McMaster University

McMaster University

Division of Gastroenterology: child eating sandwich
Contact Information
Dr. Elyanne Ratcliffe
Division Head

Health Sciences Centre, 3A

1280 Main Street West

Hamilton, ON   L8S 4K1

Phone: 905-521-2100, ext. 75637  
Fax: 905-521-2627  

Division of Gastroenterology

About Gastroenterology

The Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology is the second busiest clinical service in the Department of Pediatrics. The Division sees about 1,200 new patients per year and accounts for 3,600 total patient visits. A full range of specialized pediatric gastrointestinal procedures are offered, including endoscopy, gastric acid studies and gastrointestinal manometry.

The clinical care of a large patient population of children with inflammatory bowel disease, as well as other acute and chronic gastrointestinal and hepatic conditions in childhood drives the research agenda of the Division.

This work is strengthened by the presence of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Institute at McMaster University Medical Centre. This Centre of Excellence was initially founded as the Intestinal Disease Research Program, one of two basic and Clinical Digestive Disease Research Centres in Canada. The program has a core of sixty faculty and staff who study digestive disease in the laboratory, at the bedside and in the community. The Intestinal Disease Research Program has consistently been ranked in the top five worldwide for studies in Digestive Disease with special interest in brain gut physiology, motility and mucosal immunology.

In addition to work with the Farncombe Institute, the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology works collaboratively with other individuals in areas of excellence across the campus, including Nutrition (Dr. S. Atkinson), Nuclear Medicine (Dr. C. Webber), Cardiac Physiology (Dr. M. Kamath), and Social Work (Dr. N. Gold) Anthropology (Dr. Tina Moffitt) and Exercise Physiology (Dr. B. Timmons).

A Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program is offered within the Division.

Special research interests include studies in inflammatory bowel disease, bone and mineral metabolism, brain gut communication and cyclic vomiting syndrome, and the psychosocial aspects of chronic illness.

Six pediatric gastroenterologists, Drs. Robert Issenman, Elyanne Ratcliffe, Herbert Brill, Mary Zachos, Mary Sherlock, and Nikhil Pai are the physician members of a team which includes nurses, nutrition, social work, child life and other professionals.

Division Members

Dr. Robert Issenman

Dr. Herbert Brill
Associate Professor

Dr. Elyanne Ratcliffe
Division Head
Associate Professor

Dr. Mary Sherlock
Assistant Professor

Dr. Nikhil Pai
Assistant Professor

Dr. Mary Zachos
Associate Clinical Professor


Clinic Information

Contact Information

3E Clinic, McMaster University Medical Centre 3rd Floor, Yellow Section
(905) 521-2100, ext. 75013 Fax: (905) 521-2627

What services do we provide?

  • Provision of secondary and tertiary consultation care to infants, children and youth with problems related to nutrition and digestive disease
  • The clinic has special interest and expertise in children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease- Crohn's disease and ulcertative colitis and liver disease.

Referral process 

  • The referral process is made through a direct referral from a pediatrician or family doctor to a specialist
  • Referrals can be faxed directly to clinic. 905-521-2627

    Referral form can be found here.
  • Please refer to this list of recommended investigations prior to placing your referral. Results should be included with your referral to help expedite triaging:  PDF
  • Our division is now receiving eConsults through the Ontario Telemedicine Network. Please visit the following link to register and learn more about whether your patient may be an appropriate candidate for eConsult instead.

What's New?

Ratcliffe Named Division Head, September 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Elyanne Ratcliffe who has recently been appointed as Division Head of the Division of Gastroenterology at McMaster University. Dr. Ratcliffe takes over this role from Dr. Robert Issenman who held the position for the past 35 years.


PEDI FETCH Research Trial

A team of specialists in the field of gastroenterology and nutirition is conducting a feasability trial: The PEDI FETCH Research Trial (Pediatrical Fecal Transplant for Ulcerative Colitis). The team is seeking suitable patients to participate in the study. Find out more information.


Mind The Gap

It's possible that the next breakthrough in pediatric health won't be a new machine, or a cure, or a study, but rather the ability to do something that is a lot more difficult than it sounds: keeping kids healthy as they become adults.Dr. Robert Issenman, Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Robert Issenman discusses the issue of transition from pediatric to adult care, in the article, "Mind The Gap". More...

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