Clinical Pillar

Clinical Research Co-Leads: Brandy Wicklow and Allan Becker

Clinical Researchers: Allison Dart, Andrew Halayko, Elinor Simons, Elizabeth Sellers, Garry Shen, James Davie, Margaret Morris, Meghan Azad, Richard Keijzer, Vern Dolinsky

Clinical research is a branch of healthcare science that determines the safety and effectiveness (efficacy) of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use. These may be used for prevention, treatment, diagnosis or for relieving symptoms of a disease. Clinical research is different from clinical practice. 

A prospective longitudinal birth cohort study

CHILD researchers are actively following the Study participants over time as they grow and develop—from mid-pregnancy into childhood and adolescence.


CHILD is designed this way so it can collect information at time points that are considered to be especially critical to the health and development of children.

By following the children prospectively as they grow, as opposed to retrospectively (looking back), CHILD researchers are able to more accurately learn about how different early-life exposures relate to health and disease outcomes.


CHILD Study findings will influence medical practice, parenting choices, consumer product regulation and policy development—from building codes and household purchasing behaviours to decisions about childbirth and delivery, diet , breastfeeding, cleaning products used in homes, owning a family pet and dealing with stress.


CHILD is the largest multidisciplinary, longitudinal, population-based birth cohort study in Canada and is designed to be one of the most informative studies of its kind in the world.

To watch video explaining the CHILD study, click here.

To see CHILD in the news, click here.


Improving renal complications in adolescents with type 2 diabetes through research

The iCARE study was designed to address the extremely high rates of early kidney damage in youth with type 2 diabetes.


This study has recently expanded to include national cohorts, and the revised objects are;

  • Characterize the primary bio-psycho-social (BPS) risk factors associated with prevalent and progressive albuminuria,

  • Determine individual, family and community level factors that influence biological and psychological risk factors and behaviours (adherence) that could be modified to protect against prevalent and progressive albuminuria,

  • Determine if systemic renal inflammation is the common pathway through which BPS risk factors lead to albuminuria in youth with type 2 diabetes. 

iCARE has a Participant Advisory Group (PAG) which has become integral to the iCARE study. Made up of adolescents and caregivers living with type 2 diabetes, this advisory group has contributed to the methodology and data collection of the study by introducing the importance of collecting mental health data and how this information could be captured within the study. Identifying shame, isolation and stigma as barriers towards self-management, mental health has been recognized as an important priority within iCARE.


NextGEN started in 2003 when the doctor’s at the children’s diabetes clinic noticed that the children born to parents with childhood-onset type 2 diabetes were also developing type 2 diabetes but at a younger age than their parents. The average age of diagnosis in this study is 12 years, with the youngest child diagnosed at the age of 6.


NextGEN’s goal is to figure out why children are developing type 2 diabetes and to stop this from happening in the future. We want to follow all pregnant women from Indigenous backgrounds throughout their pregnancy and follow their children annually to screen them early for type 2 diabetes. This screening is not usually done during a regular nurse or doctor visit. All the results we receive for each child are explained to the parent/guardian and sent to them for their records.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects 30% of overweight adolescents and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.


The current project is designed as a 30-day pilot trial to demonstrate proof of principle of resveratrol in the population to determine the effect size of the intervention on hepatic steatosis and whole body insulin sesnsitivity, and to determine the effectiveness, safety, tolerability and feasability for a larger trial.


The primary objective is to evaluate a twice daily supplementation of resveratrol for safety and tolerability in an overwight and obese adolescent population with NAFLD.


Secondary objectives are to evaluate efficacy of resveratrol for reduction of fatty liver and cardiac triglyceride content, as well as whole body insulin resistance and lipid metabolism in overweight and obese adolescents with NAFLD.


We also want to evaluate the effects of resveratrol on cardiac function and morphology, serum markers of inflammation, and anthropometirc measures in this population.