Epidemiology & Statistical Modelling

Autism Care



“Future research needs to focus not only on the biological markers of autism 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 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, autism experts from these organizations are coming together to integrate autism 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 autism 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 Autistic individuals, along with their families.

MacART’s founder, Stelios Georgiades, serves on both federal and provincial advisory committees about autism supports/service funding. Along with the wide-ranging expertise of its many autism 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 autism diagnosis, services, 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 Autistic children could be predicted.

Dr. Elisabetta Trinari

Dr. Elisabetta Trinari is a Developmental Pediatrician and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, at McMaster University. She holds a master's in Health Research Methodology and her clinical and research interests are evidence synthesis and clinical trials in Autism, patients with dual diagnosis, and neurogenetic syndromes associated with developmental disabilities.

Dr. Yun-Ju (Claire) Chen

Yun-Ju (Claire) Chen is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, under the supervision of Dr. Stelios Georgiades. Her research interests centre around applying cutting-edge quantitative methodology (e.g., structural equation modeling, clustering, item response theory) to improve early detection of Autism and to better understand the heterogeneous manifestations of Autism over time, as well as its differentiation from other developmental disorders during childhood.

Lorraine Hoult

Lorraine Hoult is a Clinical Psychometrist at the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre in the Autism Program.  Her clinical and research interests include genetics of autism, predictors of treatment response and outcome, risks of premature birth, provincial and federal policies, Autism program development and evaluation.  

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqua

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqua completed her PhD in the Health Research Methodology Program in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University. For her PhD thesis, Dr. Siddiqua conducted a pan-Canadian study examining the association between neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage and developmental outcomes of Autistic children at neighbourhood and provincial/territorial levels using diverse analysis methods, including multilevel modeling.

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 Autism 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 Autism as well as the classification of Autism 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.

Dr. Stelios Georgiades

Dr. Stelios Georgiades is the Founder and Co-Director of the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART), the Director of the Offord Centre for Child Studies, the inaugural holder of the McMaster Children's Hospital Chair in Autism and Neurodevelopment, and 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 and Autism. Dr.

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 Autism, 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 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.