Social Science Research

Autism Care



“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.


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.


“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.


“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.

Social science research examines those aspects of a family’s situation that can have negative or positive influences on child development. A family’s income, the composition of the family, the services and supports available to them, the neighbourhood and community in which they live, their ethnic/cultural background, and their family history are all factors that can influence the outcomes of children with ASD.

Dr. Nick Kates

Dr. Nick Kates' major interests are in social and community psychiatry, quality improvement and redesigning systems of care, global mental health, person- and family-centred care, and innovative approaches to education. He has been a national, provincial, and local leader in linking mental health and primary care services and is a quality improvement advisor to the Hamilton Family Health Team.

Dr. Magdalena Janus

Dr. Magdalena Janus’ main research focus is on investigating individual, family, and community-level determinants of children’s health at the age of school entry, in communities across Canada as well as internationally. Her current research projects include the study of social determinants of health for typically developing children, and children with specific disorders, such as ASD and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and a study of health trajectories from birth to kindergarten.

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. Kathy Georgiades

Dr. Kathy Georgiades’ research seeks to advance our understanding of the social-contextual determinants of child mental illness. Her research maintains a special emphasis on social inequalities, particularly among vulnerable populations, such as immigrant and refugee children, and children exposed to economic and social adversities.

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. Terry Bennett

Dr. Terry Bennett is a child psychiatrist at McMaster Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. She is also 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.

Dr. Ellen Badone

Dr. Ellen Badone is involved in research dealing with the lived experience of ASD. As a medical anthropologist, she uses ethnographic methods and interviews to investigate how individuals with ASD and their families understand and interpret their situations.