Session 1: February 13, 1:30 - 3:00pm

Maternal Fetal Medicine I (Fetal)


Pot, Pills and Pain: Opioids, cannabis and their DOHaD implications
Invited Speaker: Dr. Robert Tanguay, MD (Caleo Health)
Jocelynn Cook, SOGC
(Room: Mali III/IV)

Dr. Tanguay completed his B.Sc. (Hons.) in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta and attended medical school at the University of Calgary where he continued on to complete his residency in Psychiatry. Dr. Tanguay completed fellowships in Addictions Medicine with the department of psychiatry, certified with the International Society for Addiction’s Medicine (ISAM), and Pain Medicine with the department of anesthesia. He is currently the Medical Lead of the Transitional Pain Program at Caleo Health and he has helped initiate the first publicly funded Opioid Taper Program for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain at the Opioid Dependency Program in Calgary. He is an authority in opioid prescribing, the effects of opioids on functioning, opioid tapering in chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), opioid addiction, and medical marijuana. Dr. Tanguay has been invited to be a keynote, plenary, and panel speaker at national and international conferences, as well as for local events, and is a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine, for the Department of Psychiatry.


Parental Environment and Pediatric Outcomes

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Title: Early Embryonic Alcohol Exposure Leads to Alterations in Brain DNA Methylation Programming and Cognitive Impairments
Invited Speaker: Serge McGraw, PhDAssistant Research Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal
Serge McGraw, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal
(Room: Joseph)

Dr. Serge McGraw is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, and Researcher at the Research Center of the CHU Sainte-Justine. He is a molecular and reproductive biologist by training, with broad expertise in the field of epigenetics. Dr. McGraw’s main research focuses on understanding the epigenetic instability that occurs when the reprogramming of DNA methylation profiles is interrupted during early embryonic development. His research laboratory aims to understand how, during the development of the embryo, a dysregulation of the epigenetic program may be involved in the occurrence of prenatal or postnatal developmental disorders. In particular, using a pre-clinical mouse model of early embryonic alcohol exposure, his laboratory investigates how early alterations in the embryo’s developmental program can influence future brain development and function.


Indigenous Health


Seven Generations, Gestational Diabetes Prevention with a Focus on Cultural Practices
Invited Speaker: Amanda Lipinski, Program Director (Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle)
Tracey Galloway, Dept of Anthropology, University of Toronto
(Room: Kamichat)

Amanda is Métis and grew up in Thunder Bay, ON. She made the move to Southern Ontario to complete her degree in Social Anthropology at York University and has since had the honour of working within different Indigenous communities throughout Ontario and New Brunswick with a focus on holistic wellness. Amanda joined the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle team as a Diabetes Prevention Coordinator for the Toronto region in February 2009 and has since transitioned into the position of Program Director at the IDHC head office in Niagara. Amanda is a mother of one and strives to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to be a positive role model for her son and the communities she serves.

Session 2: February 13, 3:30 - 5:00 pm

Placental and Fetal Physiology


Something old, lots new, something borrowed, something blue: Fibronectin and preeclampsia
Invited Speaker: Isabella Caniggia, MD, PhD (Mount Sinai Hospital)
Dan Hardy, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Western University
(Room: Joseph)

Dr. Isabella Caniggia MD, PhD is a senior investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of the Sinai Health System and a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Physiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Caniggia received her MD cum laude from the University of Siena, Italy and completed her residency training in Pediatrics at the University of Perugia, Italy. Following her research training at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Dr. Caniggia obtained her PhD from the University of Parma, Italy. Dr. Caniggia is internationally recognized for her work on molecular mechanisms regulating normal placental development and diseases, including preeclampsia and IUGR. She was the first to discover the importance of proper HIF-1α and TGFβ3 signaling including endoglin, in preeclampsia and to report that abnormalities in oxygen sensing define early and late onset preeclampsia as distinct pathologies. Her lab was the first to identify a novel splice variant of the pro-apoptotic BOK protein and has addressed the importance of BCL2 family member in regulating cell death, autophagy and mitochondrial dynamics. More recently, she has established the relevance of sphingolipid metabolism in normal and pathological pregnancies. Dr. Caniggia’s team is also investigating epigenetic changes in genes involved in oxygen homeostasis in the human placenta and is currently establishing a new murine genetic model of preeclampsia with the future objective of screening small molecule inhibitors for their potential to correct the PE phenoptype. She has received numerous honors and awards including the Ontario Women’s Health CIHR/IGR Mid-Career Award, the Castellucci Award from the International Federation of Placental Associations that recognizes outstanding research achievements in human placental development and preeclampsia, and the National Bank Business Excellence Award in Arts, Science and Culture from the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario for her innovative research. Her work is funded by CIHR, NIH and NSERC. She holds four patents related to discovery of diagnostic marker for preeclampsia and IUGR.


