MICYRN incorporated as a federal not-for-profit society in January 2011. This process set the official bylaws by which MICYRN is governed, and helped define the members of MICYRN to be “a Canadian organization engaged in maternal, infant, child and/or youth health research.” MICYRN members include all 17 of the child/child-maternal and the 3 largest maternal health research organizations in Canada. The MICYRN member organizations are based at academic health centers affiliated with the 17 medical schools in the country. Each member organization names a voting representative.
The need to pool cases, combined with a collegial collaborative culture, has spawned practice-evaluation, research & learning networks (PERLs) for maternity care and virtually every specialty area of pediatrics. These networks are devoted to addressing the most significant problems related to their specialty. Many of Canada's PERLs connect internationally, contributing to global advances in maternal and child health, and ensuring that Canadians have early access to new diagnostic tests, interventions and care models.
Collectively, this rich diversity of networks captures virtually all the neonatal and pediatric intensive care beds, all of the academic pediatric emergency, surgical and anesthesia services, most subspecialty pediatric practices, and 70% of the high risk maternity beds in the country.
The following networks are formally affiliated with MICYRN.
Click HERE for a snapshot of research network activity across the country.
If you are interested in joining our growing network coalition, please refer to the affiliation terms of reference and contact us.
Canadian Alliance of Pediatric Rheumatology Investigators
Associate Member in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Special Professional Staff in McMaster Children’s Hospital. Hamilton, ON
Dr. Atkinson is tenured Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and Associate Member in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and Special Professional Staff in McMaster Children’s Hospital. Current research focuses on developmental programming including the determinants of maternal health in pregnancy and the fetal and neonatal determinants of obesity, diabetes, risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in children. She leads a multi-disciplinary team in the conduct of clinical trials designed to investigate lifestyle interventions in women during pregnancy that will benefit health outcomes in pregnant women and their offspring. Her expertise in maternal and child research is extended to advisory positions held with the Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, and the American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics that include several projects that aim to gather the scientific evidence upon which to base updated nutrition guidelines for the care of premature infants and toddler nutrition guidelines. She also serves as co-lead of the MICRYN birth cohort harmonization project. Other current professional service activities include Chair of the Institute Advisory Board of the CIHR-Institute for Nutrition Metabolism and Diabetes, Chair of the MICRYN Board of Directors, member of the Scientific Advisory Council of Osteoporosis Canada and Executive Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Life Sciences Institute for North America (ILSI-NA). She also serves on the Paediatric Expert Advisory Committee of Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada, and as Centre Leader and executive member of the CIHR Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientists’ Training Program.
Recent honours received include: the Danone Institute Distinguished Nutrition Leadership Award (2008); elected as a Fellow in both the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the American Society for Nutrition; the Carmelle Murphy Alumnae Award of Distinction from Brescia University College at Western University in recognition of her lifetime professional achievements; and in 2012, a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of dedicated service to her peers, community and to Canada by the Governor General of Canada.
Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Physiology at the University of Toronto
Chief, of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON,
Dr. Alan Bocking is a Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Physiology at the University of Toronto and Associate Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital. He is a Past President of the Canadian Association of Academic Professionals in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (APOG), and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada and the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society.
He is the former Gordon C. Leitch Chair of the University of Toronto, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Mount Sinai Hospital, the University Health Network and Women’s College Hospital (2003 – 2013). Prior to that, he was the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Western University and Chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Centre, London, Canada.
Dr. Bocking’s main areas of study are the mechanisms underlying infection–mediated preterm labour including the role of the vaginal microbiome. His other research interests include developing new diagnostic tests for preterm labour, understanding the mechanisms underlying Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as well as creating research Infrastructures to study the developmental origins of health and disease. (DOHaD). He currently chairs the Steering Committee for the Ontario Birth Study based at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on his research findings.
