The Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition is a hub for interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research. Together, our researchers and educators in nutritional sciences, paediatrics, family and community medicine, social determinants of health, behavioural science, anthropology, health policy and knowledge translation are realizing our vision and mission.
Our network of experts is shaping health policies and guidelines, clinical practice, medical and patient education, and private-sector innovations to improve the health of children and families. The University of Toronto’s international collaborations in China, Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Bangladesh, and many other countries help to spread our ideas and impact worldwide.
The Lawson Centre Network
Lawson Centre researchers are affiliated with one or more academic departments at the University of Toronto:
The Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital
The knowledge translation methodologies and population health research of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute help the Lawson Centre translate discovery about the role of children’s nutrition into new models of social and health care, and make recommendations for health care policy and clinical practice reform.
Supported by the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, the Alliance for Human Development provides the institutional umbrella to support research that applies a transdisciplinary focus to improve the health and well-being of children across the life-course. Its mission is to generate new knowledge on the science behind human development, to develop effective interventions to improve maternal and child well-being, and to shape the national and global policy agenda in human development.
With over 200 principal investigators and 1,000 trainees, SickKids Research Institute is Canada’s largest hospital-based, child health research institution. Nearly all SickKids' clinical researchers are appointed in the Department of Paediatrics, with several cross-appointed to Nutritional Sciences, and Family and Community Medicine.
TARGet Kids!, led by Drs. Patricia Parkin, Jonathon Maguire and Catherine Birken, provides helpful insight into the long-term effects of childhood conditions through engagement with primary care doctors. The project is a collaborative study between researchers and physicians that will improve the quality of children’s health as they grow into adulthood by addressing obesity, nutritional deficiencies and developmental problems.
University of Toronto Collaboration
The Lawson Centre builds on existing and new relationships within the U of T community. Our partners include:
- Banting & Best Diabetes Centre
- Dalla Lana School of Public Health
- Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Department of Physiology
- Department of Psychology
- Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management
- Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
- Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation
- Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
- Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
The Lawson Centre’s external partners include governments, civil society partners and the private sector. Collaboration with governments helps align food and nutrition policy with the latest and best evidence. Collaboration with non-governmental organizations and the private sector informs our strategic directions and enables application of the Centre’s findings, for improved nutrition and food security for children and families globally.