Journal of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Risk & Prevention Editorial Board


Dr. Tom Leibson

​Dr. Tom Leibson is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto and serves as an academic pediatrician for the Mother-Baby Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital  in Toronto, Ontario.

​His clinical background includes general pediatric care with exposure to a variety of congenital malformations as well as withdrawal syndromes through extensive work in neonatal care, as well as several years in reproductive toxicology counseling. Present clinical activities include counseling regarding drug exposures in pregnancy and the breastfeeding neonate. Research interests include pregnancy outcomes of various in-utero drug exposures, better understanding of breastmilk exposures and clinical applicability of pharmacokinetic research for neonates.

Dr. ​Eran Barzilay, PhD, MD

​Eran Barzilay obtained his MD degree and his PhD in cellular and developmental biology in 2006 as a graduate of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Tel-Aviv, Israel. In 2012 he completed his residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel. Between the years 2013 and 2015 he completed fellowship programs in High-Risk Obstetrics and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, Canada. 

He currently serves as the head of the Obstetric and Gynecologic Ultrasound Unit at the Assuta Ashdod Medical Center, affiliated to the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. 

Dr. Kelly Harding, PhD


​Dr. Kelly Harding received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Rural and Northern Health from Laurentian University (2017) in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Harding is currently the Research Coordinator for the Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD). Dr. Harding is also an adjunct faculty and sessional instructor in the Psychology Department at Laurentian University and a part-time instructor in the Communication Studies program at Huntington University.

​She is a member of the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities (OADD) Research Special Interest Group (RSIG) and a community network member of the FASD Network Sudbury/Manitoulin. Her research focuses on health services in rural and Northern Ontario, with a particular focus on health care professionals in training and their preparation regarding FASD. As an FASD researcher, her research interests focus primarily on health care professionals’ knowledge, self-efficacy, and attitudes regarding FASD and alcohol consumption during pregnancy, families raising children with FASD, and health services delivery in rural and Northern regions. Dr. Harding has been involved in the field of FASD since 2010, predominantly through research and working with families raising children with FASD.

​Dr. Yusuf Cem Kaplan, MD

​Dr. Yusuf Cem Kaplan is currently Professor of Pharmacology at  Izmir Katip Celebi University School of Medicine. He received his M.D. degree at Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine (English), Ankara in 2002 Pharmacology Specialist at Dokuz Eylul University School of Medicine Department of Pharmacology, İzmir in 2007. In his thesis work he evaluated the effect of subacute organophosphate insecticide exposure on digoxin pharmacokinetics in rats. 

After completing his Pharmacology Specialization, Kaplan began to work in Izmir Ataturk Training and Research Hospital where he founded Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Unit of the hospital. The hospital became affiliated with Izmir Katip Celebi University in 2011 and Kaplan became Assitant Professor of Pharmacology in 2011 and Associate Professor of Pharmacology in 2012 and Full Professor of Pharmacology in 2017.  He worked in Motherisk Program of The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada between 2014-2015 under the supervision of Prof. Gideon Koren. Kaplan is the founder director of Izmir Katip Celebi University Teratology Information, Training and Research Center which gives counseling to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers regarding medication exposure during pregnancy and lactation. He and his collaborators has conducted several systematic reviews and meta-analysis regarding pregnancy outcomes after exposure medications such as topical retinoid, fluconazole, hydroxychloroquine, fluoroquinolone and SSRI exposure during pregnancy. 

Dr. Blair Paley, PhD

Dr. Blair Paley is the Director of the Early Childhood Core (ECC) for the Nathanson Family Resilience Center, Director of the Strategies for Enhancing Early Developmental Success (SEEDS) Program, and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The primary aims of the ECC are to conduct prevention and early intervention research, provide direct clinical services, and conduct training for community providers and the next generation of early childhood mental health professionals, all with the goal of supporting healthy development and well-being in young children and their families.  Dr. Paley’s research and clinical work are focused on prevention and intervention with high-risk children and their families. 

Dr. Paley is the Principal Investigator on two federally-funded grants focused on providing early interventions to young children with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and their parents and caregivers.  SEEDS-IT (Strategies for Enhancing Early Development Success – Infants and Toddlers), funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, aims to enhance parenting skills, promote more positive parent-child relationships, and improve child self-regulation among children with PAE aged 1-24 months and their parents.  SEEDS - School Readiness, funded by the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, seeks to build self-regulation, socioemotional competence, and early literacy and numeracy skills in children with PAE aged 3-5 years, as well as promote home-school connections and enhance parents’ engagement in their children’s early school experiences.   In addition to directing her own research grants, Dr. Paley also provides scientific guidance for the other research initiatives within the ECC.

