Epidemiology & Statistical Modelling

Autism Care

Research
Education
Community
Policy

Research

“Future research needs to focus not only on the biological markers of ASD but also include data about functioning, participation, and environmental barriers and facilitators.”

Dr. Olaf Kraus de Camargo  //  Developmental Pediatrician

 

MacART is laying the foundation for creating a systematic way of linking scientific research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at McMaster University to clinical practice at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

The physical proximity of McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, and McMaster University has a number of characteristics that provides the rare opportunity for collaborative research. Taking advantage of existing university and clinical infrastructure and cross-appointments for clinicians at the university, ASD experts from these organizations are coming together to integrate ASD research into clinical practice.

The focus of MacART members’ research is in the areas of basic science, clinical practice, clinical research, epidemiology and statistical modelling, knowledge translation and exchange, and social science research. By promoting the collaboration of stakeholders across disciplines, MacART is reducing barriers to implementing research in clinical practice, with the goal of advancing autism care through meaningful research.

Learn more about our research HERE.

Education

MacART members are now supervising more than 50 research trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, and are engaged in the mentoring of junior and intermediate faculty members.

In the future, we intend to establish research and clinical training programs for students in McMaster’s undergraduate medical, health sciences, and psychology programs, and for residents and fellows in Pediatrics and Psychiatry.

By training and mentoring emerging researchers and practitioners, we will help to solidify their understanding of and commitment to using basic science to inform their clinical practice, and to use their clinical experience to help formulate research questions. It is our belief that involving these learners in MacART educational activities will promote their use of practices that advance autism care through meaningful research.

Community

“Our scientists are working collaboratively with local clinicians to generate the evidence needed to improve autism services. This symposium is a great example of McMaster’s community engagement efforts.”

Dr. Patrick Deane // President & Vice-Chancellor // McMaster University

 

The community engagement component of MacART strives to work with stakeholders and involve them as partners in every step of the research process.  By doing so, the questions that drive research begin to change. They become more meaningful because they address the real day-to-day challenges faced by children and their families, and the clinicians supporting them.

MacART aims to increase participation and involvement of members of the McMaster and Hamilton communities in the research process. With community members driving the research, new and relevant knowledge can be produced to bridge the research-to-practice gap in ASD and advance autism care through meaningful research.

Policy

“People whose lives are connected to the challenge of autism can share knowledge – from clinicians to educators to parents – and what an amazing opportunity that is. We have a real opportunity to translate challenges into research, and research into practice that will help families living with autism.”

Rob MacIsaac  //  President & CEO // Hamilton Health Sciences

 

Policies should be created using the best available evidence that make positive impacts on the lives of individuals with ASD, along with their families.

MacART’s founder, Stelios Georgiades, serves on both federal and provincial advisory committees about ASD treatment funding.  Along with the wide-ranging expertise of its many ASD experts, MacART is set to act as a highly credible source of evidence-based information to influence and inform public policy about the provision and funding of ASD diagnosis, treatment, and family supports.

MacART will continue to find ways to collaborate with policymakers to both learn more about the policymaking process, and to contribute our expertise and knowledge to inform policymaking, in order to advance autism care through meaningful research.

Epidemiology is the study of how many people in a given population have a specific condition, what factors are related to its cause, and what treats or controls it. A statistical model is a representation of reality using numbers and other data derived from research. Models can be used to simulate reality.  By changing a model using different characteristics, different outcomes for children with ASD could be predicted.

Ayesha Siddiqua

Ayesha Siddiqua is a PhD candidate in the Health Research Methodology Program in Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact. For her PhD thesis, Ayesha is exploring the association between neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage and developmental outcomes of children with ASD at neighbourhood and provincial/territorial levels using multilevel modeling. Her research interests include big data analytics, modifiable determinants of health, health services evaluation, health economics, and health policy development.

Dr. Paul McNicholas

Paul McNicholas is the (Tier 1) Canada Research Chair in Computational Statistics at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University. His research is in classification and clustering of big, or otherwise tricky, data types. 

Dr. Peter Szatmari

Dr. Peter Szatmari is a clinician-scientist and an international ASD expert. He has made significant contributions to the field in many areas including diagnosis, measurement, and longitudinal development – all of which led to significant changes in our understanding of ASD as well as the classification of ASD in both the DSM-IV and DSM-5. He was a co-leader of the Autism Genome Project and leads the national Pathways in ASD study. He is the founding Director of the Canadian Autism Intervention Research Network, a patient-oriented research network in early intervention in ASD.

Dr. Guillaume Paré

Dr. Guillaume Paré is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, with a joint appointment in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. He is Director of the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory, as well as Deputy Director of the Clinical Research Laboratory and Biobank for Hamilton Health Sciences.  Dr. Paré holds the Canada Research Chair in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology, as well as the CISCO Professorship in Integrated Health Biosystems.

Dr. Stelios Georgiades

Dr. Stelios Georgiades is the Co-Director of the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART), and he is also the Co-Founder of the Child Health Specialization in the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program at McMaster University. Dr. Georgiades’ research examines issues related to the developmental trajectories as well as the clinical and biological heterogeneity in neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly ASD. Dr. Georgiades’ research also explores issues related to inequalities in families affected by ASD.

Dr. Eric Duku

Dr. Eric Duku is a member of the Pathways in ASD research team and has expertise in applied statistical and research methodologies, including the analysis of complex survey data and school-based survey research. Dr. Duku’s current research interests include measurement/ methodological challenges and determinants of inequalities in early child development, with particular interests in ASD, healthy child developmental status at school entry, and school-based mental health research.

Dr. Joseph Beyene

Dr. Joseph Beyene’s interests are in the areas of systematic reviews/meta-analyses, predictive modelling, health technology assessment, and clinical research. Additionally, he is highly interested in exploring the genetic factors relevant to illness and behaviour. His current work focuses on applications of statistical techniques in genetics, pediatric early warning systems, pain management in infants at risk for neurological impairment, and development of statistical methods for genomic data.

Dr. Terry Bennett

Dr. Terry Bennett, the Co-Director and clinical lead of MacART, is a child psychiatrist at McMaster Children’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. She is also the McMaster lead investigator of novel ASD medications, and the McMaster co-lead of the Pathways in ASD study.  Her clinical and research interests include child mental health, neurodevelopmental disabilities, preschool mental health, and the interface between children’s environments, social development, and mental health.