A new research space at the University of Calgary officially opened on May 6, dedicated to studying neurodevelopment and child mental health including disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) and autism spectrum. The Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute will be home to researchers, clinician scientists and staff collaborating to better understand, diagnose and treat these conditions.
Nicole Letourneau is one of the lead investigators at the centre, and a University of Calgary professor in the Faculty of Nursing, a research professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, and the Norlien/Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health.
“We have a tremendous opportunity in the Owerko Centre to come together in ways that were not possible before,” she says.
Letourneau’s research focuses on parenting — both its effects and how it can be improved. Her ongoing research includes postpartum depression, the effects of violence in families, and the relationships between parents and their children as it relates to neurological development.
This centre was made possible thanks to a $10-million gift from Calgary philanthropists Stan and Marge Owerko to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation in November 2014, a portion of which was dedicated to the creation of the research space based at the university’s Child Development Centre.