ACHRI Research Retreat

Thursday, December 12

9:00 - 10:00:


10:00 - 11:00:

Child Health & Wellness Strategic Plan – update and feedback:


Drs. Susa Benseler, Benedikt Hallgrimsson, Marinka Twilt   

11:00 - 12:00: 

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Stephen Gilman, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH


The developmental origins of health inequalities, transgenerational implications, and opportunities for improving health equity

12:00 - 1:30: 


1:30 - 3:30: 

Breakout group sessions





 SHRed Injuries: Moving upstream towards injury prevention in youth sport and recreation

 All Our Families’ - What a longitudinal cohort can tell us about child  


Policy matters: Improving health outcomes across the continuum of care for youth with disabilities and their families





  From bedside to bench … and back?               

  Finding the Way Home: Protein Shuttling and Cell Fate Decision

  • Trainee talks 





Sad and Scared: Better understanding of paternal depression and anxiety in the transition to fatherhood  

Your baby, your body, your bacteria: Emergent understanding of maternal microbes and their potential to influence reproductive outcomes

  • Trainee talks 



3:30 - 4:30:

Break/ Check-in

4:30 - 5:30: 

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jeremy Reiter, University of California


How cilia signal and what to do when they don’t

5:30 - 6:30:

Annual General Meeting (for members only)


Trainees set up posters

6:30 - 7:30: 


7:30 - 9:00: 

Trainee Poster Session



Friday, December 13

7:00 - 8:30:


8:30 - 10:30:

Theme presentations with internal ACHRI speakers





A Program of Research for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation as a Curative Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease in Calgary

  So what has the MEDi® robot been doing at ACH and what’s next?       

  • Trainee talks 





Limitations of Machine Learning from Finite and Imperfect Data: Gene Discovery as a Case Study            

Is machine learning making all my dreams come true?

  • Trainee talks 





 Mitochondria: More than Just the Powerhouse of the Cell                      

Early childhood brain development 

  • Trainee talks 



10:30 - 11:00: 

Break (opportunity to check out)

11:00 - 12:00: 

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Sandra Davidge, University of Alberta


Impact of Pregnancy Complications on Later-Life Cardiovascular Health in the Offspring: What Can We Do About It?

12:00 - 12:15: 

Closing Remarks, Dr. Susa Benseler

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Stephen Gilman

Dr. Stephen Gilman

Dr. Stephen E. Gilman, ScD, is a social epidemiologist investigating the emergence and persistence of socioeconomic and race/ethnic inequalities in common mental disorders over the life course. His work demonstrates the importance of the childhood environment for neurodevelopment and the subsequent onset and recurrence of psychiatric illness in adults. His current studies address the development origins of inequalities as early as the prenatal period including the role of stress-related physiology during pregnancy in children’s neurodevelopment as well as the developmental origins of suicide mortality. Dr. Gilman has investigated long-term outcomes of depression including social inequalities in anti-depressant treatment outcomes and the physical health consequences of depression including mortality. Dr. Gilman is co-investigator of the New England Family Study, a three-generation cohort of individuals born in the early 1960’s, their parents, and their children. Dr. Gilman received his Doctor of Science degree in Health and Social Behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health and post-doctoral training in Behavioral Medicine from Brown Medical School. He is a Senior Investigator in the Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where he serves as Chief of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research; he is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Jeremy Reiter

Dr. Jeremy Reiter

Dr. Jeremy Reiter, MD, PhD, earned his MD and PhD at University of California, San Francisco. For his thesis work with Dr. Didier Stainier, Dr. Reiter identified genetic regulators of heart and gut development. During a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Bill Skarnes at UC Berkeley, Dr. Reiter developed gene editing technology to explore mammalian development. The work from his independent lab has helped reveal that primary cilia, small antennae-like structures present on almost all human cell types, are sensors of diverse intercellular cues. Their work has also shown that cancer cells can be ciliated and addicted to their cilia for uncontrolled proliferation.  More recently, the Reiter lab has illuminated how the lipid and protein composition of the cilium is generated to allow it to function as a specialized signaling organelle, and some of the ways in which altering ciliary function causes diseases as diverse as neural tube defects, inherited forms of obesity and polycystic kidney disease. Additionally, Dr. Reiter serves as the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Dr. Sandy Davidge

Dr. Sandy Davidge

Dr. Sandy Davidge, PhD, received her PhD from the University of Vermont and completed her postdoctoral fellowship training at the Magee Womens Research Institute in Pittsburgh. Dr. Davidge then moved to Edmonton, Alberta Canada in 1996 where she is currently the Executive Director of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute and a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Alberta. She is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Maternal and Perinatal Cardiovascular Health and a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Science. Dr. Davidge is the incoming Chair for the Maternal, Infant, Child, Youth Research Network (MICYRN). She serves on many national and international grant panels and is currently on the editorial board for the Biology of Sex Differences and American Journal of Physiology. Dr. Davidge’s research program encompasses studying cardiovascular function as it relates to 1) complications in pregnancy (preeclampsia and maternal aging) and 2) developmental origins of adult cardiovascular disease. Dr. Davidge has published over 225 original peer-reviewed manuscripts and 27 review articles in these areas and is currently funded by the CIHR Foundation Grant Program.