Assistant Professor

Tyler Hickey

Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology


Ontario Forensic Pathology Service
25 Morton Shulman Ave., Toronto, Ontario Canada M3M 0B1
Clinical Interests
Pathology: Forensic, Pathology: Anatomical
Appointment Status

Dr. Hickey received his BSc.H degree from the University of Guelph in BioMedical Science. He then completed his PhD at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) through the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine where he researched ligand-receptor interactions between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and macrophages. He then completed his MD and Residency in Anatomical Pathology, both through UBC Vancouver.

Dr. Hickey completed his professional training in the FRCPC specialty program of Forensic Pathology at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit (PFPU) in Toronto. Upon completion, Dr. Hickey accepted a Staff Forensic Pathologist position at the PFPU where he continues to work.

In addition to completing medicolegal autopsies and case reviews for the Province of Ontario, Dr. Hickey is also involved in the University of Toronto Anatomical Pathology Residency program as the site supervisor for the PFPU. Lastly, Dr. Hickey maintains research interests in exploring underlying causes and solutions to accidental, iatrogenic and preventable deaths in Ontario.


Research Synopsis


My research interests centre upon the “investigation of deaths resulting from unintended complications of devices and materials used in healthcare and the community setting”. It is my hope that identifying, understanding, and publishing on these types of unnecessary deaths will help reduce their future occurrence.

My recent publications have explored traumatic injuries resulting from CPR and iatrogenic organ injury resulting from embolization of hydrophilic polymer emboli; a coating material used on many endovascular catheter devices.

I currently have manuscripts submitted and in preparation for novel topics such as a fatal pediatric push pin aspiration, mechanical asphyxial deaths of individuals caught within community donation bins, and fire deaths involving patients using long-term oxygen therapy.

Lastly, research projects in progress that I am overseeing include a case series of suicide deaths involving sodium nitrate/nitrite ingestion as a means of inducing fatal methemoglobinemia and a retrospective review of bee sting-associated deaths in Ontario over the past 20 years.


Research related to Forensic Pathology projects is undertaken at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit (PFPU), a component of the larger Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex (FSCC). The PFPU is a modern medicolegal autopsy and forensic pathology institution with 8 open air autopsy modern autopsy bays and additional autopsy suites for teaching groups and cases involving increased infection risk. Approximately 3000-4000 autopsies are completed at the PFPU annually. Also housed at the FSCC is the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS); one of the most extensive forensic science facilities in North America. The CFS conducts scientific investigations in cases involving injury or death for crimes against persons or property and there are opportunities for collaborative research involving both Forensic Pathology and the Forensic Sciences at the FSCC.


Recent Publications


Hickey, T., MacNeil, J. A., Hansmeyer, C., & Pickup, M. J. (2021). Fatal methemoglobinemia: A case series highlighting a new trend in intentional sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate ingestion as a method of suicide. Forensic science international, 326, 110907. Advance online publication.

Hojilla, C., Armstrong, S., Pun, C., Hickey, T., Mete, O., Han, R., Hahn, E., Shivji, S., Done, S., & Lu, F. I. (2021). A Holistic Approach to Pathology Education During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine, 10.5858/arpa.2020-0668-LE. Advance online publication.

Mathews RZ, Gonsalves AT, Hickey TBM. "Fire fatalities in long term oxygen therapy users due to smoking: A description and analysis of 11 deaths." Canadian Journal of Respiratory, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. 2020. DOI: 10.1080/24745332.2020.1819174

Hickey TBM, Dmetrichuk J, Morin J, Orde M. "Deaths Associated With Community Donation Bins: A Ten-Year Retrospective Review Describing Five Cases in British Columbia and Ontario." Academic Forensic Pathology. 2020 Sep 14, 10(1): 47-55. 

Hickey TBM, Honig A, Ostry A, Chew JB, Caldwell J, Seidman MA, Masoudi H, Maguire JA. “Iatrogenic embolization following cardiac intervention: postmortem analysis of 110 cases.” Cardiovasc Pathol. 2019 Jan 19(40): 12-18.

Gale NS, Kalloger SE, Cai E, Abozina A, Derakhshan, Hickey T, Liu A, Ongaro D, Wolber R and Schaeffer DF. “Immunohistochemistry Critical Assay Performance Controls (ICAPC) Reduce Interobserver Variability in the Interpretation of BRAFV600E Immunohistochemistry.” Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2019: 1-6.

Hickey TBM, Seidman M, Gill G, Webber DL “CPR-associated right ventricular rupture in the setting of pulmonary embolism” – CJEM 2016 Nov 18(6):484-7.