Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou appointed inaugural chair in autism

December 5, 2016

In recognition of her extraordinary contributions towards improving quality of life for children with autism and their families through research and teaching, Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, MD, has been appointed as the inaugural Dr. Stuart D. Sims Chair in Autism.

Dr. Anagnostou is a senior clinician scientist and co-lead of the Autism Research Centre at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto and a founding member of Kids Brain Health's autism research group.

"I am honoured to receive this recognition and excited that it will support further research to expand our knowledge of ASD to help kids and their families thrive," says Anagnostou. "When researchers, families, and health professionals work together, we can be transformative in our efforts to translate findings from the basic sciences into effective treatments for kids with ASD and their families. This chair will help further that vision."

Anagnostou first joined Holland Bloorview in 2008 as a child neurologist and clinician scientist. Her research is centred on how genes affect the brain, body and behaviour with the goal of translating that understanding into new ways and effective treatments to help individuals with autism and associated neurodevelopmental disorders. She is the lead of the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) network and the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Translational Therapeutics in Autism. Anagnostou is also a co-lead of the Autism Treatment Network (Toronto site) focused on providing the best quality care to children with ASD and their families. She received her undergraduate degree from McGill University, completed her neurology training at McGill University in 2003 and postdoctoral fellowship in Autism/Developmental Disabilities at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2005.

"This chair appointment recognizes Dr. Anagnostou as a trail-blazing scientific leader in the field of autism," says Tom Chau, vice president of research at Holland Bloorview. "She has galvanized an international community around better treatments for young people with autism, uniting basic, clinical and health service scientists in an expansive, transdisciplinary, client and family-centred program of research. As the inaugural incumbent, I have no doubt that she will further illuminate a path to discovery, innovation and eventually enhanced quality of life."

"As a family, we are delighted to have been involved with establishing the Autism Chair. Having met Dr. Anagnostou many times, we are impressed with her dedication and commitment to advance her research to benefit children with ASD. We also have been positively impacted by the work done at Holland Bloorview," said Charles Sims.

The Chair is named after Dr. Stuart Sims (1929-2001) who graduated from the University of Toronto and practiced in Toronto as an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. He contributed greatly to medicine and the advancement of care for his patients. The Dr. Stuart D. Sims Chair in Autism is supported by Holland Bloorview and the University of Toronto.

Text from Holland Bloorview Press Release "Anagnostou Named Holland Bloorview Inaugural Autism Chair" Dec. 5, 2016.