When children do well, we all do well: Insight from the CPHA Conference Hertzman Dialogue Session

HELP, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHR-IPPH) organized a panel session entitled The early years - Health Equity from the Start at Public Health 2014, the Annual Conference of the Canadian Public Health Association, which took place from May 26-29th, 2014 in Toronto. The session was one of several events planned this year in memory of Clyde Hertzman as part of New Frontiers in Population Health toward Equity from the Start: Dialogues inspired by Clyde Hertzman. The information below is the final article from this session.

Jean Clinton, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University

Dr. Clinton grounded her presentation in Dr. Hertzman’s work for the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health Report, “Closing the Gap in a Generation,” Chapter 5 “Equity from the Start,” and expressed the need to invest in upstream interventions that promote early childhood development (ECD), as the evidence suggests ECD is itself a determinant of health. She discussed the concepts of biological embedding and monitoring and measurement.

Biological embedding refers to the activation or silencing of gene expression based on early life experiences that persist ...

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Fiona Stanley's IHDL Conference presentation now online

The International Health Data Linkage Conference, which took place April 28-30, 2014, has posted presentations to the IHDL Conference website, including slides and video of Professor Fiona Stanley’s plenary session and Clyde Hertzman Memorial Lecture, Science with a Soul: Data to Action for Healthy Child Development. Please visit to view.

Registration update: Population Monitoring as a Strategy for Improved Early Child Development: progress and new challenges

This lecture has been rescheduled for May 1, 2014. The event is part of the New Frontiers in Population Health toward Equity from the Start: Dialogue Series inspired by and in memory of Dr. Clyde Hertzman.  The cross-Canada series commemorates Dr. Clyde Hertzman and his contributions to the field of population health.

Fiona Stanley is a Professor at the School of Paediatrics and Child Health, at the University of Western Australia.  She is the founding Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Australia.  A distinguished researcher trained in maternal and child health epidemiology and public health, Professor Stanley has spent her career researching the causes of major childhood illnesses and advocating for the needs of children and their families. She was a friend and colleague of Dr. Clyde Hertzman. 

Professor Stanley’s presentation will touch on the impact and legacy of Dr. Hertzman’s research and leadership in developing large scale child development monitoring systems around the world.

Please note: Due to scheduling conflicts with the presenter the date for this event has changed to Thursday May 1, 2014. All those who previously registered and still wish to attend are asked to re-register.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 ...

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Clyde Hertzman Legacy Fund

A Clyde Hertzman Legacy Fund has been established to continue Dr. Hertzman's vision of thriving children and families.  The Fund will support community initiatives and research that strengthen children's social and emotional development.

To donate online:

Donate by phone: 604 827 4111

Send a Tribute of Remembrance

Dr. Hertzman’s family and everyone here at HELP would like to thank friends, colleagues, community partners and supporters who have shared their condolences, kind words, and memories of Clyde. We are gathering these tributes to create a collection of remembrances honouring his life and work. Please visit the Remember Clyde Hertzman memorial page to submit your contribution and to read the condolences and memories shared by others.

The Gen Squeeze Campaign Remembers Dr. Clyde Hertzman

Paul Kershaw shares his memories of his friend and colleague, Clyde Hertzman.

Dr. Clyde Hertzman

It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Dr. Clyde Hertzman.  Clyde’s influence in the fields of early child development, population health and epidemiology has been significant within B.C., nationally and internationally.

We have lost a dear friend, an inspiration to all of us and a leader whose shoes can never be filled. Our thoughts are with his family, Marcy, Eric, Emily, Amos, his mother Eileen, and his brother Owen.

We are gathering tributes to create a collection of remembrances honouring Dr. Hertzman's life and work. We welcome your contributions.

Clyde Hertzman to receive Order of Canada

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced today 91 new appointments to the Order of Canada. HELP is pleased to share that Dr. Clyde Hertzman will be appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to population health and early childhood development in Canada and abroad.

Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the centrepiece of the Canadian Honours System, and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.

For more information on the Canadian Honours System, including the Order of Canada, please visit the Governor General's website.


