IHDCYH Institute Advisory Board Members – Biographies

Steven Miller (Chair)
Hudson Family Hospital Chair in Pediatric Medicine
James & Annabel McCreary Chair in Pediatrics
Professor and Head, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Chief Pediatric Medicine, BC Children’s Hospital, Provincial Health Services Authority

Dr. Steven P. Miller is Head and Professor of the UBC Department of Pediatrics and the Chief of Pediatric Medicine at BC’s Children Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, holds the Hudson Family Hospital Chair in Pediatric Medicine and James & Annabel McCreary Chair in Pediatrics, and was previously a Canada Research Chair in Neonatal Neuroscience.

Leading a multidisciplinary team, his research program focuses on better understanding of how intensive care impacts brain development and injury in the newborn with a focus on those born preterm or with congenital heart disease. The goal of his team’s work is to promote strategies to prevent brain injury and to promote recovery with the ultimate goal of improving the lifelong health of children and their families. He is passionate about supporting the career trajectories of child-health researchers and served as President of the Society for Pediatric Research.

Fabiana Bacchini
Executive Director, Canadian Premature Babies Foundation

Fabiana is the Executive Director of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation. She is a journalist and the published author of From Surviving to Thriving, a Mother’s Journey Through Infertility, Loss and Miracles.

While in the NICU with her surviving twin, born extremely preterm, she participated in the study of Family Integrated Care (FiCare). This led her to extensive volunteering in the NICU at Mount Sinai Hospital and to become an ambassador for FICare, travelling across Canada and internationally to share her experience with this model of care. Her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which continued to empower her to be a strong voice and advocate for premature babies and their families.

She is dedicated to form connections with researchers to ensure that the viewpoints of parents are integrated into their studies. To this end, she has engaged in collaborations with numerous researchers, both in Canada and around the world, in various capacities.

Currently, Fabiana serves as an advisor on the National Steering Committee for FiCare, the Critical Care Services Ontario (Ontario Neonatal Intensive Care group), the Child-Bright Network, the European Foundation for the Care of the Newborn Infant (EFCNI), and the Canadian Preterm Birth Network (CPTBN). She is a member of the founding committee of Global Alliance for Newborn Care (GLANCE).

Isabelle Boucoiran, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Université de Montréal
Co-director, Women and Children Infectious Disease Centre

Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran is Clinical Associate Professor at Université de Montréal (QC). She is a mid-career clinician-scientist at the School of Public Health and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the CHU Sainte-Justine, where she is co-director of the Women and Children Infectious Disease Centre (CIME).

Her main area of research is the diagnosis, management, and prevention of infections in pregnancy. Her research expertise is at the crossroads of several fields, from basic science to epidemiology and public health. Her research program is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the US National Institutes of Health, the “Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Santé” and the Quebec health ministry.

Kristin Connor
Associate Professor, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Health Sciences, Carleton University

Dr. Kristin Connor is an Associate Professor of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University. She is a molecular geneticist and nutritionist by first training (University of Guelph) and obtained her doctorate in reproductive and developmental physiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, where she conducted her research internationally. She was a Research Fellow and Investigator at the Liggins Institute and the National Research Centre for Growth and Development in Auckland, New Zealand, and a senior Research Fellow at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

Dr. Connor runs an interdisciplinary and translational science research programme to understand developmental trajectories in early life, and how these trajectories are established and modified to influence an individual’s lifelong health resilience or disease risk. Her team’s research focuses on how early life exposures including suboptimal nutrition and maternal disease states (pro-inflammatory or infectious diseases, such as underweight/obesity and viral infections) influence resident microbes and impact development of the placenta and fetus/child (including the gut and brain), and how dietary and microbe-targeted interventions may optimise pregnancy and offspring development and health. She also leads an international team that is developing new ways to predict an individual’s health risk/resilience trajectories, and how to translate this information for health promotion and improved care. She is funded through national agencies including the CIHR, NSERC, and the Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation. She is an Associate Editor with the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and dedicated member of national and international scientific societies including DOHaD and the Society for Reproductive Investigation. Dr. Connor is excited to contribute to the IHDCYH IAB.

