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Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development
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Research Themes

We engage researchers and advance knowledge and interventions in focused areas of transdisciplinary research that are applied to the outcomes of health, learning and social functioning across the developmental time


Four research themes and one core resource platform will focus our transdisciplinary discovery as we launch our research strategy.  It is expected that the most innovative research will happen at edges and intersections of each of these themes and that each will evolve during the first 2000 days of this strategic plan. 

Aboriginal Health and Well-being


World's Child




Healthy Kids


Developing Brain and Human Potential




Developmental Path and Intervention--Resource Platform

Director of Research

If you'd like to know more about our research initiatives, please contact

Dr. Stephen Matthews
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Dr. Matthews is Professor of Physiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Director of Research of the Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development at University of Toronto. He is also the Ernest B. and Leonard B. Smith Professor and  past Chair of the Department of Physiology. Professor Matthews received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. He was appointed to the University of Toronto in 1996. His research is  focused  towards understanding  how alterations  in  the  fetal environment can affect developmental trajectories leading to permanent modification of endocrine function and behaviour. His recent research has established that the effects of such environmental manipulation can extend across multiple generations. With a focus on epigenetics, his research team is determining the molecular mechanisms by which such ‘programming’ can occur. In a parallel program of study, his group is investigating drug and hormone transport mechanisms in the placenta and fetal brain, with a focus on developing novel treatments that modulate drug transport at these two sites.

Professor Matthews is committed to translating fundamental research to a human context. In this regard, he was founding co-director of the MAVAN program, which follows the neurocognitive development of infants and children following adverse early experience. He was also one of the founding investigators on the MACS program that followed pregnancy outcomes and neurocognitive development in children exposed to glucocorticoids in pregnancy. He has published over 170 scientific papers, is regularly invited to present his work around the world and is involved in a number of international research initiatives.

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