RSC and CAHS Expert Panel on Early Childhood Development releases report outlining importance of early years

In an effort to advance public discussion on the role of early adversity in shaping adolescence and young adulthood, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) gathered an Expert Panel on Early Childhood Development. The Panel, chaired by Prof. Michel Boivin, FRSC, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Child Development, at Université Laval, and Dr. Clyde Hertzman, FRSC, Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership and Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at The University of British Columbia, was mandated to consider a large body of scientific evidence that, if summarized for the public, would be helpful to their consideration of the issues surrounding early childhood development.

The Expert Panel is pleased to announce the release of its report, The Royal Society of Canada & The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Expert Panel: Early Childhood Development, outlining an emerging science, which integrates genetics, epigenetics, neuroscience and developmental science, and that will transform our knowledge of early development by providing a deeper understanding of how the environment and biology jointly influence development over the life course.

The report is a consensus document based on the following two questions:

1. Are there identifiable ...

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Heart-Mind Learning: Helping Children Rise to the Challenges of the 21st Century with Dr. Clyde Hertzman

Dr. Clyde Hertzman, Director of UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), will explore the critical early years of child development and how Heart-Mind learning can play an integral role in children being happy, healthy and capable in all facets of their lives.

Dr. Hertzman takes a population-based approach to explaining child development and he will be sharing some exciting new insights about how parents, educators, practitioners and others can make sense of children’s Heart-Mind well-being.

When: November 22
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: SFU Segal Graduate School of Business

This presentation is part of The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education’s Educating the Heart Series. To learn more and to buy tickets, please visit the Dalai Lama Center's website.

HELP Faculty featured in latest PNAS edition

HELP is excited to announce that the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) features a number of studies from Dr. Tom Boyce and his research colleagues, including Dr. Marla B. Sokolowski and former Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellow (HELP), Dr. Jelena Obradović . Dr. Clyde Hertzman is also featured in this edition.  Highlights are included below.

Boyce, W. T., Obradović, J., Bush, N. R., Stamperdahl, J., Kim, Y. S., & Adler, N. (2012). Social stratification, classroom climate, and the behavioral adaptation of kindergarten children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Boyce, W. T., Sokolowski, M. B., & Robinson, G. E. (2012). Toward a new biology of social adversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Burns, J. G., Svetec, N., Rowe, L., Mery, F., Dolan, M. J., Boyce, W. T., & Sokolowski, M. B. (2012). Gene-environment interplay in Drosophila melanogaster: Chronic food deprivation in early life affects adult exploratory and fitness traits. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Hertzman, C. (2012). Putting the concept of biological embedding in historical perspective. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ziol-Guest, K. M., Duncan, G. J., Kalil, A ...

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HELP Fall Expo 2012 Trailer and Keynote Preview

Join us on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 for HELP's Fall Research Expo 2012!

Last year’s Research Exposition connected the dots across the first 10 years of HELP’s research. This year, we will focus on the future, highlighting emerging child development research at HELP. We will highlight:

  • The Middle Years Development Instrument in British Columbia
  • Child Development Trajectories: Looking Forward to the Future
  • Monitoring Rights in Early Childhood

The full day event will comprise of a morning keynote session, hosted by Dr. Clyde Hertzman, which will explore the three research streams. It will continue with a number of afternoon workshops on HELP research topics, offering participants an opportunity to examine the research streams in more depth, exchange ideas and build skills.

Register Now! | Visit our events page for more information

The Early Years – Everyone’s Issue Event

“The Early Years – Everyone’s Issue”, is relevant to the lives of all people, regardless of whether they have children, are dealing with daycare problems, all day kindergarten, are grandparents or childless.  Research supports that early childhood development and learning, which has a significant impact on health, learning and productivity in later life, can be enhanced through appropriate day care experiences and quality pre-school.

When: April 1, 2012, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Where: The University Women’s Club of Vancouver at Hycroft, 1489 McRae Avenue, Vancouver BC

Speaker: Dr. Clyde Hertzman

Co-sponsors: UWCV and CFUW, BC Council, Child Care Committee.

Register by March 28, 2012: or 604-731-4661 or online at

Early Child Development — Setting Them Up For Life with Prof. Adele Diamond and Prof. Clyde Hertzman

Canadian researchers are world leaders in helping parents understand how to reduce the number of diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cut school dropout rates and slash the incidence of crime and drug addiction. By better understanding the dynamics of early childhood development, researchers hope to boost academic achievement and prevent children from experiencing serious problems later in life.