Carolyn Emery
Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology & Pediatrics & Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Chair, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre

Carolyn Emery is a physiotherapist and injury epidemiologist. She is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and in Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. She is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Concussion and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and Royal Society of Canada. Carolyn is the Chair of the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre (1 of 11 and the Canadian International Olympic Committee Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health) and is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health.

The focus of Carolyn’s research program is the prevention of injuries in youth sport, with a focus also on concussion and adapted physical activity and sport for children and adolescents with disabilities; aimed to reduce the public health burden of injuries and their long-term consequences. She aims to evaluate targets for injury and concussion across policy and rules, training strategies, and personal protective equipment and management/rehabilitation. Carolyn is best known for her research program in injury and concussion risk in youth ice hockey including evaluation of policy related to body checking. In addition, her research associated with the development and evaluation of prevention strategies to decrease the risk of injuries in youth team sports and junior high school physical education has led to a significant public health impact in injury reduction in youth sport.

In 2018, Carolyn was awarded a Canada Institutes for Health Research Foundation Grant (SHRed injuries – Surveillance in High Schools and Community Sport to Reduce Injuries and their Consequences in Youth).  As nominated PI, her pan-Canadian multidisciplinary research team recently received significant funding from the National Football League Play Smart Play Safe Program for SHRed Concussions aimed to reduce the significant burden of concussions and their consequences in youth sport. Carolyn’s research priorities for moving upstream towards prevention to ensure the greatest public heath impact in reducing the burden of injuries and concussions and their consequences in youth. This includes the prevention of reduced levels of physical activity, overweight and obesity, early osteoarthritis, consequences of concussion, and chronic illness. Overarchingly, Carolyn aims to keep kids participating in the sports they love.

Alexa Martin-Storey
Associate Professor, Department of Psychoeducation, Université de Sherbrooke

Alexa Martin-Storey is an associate professor in the department of Psychoeducation at the Université de Sherbrooke. Her work focuses on the factors by which stigma, and particularly gender-based stigma and resulting discrimination shapes health and psychosocial functioning among adolescents and young adults. She currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Stigma and Psychosocial Development.

Souvik Mitra, MD, MSc, PhD, FRCPC
Neonatologist, BC Women’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia
Clinician-Scientist, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Souvik Mitra is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia and a Clinician-Scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada. He completed his fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from McMaster University and his PhD in Epidemiology and Applied Health Research from Dalhousie University.

His primary research interests revolve around improving patient and family-important clinical outcomes of extremely preterm babies. His current CIHR-funded research projects include a pan Canadian study on the comparative effectiveness of NSAIDs for treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in extremely preterm infants and a multicenter RCT on selective early treatment of the PDA in extremely low gestational age infants.

He serves as an Associate Editor for the Cochrane Neonatal Group and co-chairs the Academic Committee of the Neonatal Hemodynamic Research Centre and the Evidence Based Practice for Improving Quality (EPIQ) Hemodynamic Group of the Canadian Neonatal Network. He is the chair-elect of the Fetus and Newborn Committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society and also a member of several national grant peer-review committees such as CIHR.

Taylor Morriseau
DLSPH Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Toronto/First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba
PhD (Vanier Scholar), Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Manitoba

Dr. Morriseau (Peguis First Nation) is a postdoctoral fellow supported by the Waakebiness Institute for Indigenous Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She received her PhD from the University of Manitoba with a focus on gene-environment interactions underlying type 2 diabetes among First Nations youth. In her postdoctoral fellowship, she is working with an interdisciplinary team of academics and community partners within the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM). Her research aims to support First Nations-led biomedical research by strengthening regional capacity for biobanking and data sovereignty initiatives.