Perinatal Epidemiology I


Trainee Debate: Maternity Care Providers Have An Obligation to Lower Canada's Cesarean Delivery Rate (Against the motion)
Invited Speaker: Giulia Muraca, PhD (Karolinska Institutet, University of British Columbia)
Sarah McDonald, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McMaster University
(Room: Mali III/IV)

Dr. Giulia Muraca received her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Biological Anthropology and African Studies from the University of Toronto and her M.P.H. and Ph.D. degrees from the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow in the Clinical Epidemiology Unity at the Karolinska Insitutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Muraca was funded by a Pacific Century Graduate Scholarship throughout her Master’s degree and was awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to support her doctoral work in perinatal epidemiology. She has received Outstanding Achievement and Best Presentation awards during her PhD, which was aimed at evaluating the perinatal and maternal safety of strategies to reduce the rate of cesarean delivery. Her postdoctoral research is funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship and builds on her previous work regarding optimal rates of intrapartum intervention in industrialized settings.


Trainee Debate: Maternity Care Providers Have An Obligation to Lower Canada's Cesarean Delivery Rate (Against the motion)
Invited Speaker: Alexandra Marseu, MD
Sarah McDonald, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McMaster University
(Room: Mali III/IV)

Alexandra Marseu is currently in her first year of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship at McMaster University. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in Biology, and subsequently completed medical school and OB/GYN residency at McMaster University.


Neonatal I (Neonatal Cardiopulmonary Medicine)


Cardiopulmonary Health in Adults born Very Preterm
Invited Speaker: Anne-Monique Nuyt, MD (CHU Sainte-Justine)
Robert Jankov,  Dept. of Paediatrics, University of Toronto
(Room: Kamichat)

 Anne-Monique Nuyt is a senior clinician-scientist at CHU Ste-Justine, Université de Montréal. Dr. Nuyt’s research team studies mechanisms of developmental programming of hypertension and cardiovascular dysfunction in children and adults who were born preterm. Her translational research program spans from experimental animal work, to clinical as well as epidemiological studies. With Dr. Thuy Mai Luu, she leads the HAPI (Health of Adults born Preterm Investigation) cohort study. She is currently Professor of Pediatrics, Head of the Division of Neonatology and Head of the Center of Excellence in Neonatology at CHU Sainte-Justine,  as well as vice-chair of IHDCYH Institute Advisory Board. Her research is mainly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Dr Nuyt was awarded number of prices for her work and is actively involved in scientific societies in perinatal as well as adult cardiovascular research.   

Session 3: February 14th, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Nursing and Midwifery


Neonatal Pain Management - The evidence, the utilization and the knowledge translation strategies
Invited Speaker: Denise Harrison RN, PhD (University of Ottawa and CHEO)
Moderator: TBA
(Room: Kamichat)

Denise Harrison is a full Professor and the Chair in Nursing Care of Children, Youth and their Families at the University of Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Her research program “BSweet2Babies” focuses on improving pain management for sick and healthy babies and young children. Her research includes using knowledge generation, synthesis and translation, and includes using and studying innovative ways to move pain treatment knowledge into action. This includes partnering with parents and clinicians to develop brief videos in multiple languages showing how parents can work with clinicians to use recommended pain management strategies during newborn screening and infant vaccination. The effectiveness of the videos are being studied in multiple ways, including the reach, dissemination and effectiveness in improving pain management when posted onto social media sites. Her research partners include parents of babies and children, clinicians, students, researchers throughout Canada, Brazil, China and the USA, social media experts, statisticians and organizations including BFI, BORN Ontario and Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC).   


Neonatal II (Neonatal Neurosciences)


Repairing the brain of asphyxiated newborns
Invited Speaker: Pia Watermark, MD (McGill University)
Gregory A. Lodygensky, Dept. of Paediatrics, Université de Montréal
(Room: Mali III/IV)

Dr. Pia Wintermark founded the NeoBrainLab in 2010. The NeoBrainLab is devoted to the understanding of the causes and consequences of brain and eyes damages in sick babies. The laboratory uses both clinical research and basic science techniques to understand mechanisms underlying these brain and eyes damages. The main goals of the lab are to develop innovative strategies to prevent or repair these brain and eyes damages, and thus to improve the future of these babies.

Before joining the Montreal Children's Hospital in July 2010, Dr. Pia Wintermark trained at the Children’s Hospital Boston (Harvard Medical School) in Boston, USA, and at the Lausanne University Hospital (University of Lausanne) in Lausanne, Switzerland.




