Evolutionary Aspects of Child Development and Health Workshop

Event Type: Date:
mar, juin 3, 2014 - jeu, juin 5, 2014
Harbour Centre, Labatt Hall (Room #1700) Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

The risk of adult heart disease, cancer, and a broad swath of other negative health outcomes may result from exposures during fetal and infant development. Why and how? The field of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) focuses on connections between adult health outcomes and exposures to social and physical challenges experienced during early life. Some of those links may have originally emerged as evolutionary adaptations. Yet, some of them may become harmful when expressed in environments that differ from those in which the link originally evolved. How should practitioners deal with the resulting biological traits? How can we integrate our understanding of a trait’s evolutionary origin, the roles of the environment, genetics, and epigenetics in ontogeny, and the biological mechanisms that mediate phenotypic expression, to improve developmental outcomes? Obtaining answers requires integration and collaboration across diverse fields including evolution, ecology, child development, and medicine. This integration is paramount to the creation of novel programs that optimize human development in a variety of socio-economic environments, interventions that prevent undesired outcomes, and treatments to ameliorate the effects of early exposures when prevention is not possible. Towards these aims, this workshop brings together world-renowned experts and trainees studying development from a broad variety of perspectives.

The main goals of the workshop are:

1.  To accelerate the process of integration between the fields of “ecology and evolution” and “developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD)”
2.  To identify new directions and research questions in the field of child development using evolutionary approaches
3.  To improve local, national and international research networks
4.  To create and promote key funding opportunities to foster research that incorporates an evolutionary approach to the study of child development and health.

Invited Speakers:                                                            

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, University of Aukland
Dr. Michael Meaney, McGill University
Dr. Stephen Stearns, Yale University
Dr. Peter Ellison, Harvard University
Dr. Randolph Nesse, Arizona State University
Dr. John Challis, University of Western Australia
Dr. Bernard Crespi, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Joanne Weinberg, University of British Columbia
Dr. Marla Sokolowski, University of Toronto
Dr. Stephen Matthews, University of Toronto
Dr. Thomas McDade, Northwestern University
Dr. Ronald Barr, University of British Columbia
Dr. Christopher Kuzawa, Northwestern University
Dr. Pablo Nepomnaschy, Simon Fraser University

Evening Public Lecture Wednesday, 4 June 2014, by Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the New Zealand Prime Ministe, University of Aukland

Organizers: Drs. Bernie Crespi, John Challis and Pablo Nepomnaschy

Registration fees:

$25 CAD   for Students*
$50 CAD   for Post-docs*
$100 CAD for Faculty

*There are a limited number of awards to cover the cost of registration for students and Post-Doctoral trainees. To apply please send a letter of request stating your interest in the workshop and CV to the Workshop Coordinator, Dr. Katrina Salvante (kgsalvan@sfu.ca).

Space is Limited – Register Now!

To register and for more information on the workshop, please visit: http://hesp.irmacs.sfu.ca/evo_child_dev_health

The Evolutionary Aspects of Child Development and Health Workshop is supported by Simon Fraser University’s Human Evolutionary Studies Program; an SFU Faculty of Health Sciences Mowafaghian Child Health Faculty Award; SFU’s Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost; and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.