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CIFAR convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

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CIFAR is a Canadian-based, global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government, and society. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 19 Nobel laureates and 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

  • Video
  • Child & Brain Development

The brain on stress: How the social environment “gets under the skin”

by CIFAR
Nov 20 / 14
The brain is the central organ of stress and adaptation. Brain circuits are remodeled by stress so as to change the balance between anxiety, mood control, memory and decision making.

Such changes are adaptive in danger but their persistence can be maladaptive. Besides early life experiences, the most potent of stressors are those arising from the social environment that can affect both brain and body. Gradients of socioeconomic status reflect the cumulative burden of coping with limited resources, toxic environments and negative life events as well as health-damaging behaviours, and resulting chronic activation of physiological systems.

A presentation by Bruce McEwen (The Rockefeller University), at CIFAR's From Cell to Society symposium Feb. 6, 2014.

Blue Blocks

Artificial Intelligence

CIFAR plays a significant role in AI research. We helped to enable some of the fundamental breakthroughs in the field, through our Learning in Machines & Brains program. We lead a $125 million national strategy to establish Canada's international leadership in AI and we run a program that explores the ways that AI will reshape our society.


Learn about AI

Strategy
Red Maple

Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy

CIFAR is leading the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, working in partnership with three newly established AI institutes.
Research Program
Neural

Learning in Machines & Brains

How do we understand intelligence and build intelligent machines?

Exchange
AI & Society

AI & Society

CIFAR’s AI & Society program aims to examine the questions AI will pose for society involving diverse topics, including the economy, ethics, policymaking, philosophy and the law.

Exchange

Exchange – the act of giving and receiving – is central to knowledge mobilization at CIFAR. By connecting our research programs to global thought leaders outside of academia, we enrich research and stimulate new social, economic and technical innovations.


Get Involved

Latest Research Briefs

Research Briefs are a summary of recent or seminal research from CIFAR fellows. 

Latest Event Briefs

CIFAR provides a knowledge outlet for the influential research in its various multi-disciplinary programs.