Richard Bazinet and Mackenzie Smith in the lab


Science Guiding Education, Policy And Outreach

Childhood nutrition is essential for human health. Poor nutrition in early years can lead to or compound numerous debilitating conditions. And yet, too many children are eating unhealthy foods, and too many families are left confused about nutrition or unable to access a wholesome diet. 

Research at the Lawson Centre provides the evidence and focus we need to improve child nutrition, in Canada and around the world.

Our scientists bring diverse expertise to child health. They also have strong connections to global networks of other scientists, clinicians, policymakers, politicians, government and NGO workers, and the private sector. Each researcher is affiliated with one of three departments at the University of Toronto: Nutritional SciencesPaediatrics, and Family and Community Medicine, or with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education.

View or search our faculty directory.

Science in the Lawson Centre spans many academic fields to address specific problems in child nutrition.

Centre researchers create and share knowledge in early child development, chronic disease and health. View our faculty directory.

Patient-oriented research led by paediatrician and scientist Jonathon Maguire

Professor Elena Comelli is discovering new links between the gut, good health and chronic disease.

Our scientists are exploring relationships between food policy and nutrition, at home and abroad.

A partnership with the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre to investigate opportunities to increase access to skilled lactation support. 

See how we work with industry, government and other collaborators.

Jan 29, 2024
Researchers in Toronto detected antibodies in breastmilk from roughly half of the people in a COVID-19 positive cohort but less than 5 per cent of routine milk bank donors, who did not have any known exposures to COVID-19.
Jan 19, 2024
Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that palmitic acid, one of the most common fats in human milk, meats and dairy products, is made by the liver and sent to the developing brain when it’s low in the diet.
Dec 20, 2023
The Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition at the University of Toronto has created five fellowships to tackle nutrition education and child health in Canada and globally, with a broad focus on practitioner knowledge, health systems and public health.
Dec 20, 2023
It has been a productive half-year, with achievements that bode well for our efforts on nutrition education, research and policy in 2024, at the Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition.
Dec 1, 2023
The 2023 Food as Medicine Update, recently hosted by the University of Toronto and Unity Health Toronto, drew 300 health-care professionals, researchers and learners interested in the pivotal role of nutrition in patient care.
Sep 29, 2023
Three new faculty members from the University of Toronto have joined the Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition this year, bringing expertise in nutrition, chronic disease and child health, and undertaking innovative research.