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Owerko Centre

About the centre

The Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute is dedicated to studying neurodevelopmental disorders and child mental health. The centre draws its support from a critical mass of multidisciplinary researchers across the University of Calgary with expertise encompassing a broad range of neurodevelopmental and pediatric mental health research in basic, clinical, health services and population health.

Susan Graham, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychology, is the director of the Owerko Centre. Graham was the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Language and Cognitive development from 2003 to 2015 at the University of Calgary. She is a recipient of the Izaak Walton Killam Award for graduate supervision and mentoring and the Killam Annual Professor award. Graham’s research focuses on language and cognitive development during the infancy and preschool years.

The centre was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Calgary philanthropists Stan and Marge Owerko to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. The new centre was built to accomodate more than 75 researchers, along with special testing and play rooms with adjacent observation suites, a motor skills examination area and labs for the preparation and collection of biological samples.


Vanier awarded to doctoral trainee at Owerko Centre

Selected through a competitive process, Vanier scholars are top doctoral students from a range of disciplines who are already making significant achievements in their fields. One of this year’s recipients, Erin Hetherington, exemplifies why the University of Calgary values the support Vanier scholarships provide to attract these future leaders to campus, and position them for success in academia, industry and the community.  

Alberta's Human Services Minister meets researchers at Owerko Centre

Five faculties and 15 child health researchers, representing the Werklund School of Education, Cumming School of Medicine, the faculties of Arts, Nursing and Social Work, participated in an open dialogue with the minister. These faculties are home to internationally recognized child health researchers with chairs including child neurology, early development, child and maternal health and parent-infant mental health.

Owerko Centre provides new home for research at UCalgary

A new research space at the University of Calgary officially opened on May 6, 2015 dedicated to studying neurodevelopment and child mental health including disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) and autism spectrum. The Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute will be home to researchers, clinician scientists and staff collaborating to better understand, diagnose and treat these conditions.

Canada Research Chair in early childhood development

Sheri Madigan, assistant psychology professor at the University of Calgary, and full member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, has received a Tier II Canada Research Chair (CRC) worth $500,000 over five years to study a number of determinants of and interventions for enhancing childhood development. She is one of eight University of Calgary researchers recognized as Canada Research Chairs.

Researcher at Owerko Centre studies healthy sleep routines for infants

Gerald Giesbrecht, PhD, a researcher at the Owerko Centre, is tracking parental response to infant crying and fussing at bedtime over a three-year period. The study with 300 Calgary moms is aimed at providing information on child development to help parents make decisions about bedtime training.

Contact Owerko Centre

All Our Families

Owerko Conference 2017

Explore: Postpartum depression and babies

Nicole Letourneau, PhD, Palix-ACHF Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health and a researcher at the Owerko Centre