In Profile: Jonathon Maguire

Professor Jonathon Maguire
Professor Jonathon Maguire

Professor Jonathon Maguire’s work centres on the prevention of child health problems through clinical trials and the creation of tools for evidence-informed preventive practice.

Together with his University of Toronto colleagues Patricia Parkin and Catherine Birken, Maguire leads the Applied Research Group for Kids (TARGet Kids!) coordinated by The Hospital for Sick Children and St. Michael’s Hospital. It is the largest primary care research network for children in Canada, which links early life exposures to health problems including obesity, micronutrient deficiencies and developmental problems. By connecting child health researchers, paediatricians and family doctors, children and their parents TARGet Kids! helps to promote research that creates solutions to some of today’s biggest health concerns.

“Thanks to the dedication of children, health care providers and parents, TARGet Kids! generates a wealth of data on early nutrition as it relates to growth and development. This information will be valuable as the Lawson Centre pushes nutrition research forward,” says Maguire.

He oversees two TARGet Kids! research projects: HOLD IT, which assesses health outcomes in children with low vitamin D levels, and DO IT!, which is a randomized trial to determine whether high dose vitamin D supplementation during early childhood can prevent wintertime colds and flu.

Maguire is excited about the opportunity to work with colleagues in the Lawson Centre. “Research in the 21st century needs to be multidisciplinary,” he says. “Knowledge advances in health and health care are more likely to come at the interfaces between disciplines.”