Institute for Human Development Updates

International Symposium

Connaught Global Challenge International Symposium Investing in Mothers and Children: Developmental Trajectories, Health, Learning and Society

September 27-29, 2012 

The symposium will assemble a world class, trans-disciplinary group of basic, biomedical, and social scientists to explore issues in early childhood development. National and international invited speakers will provide “out of the box” presentations that focus both on the current state of research, as well as on how collaborations across disciplines, approaches and paradigms can synergize to impact new thinking. We welcome researchers from human and animal research fields including, but not limited to, genetics, genomics, neurodevelopment, epigenetics, psychology, psychiatry, women’s and infants’ health, pediatrics, medicine, sociology, anthropology, evolution, development, social work, pediatrics, law, public health and policy, and early childhood education. An important component of the symposium will be how we can translate current knowledge from these diverse disciplines into meaningful and effective action.

The symposium planning committee would like to invite abstract submissions for poster presentations. Abstracts should demonstrate how the presentation complements the symposium themes and outcomes. Submissions from students are strongly encouraged.

The main themes of the conference include:

Early childhood development and parenting
Early life exposure and later wellbeing
How health, learning, and society intersect
Mobilizing current knowledge from diverse disciplines

UofT Magazine Article

Unlocking Our Potential

U of T researchers suggest life’s early years might be even more important than we thought

image of child

By the time a child sets foot in kindergarten, much about her future life has already been set in motion – everything from her ability to concentrate and learn, to her lifetime chances of suffering from obesity or heart disease or depression. Evidence is mounting that what happens in the first four years of life can be critical to long-term well-being. However, as a society we still don’t do enough to optimize this important period, or even to stave off the biggest dangers. [read article]

Top researchers to lead U of T’s Institute for Human Development
Image of Marla Sokolowski
Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 11:58am
Jennifer Sipos-Smith and Jim Oldfield

Professor Stephen Lye will serve as the inaugural executive director and Professor Marla Sokolowski as the inaugural academic director of the University of Toronto’s newly established Institute for Human Development.  The announcement came jointly from Professor Julia O’Sullivan, dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and Professor Catharine Whiteside, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, following a highly competitive search led by an interdisciplinary Appointments Committee.

“The Institute will take on the big issues in human development important in Canada and around the world. Increased understanding of these issues, and the development of effective interventions early in life, will have enormous benefits to individuals and peoples everywhere,” said Deans O’Sullivan and Whiteside in the announcement on Feb. 14.

[read article]

Centre for Research in Parenting
Interdisciplinary perspectives in parenting research

The study of parenting crosses many different analytic levels ranging from the genetic and molecular to the social and cultural. These approaches necessarily span various disciplines and paradigms, focusingon humans in different cultural contexts, and a variety of animals in different ecologic contexts.

The goals of this centre for the study of parenting and its website are to bring together researchers interested in understanding factors that affect parenting and the parent-child relationship.

The Centre and its website will provide opportunities for virtual and face-to-face collaboration and information exchange so that we can discuss issues of common interest with our colleagues, develop collaborative research questions, and undertake multidisciplinary projects. It also constitutes a resource for students and researchers alike, by providing a forum to share recently published work, ideas, methods, and relevant multimedia.