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Atkinson Centre

About Us > Staff & Faculty > Emis Akbari


Emis Akbari Photo

Emis Akbari

Senior Policy Fellow, Atkinson Centre
Professor, School of Early Childhood, George Brown College

Email: emis.akbari@georgebrown.ca
Twitter: @emisakbari

Emis Akbari is a Professor at George Brown College in the School of Early Childhood and the Coordinator for the 2nd year of the Diploma Program.  She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at OISE at the University of Toronto.  Emis’ initial research examined issues surrounding early life adversity on brain and behavioral development in animal models. Her current research examines determinants of children's early social, emotional, and cognitive development and the buffering effects of early enriching environments in Canada and abroad.  She also evaluates current and changes in policy at all levels of government.  Emis is also the co-author of the Early Childhood Education Report.  This report provides a snapshot of provincial and territorial preschool services and performance on different criteria including access to child care programs and investments in early education.  It also compares Canada to other developed economies.  She is ardent and committed to evidence-based change in policy and global development and its connection to improving child education, development and outcome. She is the co-founder and president of The NayaSophia Foundation, committed to improving the education, health and needs of young orphans in Haiti. She is also the author of The Mighty O, the story of a boy who was born with a congenital heart defect and the challenges he and his family have overcome.


Price, N., & Akbari, E. (2020).  Canada’s woeful track record on children set to get worse with COVID-19 pandemic. The Conversation. 

Akbari, E. (2020).  Increasing the inequity gap: online learning during COVID-19. The Conversation. 

Akbari, E., Foster, D., Hernandez, M.H., Karia, E., McCuaig, K., Plamondon, A., & Soloway, A. (2019)  Early Learning and Childcare Innovation ToolKit.  Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Akbari, E., Binnoon-Erez, N., Rodrigues, M., Ricci, A., Schneider, J., Madigan, S., & Jenkins, J. (2018). Kangaroo mother care and infant biopsychosocial outcomes in the first year: A meta-analysis. Early human development, 122, 22-31.

Akbari, E., McCuaig, K. (2018).  Early Childhood Education Report 2017.  Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Akbari, E., Fallon, B., Joh, Carnella, N., & Jenkins, J. (2016).  Abuse, Neglect, and Maltreatment of Infants.  Neuroscience and Behavioural Psychology. In press.

McCuaig, K. Akbari, E., Bertrand, J. (2016). Adoption and implementation of national policies: The role of policies in promoting equity in early childhood for the CG’s Global Report.  Global Report on Early Childhood Development.  Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development.

Wade, M., Madigan, S., Akbari, E., & Jenkins, J. (2015). Cumulative biomedical risk and social cognition in the second year of life: prediction and moderation by responsive parenting. Frontiers in Psychology6, 354. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00354

McCuaig, K., Janmohamed, Z., Dhuey, E., & Akbari, E. (2015). Feasibility study of affordable universal childcare in the Northwest Territories.  Government of Northwest Territories.  http://goo.gl/j5HdIO

Akbari, E., Wonch, K., & Fleming, A.S. (2015).  From Benchside to Policy: The Regulation and Benefits of Mothering. In: Child Encyclopedia

Jenkins, J., Boivin, M.; & Akbari, E. (2015).  Empowering the future: Best evidence for investing in early childhood education for Canada.  Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Janmohamed, Z., McCuaig, K., Akbari, E., Gananathan, R., & Jenkins, J. (2014). Schools at the Centre: Findings from Case Studies Exploring Seamless Early Learning in Ontario. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Akbari, E., McCuaig, K. (2014).  Early Childhood Education Report 2014.  Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Plamondon, A., Akbari, E., Atkinson, L., Steiner, M., Meaney, M.J., & Fleming, A.S. (2015). Spatial working memory and attention skills are predicted by maternal life events during pregnancy.  Early Human Development, 91(1), 23-29.

Prime, H., Browne, D., Akbari, E., Wade, M., Madigan, S., & Jenkins, J. (2015). The development of a measure of caregiver cognitive sensitivity appropriate for use in primary care health settings. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(4), 488-95.

Akbari, E.M., Shams, S., Belay, H.T., Mo, K., Razak, Z., Kent, C.F., Westwood, J.T., Sokolowski, M.B. & Fleming, A.S. (2013).  The Effects of Parity and Maternal Behavior in Gene Expression in the Medial Preoptic Area and the Medial Amygdala in Postpartum and Virgin Females Rats:  A Microarray Study.  Behavioural Neuroscience, 127(6), 913-922.

Maheu,M.E., Akbari, E.M. & Fleming, A.S. (2009). Collasal oligodendrocyte number in postpartum sprague-dawley rats.  Brain Research, 1267, 18-24.

Akbari, E.M.; Budin, R., Parada, M., Fleming, A.S. (2008).  The effects of early isolation on sexual behavior and c-fos expression in naïve male long-evans rats.  Developmental Psychobiology. 50(3), 298-306.

Akbari, E.M.; Chatterjee, D., Levy, F., Fleming, A.S. (2007).  Experience-dependent cell survival in the maternal circuit.  Behavioral Neuroscience, 121(5), 1001-1011.


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