group of children smiling

2024 Owerko Centre Conference

Insights and Advancements in ADHD

Join us May 14 for the 2024 Owerko Centre Conference

The Owerko Centre conference is an annual event hosted by the Owerko Centre at The Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute. Attendees can explore important areas of brain and mental health research through engaging speakers, panel discussions, trainee presentations and networking. The 2024 Owerko Conference will explore ADHD. 



Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Conference: 9:00 a.m. - 3:35 p.m. 
Reception: 3:35 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. 

Theatre 4, Health Sciences Centre, 
Foothills Campus, University of Calgary 

Registration Deadline: May 6, 2024: 12:00 p.m. (MST)

Questions? Email


Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Southampton, United Kingdom 

Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment for ADHD

Dr. Cortese will review the evidence base for pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment based on randomized controlled trials and observational studies. He will discuss how, and to what extent, evidence informs daily clinical making and highlight key perspectives in the field.

About Dr. Cortese

Samuele Cortese is currently NIHR (National Institute for Health and Care Research) Research Professor, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Southampton, and Honorary Consultant for Solent NHS (National Health Service) Trust. Professor Cortese’s main research interests are around neurodevelopmental disorders. He has published more than 350 peer-review papers.

He has secured funding as main/co-applicant for more than £13M. In 2022, he was included in the top 1%  scientists in the field of psychiatry/psychology (Web of Science). Since 2022, he ranked  #1 worldwide in terms of expertise on ADHD (Expertscape).

Canada Research Chair in Adult Clinical Neuropsychology, Associate Professor, Psychology, Faulty of Arts, University of Calgary

ADHD After Childhood: Emerging Findings About ADHD Into Later Life

At least half of childhood cases of ADHD are now known to persist into adulthood and old age, but very little is known about how ADHD evolves into late life. Emerging literature suggests ADHD may have adverse impacts on cognitive aging and potentially increase risk for dementia in older adults. The objective of this presentation is to introduce the available evidence linking ADHD to cognitive outcomes in middle and late adulthood and review the brain health profiles that have been associated with ADHD across the adult lifespan. 

About Dr. Callahan 

Brandy Callahan is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Adult Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Calgary. She is clinically trained as a geriatric neuropsychologist with expertise in cognitive aging and brain health. Her research focuses on ADHD in adults and older adults and aims to understand the factors unique to this demographic that may impact relationships between ADHD symptoms, cognitive health, and psychosocial functioning.

Led by Dr. Kara Murias, the panel will discuss perspectives on supporting children with ADHD. 


Dr. Kara Murias, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Assistant Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Clinical Neurosciences and Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary; Pediatric Neurologist, Alberta Children's Hospital. 


Dr. Heather Baker, PhD, RPsych 
Director, Clinical Services, CanLEARN Society

Dr. Elaine Bland, MD 
Family Physician, Mental health Lead, Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network

Dr. Iliana Ortega, MD, FRCPC
Division Head Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary 

Dr. Gabrielle Wilcox, PsyD, NCSP, RPsych
Associate Professor, School and Applied Child Psychology, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Clinical Psychologist and Health Clinician Scientist, Department of Psychiatry, SickKids Hospital, Toronto; Senior Associate Scientist, Neuroscience and Mental Health Program, SickKids Research Institute 

Spit for Science: A population approach to disentangling the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders

Spit for Science is a large population-based study investigating how genes and environment impact mental and physical health with a focus on neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD). The study collected DNA, quantitative mental health traits, physical health information, cognitive biomarkers, oral microbiome, as well as environmental risk and protective factors such pollution, access to parks (green space) and water (blue space), and economic disparities. The presentation will summarize key findings and highlight how the integration of population and clinical-based approaches can catalyze precision-based approaches for NDDs.    

About Dr. Crosbie  
Dr. Crosbie’s program of research utilizes clinic and general population approaches to investigate the relationship between genes and environment on mental health and cognition. She has a particular interest in neurodevelopmental disorders and associated traits in children and youth. Dr. Crosbie’s research includes the development and validation of novel technology-based, cognitive-based interventions using video games and virtual reality.

Associate Professor, Medical Genetics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Personalized Prescribing of ADHD Medications 

Medications used to treat ADHD help many children and adolescents but some experience minimal to no benefit, while others experience intolerable side effects. If a personalized prescribing strategy were available to improve the use of ADHD medications, we could prevent suffering and negative outcomes. In this talk, Dr. Bousman will introduce a personalized prescribing strategy, know as pharmacogenetics, and describe the current state of the evidence for its use in the clinic.   

Dr. Bousman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Calgary, where he leads the Psychiatric Pharmacogenomics Laboratory.  His program of research spans pharmacogenomic discovery and clinical implementation, with particular attention given to improving prescribing for mental health conditions across life stages. 

About Dr. Bousman 

Dr. Bousman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Calgary, where he leads the Psychiatric Pharmacogenomics Laboratory.  His program of research spans pharmacogenomic discovery and clinical implementation, with particular attention given to improving prescribing for mental health conditions across life stages. 

Trainee Presentations

Owerko Centre Trainees are invited to present their research through an oral and/or poster presentation. The presentation should be geared towards a broad audience outside of your field of study who may know little about your research area. All oral presentations will be a 3-minute thesis format, followed by a two-minute question and answer period. 

For trainees interested in presenting, please follow the same registration link above, identify yourself as 'Trainee' in the registration form and select 'Yes' under Do you plan on presenting? This will prompt further questions about your presentation. 

Questions? Please contact 

Deadline to submit an abstract: Monday, April 22, 11:59 p.m. (MST) 
Deadline to submit a PowerPoint presentation: May 13, noon (MST)