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$6M for healthy developmental trajectories research


Montreal, QC – Three research teams have been awarded over $6 million to study the cognitive and behavioural development of infants, children and youth. The announcement was made this week at the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health’s official opening at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre.

The initiative will investigate the interplay between biological, psychosocial, environmental, and cultural influences and how the interactions among them shape the cognitive and behavioural development of infants, children and youth.

The announcement was made by Lucienne Robillard, president of the Queen’s Privy Council and minister of intergovernmental affairs, and Dr Michael Kramer, scientific director of the institute of human development, child and youth health (IHDCYH) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The three teams awarded funding for five years are:

– Dr Jennifer Jenkins, from the University of Toronto, and Dr Michael Boyle, will study the factors that affect the development of emotional well-being and social functioning in young children, particularly those from disadvantaged families ($2,003,730);
– Dr Peter Szatmari, from McMaster University, and his teammates Drs. Susan Bryson and Eric Fombonne, will look at ways to ensure better outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorders ($2,125,435); and
– Dr Richard Tremblay, from the Universit de Montral, with Drs. Frank Vitaro, Michel Boivin, Daniel Prusse, Gustavo Turecki, Philippe Merrigan and Daniel Nagin, will develop ways to measure the development and impact of disruptive behaviour among youth and develop interventions to prevent it ($2,125,000).

“Infants, children and adolescents who do not realize their full developmental potential have a reduced quality of life and constitute a heavy burden of suffering”, said Dr Kramer. “The projects funded today should not only help to minimize this burden, but also provide tangible benefits to infants, children, adolescents and their families.”