Dr. Michael S. Kobor appointed as the Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development

Congratulations to Dr. Michael S. Kobor

Dr. Michael S. Kobor
  has been appointed as the Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development. The Chair has a $6-million endowment that will support research on understanding how early life experiences affect gene expression to influence children’s health and development. Dr. Kobor seeks to understand why some children are affected by illness while others remain healthy.

Dr. Kobor and his team will map the biological trajectories of healthy child development across the population at the molecular level. This will serve as the basis to understand the distinct trajectories of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Furthermore, the molecular child development map will provide a unique knowledge base for evidenced-based interventions. Together, these three arms of the research program will serve as the cornerstones of an interdisciplinary training and mentorship program in child development.

The endowment’s yearly interest will support Dr. Kobor’s research program. It will allow him to set up a new program providing two to three years of specialized training in research methods and projects for five medical residents, clinical and postdoctoral fellows at a time.

The research team will collaborate with investigators at the Human Early Learning Partnership group at the University of British Columbia and with clinical experts at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children at BC Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Kobor is a world-leading expert in the field of social epigenetics. He is holder of the Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics, a scientist at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at BC Children’s Hospital, and he serves as Lead for the Healthy Starts Research Theme at BC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kobor is an investigator with Kids Brain Health Network NCE,  a co-lead of the Gene X Environment Platform of the AllerGen NCE, and a Senior Fellow in the Child and Brain Development Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).

The Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair is made possible thanks to funding from the Leading Edge Endowment Fund  (LEEF), BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Lawson Foundation, the Donald Rix Foundation and the Koerner Foundation.

BC Leadership Chairs are supported by LEEF, which is managed by the BC Innovation Council on behalf of the Government of British Columbia. The fund, created in 2002, was established to promote social and economic development in British Columbia and to strengthen the province’s position as a centre of excellence in research. Using a cost-sharing partnership with the private sector, LEEF helped establish 20 permanent leadership research chairs at public, post-secondary institutions across British Columbia in the areas of medical, social, environmental and technological research.

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