Faculty Focus - Paul Kongkham


Paul Kongkham, MD, PhD, FRCSCKongkham,P-600

Upon completion of medical school at the University of Toronto in 2001, Dr. Kongkham began his neurosurgical residency in Toronto.  In 2004, he entered the Surgeon-Scientist program and undertook doctoral studies on the genomics and epigenetics of pediatric medulloblastoma under the supervision of Dr. James Rutka at the Hospital for Sick Children.  He graduated from the Toronto program with a Ph.D. in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology in 2011 and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada that year.  In July 2011, Dr. Kongkham began a clinical fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and in 2012 he was recruited to the Division of Neurosurgery with a staff appointment at Toronto Western Hospital.  He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at The University of Toronto. His research is focused on the genomics and epigenetics of primary and metastatic adult brain tumors. His research laboratory is within the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children.  Dr. Kongkham is married to Dini and have two children, Natalie (6) and Naomi (3). 

Current Appointments

  • Scientist, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network
  • Investigator, Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Selected Distinctions and Awards

  • Gallie-Bateman Research Award, 1st Prize, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, 2009
  • Canadian Brain Tumour Consortium, Young Investigator Award, 2008
  • Thomas P. Morley Prize, Basic Science Research, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto, 2007
  • American Academy of Neurological Surgery, Resident Research Award, 2007
  • National Cancer Institute of Canada, Terry Fox Foundation Research Fellowship, 2006

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Faria CM, Rutka JT, Smith C, Kongkham P. Epigenetic mechanisms regulating neural development and pediatric brain tumor formation. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Aug;8(2):119-32. Review.
  • Kongkham PN, Onvani S, Smith CA, Rutka JT. Inhibition of the MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase as a Novel Therapeutic Strategy in Medulloblastoma. Transl Oncol. 2010 Dec 1;3(6):336-43.
  • Restrepo A, Smith CA, Agnihotri S, Shekarforoush M, Kongkham PN, Seol HJ, Northcott P, Rutka JT.  Epigenetic regulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein by DNA methylation in human malignant gliomas. Neuro Oncol. 2011 Jan;13(1):42-50.
  • Kongkham PN, Northcott PA, Croul SE, Smith CA, Taylor MD, Rutka JT. The SFRP family of WNT inhibitors function as novel tumor suppressor genes epigenetically silenced in medulloblastoma. Oncogene. 2010 May 20;29(20):3017-24.
  • Nakahara Y, Northcott PA, Li M, Kongkham PN, Smith C, Yan H, Croul S, Ra YS, Eberhart C, Huang A, Bigner D, Grajkowska W, Van Meter T, Rutka JT, Taylor MD. Genetic and epigenetic inactivation of Kruppel-like factor 4 in medulloblastoma. Neoplasia. 2010 Jan;12(1):20-7.
  • Rutka JT, Kongkham P, Northcott P, Carlotti C, Guduk M, Osawa H, Moreno O, Seol HJ, Restrepo A, Weeks A, Nagai S, Smith C.  The evolution and application of techniques in molecular biology to human brain tumors: a 25 year perspective. J Neurooncol. 2009 May;92(3):261-73. Review.
  • Northcott PA, Nakahara Y, Wu X, Feuk L, Ellison DW, Croul S, Mack S, Kongkham PN, Peacock J, Dubuc A, Ra YS, Zilberberg K, McLeod J, Scherer SW, Sunil Rao J, Eberhart CG, Grajkowska W, Gillespie Y, Lach B, Grundy R, Pollack IF, Hamilton RL, Van Meter T, Carlotti CG, Boop F, Bigner D, Gilbertson RJ, Rutka JT, Taylor MD. Multiple recurrent genetic events converge on control of histone lysine methylation in medulloblastoma. Nat Genet. 2009 Apr;41(4):465-72.
  • Kongkham PN, Northcott PA, Ra YS, Nakahara Y, Mainprize TG, Croul SE, Smith CA, Taylor MD, Rutka JT. An epigenetic genome-wide screen identifies SPINT2 as a novel tumor suppressor gene in pediatric medulloblastoma. Cancer Res. 2008 Dec 1;68(23):9945-53.