​Dr. Paley received her doctoral degree from UCLA in clinical psychology and completed a NIMH research postdoctoral fellowship in family risk and resilience at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital.

Dr. Ricardo M Pautassi

Dr. Ricardo M. Pautassi obtained his Ph.D. at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC, Argentina) and had post-doctoral training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (USA). He was also a visiting scholar at several universities, including the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and the University at Buffalo (USA). He is currently the head of a research lab at the Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas Mercedes y Martín Ferreyra (INIMEC-CONICET-UNC), an intramural facility of the National Council of Research of Argentina. 
Dr. Pautassi's lab focuses on how early experiences with drugs, well before adulthood, can determine life-long trajectories of involvement into alcohol use and abuse. He has analyzed, via animal models, the effects of brief alcohol exposure during gestation on postnatal acceptance of the drug, and on the functionality of brain transmitter systems.

Dr. ​Rebecca Pedruzzi, PhD

Dr. ​Rebecca Pedruzzi received her PhD in health psychology from James Cook University (2016) in far Northern Australia.  She is currently a researcher in the Alcohol, Pregnancy, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) team at Telethon Kids Institute, Australia.  In her role she works on the ‘Make FASD History’ program – a number of projects largely focused on changing the drinking practices of pregnant women in Indigenous communities via awareness raising, community engagement, and capacity building strategies.

​Dr. Pedruzzi recently co-authored a chapter on FASD for inclusion in the NACCHO/RACGP National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (3rd edition), an important clinical tool for prevention and a resource for health professional education.  She has also been involved in securing federal funding to initiate programs in FASD prevention across two Australian sites.  Dr. Pedruzzi's principal area of investigation is FASD prevention and health promotion.  She is passionate about methods that can improve health promotion and facilitate innovative directions in the behaviour change field.  Dr. Pedruzzi has worked in government and academic sectors in research, evaluation and teaching capacities.  She also has experience in mental health research and service delivery, and health service evaluation.

Dr. ​Zvi H. Perry, MD, PhD, MA (Psychology)

Dr. Zvi H. Perry graduated from Ben-Gurion University, Israel. He has done his residency at Soroka University Medical Center in General Surgery. He has a M.A. in Educational Psychology, and is finishing these days his PhD. in Epidemiology.

​He did his research fellow at Tuft New-England Medical Center in the Surgical research lab, under Prof. Shikora. He also is doing his fellowship in Bariatrics at McGill University Hospital. He is a faculty at the Ben-Gurion University, where he has been teaching Epidemiology for the last Decade. He is also active in promoting general Bariatrics at the state level in Israel, and is a member of the Israeli surgical society, and of the Israeli Endoscopic Society. His academic activities include improving health quality measurements in Israel, as well as being a part of the Clalit HMO simulation center for the surgical professions.

Dr. Amit Yosef Rotem, MD

Dr. Amit Yosef Rotem, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Assistant Professor at University of Toronto (UofT), Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Rotem had graduated medical school at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. As a student, he had initiated a unique HMOs collaboration to deliver evidence-based services for smoking cessation which became the first Israeli academic Centre for Smoking Prevention and Cessation. During his residency in child and adolescent psychiatry, he developed educational methods to incorporate nicotine addiction into health sciences curricula. Dr. Rotem has graduated three-year fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry, UofT. He is currently affiliated with the Nicotine Dependence Clinic, and Youth Addiction and Concurrent Disorder Service at CAMH, Toronto. Dr. Rotem is covering the services of Youth Urgent Care and Academic Day Hospital (REACH), among others. Dr. Rotem has published clinical studies, reviews, and chapters on youth and adults addictions, nicotine dependence in particular. He is actively involved in teaching medical students and supervising residents and fellows, at the Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, UofT. 

Dr. Simona Zaami, MD

Dr. Simona Zaami is Adjunct Professor in Forensic Medicine at University of Rome “Sapienza”. She is a National expert Coroner and an experienced Forensic Toxicologist.
In most recent years, she joined the Research Group of National Centre on Addiction and Doping at the National Institute of Health to carry out investigations on pharmacotoxicology of classical and new psychoactive substances and alcohol biomarkers in adult and pediatric populations.

​She serves also as an expert in Legal matters related to conscious and unconscious intoxications and fatalities caused by psychoactive drugs.