Stephen G. Matthews is Professor of Physiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is the Director of Research for the Alliance for Human Development and Associate Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI; Sinai Health System). Professor Matthews received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. He was appointed to the University of Toronto in 1996, and served as Chair of the Department of Physiology 2007-2014.
His research is focused towards understanding how alterations in the fetal environment can affect developmental trajectories leading to permanent modification of neurologic and endocrine function. His recent research has established that the effects of such environmental manipulation can extend across multiple generations. With a focus on epigenetics, his research team is determining the molecular mechanisms by which such ‘programming’ can occur. In a parallel program of study, his group is investigating drug and hormone transport mechanisms in the placenta and fetal brain, with a focus on identifying the impact of infection (including Zika, malaria) and on developing novel treatments that modulate drug transport at these two sites.
Professor Matthews is committed to translating fundamental research. He was founding co-director of the MAVAN program, which follows neurocognitive development in children following adverse early experience, and continues to be involved in a number of large international trials. Indeed, he is now co-leading a landmark study in India (HeLTI) to investigate the impact of preconception, pregnancy, and child interventions on improving child health outcomes. He has published over 200 scientific papers and chapters, is regularly invited to present his work around the world and is involved in a number of international research initiatives.
Keywords: Developmental neuroendocrinology, Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, Fetus, Programming, Behaviour, Endocrinology, Gene-environment interactions, Epigenetics, Drug transport, Multidrug resistance, Placenta, Blood-brain barrier, Hippocampus.
OFFICE OF NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS:
Member of Council: Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI)
Member of Council: International Society of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)
Co-President: DOHaD Canada