Written by HELP, Faculty of Medicine, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, and BCCHR
Professor of Medical Genetics Michael Kobor has been appointed as the Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development, with the chair co-located at the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children at BC Children’s Hospital.
The Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF) Leadership Chair has a $5.5-million endowment that will support Dr. Kobor’s research and training the next generation of scientists and clinician-scientists focusing on early life experiences.
Building on the work of Drs. Clyde Hertzman and Thomas Boyce, who previously held the Chair, Dr. Kobor’s research program will expand understanding of the mechanisms and processes by which biological embedding occurs – how experience gets “under the skin” to influence lifelong health and wellbeing. Combining the individual strengths of HELP, Sunny Hill and BC Children’s, Dr. Kobor’s vision is to create “child-sized made-in-BC solutions with global impact”.
Dr. Kobor and his team will map the biological trajectories of healthy child development across the population at the molecular level. This will serve as the basis to understand the distinct trajectories of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Furthermore, the molecular child development map will provide a unique knowledge base for evidenced-based interventions. Together, these three arms of the research program will serve as the cornerstones of an interdisciplinary training and mentorship program in child development.
Dr. Kobor’s research at HELP and BC Children’s offers the opportunity to advance understanding of the biological underpinnings of child development by combining the clinical research capability at BC Children’s and the child population health data at HELP.
Dr. Kobor’s Leadership Chair research program will be overseen by a Steering Group with representatives from HELP, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, the UBC School of Population and Public Health, and the UBC Department of Pediatrics.
The Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development is made possible thanks to funding from the Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF) with contributions from BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Lawson Foundation, Donald Rix Foundation and the Koerner Foundation.
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