Two professors of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences are being honoured for their work by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).

Professor Harriet MacMillan was elected as a fellow, and associate professor Ryan Van Lieshout was selected to join the society’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Two other McMaster professors were also elected as fellows: Narayanaswamy Balakrishnan, a Distinguished University professor of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Bonny Ibhawoh, a professor of history who also holds the Senator William McMaster Chair in Global Human Rights. 

Both MacMillan and Van Lieshout said they were greatly honoured to be named. 

MacMillan is a pediatrician, psychiatrist and scientist who is internationally acclaimed for her research around the prevention of child abuse and intimate partner violence. She has led landmark clinical trials to better enable the identification, prevention and response to violence against women and children.

“I would like to express my deep appreciation to my clinical and research colleagues, whose talent and dedication have made this work possible,” said MacMillan. “This special recognition is important in highlighting family violence as a major public health problem in Canada.”

Ryan Van Lieshout is the Canada Research Chair in the Perinatal Programming of Mental Disorders. His internationally recognized research focuses on how pregnancy and early postpartum exposures impact infant brain development and may increase the risk of psychiatric problems. His research into treatments for intergenerational mental illness has greatly improved the mental health of mothers and their offspring.

 “I am fortunate to have worked with an extraordinary group of staff, students, and research participants who inspired this research and made it possible,” said Van Lieshout.

The Royal Society of Canada, founded in 1882, elects both fellows and members, and presents awards to highlight exceptional achievements. An event that will be both virtual and in-person in Montreal will be held Nov. 19 to celebrate the new members.


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