Karen Binkley

Karen Binkley MD, FACP

Dr. Binkley has provided medical specialty care to approximately 100,000 patients in both academic and community settings. As Associate Professor at the University of Toronto,she has applied her graduate training in molecular biology to research on the pathophysiology and treatment of diverse conditions, including hereditary angioedema, multiple chemical sensitivity, adverse drug reactions and various other conditions. She has initiated and participated in guidelines, now used around the world, for the diagnosis and management hereditary angioedema and the management of anaphylaxis in schools. She has taught at the undergraduate and graduate medical school level, have supervised interns, residents and fellows, and participated in continuing medical education events for other specialists, general practitioners, and information seminars for patients and the general public. In addition to authoring multiple primary research papers, Dr. Binkley has written peer-reviewed medical review articles, and other publications for medical specialists, general practitioners, nonmedical professionals, patient information associations and the general public. She has acted as a consultant or advisory board member to various pharmaceutical companies, provincial and federal government agencies, insurance companies and law firms. She has also undertaken media training in order to act as a spokesperson for pharmaceutical agencies.

Areas of Expertise

  • Continuing Medical Education
  • Medical advisory
  • Medical writing
  • Public speaking
  • Research and development

Education

  • Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of Toronto
  • FACP, Internal Medicine, University of Toronto
  • MD, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • MSc, Medical Genetics, University of Toronto
  • Honours Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, University of Western Ontario

  • Dr. Binkley has written over 40 scientific papers for peer reviewed medical journals, many more in other medical publications, and a book, Allergies and Asthma, A Guide for Patients and their Families. She has published her discovery of several new allergens, including supplemental lactase enzyme (used by patients with lactose intolerance), laminaria (a seaweed derived product, used in gynecologic surgery), certain herbal preparations,and even maple tree sap. She has also identified previously under- or unrecognized side effects of certain medications ( ACE inhibitors, hydrochlorthiazide, sibutramine and dutasteride), developed a strategy for re-introducing an important medication to a paient allergic to it, and reported a novel treatment for a rare condition (aguagenic pruritis, in which any exposure to water results in intolerable itching) .She has received international recognition for several different aspects of her research and guidelines development, including hereditary angioedema , idiopathic environmental intolerance, and the care of children in school and other care settings.

  • Dr. Binkley has initiated and participated in guidelines, now used around the world, for the diagnosis and management hereditary angioedema and the management of anaphylaxis in schools. Dr. Binkley independently discovered a rare genetic disorder called hereditary angioedema with normal C1 inhibitor (formerly called estrogen dependent inherited angioedema). Working with colleagues at Harvard and the University of Montreal, they were able to identify 3 genetic abnormalities associated with the disorder. In 2011 and 2016 she was the sole Canadian researcher to be invited to attend meetings, sponsored by the Hereditary Angioedema Society of America, with experts from around the world, to promote research and determine optimal treatment for this condition. Her research in this area continues with collaboration of national and international colleagues.

  • Dr. Binkley is actively engaged in teaching medical and other health care students, interns, residents, fellows and even international students at the University of Toronto at various teaching hospitals. She has given multiple lectures to practicing family physicians, specialists, other health care providers and patient organizations sponsored by various agencies, including the American Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the Canadian Hereditary Angioedema Society, the American College of Physicians, the Lung Association, the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society of Ontario, the Ontario Thoracic Society, the Womens’ Health Matters, Forum and Expo (Sponsored by Womens’ College Hospital), the Dental Specialists’ Association of Ontario, the Atlantic Respiratory Conference for Family Physicians, Ontario Respiratory Care Society of Continuing Education, Ukrainian Medical Association, Community Health Nurses’ Interest Group Annual Conference, Greek Physicians Association, Anaphylaxis Canada (now called Food Allergy Canada), and the Allergy Information Society of Ontario, among others.

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