Using Integrated Knowledge Translation to Move Research into Practice
Invited Speaker: Rhonda C. Bell, PhD (University of Alberta)
Pablo Nepomnaschy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
(Room: Joseph)

Dr. Bell is a Professor in the Division of Human Nutrition, Dept of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta.  She is also the Pregnancy and Developmental Trajectories Theme Lead for the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute at the University of Alberta.  She received a PhD in Human Nutrition from the Cornell University and degrees in Kinesiology (BSc) and Health Studies (MSc) from the University of Waterloo. She leads a program of research in maternal nutrition before and during pregnancy and its impact on women and children’s health.

Dr. Bell is the principle investigator for ENRICH, a multi-faceted research program aimed at supporting women from diverse communities across Alberta to have the healthiest pregnancies possible.  As a researcher, she has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and given more than 100 media interviews and presentations to community groups, professional organizations, and at conferences. Among her many awards, Dr. Bell received the 2016 Earle Willard McHenry Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition from the Canadian Nutrition Society.  Dr. Bell’s most important accomplishments come from helping students, researchers, clinicians and policy makers turn research findings into meaningful ways to improve nutrition, health and wellness of women and their families. 

Session 4: February 15, 11:00 - 12:30pm

Maternal Fetal Medicine II (Impact of Maternal Health on Pregnancy Outcome)


Pregnancy Conditions, Size at Birth and Cord Oxygen Values: Implications for Regulatory Mechanisms
Invited Speaker: Bryan Richardson, MD (Western University)
Barbra de Vrijer, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Western University
(Room: Kamichat)

Dr. Bryan Richardson is a Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Physiology and Pharmacology at Western University, and a Scientist in the Fetal and Newborn Health Program of the Children’s Health Research Institute in London, Ontario. He received his MD and training in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Western University and training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Perinatal Physiology from the University Oregon Health Sciences Center. He is a member of numerous professional societies including the Society for Reproductive Investigation and the Perinatal Research Society where he served on the Executive Council and as President. He has been an Editorial Board Member for the journals Early Human Development and Reproductive Sciences, Committee Member for the MRC/CIHR Clinical Investigation and March of Dimes Review Panels, and member of the inaugural CIHR Advisory Board for the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. He has had longstanding support from the MRC/CIHR, initially as an MRC Fellow and subsequently a Scholar, and with continuous grant funding for over 25 years. He was additionally the first WYETH AYERST Canada/CIHR Clinical Research Chair in Perinatology, and subsequently a Canada Research Chair in Fetal and Neonatal Health. He has been invited to give over 140 scientific presentations nationally and internationally, and has published 152 peer review papers and 21 book chapters/symposia. He is currently investigating the impact of maternal undernourishment leading to fetal growth restriction with chronic hypoxia on later development focusing on the brain. 


Reproductive (epi) Genetics and Fertility


Environmental contaminants and potentially-mediated DOHaD
Invited Speaker: Mathieu Dalvai, PhD (Université Laval)
Moderator: Mathieu Dalvai, Dept. of Animal Sciences, Université Laval
(Room: Joseph)

Mathieu Dalvai conducted undergraduate training in animal and plant physiology followed by a masters degree in molecular biology and a second masters in chemistry analysis in France. He then obtained his Ph.D in epigenetics from the Friedriech Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Novartis, Basel University in Switzerland. He conducted postdoctoral research in epigenetic cancer and genome editing both in France and in Canada. He is currently Scientific Coordinator at the Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Food & Agricultural Sciences at Laval University in Québec City.

 Member of the Reproduction, Development and Intergenerational Health Research Centre, his research focuses on the impact of the environment on male reproduction, including his ability to produce normal, healthy offspring. He is particularly interested on whether environmentally-relevant exposures to contaminants modify the sperm epigenome, thereby perturbing the development of his future generations. He and his collaborators are also exploring nutritional strategies to palliate harmful effects of environmental contaminants.


Perinatal Epidemiology II


Toward a unified perinatal theory: Reconciling the births-based and fetus-at-risk models of perinatal mortality
Invited Speaker: K.S. Joseph, MD, PhD (University of British Columbia)
Sarah McDonald, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McMaster University
(Room: Mali III/IV)

K.S. Joseph MD, PhD is a Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia and the Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Health Centre of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. His work is supported by the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

 Dr. Joseph received his MBBS and MD (Community Medicine) degrees from Christian Medical College, Vellore, and a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. In 2014, the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research presented Dr. Joseph with the Mentor award and in the same year he received the Greg Alexander Award for Advancing Knowledge sponsored by the US-based Coalition for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology. In 2018, he and his co-authors received the Harold A. Kaminetzky Prize Paper award from Obstetrics and Gynecology, the official publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, on factors underlying the temporal increase in maternal mortality in the United States (Obstet Gynecol 2017;129:91-100).