Stephen Matthews, PhD

Dr. Stephen G. Matthews is a Professor of Physiology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Medicine at the University of Toronto and Director of Research at the Alliance for Human Development, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Professor Matthews received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, and was appointed to the University of Toronto in 1996. He served as Chair of the Department of Physiology from 2007-2014. He holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Early Development and Health and was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2019.

His research is focused towards understanding how the fetal environment affects developmental trajectories leading to modified neurologic and endocrine function. He has established that the effects of certain fetal exposures 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 developing novel treatments to protect the fetus.

He has secured over $25M in research funding, published over 200 full papers and has received more than 220 invitations to lecture around the world. He has won a number of research awards including the 2012 Presidents’ Achievement Award from the Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI) , and the 2014 Cannell Memorial Lectureship in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He has also won teaching awards including the 2013 W.T. Aikins Award for Teaching Innovation. Professor Matthews has served on Editorial Boards of several Journals including Endocrinology and Journal of Neuroendocrinology. He has chaired CIHR peer-review panels and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the CIHR Institute for Human Development Child and Youth Health. He is a member of Council for DOHaD International and SRI and is President-Elect of the latter. In 2015, he co-founded DOHaD Canada where he is now elected President.

Professor Matthews is committed to translating fundamental research. He was founding co-director of the MAVAN program, which followed neurocognitive development in children following adverse early experience. He is currently co-leading a large pregnancy intervention study (HeLTI) in India focused towards improving maternal, infant and child health.