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Child & Brain Development

How do childhood experiences affect lifelong health?

Child & Brain Development

Overview

One child is born to a wealthy family. Another is born into a family living in poverty. The child born into wealth will probably live a longer and healthier life – but not always. Some children born into poverty have a resilience that enables them to thrive throughout their lives despite the hardships they experienced when very young.

The Child & Brain Development program examines the effect of the early environment on children, and how adversity can have life-long effects on health and development. Over the past decade, program members have transformed our understanding of the interplay between nature and nurture, and generated important findings related to the biological underpinning of our early experiences as children.

Recent advances in technology, increased access to data, and an interdisciplinary environment are creating new opportunities for program members to find the answer to why some children thrive and others do not.

SELECTED PAPERS

Hertzman, C. and W.T. Boyce “How experience gets under the skin to create gradients in developmental health.” Annu Rev Public Health 31 (2010): 329-47. Abstract

Boyce, W.T.  and M.S. Kobor. "Development and the epigenome: the ‘synapse’ of gene-environment interplay." Developmental Science 18 (2015):1-23 Abstract

Kobayashi, Y., Z. Ye and T.K. Hensch. “Clock genes control cortical critical period timing.” Neuron 86(1) (2015): 264-75. Abstract

Hensch, T.K. et al. “Local GABA Circuit Control of Experience-Dependent Plasticity in Developing Visual Cortex.” Science 282 (1998): 1504-1508. AbstraCT

Founded in: 2003


Members: 22


Renewal Dates: 2007, 2012


Supporters:
George Weston Limited, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, The Joan and Clifford Hatch Foundation, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, (1 anonymous donor)


Disciplines:
Behavioural, developmental, molecular and evolutionary biology; behavioural genetics; epigenetics; cognitive and developmental neuroscience; biological, cognitive and developmental psychology; psychiatry; biological anthropology; epidemiology


Next Program Meeting: June 2019


CIFAR Director:
Rachel Parker

Fellows & Advisors

Program Directors

W. Thomas Boyce
Takao K. Hensch
Program Co-Director

Takao Hensch is a neurologist whose research focuses on critical periods in brain development.

Marla Sokolowski
Candice Odgers
Program Co-Director

Candice Odgers works in public policy, psychology and neuroscience.

Fellows

W. Thomas Boyce

W. Thomas Boyce

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of California San Francisco
  • United States
David Clayton

David Forrest Clayton

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • United Kingdom
Paul Frankland

Paul Frankland

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • Hospital for Sick Children
  • Canada
Anna Goldenberg

Anna Goldenberg

  • Fellow, Child & Brain Development
    Lebovic Fellow
  • Varma Family Chair of Medical Bioinformatics and Artificial Intelligence
  • University of Toronto
  • Hospital for Sick Children
  • Canada
Megan Gunnar

Megan R. Gunnar

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of Minnesota
  • United States
Daniela Kaufer

Daniela Kaufer

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of California Berkeley
  • United States
MIchael Kobor

Michael S. Kobor

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of British Columbia
  • Canada
Bryan Kolb

Bryan Kolb

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of Lethbridge
  • Canada
JoelLevine

Joel D. Levine

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of Toronto at Mississauga
  • Canada
Thom McDade

Thom McDade

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • Northwestern University
  • United States
Michael Meany

Michael Meaney

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • McGill University
  • Canada
Sara Mostafavi

Sara Mostafavi

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of British Columbia
  • Canada
Charles Nelson

Charles A. Nelson

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • Harvard University
  • United States
Marla Sokolowski

Marla B. Sokolowski

  • Weston Fellow
  • University of Toronto
  • Canada
Stephen Suomi

Stephen Suomi

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • National Institutes of Health
  • United States
Janet Werker

Janet Werker

  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of British Columbia
  • Canada

Advisors

Nancy Adler

Nancy E. Adler

  • Advisor
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of California San Francisco
  • United States
Bio Outline

Elisabeth Binder

  • Advisor
  • Child & Brain Development
  • Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry
  • Germany
Gene Robinson

Gene Robinson

  • Advisor
  • Child & Brain Development
  • University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
  • United States
Sir Michael Rutter

Sir Michael Rutter

  • Advisory Committee Chair
  • Child & Brain Development
  • King's College London
  • United Kingdom

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

Ami Citri

Ami Citri

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
  • Child & Brain Development
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Israel
Brian Dias

Brian Dias

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
  • Child & Brain Development
  • Emory University
  • United States
Kieran O'Donnell

Kieran O'Donnell

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
  • Child & Brain Development
  • McGill University
  • Canada

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