Steven P. Miller


Contact via Hospital for Sick Children


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Recent Research Projects

CHILD-BRIGHT: Child Health Initiatives Limiting Disability- Brain Research Improving Growth and Health Trajectories

2015/16-2020/21 • $12,760,751 • PI,Other
The CHILD-BRIGHT network will achieve brighter futures for children with brain-based developmental disabilities (BDD) and their families by creating novel interventions to optimize development, promote healthy outcomes, and deliver responsive and supportive services across the life-course. Our...

Analgesia and Sedation in the Preterm Neonate: Brain Development and Outcome

2014/15-2020/21 • $1,123,411 • PI,CO
Being born too early (preterm) is one of the leading causes of major disability. Babies born preterm often develop motor, language and learning problems, and frequently do poorly at school. Very preterm babies are often critically ill, and are cared for in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)...

Cardiovascular Physiology and Brain Development In Newborns with Congenital Heart Disease

2015/16-2020/21 • $998,721 • PI,CO
Impairments in development and behaviour are common in infants born with heart defects and pose a significant burden on the child, family, and society. We now know that the immature brain is extremely fragile, especially during the last few weeks of pregnancy when there is a period of rapid...

Using Brain Imaging to Determine Predictors of Developmental Coordination Disorder and Response to Intervention

2015/16-2020/21 • $835,311 • PI,Other
My research career emerged from 20 years' work as an occupational therapist helping children to adapt to developmental challenges. Some children had difficulties with activities like tying shoes, printing or playing games. Each class usually had at least one such child, who was often described...

Stress, Brain and Neurodevelopment in Children Born Preterm

2018/19-2020/21 • $713,153 • PI,CO
In Canada, as in other high resource countries, preterm birth (<37 weeks gestation) is the most important cause of disability. Among children born preterm >50% show significant developmental problems (cognitive, attention, behaviour, social, motor, academic) impacting family and society. While...

Healthy brain growth in preterm children for optimal function: do males and females differ?

2020/21 • $227,588 • PI,CO
In Canada and around the world, babies born too early (preterm) are at high risk of brain injuries that lead to developmental disabilities. Newborn brain injury was once considered a single event with fixed consequences. Our work is changing how we think about brain injury in preterm babies. We...

Stepping up to COVID-19: Examining a virtual mental health stepped care approach to addressing needs of at-risk children and families

2020/21 • $200,000 • PI,CO,Other
COVID-19 has necessitated unprecedented quarantine policies that have caused increased stress and uncertainty among Canadian families. At a time when most research is focused on the virus itself, the importance of rapid action in providing and evaluating targeted virtual family mental health...

In-Utero Determinants of Preterm Brain Health

2018/19-2020/21 • $101,667 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Although survival rates of preterm babies have improved in recent decades, prematurity, which means being born before 37 weeks, remains a leading cause of childhood disability. In preterm babies, brain development is often compromised, leading to the later disability. Our overall objective is to...

Innovative National Strategies for Patient-Oriented Research Education / Stratégies Nationales Innovantes pour l'Éducation en Recherche axée sur le Patient (INSPIRE)

2020/21 • $41,667 • PI,CO,Other
INSPIRE aims to support meaningful and sustainable capacity development in the broader Canadian patient-oriented research (POR) community by enabling and supporting the capacity development and career paths of stakeholders and community members in an innovative, systematic and personalized...

Evolving Behavioral Phenotype in Children Born Very Preterm: Brain, Stress Regulation and Parenting

2020/21 • $41,667 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Children born very preterm are at high risk for behavior problems including inattention and social difficulties, placing enormous burdens on family, school and community. Wide variation is seen in behavior outcomes and problem severity, even in children born at the same range of prematurity but...

Cognitive outcome in children born very preterm; longitudinal measures of brain structure & function from birth

2014/15-2019/20 • $821,701 • PI,CO
Every year in Canada more than 4,000 babies are born premature, 2 months or more before their due date. At least half of these preterm babies will have academic and behavioural problems when they start school, which is a concern for families, the education and health care systems. We have...

Structural and functional brain connectivity in typical and atypical development

2014/15-2019/20 • $702,933 • PI,CO
Physical connections between areas of the brain are essential for communication among brain regions. Such brain network communication plays a critical role in abilities such as memory and language. Little is known, however, about how physical connections and communication among brain areas...