She is committed to broader scientific and societal challenges encompassing Indigenous health, genomics, ethics, and science policy through advisory positions with the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, Research Canada, and the Native BioData Consortium (NBDC). She has been a recipient of the WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award, a Manitoba 150 Women Trailblazer Award, and a University of Manitoba Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Michael Rieder
Professor, Departments of Paediatrics, Physiology, Pharmacology and Medicine, Western University
Scientist, Robarts Research Institute

Dr. Rieder obtained his MD at the University of Saskatchewan in 1980 and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in 1992. His paediatric residency training was at Children's Hospital of Michigan followed by fellowships in Paediatric Emergency Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  He is a Distinguished University Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics, Physiology and Pharmacology and Medicine at Western University and a Scientist at the Robarts Research Institute. He is a member of the Drug Therapy Committee of the CPS and has served as a consultant to Health Canada, the NIH, the MRC and the Council of Canadian Academies. Dr. Rieder's research focuses on drug and food safety and optimal therapeutics in children.  His work is supported by Genome Canada, CIHR and NSERC.  Dr. Rieder has published 4 books, 33 book chapters and over 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has trained more than 50 fellows and graduate students.  His work has resulted in the creation of two new Canadian companies.  He received many awards including the 1994 and 1996 Young Investigator of the Year for the Canadian and American Societies of Clinical Pharmacology, Senior Investigator Award of the Canadian Society of Clinical Pharmacology, the Academic Leadership Award in Clinical Investigation from the Paediatric Chairs of Canada, the Sumner Yaffe Lifetime Achievement Award for Pediatric Pharmacotherapy and Fellowships from the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the British Pharmacology Society.  He holds the CIHR-GSK Chair in Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology, the only endowed Chair in Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology in Canada and has served as President of the Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Bukola (Oladunni) Salami, RN, MN, PhD
Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
Principal Investigator: Health and Immigration Policies and Practices Research Program (HIPP)

Dr Bukola Salami is a Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Windsor and her Master of Nursing and PhD in Nursing from the University of Toronto. Her research program focuses on policies and practices shaping migrants health. She has lead research projects on African immigrant child health, immigrant mental health, access to healthcare for immigrant children, Black youth mental health, health of internally displaced children, and parenting practices of African immigrants. She founded and leads an African migrant child research network of 35 scholars from 4 continents. In 2020, she founded the Black Youth Mentorship and Leadership Program at the University of Alberta. The program, the first University based interdisciplinary mentorship program for Black youths in Canada, seeks to socially and economically empower Black high school youths to contribute meaningfully to the Canadian society. She is involved in several community volunteer initiatives including serving as a public member on the Public Health Agency of Canada Working Group on the Mental Health of Black Canadian, the Bell Lets Talk Funding advisory committee, and active involvement with the Black Opportunities Fund. She is an Associate Editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) and on the Editorial Board of Nursing Inquiry and Qualitative Health Research Journal. Dr. Salami has received several awards for research excellence and community engagement: 100 Accomplished Black Women in Canada; Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Emerging Nurse Researcher of the Year Award; College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) Award for Nursing Excellence; and Alberta Avenue Edmonton Top 40 under 40. In 2020, she became a recipient of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, the highest research award in nursing. In 2021, she became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing.

Keiko Shikako
Canada Research Chair in Childhood Disability: Participation and Knowledge Translation
Associate Professor, McGill University School of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Dr Shikako's research focuses on the promotion of healthy living and the human rights of children with disabilities, and knowledge translation science and practice. Her research program adopts a participatory approach to engage different interested parties, including policymakers, community organizations, youth and their families in finding solutions to change the environment, inform policymaking and promote the participation of children with disabilities in different life roles and activities. She leads several knowledge translation initiatives, including the Jooay App, the CHILD-BRIGHT SPOR KM Program, and is part of the civil society groups reporting to the UN on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Accessible Standards Canada Technical Committee on Outdoor Spaces.

