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Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development
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Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development Mandate

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Our Goal

A growing body of evidence suggests that the first 2000 days of life play a pivotal role in priming individuals for long-term health and wellness. It is crucial to discover the optimal developmental trajectories for young children in order both to prevent serious debilitations, and to foster the best possible continuing health, learning and social functioning. The Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development (IHD) aims both to discover the ways in which early childhood development molds our long-term well-being, and to determine the most effective methods and interventions by which we can optimize the effects of this sensitive period of development.

Our Research

The IHD pursues evidence-based research across many fields. Researchers focus on the interplay between genes and environments (social, nutritional, cultural and economic) in order to illuminate developmental pathways that predispose individuals to various detrimental health effects, including childhood obesity and difficulties in social functioning. This knowledge will facilitate the development of more effective diagnostic tools and preventative interventions, as well as the promotion of optimal development. 

Transdisciplinary Approach

The scope of this task requires a breadth of expertise from diverse academic disciplines. The IHD integrates these branches in a transdisciplinary approach that transcends traditional academic and professional boundaries. In the IHD, leading researchers in education, biology, medicine, and psychology, among many others, ensure that the complex issues surrounding human development are examined from all relevant perspectives.

Commitment to Change

In order to promote long-term health and wellness, the IHD is motivated by a desire to effect real change in the ways our children are raised. It is committed to ensuring that the knowledge generated in its research programs is effectively disseminated. The IHD values active involvement with community partners, including direct engagement with all those who can employ its research in a real world setting, such as policy-makers, educators, and clinicians.

Commitment to Education

The IHD recognizes the importance of inspiring new generations of researchers. Through its novel collaborative education programs, the IHD will prepare future researchers to further the IHD’s mandate of studying and enhancing the developmental trajectories of children to prepare them for better futures.

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Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6 CANADA