Gerry Giesbrecht (Alumni) - University of Calgary
|Award Type:||Career Development Award|
|Supervisor(s):||Dr. Deborah Dewey, Dr. Doug Granger|
Dr. Giesbrecht is a clinical and developmental psychologist at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Calgary. He is also an adjunct faculty in the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research at Arizona State University. Dr. Giesbrecht is a registered Psychologist in the province of Alberta and has extensive experience working with children and families. Dr. Giesbrecht’s research program focuses on the psychobiology of stress, and especially on the effects of stress during pregnancy on child development. He is currently studying the effects of risk and resilience factors, such as prenatal nutrition, postnatal caregiving, and temperament on children’s neurodevelopmental outcomes. His research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the SickKids Foundation. He is the lead investigator of the Fetal Programming study, a cohort of 294 women who have been followed since early pregnancy and with whom he conducted intensive assessment of stress physiology. He is a co-investigator of the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) study, a longitudinal cohort of 2200 women and children that focusses on the effects of prenatal nutrition on maternal mental health and child neurodevelopment. The overall objectives of his research program are: to identify the mechanisms by which in utero exposure to maternal stress becomes biologically embedded in children’s development, to identify risk and resilience factors that modify the effects of early life stress exposure on children’s development, and to develop effective intervention and prevention strategies to prevent or reduce the effects of early life stress exposure on children’s development.