Speakers Adele Diamond, UBC Department of Psychiatry and Clyde Hertzman, Human Early Learning Partnership, UBC, are two of Canada’s top thinkers in the area of child development, will present their latest work and discuss what parents, families and caregivers can learn from current, cutting-edge research in this area.

This event is free and open to the public thanks to sponsorship from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the University of British Columbia.

When: Wednesday, February 8
Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m., including Q&As and refreshments
Location: UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street
Room: Plaza Lounge
Parking and directions

For more information, email or call 613-943-5346.

Now online: Presentations from the December 2011 Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia of the National Academy of Sciences

Entitled Biological Embedding of Early Social Adversity: From Fruit Flies to Kindergarters, the Sackler Colloquia focused on socioeconomic position as the single most powerful determinant of health and development within every human society on earth. Rapidly accumulating evidence suggests that differential exposure to early childhood adversities contributes strongly to the observed social disparities in mental and physical health, cognitive and socioemotional development, and lifetime educational and economic attainment. Studies in a broad array of species, ranging from invertebrates to human and nonhuman primates, are elucidating fundamental mechanisms by which social stratification is induced and maintained and by which socially partitioned adversities are transduced into neurobiological and genomic processes. Using new developmental neurogenomic approaches, science is poised to finally understand why disease, disorder and developmental misfortune are so unevenly distributed within human populations. This colloquium convened a world class, cross disciplinary assembly of basic, biomedical, and social scientists to explore the biological embedding of early social adversity across multiple species, from fruit flies to human kindergartners.

Speakers included Clyde Hertzman, Tom Boyce, Janet Werker, Michael Kobor and many others. See HELP researcher presentation below and visit the Sackler Colloquia's YouTube Channel to view the other presentations.

The Arthur M. Sackler ...

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Save the Date: January 12, 2012

HELP is excited to announce the International Child Rights Monitoring Symposium, to take place on January 12, 2012 from 9am to 12pm. Join us for an introduction to, and demonstration of, a new Child Rights Monitoring tool, developed by HELP and international partners including the UNICEF and the World Health Organization. The symposium will feature Dr Clyde Hertzman, Director, HELP, and Dr Ziba Vahgri, Director, International Research & Initiatives Program, HELP. This event will be of interest to all child rights stakeholders.

Registration will be available soon.  In the mean time, please save the date in your calendar

2011 Fall Research Exposition Event Summary

Thank you for participating in HELP’s Fall Research Exposition: 10 Years of Insight - Connecting the Dots. The day was a great success. This page is intended to provide you with access to resources that will help you continue this important work in your own community. Please click here for a PDF of the agenda from this event.

Video Recordings

The 'Cell to Society' Approach to Early Child Development

Dr. Clyde Hertzman, Director, HELP

What the Genes Remember: The New Epigenetics of Early Life

Dr. W. Thomas Boyce, Professor, HELP and CCCHR

Does Canada Work for All Generations?

Dr. Paul Kershaw, Associate Professor, CFIS, HELP

International Dialogue (Session 1): How to Put Research into Action in Communities

Dr. Joan Lombardi, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services
Anne Hanning, Indigenous Researcher and National Coordinator, Australian Early Development Index
Tracy Smyth, Community Facilitator, Alberni Valley Make Children First Network


Dr. Jennifer E.V. Lloyd
Early experiences matter: Lasting effect of concentrated disadvantage on children’s language and cognitive outcomes (PDF)

Dr. Brenda Poon and the Early Childhood Screening Research and Evaluation Unit
Early Childhood Screening Research and Evaluation (PDF ...

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Three new HELP videos

Watch the three new short videos of Clyde Hertzman, Tom Boyce and Paul Kershaw discussing their work and its importance.

Dr. Hertzman presents HELP's cell to society research model used to explore early childhood development. Dr. Boyce discusses how the stresses and adversities of growing up in socio-economically disadvantaged environments get inside us and affect the biology that determines lifelong metal and physical illness. Finally, Dr. Kershaw explains why it is in everyone's interest to shape public policy to support young families with children.

Clyde Hertzman

Tom Boyce

Paul Kershaw