Kevin Kain

Department of Medicine


UofT campus: MaRS Centre
MaRS, 10-360A, 101 College Street, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1L7
Research Interests
Infectious Diseases & Immunopathology, Molecular & Cell Biology
Appointment Status

Dr. Kain is the Director, SAR Laboratories, Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health, UHN-Toronto General Hospital, Director, Tropical Disease Unit at the UHN-Toronto General Hospital, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Molecular Parasitology.

Dr. Kain received his medical degree (cum laude) from the University of Western Ontario, undertook his residency training at the University of British Columbia, and post-doctoral research training as a Senior Research Associate at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington DC, working on the 1st generation of malaria vaccines. Dr. Kain has worked extensively in the topics including New Guinea, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar, Honduras, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and the Amazon basin. 

He is the recipient of the C. Woolf Award for the Excellence in Teaching from the University of Toronto, a Career Scientist Award from the Ontario Ministry of Health, the Young Investigators Award from the Canadian Infectious Disease Society, and Bailey K Ashford Medal from the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, awarded for distinguished work in tropical medicine. Dr Kain was profiled by TIME magazine as one of “Canada’s Best in Medicine”.

He also received the: University of Toronto, Department of Medicine Research Award (2010); Fred Barrett Lectureship, University of Tennessee; Distinguished Service Award, Global Health Education Consortium, University of California (2006); John Evans Lectureship in Global Health (2006); The Henry and Sylvia Wong Lectureship In Medicine, MacMaster University (2006), 2005 Forbes Lectureship, University of Melbourne, Australia (2005), Senior Investigator Award (2004) from the Clinical Research Society of Toronto (CRST); and the University Health Network “Inventor of the Year” Award (2003).

He has served as a board member or consultant to many organizations including the Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, WHO, Red Cross, Canadian Blood Services, and the CDC.

Dr. Kain’s research efforts are focused on developing a translational research program that characterizes host-parasite interactions responsible for major global infectious disease threats, particularly as they pertain to women and children.

Dr Kain’s efforts are also focused on global equity, knowledge sharing and education, including the transfer of appropriate technologies and the training of research scientists in the developing world, enabling and empowering them to address their own problems in a sustainable fashion.

Peer-reviewed Research Support: totals over $65,000,000


Research Synopsis


To develop a translational research program that characterizes host-parasite interactions responsible for major global health threats such as malaria and HIV. To determine the molecular basis for adverse clinical outcomes in life-threatening inefctions and to translate this knowledge into novel therapeutic interventions.

Horizontal Tabs Group


Recent Publications


Wright J, Hayford K, Tran V, Muhammed G, Kibria A, Baqui A, Manajjir A, Mahmud A, Begum N, Siddiquee N, Farzin A, Kain KC.  Biomarkers of Endothelial Dysfunction Predict Sepsis Mortality in Young Infants: a matched case-control study. BMC Peds 2018 BMC Pediatr. 2018 Mar 23;18(1):118.

Bangirana P, Conroy AL, Opoka RO, Hawkes MT, Hermann L, Miller C, Namasopo S, Liles WC, John CC, Kain KC. Inhaled nitric oxide and cognition in pediatric severe malaria: A randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 25;13(1):e0191550.

Conroy AL, Hawkes MT, Elphinstone R, Opoka RO, Namasopo S, Miller C, John CC, Kain KC. Chitinase-3-like 1 is a biomarker of acute kidney injury and mortality in paediatric severe malaria. Malar J. 2018 Feb 15;17(1):82.

Langlais D, Cencic R, Moradin N, Kennedy J, Ayi K, Tarry M, Schmeing TM, Kain KC, Porco Jr J, Pelletier J, Gros P. Rocaglates as novel dual-targeting agents for severe malaria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) USA 2018  Mar 6;115(10):E2366-E2375.

McDonald C, Cahill L, Gamble J, Elphinstone R, Gazdzinski M, Zhong K, Philson A, Madanitsa M, Kalilani-Phiri L, Mwapasa V, ter Kuile F, Sled J, Conroy A, Kevin C. Kain. Malaria in pregnancy alters L-arginine biosynthesis in Malawian women and L-arginine supplementation improves birth outcomes in a pre-clinical model. Science Translational Medicine 2018 Mar 7;10(431). 

Hawkes M, Conroy A, Namasopo S, Bhargava R, Kain KC, Mian Q, Opoka R. Solar powered oxygen delivery in low-resource settings: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatrics 2018  Published online May 14, 2018.

Aleksandra Leligdowicz, Melissa Richard-Greenblatt, Julie Wright, Valerie M. Crowley, Kevin C Kain. Endothelial Activation: the Ang/Tie Axis in Sepsis. Frontiers in Immunology 2018 Apr 24;9:838.

McDonald C, Weckman A, Richard-Greenblatt M, Leligdowicz A. Kain KC. Integrated fever management: Disease severity markers to triage children with malaria and non-malarial febrile illness. Malaria J 2018, Oct 10;17(1):353.

Bansal S, Nguyen JP, Leligdowicz A, Zhang Y, Kain KC, Ricciuto DR, Coburn B.Rectal and Naris Swabs: Practical and Informative Samples for Analyzing the Microbiota of Critically Ill Patients. mSphere 2018 Jun 13;3(3).

Philippe Gautret, Kristina M. Angelo, Hilmir Ásgeirsson, David Lalloo, Marc Shaw, Eli Schwartz, Michael Libman, Kevin C. Kain, Watcharapong Piyaphanee, Holly Murphy, Karin Leder, Jean Vincelette, Mogens Jensenius, Jesse Waggoner, Daniel Leung, Sarah Borwein, Lucille Blumberg, Patricia Schlagenhauf, Elizabeth D. Barnett, Davidson H. Hamer. Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis started during or after travel: a GeoSentinel analysis. 2018 PLoS Negl Trop Dis 12(11):

Kain KC. Single-dose radical cure for Plasmodium vivax. J Trav Med 2018 (invited editorial) J Travel Med. 2018 Dec 12.  [Epub ahead of print] 

Cabrera A, Neculai D, Tran V, Lavstsen T, Turner L, Kain KC. Plasmodium falciparum-CD36 structure-function relationships defined by ortholog scanning mutagenesis. J Infect Dis 2019.

Andrea K. Boggild, Jennifer Geduld, Michael Libman, Cedric P. Yansouni, Anne E. McCarthy, Jan Hajek, Wayne Ghesquiere, Yazdan Mirzanejad, Jean Vincelette, Susan Kuhn, Pierre J. Plourde, Sumontra Chakrabarti, Christina Greenaway, Davidson H. Hamer, Kevin C. Kain. Spectrum of Illness in Migrants to Canada: Sentinel Surveillance through CanTravNet. J Trav Med 2019. 1;26(2). [Epub ahead of print]

Najjar N, McColl ER, Weckman A, Kain KC, Piquette-Miller M. Dysregulation of solute carrier transporters in malaria-infected pregnant mice. Parasite Immunol. 2019 Jan 31:e12614. 6

Mehta N, Perrais B, Martin K, Kumar A, Hobman T, Chua M, Donaldo M, Painaga M, Gaite J, Tran V, Kain KC, Hawkes M, Yanow S. Direct from Blood/Plasma Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction for DENV Detection in Point-of-Care Settings. Amer J Trop Med Hyg 2019 (in press).

Weckman A, McDonald C, Jo-Anna B. Baxter, Wafaie W. Fawzi, Andrea L. Conroy, Kain KC. Perspective: L-arginine and L-citrulline supplementation in pregnancy: a potential strategy to improve birth outcomes in low resource settings. Advances in Nutrition 2019 (in press)