Fetal growth restriction (FGR) with infants small for their gestational age at birth, is a known risk factor for cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, autism and schizophrenia with risk directly proportional to the degree of FGR. To date, there is no test to reliably predict which FGR newborns will develop these adverse outcomes.
We have developed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques for assessing brain function and development in small animals and human newborns, which have been shown to predict neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants born pre-term. We are now studying MRI in a relevant animal model of human FGR using maternal nutrient restriction in guinea pigs to determine the value of non-invasive neuroimaging techniques for predicting aberrant brain development and related adverse neurobehaviour in later life.
Dr. Bryan Richardson is a Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Physiology and Pharmacology, and Pediatrics at The University of Western Ontario, and a Scientist in the Fetal and Newborn Health Program of the Children’s Health Research Institute in London, Ontario.
He has had longstanding support from the MRC/CIHR, initially as an MRC Fellow and subsequently a Scholar, and with continuous national funding for over 25 years, most recently as a member of the CIHR Group in Fetal Growth Restriction: Mechanisms and Outcomes. He is currently investigating the utility of and neuroimaging techniques for tracking neurodevelopment with fetal growth restriction.
Dr. Richardson is well recognized for his research contributions internationally having published 140 peer-reviewed medical articles, and 20 book chapters/symposia proceedings. He has supervised and mentored 41 research trainees, many of whom subsequently have taken up academic faculty positions here in Canada and in Japan. He was the first WYETH AYERST Canada/CIHR Clinical Research Chair in Women’s Health for Perinatology, and subsequently a recipient of a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Fetal and Neonatal Health and Development (2004-2011) as further measures of his research excellence.
As an indication of his international stature in the area of perinatal physiology and clinical practice, Dr. Richardson was voted to the Executive Council of the Perinatal Research Society, and subsequently served as its President. He also served on the Executive Council of the Fetal and Neonatal Physiological Society, and chaired the Canadian Investigators in Reproduction, the research arm of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. He also served on the inaugural Advisory Board for the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health during which time he led the research agenda for Healthy Pregnancies.