He was the Founding Director of the Academic Model for Provision of Access to Health Care – Reproductive Health Program, (AMPATH-RH) from 2008 – 2014 and has contributed significantly to the enhancement of Clinical Care, Research and Teaching in the Department of Reproductive Health at Moi University School of Medicine in Eldoret, Kenya.
Dr. Bocking is a member of the Board of Directors of the Maternal Infant, Child and Youth Research Network (MICYRN), Vice-President of the Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation and is a member of the Advisory Board of the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. He has recently taken on the role of Scientific Advisor for the Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD).
Scientist and Chair, Children’s Health & Therapeutics, Children’s Health Research Institute
Scientist and Assistant Director, Lawson Health Research Institute
Cross-appointed in Dept. of Paediatrics and Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Dr. Avison is a sociologist with expertise in the sociology and epidemiology of mental health. His current research focuses on the ways in which socio-economic disadvantage and various types of social stressors affect the mental health of families and children. He has published widely in international journals in sociology and psychiatry on a number of issues in the sociology of mental health. He has held operating grants from Health Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research since 1989. He was named as a Senior Research Fellow of the Ontario Mental Health Foundation from 1994-2000. He was the 2004 recipient of the Society for the Study of Social Problems' James R. Greenley Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Sociology of Mental Health. He was also named recipient of the 2009 Leonard I. Pearlin Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Sociological Study of Mental Health from the American Sociological Association. In 2012, he was elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
Dr. Avison comes off a two-year term as Chair of the Council for Canadian Child Health Research. He is also a past Chair of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA) and past Chair of the Sociology of Mental Health Section of the ASA and of the Psychiatric Sociology Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. He is the Founding Editor of Society & Mental Health, the official journal of the ASA Section on the Sociology of Mental Health and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. He has served on scientific review committees for the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Ontario Ministry of Health, and the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and National Institutes of Health. He has also chaired numerous grant review committees for the National Health Research and Development Program of Health Canada, including the Child Mental Health, Child Health, National Population Health Survey, and the Rehabilitation Outcomes Committees. He is the past chair of the Children’s Health Committee of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Public, Community, and Population Health Review Committee of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He chairs the Selection Committee of the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program.
Dr. Avison is Past-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Mental Health Foundation. He has also been a board member of Madame Vanier Children's Services, Family Service London, the London and Middlesex Co-ordinating Council for Children and Youth, and the London Inter-Community Health Centre. He is a former Chair of the Resource Steering Committee of Kids Count, a primary prevention and health promotion program in 11 neighborhoods in London, and was the first Chair of Investing in Children in London. He has served on the City of London Mayor's Anti-Poverty Task Force. He was also the Academic Advisor to the Western Mustangs Men's Intercollegiate Basketball Program from 1993 - 2007. In 2004, he received the Vanier Roots and Wings Award for contributions to family and children's mental health.
Fred Waks Research Chair,
Professor University of Toronto
Program Research Director Women and Babies Program, Division Chief of MFM Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
Co-Director, Clinical Trials Services / The Centre for Mother, Infant and Child Research
Dr. Barrett is a specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine from Toronto. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg in 1977, and following his internship and a year of ObGyn he moved to England. There he completed his specialist training in obstetrics and gynecology in 1988, receiving his Membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In 1990 he was awarded a two-year research fellowship, which resulted in a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992. He then moved to Toronto where he completed a two-year clinical fellowship in maternal fetal medicine at the University of Toronto. He is currently the Head of MFM at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre Hospital and is a professor at the University of Toronto and an elected Fellow of the Royal College. He is the program research director of the Women and Babies Program at the hospital, the co-director of Clinical Trial Services at Sunnybrook, and holds the Fred Waks Chair of MFM Research. He has acted as a WHO advisor on maternal health, is a member of the board of the SOGC and the International Society of Twin Research. He is grant reviewer for the CIHR and many journals and is a member of the expert panel of the Canadian Therapeutic Directorate.
