2021 CRA Emerging Investigator
Dr. Zahi Touma MD PhD FACP FACR
Dr. Zahi Touma is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Clinician-Scientist with the University of Toronto (UofT), the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, the Krembil Research Institute, and Staff Rheumatologist with the University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Touma joined the UofT in 2007, obtained his PhD in 2014 and completed 1-year postdoctoral training in measurement.
His research is focused on patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and measurement science with a particular interest in the assessment of disease activity, patient reported outcomes and cognitive function. One of his most significant contributions has been the development of the SLE disease activity indices – the SLEDAI Responder Index-50 (S2K RI-50) and SLEDAI-2K Glucocorticoids Index.
Dr Touma is a member of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) subcommittee for the development of classification and response criteria for rheumatic diseases. He is also an instructor of the measurement in clinical research course at the Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation.
Another major focus of his research is the assessment of cognitive impairment in patients with SLE. Dr. Touma has established the NeuroLupus Program with the goal of developing improved methods of identifying cognitive impairment in SLE and understanding its course over time and impact on health-related quality of life and productivity.
Dr Touma has published 102 peer-reviewed manuscripts, several book chapters and is the editor of the Outcome Measures and Metrics in SLE book which will be published in 2022.
Dr. Touma’s work has been supported by grants from the CIHR, Arthritis Society of Canada, Lupus Canada and Physician Services Incorporated and the Lupus Research Alliance. He is also the recipient of an Early Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and salary awards from the Arthritis Society, Canadian Rheumatology Association and the Department of Medicine, UofT.