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The CHILD Study's current administrative and management structure is based on a Director, Deputy Director and an Executive comprising the site leaders and major research theme leaders. Decision making is a shared responsibility of the Executive.


Malcolm Sears (Chair)

Members: PJ Subbarao, Piush Mandhane, Stuart Turvey, Greg Miller, Allan Becker, Jeff Brook, Sonia Anand, Wendy Lou, Andy Sandford, Dean Befus
Ex-officio: Diana Lefebvre, Sherri Smith

The Executive Committee is comprised of core members, namely the Director, the Deputy Director, and the study leaders at each recruitment site, adjunct members, namely scientists representing relevant areas of expertise, and ex-officio members. Collectively the core and adjunct members are called the Executive Committee, and each member will have the same responsibility to act with the best interests of the group and the study. An ex-officio member is invited to participate by the Director, and may include staff, a minutes recorder, and/or guests. Appointment to the Executive is by recommendation of the existing Executive members and is subject to an approval from the Director. Each Executive member will be responsible for understanding the overall scientific and methodological aspects of the CHILD study, and will be expected to have general knowledge of the various technical aspects of the study. The responsibilities of the Executive Committee will include:

  • determining how the primary CHILD Study will be conducted, who will be involved and how it will be funded
  • receiving advice from sub-committees
  • resolving contentious, difficult and/or otherwise important management issues as they arise (see section re decision making)
  • reviewing proposals for new (add-on) studies within the framework of CHILD, in particular how these influence participant burden, retention of families, and finances.
  • regulating, controlling and enabling access to data according to the policies of CHILD;
  • determination of guardianship over specific datasets


Each member will be expected to participate fully in the discussions and to maintain discretion outside the meeting when sensitive matters are discussed. A member will be expected to abide by the decisions of the group and to express concerns to the Director if the decisions of the group are not easy to accept, so there is no overt disharmony. The Director will be responsible for ensuring that a balanced discussion occurs during the executive meetings and will have the authority to ask members to be accountable to the best interests of the group as a whole. In the event that the Director is unable to attend a meeting, the Deputy Director will assume the role.


Hamilton National Coordination Centre | Vancouver Site | Edmonton Site | Manitoba Site | Toronto Site


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At the outset we assembled an active Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) which includes 3 internationally recognized epidemiologists experienced in asthma cohort studies:


Chair: Dr. Paul O'Byrne, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Fernando Martinez, Tucson Arizona, USA;

Erika von Mutius, Munich, Germany;

Peter Sly, Brisbane, Australia;

Felix Ratjen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mark Raizene, Ottawa


This committee has met regularly with the nominated Principal Invesigator, the Executive and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AllerGen. The SAC has also provided input on specific issues by email when requested.


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Scientists and Researchers involved in developing the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development study.

Name Affiliation City
Anand, Sonia McMaster University Hamilton
Allen, Ryan Simon Fraser University Vancouver
Azad, Meghan University of Manitoba Winnipeg
Becker, Allan University of  Manitoba   Winnipeg
Befus, Dean University of Alberta Edmonton
Brauer, Michael University of British Columbia Vancouver 
Brook, Jeff Environment Canada    Toronto 
Cyr, Michael McMaster University Hamilton
Chen, Edith University of British Columbia     Vancouver 
Daley, Denise James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre Vancouver 
Dell, Sharon Hospital for Sick Children     Toronto
Denburg, Judah McMaster University  Hamilton 
Elliott, Susan McMaster University Hamilton 
Grasemann, Hartmut Hospital for Sick Children    Toronto
HayGlass, Kent University of Manitoba Winnipeg
Hegele, Richard University of Toronto       Toronto 
Holness, Linn St. Michael’s Hospital      Toronto 
Kobor, Michael University of British Columbia    Vancouver
Kollmann, Tobias University of British Columbia   Vancouver
Kozyrskyj, Anita University of Alberta   Edmonton
Laprise, Catherine Chicoutimi University Hospital     Quebec
Larché, Mark McMaster University   Hamilton 
Lou, Wen-Yi Wendy University of Toronto      Toronto 
Macri, Joseph McMaster University Hamilton
Mandhane, Piush University of Alberta    Edmonton 
Miller, Gregory University of British Columbia Vancouver  
Moqbel, Redwan deceased  
Moraes, Theo Hospital for Sick Children Toronto
Paré, Peter University of British Columbia Vancouver
Ramsey, Clare University of Manitoba  Winnipeg 
Ratjen, Felix Hospital for Sick Children    Toronto
Ritchie, Bruce University of Alberta Edmonton
Sandford Andrew James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre Vancouver
Scott, James University of Toronto Toronto
Scott, Jeremy University of Toronto   Toronto 
Sears, Malcolm McMaster University Hamilton
Silverman, Frances University of Toronto Toronto  
Simons, Elinor University of Manitoba Winnipeg
Stanojevic, Sanja University of Toronto Toronto
Subbarao, Padmaja Hospital for Sick Children Toronto
Tebbutt, Scott James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre Vancouver  
Takaro, Tim Simon Fraser University      Vancouver
Tang, Patrick University of British Columbia Vancouver 
To, Teresa Hospital for Sick Children Toronto
Turvey, Stuart University of British Columbia Vancouver

