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Owerko Family Distinguished Lecture

The Owerko Family Distinguished Lecture is an invited annual lecture where some of the world's leading researchers in the areas of neurodevelopment and children's mental health are invited to present their research to the Owerko Centre research community and the general public.

This lecture is supported by the Developmental Neurosciences Endowment Fund through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Next Owerko Family Distinguished Lecture: October 2024

Please stay tuned for event details. 

Owerko Family Distinguished Lectures

Previous Lectures

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Translational neuroimaging in brain development: Improving our use of animal models in biological psychiatry

Dr. Mallar Chakravarty, PhD
Professor, Psychiatry, McGill University; Computational Neuroscientist and Director, Cerebral Imaging Centre and Neuroinformatics, Douglas Research Centre

The origins of many neuropsychiatric disorders have to do with an individual's interaction with many challenging early life experiences.

This talk will examine how we can potentially use our understanding of these experiences to better model exposure to risk factors for neuropsychiatric disorders and define important translational outcomes.

Dr. Christopher Walsh, MD, PhD  
Professor, Pediatrics and Neurology, Harvard Medical School

While it’s long been assumed that neurons in the human brain have identical genomes, recent work shows that each neuron is born with a hundred or more unique mutations, and continues to accumulate mutations with age.

In this lecture, Dr. Walsh explored how “somatic” mutations present in some but not all brain cells play important roles in epilepsy, autism, and in age-related neurodegeneration.

Dr. Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD
Professor, Neuroscience and Education, Columbia, Director, Neurocognition, Early Experience and Development (NEED) Lab

Dr. Noble and her team study how socioeconomic inequality relates to children's cognitive, emotional, and brain development. The focus of her work examines socioeconomic disparities in cognitive development, as well as brain structure and function, across infancy, childhood and adolescence.

Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt, PhD
Professor, Psychology, UOttawa; Canada Research Chair in School-Based Mental Health and Violence Prevention

Dr. Vaillancourt discussed the current knowledge regarding children’s mental health, along with the link between mental health outcomes and bullying.

Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, PhD
Professor, Psychology, UCalifornia, Berkeley; Psychiatry, Vice-Chair for Child and Adolescent Psychology, UCalifornia, San Francisco

Dr. Hinshaw's research focuses on developmental psychopathology, clinical interventions, and mental illness stigma.  He has authored over 350 articles and chapters plus 12 books, including Another Kind of Madness: A Journey through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness (St. Martin’s, 2017), which was awarded Best Book (Memoir/Autobiography) by the American Book Fest (2018). 

Dr. Peter Szatmari, MD, FRCPS
Chief of Child and Youth Mental health Collaborative, Hospital for Sick Children and Centre for Addition and Mental Health; Director of the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression

Dr. Szatmari's work focuses on the importance of implementing Clinical Practice Guidelines in child and youth mental health. He has also worked in the areas of ADHD, disruptive behaviour disorders, depression and anxiety and impairment due to mental disorders. He is well known for his work in autism spectrum disorders and has made contributions to that field in diagnosis and classification, in genetics and in outcome studies.

Dr. Ann Masten, PhD
Professor of Child Development, UMinnesota

Dr. Masten studies resilience and the processes that promote competence, risk mitigation, and prevention related to problems in human development. She directs the Project Competence research on risk and resilience, including studies of young people exposed to homelessness, war, natural disasters, and migration.