Psychiatrist in Chief
Department of Psychiatry
Neurosciences & Mental Health
Starting March 1, 2013, Dr. Peter Szatmari assumed the combined position of Chief, Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and The Hospital for Sick Children (Psychiatrist in Chief) as well as Director of the Division of Child and Youth Mental Health at the University of Toronto. Szatmari holds the Patsy and Jamie Anderson Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health.
Szatmari has made significant contributions to the Autism Spectrum Disorder field in many areas including diagnosis, measurement, genetics and longitudinal development – all of which led to significant changes in our understanding of ASD as well as the classification of ASD in both DSM IV and 5. He has also published more generally in psychiatric epidemiology and in clinical research in developmental psychopathology. More recently, he has turned his attention to developing evidence based, patient oriented systems of care for children and youth and evaluating innovative models of care using clinical trials methodology. He has been editor of several important journals in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry and has consulted to government agencies in Canada, the USA and the UK. He is the author of the book “A Mind Apart; Understanding Autism and Asperger Syndrome” and co-author of “Start Here: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children and Teens through Mental Health Challenges”.
Szatmari is a trained clinical epidemiologist and started his career working on the Ontario Child Health Study (OCHS) reporting on the prevalence of ADHD. This was the first psychiatric epidemiologic study of children and adolescents in North America and the project as a whole had a large impact on mental health public policy in Canada and elsewhere. The oft-quoted figures that 1 in 5 Canadian children have a significant mental health challenge and that less than 15% of these children receive mental health services comes from the OCHS.
Dr. Szatmari has a long history of research in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Currently he is running the largest follow up study of children with ASD assessing change in symptoms and functioning from early childhood to the end of adolescence.
More recently, he has turned his attention to clinical trials in child and youth mental health. He is the co-PI of a large CIHR funded pragmatic clinical trial looking at the extent to which an Integrated Collaborative Care Model in the community is more effective than usual out-patient care in improving impairment among adolescents with psychiatric disorders. He is also a co-investigator in several clinical trials in adolescent depression.
Education and experience
- 1973–1976: MD, McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
- 1976–1981: Residency, Dept. of Psychiatry, McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
- 1981–1985: M.Sc., Epidemiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
- 1981–2013: Physician, Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University Hamilton, ON
- 1981–2013: Physician, Psychiatry, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton, ON
- 2019: Fellow, International Society of Autism Research, Montreal, QC Canada
- 2017: Kanner Asperger Medal, WGAS – WTAS Scientific Meeting for Autism Spectrum Conditions, Berlin, Germany
- 2014: McMaster Distinguished Alumni Award, McMaster University
- Szatmari P, Georgiades S, Duku E, Bennett TA, Bryson S, Fombonne E, Mirenda P, Roberts W, Smith IM, Vaillancourt T, Volden J, Waddell C, Zwaigenbaum L, Elsabbagh M, Thompson A; Pathways in ASD Study Team. Developmental Trajectories of adaptive functioning and autism symptom severity in preschool children with ASD. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Mar;72(3):276-83
- Georgiades S, Szatmari P, Zwaigenbaum L, Bryson S, Brian J, Roberts W, Smith I, Vaillancourt T, Roncadin C, Garon N. A prospective study of autistic-like traits in unaffected siblings of probands with autism spectrum disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Jan; 70(1):42-48
- Bennett K, Rhodes AE, Duda S, Cheung AH, Manassis K, Links P, Mushquash C, Braunberger P, Newton AS, Kutcher S, Bridge JA, Santos RG, Manion IG, Mclennan JD, Bagnell A, Lipman E, Rice M, Szatmari P. A Youth Suicide Prevention Plan for Canada: A Systematic Review of Reviews. Can J Psychiatry. 2015 Jun; 60 (6): 245-57.
- Korczak DJ1, Lipman E, Morrison K, Duku E, Szatmari P. Child and Adolescent Psychopathology Predicts Increased Adult Body Mass Index: Results from a Prospective Community Sample J Dev Behav Pediatric. 2014 Feb: 35(2): 108-17.
- Boylan K, Vaillancourt T, Szatmari P. Linking Oppositional Behavior Trajectories to the Development of Depressive Symptoms in ChildhoodChild Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2012 Jun; 43(3) 484-97. PMID: 22228549
- Boylan K, Georgiades K, Szatmari P. The Longitudinal Association between Oppositional and Depressive Symptoms across Childhood J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Feb; 49(2): 152-61.
- 2015–2022: CIHR. A Foundation Grant to Improve Early Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. $2,975,000, 7 years. PI: Bryson S, Zwaigenbaum L, Szatmari P. Role: Co-Investigator.
- 2015–2022: CIHR. Foundation Grant; Pathways to Better Developmental Health in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Phase III. $5, 332, 277, 7 years. PI: Szatmari P. Role: PI.
- 2016–2021: CIHR; Child Bright SPOR: Cognitive Rehabilitation (Mega Team) and its effect on emotional and behavioural regulation in ADHD, ASD and CHD. $1,131,652, 5 years. PI: Crosbie, J. Role: Co-Investigator
- 2017–2022: Longitudinal Youth in Transition Study (LYiTS), Cleverley K, Principal Investigator; Szatmari P, Co-Investigator, Funded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) ($1,0005,975)
- 2017–2027: Trajectories of healthy life using Public Health and primary care interventions in Canada: The TROPHIC Trial, Birken C, Principal Investigator; Szatmari P, Co-Applicant, Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), HeLTI (Healthy Life Trajectories Initiatives ($1,701,864)
- 2018–2022: Social Processes Initiative in Neurobiology of Autism Spectrum and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SPIN-ASD), Ameis S, Principal Investigator; Szatmari P, Co-Investigator, Funded by National Institute of Mental Health ($1,163,108)
- 2019–2021: Facilitating Effective Mental Health Care Transitions for Youth: Evaluation of the Transition Support Worker Model, Cleverley K, Principal Investigator; Szatmari P, Co-Investigator, Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Project Grant ($196,534)
- 2019–2023: Community-based Integrated Collaborative Care Teams to Enhance Service Delivery to Youth with Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges: A Multi-Site Pragmatic Randomized-Controlled Trial, Henderson J, Chaim G, Cheung AH, Cleverley K, Principal Investigators; Szatmari P, Co-Investigator, Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Project Grant ($711,452)
- 2019–2023: Early Relapse Detection in Youth Depression: Development in Secondary Prevention Methods by Mutliplex Digital Phenotyping, Strauss J, Battaglia M, Principal Investigators; Szatmari P, Co-Investigator, Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Project Grant ($952,424)
- 2019–2024: Early Prediction of Developmental Outcomes: A Prospective Study of Infants with High-Impact Genetic Risk Variants, Vorstman J, Principal Investigator; Szatmari P, Co-Investigator, Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Project Grant ($688,500)
- 2019–2024: Listening to Children’s Voices – Promoting Indigenous Mental Wellness ( I aM Well); Young N, Principal Investigator; Szatmari P, Co-Investigator, Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Team Grant ($294,633)