Dr. Joanna MacLean, PhD, MD

Pediatric Respirologist and Sleep Medicine Specialist

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Edmonton Clinical Health Academy (ECHA)


McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada BSc (Hon) 1991-1995  Biology & Psychology 
McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada MD 1997-2000  Medicine 
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada FRCPC 2000-2003  Pediatric Residency 
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada FRCPC 2003-2006  Pediatric Respiratory
Medicine Fellowship 
University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia PhD 2006-2010  Paediatric Sleep Medicine 

Research Interests

Dr. MacLean's research focuses on the development of sleep and breathing with a particular interest in early life. Her most recent research activities have examined sleep, breathing and ventilatory control in infants and children with cleft lip and/or palate and she has a two large studies underway to follow-up children who were in the neonatal intensive care unit as infants. 

Highlighted Publications

  1. Smith CB, Walker K, Badawi N, Waters KA, MacLean JE. Neurocognitive, quality of life and growth outcomes at 3 years of age for infants at high risk of sleep disordered breathing. Submitted.
  2. MacLean JE, Tan S, Fitzgerald DA, Waters KA. Assessing ventilatory control in infants at high risk of sleep disordered breathing: A study of infants with cleft lip and/or palate. Pediatric Pulmonology 2013 Mar;48(3):265-73.
  3. MacLean JE, Fitzsimons D, Fitzgerald DA, Waters KA. The spectrum of sleep disordered breathing symptoms and respiratory events in infants with cleft lip and/or palate. Archives of Diseases in Childhood 2012; 97(12):1058-63. 
  4. MacLean JE, Solomon M, Corey M, Selvadurai H. Cystic fibrosis newborn screening does not delay the identification of cystic fibrosis in children with negative results. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis 2011; 10:333-337. 
  5. MacLean JE, Fitzgerald DA, Hayward P, Waters KA. Cleft lip and/or palate and breathing during sleep. Sleep Medicine Reviews 2009; 13: 345-354.
  6. MacLean JE, Waters KA, Fitzsimons D, Hayward P, Fitzgerald DA. Screening for obstructive sleep apnoea in pre-school children with cleft palate. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 2009; 46: 117-123. 
  7. MacLean JE, Atenafu E, Kirby-Allen M, MacLusky IB, Stephens D, Grasemann H, Subbarao P. Longitudinal decline in lung volume in a population of children with Sickle Cell Disease. American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine 2008; 178: 1055-1059. 
  8. MacLean JE, Fitzsimons D, Hayward P, Waters K, Fitzgerald DA. The identification of children with cleft palate and sleep disordered breathing using a referral system. Pediatric Pulmonology 2008; 43: 245-50. 


  • Saunders Prize for Excellence in Clinical Paediatrics (2003), Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
  • Teaching Award (2007, 2009), Discipline of Paediatrics & Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Current Sources of Funding

  • Women & Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI); University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Sleep Research Society Foundation; Sleep Research Society
  • Autism Speaks (USA). Autism Treatment Network – Edmonton site.

Current Research Personnel

  • Kristie DeHaan, Research Coordinator
  • Heather Edgell, Research Associate, Pediatric Autonomic Laboratory
  • Farah Chowdhury, Pediatric Resident (Queens’ University)
  • Tamya Chowdhury, Nursing student (University of Alberta)