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The Impact of Pandemics and Trauma on Childhood Development

An Open Public Panel, in conjunction with the 12th World Congress on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), being held in Vancouver BC, August 27-31, 2022.

All interested people are encouraged to attend. This Panel is free to the general public as well as to all DOHaD Congress participants.

If registered to the DOHaD 2022 congress, please ensure you reserve your spot through your registration portal which you can access here.

For members of the public, to register to attend the free Open Panel ONLY, please click here.

Where: Vancouver Convention Centre, East

When: Sunday August 28, 3pm to 5pm

Sponsor: Fonds de Recherche du Quebec and Remi Quirion OC CQ PhD FRSC, Chief Scientist of Quebec and President of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)


  • Janet Rossant CC FRS, early human development, child health, research funding, research-based changes to government policy
  • Sir Peter Gluckman KNZM FRS, mechanisms of developmental programming, growth, executive brain function, impact and application to public policy, First Nations
  • Senator Stan Kutcher ONS MD FCAHS, early childhood mental health, research informed development of government policies, weaponization of misinformation, First Nations
  • Caroline Quach MD FCAHS, COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination policy and implementation, public health, pediatric health
  • Michael Meaney CM FRSC, maternal and newborn stress, intergenerational aspects, childhood learning and behaviour
  • Tessa Roseboom MD PhD, impact of pandemics, COVID-19, famine, food and water security, health access and inequities, pediatric health
  • Margo Greenwood OC PhD (to be confirmed) is a UNBC Education Professor and Academic leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous health.  She has recently been appointed as interim Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health (IPPH), hosted at UNBC.


Early childhood development is determined by the interaction between our genetic make-up and the environment, all of which includes the  situation and lifestyles of both mother and father before, during and even shortly after pregnancy. Pandemics such as COVID-19, circumstances of famine and poor nutrition, and traumatic events such as warfare have direct and indirect actions on the mother, developing baby, newborn and growing child. These include altered availability and access to food and water, and stress; effects that have impact during pregnancy, in the family setting, and for the newborn and in the crucial early years of life. There are huge inequities in the impact of environmental factors and corresponding discriminations in access to help and treatment. Refugees, migrants, marginalised groups, and Indigenous people are especially susceptible. The impact of such factors are transmitted through several generations. Treatments and societal knowledge are influenced by a lack of sound scientific knowledge and by misinformation, especially through social media. Public health policies are urgently needed to reflect these concerns, both in the short and long terms for the benefit of all sectors in society.