Susan J. Astley, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology/Pediatrics, is the Director of the Washington State FAS Diagnostic & Prevention Network. Dr. Astley has conducted laboratory, clinical, and public health research in FASD since 1981. Current work has been in the development and implementation of FASD diagnostic, screening, surveillance, prevention, and training tools and programs, including the FASD 4-Digit Diagnostic Code and Facial Analysis Software. Recent publications include: 1) the FASD diagnostic utility of MRI/MRS/fMRI; 2) Washington State's success in preventing FAS through reduction of maternal alcohol use during pregnancy, and 3) Clinical profiles of 1,400 patients with prenatal alcohol exposure.

Peter L Carlen, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Carlen graduated from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine with postgraduate training in Medicine and Neurology in Montreal and Toronto, and in cellular electrophysiology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After finishing his training in 1974, he was appointed to the Neurology Program of the University of Toronto at the Toronto Western Hospital, and also was Head of the Neurology Program at the Addiction Research Foundation between 1974 and 1994. From 1989 to 1999 he served as Director of the Playfair Neuroscience Unit and Neuroscience Research at the University Health Network. Dr. Carlen is a member of the Epilepsy Program at the Toronto Western Hospital of the University Health Network. He is a staff neurologist and neurobiologist at the Toronto Western Hospital and Professor of Medicine (Neurology), Physiology and Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is also Head of the Fundamental Neurobiology Division at the Toronto Western Research Institute. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Carlen leads a basic science laboratory at the Toronto Western Research Institute. He has published over 240 peer-reviewed articles in the fields of epilepsy, addictions and neurodegenerative disorders.

Joey Gareri MSc, PhD(s)

Dr. Gareri manages the Motherisk Laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children, conducting and directing research involving biomarker development of in utero substance exposure. Joey has a special interest in biomarkers of prenatal alcohol exposure, with the ultimate goal of early detection and intervention of individuals at risk for FASD. He has presented research through numerous peer-reviewed publications and scientific meetings world-wide and is in the process of obtaining his PhD through the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Dan Goldowitz, PhD

Dr. Goldowitz is the Canadian Research Chair, Tier 1 in Developmental Neurogenetics at the University of British Columbia. He studies how genetic signals involved in the early development of the nervous system can cause neurodegenerative disease and brain disorders in children and adults. A major focus of his work is the application of molecular and bioinformatic technologies to study the entire gene regulatory network of the cerebellum, which is an area of the brain that is linked to autism, schizophrenia, mental retardation, and other brain disorders.

Janine Hutson, HBSc, MSc

Janine holds a Master of Science from the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. She is enrolled in U of T's MD/PhD program and is currently engaged in full-time research under the supervision of Dr. Gideon Koren. Janine is also completing the collaborative program in biomedical toxicology. Her research interests include the safety of therapeutic and recreational drugs in vulnerable populations including pregnant women and pediatrics. Janine is a recent recipient of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Dr. Gideon Koren

Dr. Koren is the founder and director of the Motherisk Program and professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. He is also the Richard and Jean Ivey Chair in Molecular Toxicology in the Schulich School of Medicine, at The University of Western Ontario, where he holds the rank of professor in Medicine and Pediatrics. Author of 1300 peer review scientific papers and editor of over a dozen medical books, Dr. Koren does research on drug safety, the molecular mechanisms and clinical effects of adverse drug and chemical reactions, with focus on pregnancy and children. He has received numerous national and international awards. In 2000 Dr. Koren established the FACE (Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise) Research Network and in 2002 he created the peer review medical journal, Fetal Alcohol Research.

Krisztina Malisza, PhD

Dr. Malisza is a research officer in the Magnetic Resonance R&D group at the National Research Council of Canada, Institute for Biodiagnostics (IBD) and is affiliated with the University of Manitoba. She obtained her Ph.D. in chemistry at McMaster University in 1992, and currently heads a pediatric MRI research program focused on the development of imaging techniques and their translation to the clinical environment. Her research includes the imaging of children (including FASD and ASD), cancer, and neuroethics.

Kaitlyn McLachlan

Kaitlyn is a graduate student studying clinical psychology at Simon Fraser University. She is presently conducting research on youth with FASD in the justice system for her doctoral dissertation, and her training includes a specialization in forensic psychology. Her research interests focus on procedural justice issues and the needs and experiences of vulnerable populations who come into contact with the law.

Louise Nadeau, PhD

Dr. Nadeau is the first Chairperson of the Board of the Canadian Foundation on Foetal Alcohol Research. She is full Professor in the Department of Psychology at the Université de Montréal, Scientific Director of the University Institute on Dependencies, Centre Dollard-Cormier, and associate researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, University McGill. Dr. Nadeau's multicentric and transdisciplinary work in substance abuse focuses driving under the influence of alcohol and the prevention of recidivism, on gambling and alcohol, and in particular on co-occuring disorders, and the effect of psychoactive substances on women. She is Chair of the Board of éduc'alcool, and served as Vice-chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Governing Council (2000-2006), and Chair of the Quebec government's Standing Committee on Addictions (1994-2000). She co-chaired the Focus on Women section of the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions (1989-2006). She served on the Board of Trustees of ABMRF and serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Institute on Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addictions, Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Dr. Nadeau was awarded the 2006 prix Marcel-Vincent for her work in the social sciences by ACFAS (the Francophone Association for Knowledge).

Mary Polak

Mary was appointed Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister Responsible for Child Care on June 10, 2009 and was elected to the Legislature to represent Langley as their MLA. Before being elected to the Legislative Assembly, Mary was director of operations for a small polling and research firm and a trustee and former chair of the Surrey School Board. Throughout her nine years in local government, Mary has worked with many regional and provincial organizations.

Dr. Vyta Senikas

Dr. Senikas is a past SOGC Vice-President, and has sat on various committees and the SOGC Council. She is currently the Associate Executive Vice President of SOGC in charge of continuing professional development. She has been a member of SOGC since 1979.

Sarah Wheeler

Sarah is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto in the Psychology Department. Her research is conducted at the Hospital for Sick Children in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Program in Dr Joanne Rovet's lab. Current research interests include investigating the impact of early developmental disturbances to subsequent memory abilities and brain functioning in adolescents with FASDs and congenital hypothyroidism.

Joanne Weinberg, PhD

Dr. Weinberg is a Distinguished University Scholar, Professor and Assistant Head, Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences, the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on the long-term consequences of early life experiences on brain and biological development. Animal models are utilized to investigate how prenatal alcohol exposure and early nutritional or environmental insults program neurobiological systems, particularly the stress system, and thus alter hormonal, immune and behavioural function throughout life. Collaborative projects working with infants/children are examining effects of early medication and pain exposure in premature infants on physiological and neurobiological development, and how relationships between psychobiological reactivity and community context affect developmental trajectories in children.