Dr. Barrett has a special interest in multiple births and is the founder and chair of the Greater Toronto Area Obstetric Network – (GTA – OBS). He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications; many book chapters; and has given numerous national and international invited lectures. Some of his awards include Best Paper – Oral plenary Session SMFM the Excellence in Research awarded by the Association of Professors of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (APOG), and The Making a Difference Award, awarded by Multiple Birth Canada, in recognition of exceptional dedication and accomplishments within the community of multiple births. He has held more than $15 million in grant funding.
Director of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI)
Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology at the University of Alberta
Dr. Sandy Davidge is the Director of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) and Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology at the University of Alberta. She holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Health and is an AIHS funded Scientist. Dr. Davidge serves on many national and international grant panels and is on the editorial board for a number of journals including Hypertension. Dr. Davidge’s research program is focused on women’s cardiovascular and reproductive health. Her research program encompasses studying vascular function as it relates to:
complications in pregnancy (preeclampsia),
hormonal status (i.e. pregnancy and menopause) and
etal origins of adult cardiovascular diseases.
She has published over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts in these areas. Dr. Davidge’s laboratory is currently funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.
Executive Director, Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery
Katie Lafferty is the Executive Director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, a national organization focused on collaborative research, training, and knowledge translation in stroke recovery. Prior to this role, Ms. Lafferty served for twelve years as the Executive Director of the Canadian Stroke Network, a non-profit entity funded by the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. In that role, she oversaw numerous programs and initiatives including the development and implementation of the Canadian Stroke Strategy and the Canadian Stroke Congress.
Ms. Lafferty currently serves on the Board of Governors of The Ottawa Hospital and the Board of Directors of the Ontario Stroke Network, the Maternal Infant Child and Youth Research Network, and BiofuelNet. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the Canadian Vascular Network and co-Chairs the Steering Committee of the Canadian Stroke Trials for Optimized Results initiative. Since 2013, Ms. Lafferty has assisted the NCE program in reviewing applications for new networks as both an Expert Panel participant and Chair.
In 2006, Ms. Lafferty and her husband founded Watson’s Pharmacy and Compounding Centre in Old Ottawa East, and in 2012 they opened a second pharmacy on Wellington St. West. In 2013, Watson’s won a national Commitment to Care award for its integrated pharmacy program.
Prior to 2001, Ms. Lafferty was a Principal Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Washington D.C. and London, England. Ms. Lafferty holds a BSc in biology from Queen’s University and a Master of Science in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2010, Ms. Lafferty was recognized by the Ottawa Business Journal as one of Ottawa’s “Top 40 under 40” for her contributions in the health sector.
Integrated Vice-President Research and Innovation, Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre, Canada Research Chair and Professor, Dalhousie University
Dr. Patrick McGrath is the Integrated Vice President Research and Innovation for Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre. He is Professor of Science, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Community Health and Epidemiology, and Canada Research Chair at Dalhousie University. He is a leading researcher on pediatric pain (Centre for Pediatric Pain Research) and on distance treatment to increase access to psychosocial health care. His research has been recognized by appointment as Officer of the Order of Canada and election to the Royal Society of Canada and the Academy of Health Sciences of Canada. He has received numerous other awards including a Distinguished Scientist Award from the Medical Research Council, Distinguished Career Award of the Canadian Pain Society, Distinguished Contribution to Psychology as a Profession and the Donald Hebb Award for Distinguished Contribution to Science from the Canadian Psychological Association, the Wilbert Fordyce Award for Clinical Research from the American Pain Society and the Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award from the Society of Pediatric Psychology. He was the cowinner of the Manning Award for the best innovation of 2013 for development of Strongest Families, a distance treatment program for child mental health which now serves thousands of families from across Canada.
