-understood CIC-DUX4 fusion transcript in a large series of PRCSs, and has lead to the discovery of a CIC-translocated family of sarcomas.

I am currently focusing on the design and implementation of cutting-edge diagnostic techniques to pediatric sarcomas, including array-based assays, nanotechnology and sequence-based technologies. Such assays will improve diagnostic accuracy and allow much greater genetic information to be obtained from smaller tissue samples.

My collaborative research with clinical and genetic colleagues includes:

  • detailed analyses of the genetic landscape of pediatric Ewing sarcomas and rhabdomyosarcomas
  • improving efficiency in the diagnostic laboratory through LEAN principles
  • description of novel diseases.

Select Publications

Gray MJ, Kannu P, Sharma S, et al.  Mutations preventing regulated exon skipping in MET cause osteofibrous dysplasia. Am J Hum Genet 2015; 97: 1-11.

Chellapandian D, Shaikh F, van den Bos C, Somers GR, et al. Management and outcome of patients with Langerhans cell histiocytosis and single-bone CNS-risk lesions: A multi-institutional retrospective study. Pediatric Blood and Cancer 2015; 62(12): 2162-6.

Torchia J, Picard D, Lafay-Cousin L, Hawkins CE, Kim S-K, Letourneau L, Ra Y-S, Ho KC, Chan TSY, Sin-Chan P, Dunham CP, Yip S, Ng H-K, Lu J-Q, Albrecht S, Pimentel J, Chan JA, Somers GR, et al. Molecular subgroups of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours in children: an integrated genomic and clinicopathological analysis. Lancet Oncology 2015; 16(5): 569-582.

Hettmer S, Archer NM, Somers GR, Novokmet A, Wagers AJ, Diller L, Rodriguez-Galindo L, Teot L, Malkin D. Anaplastic rhabdomyosarcoma in TP53 germline mutation carriers. Cancer 2014;120(7):1068-75.

Graham C, Chilton-MacNeill S, Zielenska M, Somers GR. The CIC-DUX4 fusion transcript is present in a subset of pediatric primitive round cell sarcomas. Human Pathology 2012;43(2):180-189.

Sadikovic B, Graham C, Ho M, Zielenska M, Somers GR. Immunohistochemical expression and cluster analysis of mesenchymal and neural stem cell-associated proteins in pediatric sarcomas. Pediatric and Developmental Pathology 2011;14:259-272.


Head of the Division of Pathology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto


Honours and Awards

Young Achiever’s award, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia

John Brennan award, the Australasian Society of Dermatopathology

Gordon Vawter Award, the Society for Paediatric Pathology

Harry Neustein Award, Society for Pediatric Pathology