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Posted November 5 , 2013


SJU Professor John Rempel receives grant for Saving Brains Program

WATERLOO – St. Jerome’s University is excited to partner on a project with Hanoi’s School of Public Health in Vietnam, involving Psychology professor, Dr. John Rempel. On October 23, 2013, a $270,000 Grand Challenges Canada Saving Brains Program grant was awarded to support the project led by Dr. Tran Bich from Hanoi’s School of Public Health and Dr. Lynn Rempel from Brock University. Professors John Rempel and Lynn Rempel will work alongside Professor Tran Bich and Dr. Dinh Hoa from Hanoi’s School of Public Health in Vietnam to conduct research on mobilizing fathers to be directly involved in the care and nurture of their infants alongside the mother as part of a parenting team and to indirectly enhance infants’ nutritional status by supporting the mother’s exclusive long-term breastfeeding.

The project entitled: Fathers Involvement: Saving Brains in Vietnam, will aim to improve children’s cognitive and emotional development, social skills, and problem-solving skills through increased involvement of fathers in their young children’s lives. Four hundred couples and their children will participate in a number of activities geared towards facilitating the important relationship between father and child.

Research has shown that higher IQs, stronger verbal skills, more academic success, and fewer behavioural problems occur in children when an active father is present. The goal of the Grand Challenges Canada Saving Brains Program “promotes fulfillment of human capital potential by focusing on interventions that nurture brain development in the first 1,000 days of life.” Almost $30 million has been committed to The Saving Brains Program so far, which focuses on unlocking the potential of children through services and policies that protect and nurture early brain development.

Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada and supports “bold ideas with big impact in global health.” Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada, Dr. Peter A. Singer, says “For a wide range of sad, all-too-familiar and preventable reasons, an estimated 200 million children under 5 years old in the world’s 112 low-and middle- income countries will fail to reach their brain’s full development potential.” St. Jerome’s University is proud to be a part of this important research.

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