Director of Research, Sainte-Justine University Hospital
Full Professor Faculty of Dentistry (Stomatology Department) and Faculty of Medicine (Biochemistry Department), Université de Montréal
Dr. Alain Moreau is Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry (Stomatology Department), cross-appointed to the Biochemistry Department in the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. He is the Director of Research of Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre. Dr. Moreau is member and Vice-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Dr. Moreau received his Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from the Université de Montréal in 1986, a Master's degree in Applied Microbiology from the INRS-Institut-Armand-Frappier/Université du Québec in 1989, and a doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology from the Université de Montréal in 1993. He did a first postdoctoral training at the Protein Engineering Center of University of Liège, Belgium (1992-1993), followed by a second postdoctoral fellowship at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal, and affiliated with McGill University (1997). He is a recognized authority on molecular genetics of idiopathic scoliosis. He has published many peer-reviewed research articles, and his pioneer works allowed the development of the first tools for the early screening of scoliosis and design of novel therapeutic approaches to prevent and cure idiopathic scoliosis (16 patents obtained, 5 allowed and many others pending in different countries). Dr. Moreau is the founder and scientific director of ICONS (International Consortium ON Scoliosis), an international collaborative consortium where he coordinates among others the clinical validation of innovative predictive scoliosis blood tests in Montreal (Canada), Milan (Italy) and Hong Kong (China). His research has been supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council Canada, The Yves Cotrel Foundation (Institut de France), Génome Québec and research contracts with the industry (Paradigm Spine LLC, USA). Dr. Moreau's main research interests also include the genetic causes of osteoarthritis and the molecular mechanisms implicated in inflammation and pain as well as the normal and pathological regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues.
Executive Director Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health, Alberta Health Services and Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary University of Calgary
Dr. Scott completed his medical training at McGill University, Montreal, QC in 1976. He then undertook training in general paediatrics at the University of Alberta. In 1980, he was awarded a Medical Research Council of Canada fellowship that allowed him to continue with subspecialty training in paediatric gastroenterology and a concurrent Master of Science degree at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto and the University of Toronto.
Dr. Scott joined the Faculty of Medicine at U of C in 1982 and has brought his expertise to the classroom as a Professor of Paediatrics in the Division of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (DPGN) at Alberta Children's Hospital and the University of Calgary, and offered his skills as an active clinician and researcher. In 1998, he was appointed Professor and Head, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary; Head, Regional Clinical Department, Paediatrics, Calgary Health Region; and Chair in Paediatric Research, Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. From 2007 to 2009, he was appointed as Vice Dean, Faculty of Medicine. In April of 2009, Dr. Brent Scott accepted the role of Director, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health (ACHRI). Executive Director since 2012, Dr. Scott works collaboratively with Alberta Health Services; the University of Calgary and the Institute’s sponsoring Foundation, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation to achieve a shared vision of “Healthy babies, healthy children and youth, healthy lives”. The Institute’s mission is to excel in the creation of knowledge and the training of scientists and health professionals to support the development of state of the art health care for mother’s, children and our communities.
Dr. Scott has always been a strong proponent of developing excellence in education and research to improve the provision of clinical care. He has received a number of awards and distinctions including the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Clinical Investigator award in 1985, followed in 1991 by an AHFMR Scholar award and in 1996 a Senior Scholar award. He was recognized by the Promotions Committee, Faculty of Medicine, with the Distinguished Service Award for excellence in research and education in 1997. In 2003, the ACH Medical Staff Association Award of Excellence officially recognized his exceptional work and leadership on behalf of the children of Southern Alberta, and in 2010, he was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. He holds the Husky Energy Chair in Child and Maternal Health, as well as the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Paediatric Research.
Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Suzanne Tough is a professor with the Departments of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and a Health Scholar supported by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions. She was the inaugural scientific director of the Maternal, Newborn, Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network and the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research. Dr Tough is a lead scientist on the development of a child data repository, which will enable the re-use of research data to enhance the development of new knowledge and increase research productivity. Dr Tough is a member of national and international advisory boards, including the Public Health Association of Canada and the World Health Organization Preterm Birth International Consortium. In these roles Dr. Tough has contributed to the development of research strategies and processes that inform policy and practice, and address contemporary issues in knowledge translation and applied research.