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This CHILD study is a general population-based cohort study.  This longitudinal design will allow prospective evaluation of data regarding multiple indoor and outdoor environmental exposures, serial measurements of immunological responses, lung function and airway inflammation, infections, allergies, socioeconomic factors, stressful environments, diet and nutrition, genetics and epigenetic phenomena, and clinical outcomes. The primary unit of study is the family based trio – child and parents. Following a new national birth cohort from pregnancy will allow tracking of the timing of a wide variety of potentially important environmental exposures through pregnancy, infancy and into childhood.  The design will allow evaluation of neonatal predictors of allergy and asthma, and examination of outcomes in relation to changing environments.  Genetic investigations in this cohort will focus on validating gene-environment interactions from other studies; the prospective and detailed information collected on the environment as well as in-depth phenotype characterization will enhance the strength of such validations and may lead to discovery of new and important gene-environment interactions particularly relating to the indoor environment.

To facilitate the many areas of investigations, CHILD has developed various Working Groups consisting of researchers from related disciplines and specialities to develop the assessments, questionnaires and tools fundamental to meeting the objectives of the CHILD study.  These groups work in conjunction with the national coordinating centre to develop standard operating procedures for tests, biological sample collection and training for recommendation to, and approval by, the Executive Committee.


Genetics Working Group:

Chair: Andrew Sandford
Core Members: Denise Daley, Andrew Sanford, Scott Tebbutt, Greg Miller, Ryan Allen, Jeremy Scott, Tobias Kolliman, Michael Brauer, Stuart Turvey, Catherine Laprise, PJ Subbarao, Sonjia Anand

The genetics working group, a distinct unit within Program A of the Allergen NCE, advises on sample collection, storage and analysis of genetic material from parents and children from the CHILD Study.


Immunology Working Group:

Chair : Dean Befus
Core Members: Padmaja Subbarao, Theo Moraes, Kent HayGlass, Bruce Ritchie, Tobias Kollmann, Greg Miller, Stuart Turvey, Edgardo Fortuno III, Judah Denburg, Mark Larché, Diana Lefebvre, Jean Marshall, John Gordon, Administrative support, Lynelle Watt

The Immunology working group works with the National Coordinating Centre to develop standard operating procedures for collecting, processing and quality control of blood samples.  Blood components from cord blood and child’s blood will be processed to provide RNA, DNA, serum, plasma, cord blood mononucleocytes, and peripheral blood mononucleocytes. Immunology investigations will focus on a comprehensive analysis of genetic, epigenetic, gene expression, innate and adaptive immunity and toll-like receptor profiles of children to understand the biological basis of allergic disease.


Environmental  Working Group:

Chair : Jeff Brook
Core Members: Tim Takaro, James Scott, Diana Lefebvre, Michael Brauer, Anita Kozyrskyj, Sharon Dell, Amanda Wheeler, Tedd Konya.

