Children’s Health and Therapeutics

Our vision is to address the important child health issues from a holistic perspective–looking at the social, psychological, environmental, and biological determinants of children’s health. Our approach emphasizes the importance of synthesizing clinical, population health and basic research to improve the quality of life for children and their families who live with chronic illnesses. Our emphasis is on translating scientific research into policies, programs, and health care that contributes to the quality of life of all children.

Why Our Research is Important
Research Activities
Educational and Training Opportunities
Our Scientists


The Division of Children’s Health and Therapeutics focuses on four major areas of population health and clinical research:

  1. Social and psychosocial determinants of children’s health
  2. The quality of life of children with chronic illnesses
  3. The development and evaluation of novel therapies and clinical interventions for infants and children
  4. Paediatric clinical pharmacology

We are currently focused on the Quality of Life Initiative that supported by Children’s Health Foundation.

As part of the Quality of Life Initiative, our researches are ensuring that children who live with chronic illness everyday are not just living longer but that their quality of life will become an integrated component of their care and treatment. This initiative includes:

  • a national, multi-centre study of the quality of life among families with a child or youth who has epilepsy;
  • studying how socio-economic disadvantages and environmental factors affect the well-being of children in our communities;
  • investigating alternative clinical approaches to the treatment of children’s traumatic brain injuries;
  • the health consequences of low birth weight;
  • interventions for children with sleep problems; and
  • environmental and genetic risk factors for children’s emotional health.


Scientists and Associate Scientists all have academic appointments at Western University and many are also affiliated with the Lawson Health Research Institute. These appointments provide Scientists with their infrastructural support.

Many scientists are affiliated with the Centre for Population, Aging, and Health in the Department of Sociology at Western University. This connection provides substantial opportunities to network with other social science and population health researchers and to participate in training workshops associated with the Research Data Centre.

The Division also has a strong connection to the Translational Research Centre located in the Victoria Research Laboratories. This facility provides biobanking of tissue specimens, access to databases, and support for bioethics applications. Through researchers who focus on personalized medicine, the Division is also connected to the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network on Drug Safety.

Why Our Research is Important

Understanding children’s health and illnesses and the optimal treatment of these illnesses require a mulitidimensional approach. We need to know more about the social, psychological, environmental, and biological factors that put children at risk of illnesses. By creating multidisciplinary research teams, we can start to unravel the complexities of the risk factors and develop a better understanding of risk and protective factors for children’s health.

For children with chronic illnesses, it is important to address their quality of life and develop effective ways to treat their illnesses. With multidisciplinary research teams, we can make important strides in improving the quality of life for these children. Our aim is to translate population health research and clinical research on children’s health into child-friendly health policy and optimal care for children.

Research Activities

For information on current research activities of all CHRI Scientists and Associate Scientists please refer to their individual webpages via the links in the “Our Scientists” table below.

Educational and Training Opportunities

The Scientists in the Division of Children’s Health and Therapeutics participate in a number of initiatives that provide unique training opportunities:

Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP) is a Strategic Initiative in Health Research (STIHR) Program funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. It provides doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships and career awards to child health clinicians who wish to pursue a clinician-scientist career in children’s health. For more information:

Our Scientists

Our researchers include epidemiologists, sociologists, and health geographers who study population health, psychologists who are interested in development and clinical issues, to neurologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, and pharmacologists whose research focuses on clinical investigations. This broad range of expertise provides opportunities for unique and collaborative research.


Dr. Naveen Poonai


Dr. Karen Bax
Dr. Blake Butler
Dr. Craig Campbell
Dr. Karen Campbell
Dr. Erkan Demirkaya
Dr. Guido Filler
Dr. Douglas Fraser
Dr. Jason Gilliland
Dr. Elizabeth Hayden
Dr. Richard Kim
Dr. Kambiz Norozi
Dr. Naveen Poonai
Dr. Graham Reid
Dr. Michael Rieder
Dr. Jamie Seabrook
Dr. Kevin Shoemaker

Dr. Kathy Speechley
Dr. Rommel Tirona
Dr. Piotr Wilk


Associate Scientists

Dr. Luis Altamirano-Diaz
Dr. Kelly Anderson
Dr. Andrea Andrade
Dr. Daniel Ansari
Dr. Michelle Barton-Forbes
Dr. Kevin Bax
Dr. Roberta Berard
Dr. Helene Berman
Dr. Janis Cardy
Dr. Caitlin Cassidy
Dr. Breanna Chen
Dr. Anita Cheng
Dr. Cheril Clarson
Dr. Jinette Comeau
Dr. Julie Eichstedt
Dr. Andrea Ens
Dr. Marilyn Ford-Gilboe
Dr. Patricia Gallego
Dr. Rishi Ganesan
Dr. Michael Gratton
Dr. Joanne Grimmer
Dr. Anna Gunz
Dr. Gary Joubert
Dr. Jennifer Kilgar
Dr. Alan Leschied
Dr. Helen Levin
Dr. Rod Lim
Dr. Tim Lynch
Dr. Meghan McMurty
Dr. Javed Mohammed
Dr. J Bruce Morton
Dr. Rob Nicolson
Dr. Maryam Nouri
Dr. Rahul Ojha
Dr. Narayan Prasad
Dr. April Price
Dr. Gurinder Sangha
Dr. Jennifer Seelisch
Dr. Ajay Sharma
Dr. Robert Stein
Dr. Aaron St. Lawrence
Dr. Shannon Stewart
Dr. Javeed Sukhera
Dr. Sepideh Taheri
Dr. Janice Tijssen
Dr. David Warren
Dr. Marta Wilejto
Dr. Evelyn Vingilis
Dr. Shayna Zelcer

Research Associates

Michael Miller
Sherry Coulson