Brain development following late onset intrauterine growth restriction

2016/17-2019/20 • $550,440 • PI,CO
Diseased placentas lead to small babies who reach milestones like learning to walk and talk later than those babies with normal placentas. However, the best time to deliver babies with mild placental dysfunction remains controversial, as we do not know whether earlier delivery would improve...

Optimizing Mothers' Milk for Preterm Infants

2013/14-2018/19 • $1,999,675 • PI,CO
In Canada, the leading cause of infant death and disability is preterm birth. Preventing nutritional deficiencies and provision of mothers' milk are critical in mitigating the consequences of preterm birth in three important areas: (1) brain and physical development, (2) growth and body...

Neurological Outcome of Hypoglycemia in Neonatal Encephalopathy

2014/15-2018/19 • $703,747 • PI,CO
Brain injury in the newborn infant is one of the most significant causes of neurological and developmental deficits in Canadian children. Causes for early signs of distress in a newborn often include inadequate blood and oxygen delivery to the brain and other metabolic disturbances such as low...

Early childhood behavior: Relations to early brain structure/function and maternal mood

2011/12-2016/17 • $1,139,616 • PI,CO
Mothers' mood disorders during pregnancy and the antidepressant medicines used to treat them appear to have effects on the developing baby and may contribute to childhood behavioral disturbances. The reasons that some children are affected and others are not remains unclear. In earlier work, we...

Trajectories of Brain Development and Neurocognitive Outcomes in Children born Preterm

2011/12-2015/16 • $1,171,869 • PI,CO
In Canada preterm birth is the most important cause of infant death, illness and disability. Children born very early are at very high risk for developmental delays. This risk is increasing over time. In the first phase of our research program, we identified common patterns of brain injury and...

CHILD-BRIGHT: Child Health Initiatives Limiting Disability- Brain Research Improving Growth and Health Trajectories

2014/15 • $50,000 • PI,Other
Each year in Canada more than 1 in 10 newborns are born preterm or with heart disease. These conditions lead to chronic disease with life-long impact. These newborns begin their lives in a neonatal intensive care unit followed by life-long interaction with the health-care system for chronic...

Abnormal Brain Development in Newborns with Congenital Heart Disease

2010/11-2013/14 • $647,840 • PI,CO
Heart birth defects are of the most common birth defects diagnosed in Canada, affecting 1 in 100 newborns each year. Impairments in motor and cognitive development are common in children born with heart birth defects and pose significant burdens on the child, family and society. These...

Impact of neonatal pain, brain microstructure, stress and maternal factors on internalizing behavior at age 18 months in children born very preterm

2012/13-2013/14 • $105,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Every year, approximately 8% of infants in Canada are born very preterm (<32 weeks gestation). Advances in medical technologies have allowed the majority of these infants to survive, however their long-term developmental outcomes, including problems with behavior, have not improved. As part of...

Stress and neurodevelopment in children born preterm

2010/11-2012/13 • $392,257 • PI,CO
Neurodevelopmental problems in learning, attention, executive function, and behaviour are common in children born preterm, leading to a substantial burden of suffering in school and family life. Little is known about the etiology or mechanisms which underlie these problems, particularly in...

Neonatal Neuroscience

2010/11-2012/13 • $175,000 • PI
Dr Steven Miller uses powerful magnets to help tiny babies. His work is tackling the problem of when and why brain injury occurs in premature and critically ill newborns. He wants to find out how these injuries can be prevented and to provide answers to the question posed by parents every day in...

Abnormal Brain Development in Premature Newborns: Risk Factors and Neurodevelopmental Outcome

2010/11 • $132,227 • PI,CO
Neurodevelopmental impairments are common in newborns delivered prior to term age and result in a large burden of long-term disability. White matter injury, abnormal brain development and systemic illness are interrelated abnormalities that commonly follow preterm birth and may lead to adverse...

Abnormal Brain Development In Premature Newborns: Risk Factors and Neurodevelopmental Outcome.

2010/11 • $35,000 • PI
Neurodevelopmental impairments are common in newborns delivered prior to term age and result in a large burden of long-term disability. White matter injury, abnormal brain development and systemic illness are interrelated abnormalities that commonly follow preterm birth and may lead to adverse...

Patents