The CHILD Study is particularily interested in exposures relating to the indoor and outdoor environments which will be assessed using multiple tools, including questionnaires, home visit assessments, and home dust sampling for multiple allergens and pollutants. The Environmental Working group works with the National Coordinating Centre and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to develop standard operating procedures for assessments and home dust sampling procedures to support the CHILD study objective of understanding environmental factors involved in allergic diease. Questions related to the child’s and families’ activity will be included in follow-up, gathering information such as time spent in transit, mode of transport, frequency/duration of visits to indoor pools, exposure to wood smoke, etc. Home Dust samples will processed at the  Gage Occupational & Environmental Health Unit, Toronto, Ontario and will subsequently be analyzed for endotoxins, allergens, other environmental TLR ligands and Beta (1,3)-d-glucans. Environmental Tobacco Smoke exposure, and  outdoor air pollution will be assessed and traffic pollutants estimated by modelling.


Psychosocial Working Group

Chair : Greg Miller
Core Members: Edith Chen, Anita Kozyrskyj, Susan Elliott, Diana Lefebvre.

The CHILD Study is interested in exploring psychosocial factors including the mental and physical health of families making the transition to parenthood.  The goal is to better understand the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that families have during this period, and how they come to influence the well-being and health status of their child. The psychosocial working group will recommend validated psychosocial  questionnaires and conduct interviews to meet the objective of understanding why some family experiences might allow some people to remain healthy while others develop a disease, such as asthma or allergies.


Lung Function and Allergy Working Group

Chair : Padamaja Subbarao
Core Members: Allan Becker,  Malcolm Sears,  Diana Lefebvre.

Assessments of lung function and allergies is an important measure in the CHILD study to meet the primary objective of understanding allergic disease in children. This working group will recommend to the National Coordinating centre the times during child development when lung function and allergy skin tests should be performed to assess children’s health status of asthma and allergy. Procedures used for lung function tests will include exhaled nitric oxide to examine lung inflamation,  Infant lung function tests at 3 months and 1 year (in Toronto only), child lung function tests at 3 and 5 years of age in all children, allergy skin prick testing at 1, 3 and 5 years of age, and a methocholine challenge testing at 5 years of age.


Infection Working Group:

Chair : Padmaja Subbarao
Core Members: Padmaja Subbarao, Rick Hegele, Patrick Tang, Stuart Turvey, Diana Lefebvre

A primary focus of this working group is the detailed examination of respiratory infections particularly in the first year of life. All children will have nasal swabs examined at three months and one year, while a sub-cohort in Toronto will be offered more frequent review at the time of developing symptoms suggesting infection.


Nutrition and Endocrine Working Group

Chair : Allan Becker
Core Members: Malcolm Sears, Piush Mandhane, Anita Kozyrskyj,  Sonia Anand, Diana Lefebvre.

Information about mother’s diet during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is important in assessing baby’s nutrition, as well as what the child eats.  The nutrition working group will work in conjunction with the National Coordinating Centre to develop assessment tools and implement food frequency questionnaires for the collection of nutritional information in mothers and children. Breast milk will be collected for subsequent hormone analyses. 


Epidemiology and Statistics Working Group:

Chair : Wendy Lou
Core Members: Malcolm Sears, Allan Becker, PJ Subbarao, Piush, Stuart Turvey

Recruitment data, data collection and management, and subsequent data analysis are complex issues under continuing development and review by this Working Group in liason with all recruitment sites and investigators.


Biological Samples Working Group:

Chair : Dean Befus
Core Members: Theo Moraes (co-Chair), Jean Marshall, Jeff Brook, Jeremy Scott, Joseph Macri, Judah Denburg, Meghan Azad, Russell de Souza, Tobi Kollmann.

Mandate is to review all requests for access to biological samples and make recommendations to the Executive Committee and, if appropriate, to the Publications Committee. Decisions on the use of biological samples take into account of the amount of the stored sample required, the amount in storage and the perceived scientific value of the proposed study.



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Organization Chart


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