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 more than 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world's first national AI strategy.

  • Video

Heterogeneity of experiences and of their effects: Do they matter?

Nov 24 / 14
There is an abundance of evidence that experiences do have biological effects. The challenge is that the effects are quite varied – including epigenetics, the HPA axis, and the structure of the brain.

Do all experiences have similar effects or does the nature of the biological embedding vary by the type and severity of experiences? Do such differences account for individual differences in psychological or psychopathological outcome? Generally, there is growing evidence on the importance of gene-environment interactions in some circumstances. But are the genes ones that are concerned with vulnerability to adverse environments or, rather, are they concerned with susceptibility to all environments? These and other challenges are considered.

A presentation by CIFAR Advisory Committee Chair Sir Michael Rutter (King's College London) at CIFAR's From Cell to Society symposium Feb. 6, 2014.