Dr. Stephanie Atkinson is a Professor for the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University, and is the past Associate Chair, Research (2006-2014). She is an Associate Member of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, faculty member of the Medical Sciences Graduate Program and serves as Special Professional Staff in McMaster Children's Hospital.
Dr. Atkinson's research program explores the concept that nutrition and disease (or drug) exposures during fetal, neonatal and early childhood life program metabolic regulation that can alter growth and development and risk of adult-onset disease. Current research focuses on determinants of maternal health in pregnancy and the post-partum and the early determinants of obesity, diabetes, and risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in children. Such research includes a prospective, longitudinal birth cohort study and randomized lifestyle intervention trials in pregnancy aimed to benefit immediate health outcomes in mother and child and to reduce chronic disease risk. Clinical research in prematurely born infants, obese children and survivors of pediatric cancers, cystic fibrosis or epilepsy, investigated the effects of disease and/or drug therapy on growth, bone and body composition and how these might be attenuated with nutritional intervention.
Current professional activities include serving as Chair of the Institute Advisory Board for the Institute of Nutrition Metabolism and Diabetes of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and McMaster Centre Leader for the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program - a strategic research training program for all health professionals. Dr. Atkinson is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Maternal, Infant, Child and Youth Research Network (MICYRN) and co-leads the Canadian Birth Cohort Research Network initiative through MICYRN.