Dr Tough has been recognized for her skills in research team development and scientific innovation through a Health Region Peoples’ Choice Award, a University of Alberta Alumni Award of Excellence, and a Global YWCA Women of Vision award. She has led research teams within health care organizations and in academia, and is passionate about collaboration and team science. In these roles Dr. Tough has facilitated the development of team handbooks, governance and accountability structures. The underlying aim of her research program is to optimize birth and childhood outcomes by creating evidence that informs the development of community and clinical programs and influences policy. She leads the Alberta Births Common Data project to harmonize data collection across birth cohorts, and she is the principal investigator of the All Our Babies/Families (AOB/F) Study, a cohort with 3,200 mother-child pairs that has followed mothers from pregnancy through to when their children at eight years of age. The overall vision of the AOB/F research team is to investigate the relative impacts of the social and genetic environments on child health.
Leadership and Coordination
MICYRN's leadership and coordination team, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, manage and operate the coordinating center, which is the network’s resource and knowledge hub. A core staff with complementary skills provides services including meeting logistics, stakeholder communication and knowledge translation, research analytics such as needs assessments and environmental scans, and financial, project and strategic management. All members have access to these services, which would otherwise be costly to acquire individually.
Anne Junker assumed leadership of MICYRN in April 2009. Dr. Junker is an Associate Professor and Associate Head, Faculty Development, in the Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, and in practice at BC Children's Hospital (BCCH) as a pediatric immunologist, specializing in the primary immunodeficiency disorders. She brings to MICYRN 15 years previous experience as senior medical director for BCCH pediatric specialty services, and 10 years as director for clinical research at the Child & Family Research Institute. She is chair of the Quality Committee of the BC Clinical Research Infrastructure Network, and co-chair of the Canadian Child & Youth Health Coalition. As director of MICYRN, she represents Canada on the Coordinating Group of the European Network for Pediatric Research of the European Medicines Agency (Enpr-EMA).
Stephen Barbazuk joined MICYRN in January 2012. He is responsible for the strategic planning process and the subsequent development, implementation and evaluation of all projects and activities and has management responsibility for the coordination and oversight of all financial, communication and administrative functions in the central office. Stephen’s most recent role prior to joining MICYRN was with the BC Provincial Health Services Authority as Corporate Director, Strategic Planning and Transformation Support. Stephen has a background in Life Sciences, having graduated from the University of British Columbia in Cell and Developmental Biology with subsequent work in Immunology research projects for the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and has since amassed expertise in strategic planning and project management in biotechnology, research and healthcare over the past 15 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute, holds a 6-Sigma Green Belt process improvement certificate and has completed international coach training in order to apply additional skills to support organizations in realizing their vision.
Andrea joined MICYRN in June 2013 with a background in science and communications. As the engagement associate for MICYRN she is responsible for supporting the implementation of the Network’s stakeholder engagement strategy through the development of communications material and engagement process framework for MICYRN’s initiatives and associated policies and procedures for the coordinating centre. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University and a Masters of English in writing from the University of New Brunswick.
Christine joined MICYRN in June 2014. In her role as administrative assistant, she is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the Coordinating Centre and providing support to the Board of Directors and Executive team of MICYRN. Prior to her current role, she worked as an executive assistant at Little Mountain Place and as an administrative assistant at Providence Health Care. Christine received her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from California State University, Long Beach.
MICYRN was formed in 2006 and initially funded by the ten children’s hospital foundations through the Children’s Miracle Network start-up grant. We have been fortunate to have sustained support from many of our members, which serves as a testament to the value MICYRN brings to maternal and child health in Canada. This continued support helps ensure MICYRN is in a position to partner its initiatives with national and international ventures. Contributions from other major funding bodies have also been a result of MICYRN members’ support and efforts in the maternal and child health community.
We would like to gratefully recognize all of those organizations who have contributed through the years.