Lab News


Congratulations Dr. Meixner!

Dr. Meixner graduated from the Clinical Psychology Program at Ryerson University and completed her master’s and doctorate degree in the Child and Family WISE Lab. She now works as a clinical psychologist at Broadview Psychology in Toronto, ON.

  • The Child and Family WISE Lab is excited to welcome to Irina Osminin as an incoming MA student in the clinical psychology program 
  • Congratulations to Erica Rodrigues and Irina Osminin for obtaining SSHRC funding for the 2021-2022 year


Student Success:

  • All students in the Child and Family WISE Lab have been awarded funding for their research
  • Dr. Karen Milligan and graduate students Tori Ingram and Erica Rodrigues were excited to be awarded the Ryerson’s Innovation Circle Discovery Prize, a funding prize to provide solutions to improve the lives of our city’s and country’s most vulnerable people. The lab plans to use the funding to partner with attachment expert Dr. Mary Dozier and her team to train addiction counsellors working in programs for women who are parenting children aged 6 months to 2 years.  This amazing opportunity will bring expert training to our substance use treatment sector, bridge children’s mental health and adult mental health and addiction services to empower and support family well-being. We look forward to sharing more on this project soon!
    Ryerson Innovation Circle

“In a pitch competition on October 14, the Ryerson Innovation Circle selected From Vulnerability to Possibility: Investing in Mothers to End Intergenerational Cycles of Addiction & Trauma – a research project led by Professor Karen Milligan (top centre) and psychology graduate students Erica Rodrigues and Victoria Ingram (top left and right respectively) – to receive the Ryerson Innovation Circle Discovery Prize.”


Student Success:

  • All students in the Child and Family WISE Lab have been awarded funding for their research


Student Success:

  • All students in the Child and Family WISE Lab have been awarded funding for their research

Annabel Sibalis, Psychological Science PhD student is selected as a recipient of the 2018 Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela

Annabel Sibalis, Psychological Science PhD student, 2018 Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela


She was one of 9 doctoral students to be awarded for having a highly ranked research proposal in five areas championed by Mandela: national unity, democracy, freedom of human rights, leadership, and children’s participation in society.

  • Tamara Meixner, Psychology PhD student, 2017 CIHR Doctoral Award recipient:
Tamara Meixner

Tamara Meixner, Psychology PhD student, 2017 CIHR Doctoral Award recipient and Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement

“Being awarded a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement will allow me to spend summer 2018 at Yale University conducting research alongside Dr. Nancy Suchman and her team. In the United States, Dr. Suchman is a leader in the development and evaluation of attachment-based parenting interventions for mothers with substance use and psychiatric disorders.

“This opportunity to expand and strengthen my clinical research abilities will both facilitate the completion of my ongoing doctoral work here at Ryerson and shape my future thinking and contributions to the field.

“I am grateful for this exciting training endeavour and hope that it will be one of many research partnerships between Ryerson and Yale.​”

Research News:

Dr. Karen Milligan and Dr. Karen Urbanoski, Co-Principal Investigators of the “Healthy Mothers” study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

  • On May 17 2018, 70 service providers and researchers from across Ontario and beyond convened in Toronto for the “Healthy Mothers” Knowledge Sharing Event. At the event, Co-Principal Investigators Drs. Karen Millgan and Karen Urbanoski shared key findings from the “Healthy Mothers” study and Dr. Alice Ordean, Medical Director of the Toronto Centre for Substance Use in Pregnancy (T-CUP) at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, delivered a keynote address, providing insight into the T-CUP program. The afternoon was devoted to break-out sessions focused on 1) inter-sectoral service delivery for pregnant and parenting women, 2) integrated treatment for pregnant and parenting women in the context of an opioid overdose crisis, and 3) intersections between substance use services, parenting programs, and child protection services.

A press release highlights some key findings from the “Healthy Mothers” study, including the finding that; more information about the “Healthy Mothers” study can be found here.


Student Success:

  • All students in the Child and Family WISE Lab have been awarded funding for their research

Research News:

Dr. Milligan and others conversing with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at Dumfries House in Scotland, on October 22, 2017.

In October, 19 international experts working in the area of trauma and disaster convened in Scotland for a 2-day international roundtable to develop a brief intervention to facilitate recovery and enhance resilience in children, adolescents, and families after the experience of a disaster. Dr. Karen Milligan, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Child Self-Regulation Lab, took part on the expert panel. Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Irma, or terrorism events, such as the Manchester Arena bombing, can greatly impact the mental health and well-being of youth, adults, families and communities. Identifying challenges, navigating treatment systems and finding help and support can be challenging, particularly if a youth’s symptoms are not severe enough to warrant a mental health diagnosis. The interventions developed at this roundtable will support and improve access to care for this group of youth.

The roundtable was sponsored by the Prince’s Trust Australia and led by Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health. His Royal Highness, Prince Charles attended part of the roundtable discussion and hosted a reception and dinner for the group. He was exceptionally warm and welcoming and took an active interest in learning about the intervention and its potential for implementation around the world.

Phoenix Australia is now taking a lead on developing the protocol for intervention and once funding is secured pilot its implementation. Dr. Milligan and the other roundtable participants, representing Australia, Norway, Germany, the US and the UK, expressed excitement about continuing to consult on this important project and continuing their involvement in evaluating and supporting its implementation once it is shown to be feasible and effective.