Current research projects include the Jooay App; the Knowledge Mobilization program at the CHILD-BRIGHT SPOR; the childhood disability Policy Hub; the WHO Global report on developmental disabilities and delays; the CHILD: Canadian Health Indicators for Children with Disabilities, and the Beyond Convention: How is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities working for Persons with Disabilities in Canada?

Bernard Thébaud, MD, PhD
Senior Scientist, Regenerative Medicine, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute & CHEO Research Institute
Neonatologist, Division of Neonatology, The Ottawa Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa
University of Ottawa Partnership Research Chair in Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Bernard Thébaud is a clinician-scientist with a focus on the clinical translation of stem cell-based and gene therapies for lung diseases. He is a senior scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and a neonatologist with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, providing care to critically ill newborns. He is also a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Thébaud obtained his MD at the University Louis Pasteur in France and trained in Pediatrics and Neonatology at the University Paris V, where he obtained his MSc and PhD, before completing a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Thébaud studies the mechanisms of lung development, injury and repair to design new treatments for incurable lung diseases. His focus is on answering clinically relevant questions for translation into real-life applications. Over the next five years, his goal is to bring safe and effective cell and gene therapies for lung diseases into the clinic to improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Thébaud has participated on numerous peer review committees and scientific advisory boards at the international, national and provincial level, including CIHR and NIH. Dr. Thébaud holds the University of Ottawa Partnership Research Chair in Regenerative Medicine. His research is funded by a CIHR Foundation Scheme grant, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Stem Cell Network and the Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Cecilia Van Egmond
Director, Office of Legislative & Regulatory Modernization, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada

Cecilia Van Egmond is a Director at the Office of Legislative & Regulatory Modernization in the Health Products and Food Branch at Health Canada – an office that leads initiatives pertaining to issues impacting nearly every Canadian. Cecilia’s regulatory portfolio often directly impacts children and youth, such as eliminating trans fat from the food system, rules on infant formula and human milk fortifiers, restricting marketing of certain food to children and providing more information to consumers about the nutrients in their food products.

Over the past 20 years in the Government of Canada, she has led and supported a range of population and public health initiatives at Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada. These policy, research and regulatory initiatives included: child health, development and protection; pre-term birth; injury prevention and disabilities; mental health; child maltreatment and family violence prevention; obesity and healthy living; chronic disease prevention; immunization; pandemic influenza; health services and e-health policy and research. Most recently, she played a key leadership role on regulatory files included in Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy.

Cecilia also brings extensive experience in international and inter-governmental negotiations having worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and being responsible for international relations in program departments -- including Summits and Ministerial meetings, the development of national and international plans of action and policy frameworks, and the development of multi-sectoral collaborations such as between justice and health.

Cecilia has a BA in Humanities and Political Science and Masters Degree in International Relations.

Yao Zheng
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Alberta

Dr. Yao Zheng is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta in the Developmental Science area. He was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University and University of Quebec at Montreal. He received is Ph.D. and M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a M.A.S. in Applied Statistics, from the Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.S. in Psychology from Yuan Pei Honors College, Peking University. During graduate school, he also visited the Department of Developmental Psychology at Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and the Social, Genetic, & Developmental Psychiatry Center at King’s College London as a visiting graduate student.

Guided by a developmental psychopathology approach, Dr. Zheng’s research focuses on the development and prevention of child and adolescent behavioral and emotional problems with the ultimate goal of informing intervention to promote physical and mental well-being. Specifically, as a lifespan developmental researcher, he investigates the influences of family and peer processes that shape normal and atypical development at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., genetic, psychological, behavioral) and timescales (e.g., days, years) in various ecological contexts (e.g., family, culture). He is particularly interested in how children and adolescents from at-risk or ethnic/racial minority populations can prosper and show resilience despite adverse experiences.

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