Meng-Chuan Lai

Assistant Professor
416-535-8501
Ext
34050

Campus

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Dr. Lai’s vision is to bridge and integrate multi-level biological-cognitive-psychological-social research and clinical services. His clinical interests are in the risk and resilience processes across the lifespan in individuals with atypical social, cognitive and affective development (such as the autism spectrum, ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders) and children and youth with medical illness, as well as how sex/gender modulates these processes. His current research investigates cognitive and neuro/biological bases of autism and associated neurodevelopmental conditions, and their emerging comorbidities (such as depression, anxiety and medical illness) across the lifespan. A particular focus is on females with autism and the complex relationships between autism and sexual differentiation, gender socialization and sex/gender differences. Dr. Lai’s work also expands to social cognition, mind-brain-body interactions, psychiatric nosology (especially in clarifying the vast heterogeneity in psychiatric conditions) and cross-discipline integration.

Biography

Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai is staff psychiatrist, clinician scientist and O’Brien Scholar in the Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative between the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He is also honorary Director of Gender Research in Autism at the Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge, and adjunct attending psychiatrist and adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the National Taiwan University and Hospital. He received his MD from the National Taiwan University and completed his residency training in both adult and child/adolescent psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital. He holds a PhD in psychiatry and neuroscience from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Lai’s vision is to bridge and integrate multi-level (biological, cognitive, psychological, and social) research and clinical services. His clinical interests are in the risk and resilience processes in individuals with atypical social-affective development (e.g., autism spectrum, ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders), and how sex and gender modulate these processes. Dr. Lai’s research program aims to delineate how sex- and gender-related factors act as risk, protective, and moderating mechanisms for the (1) behavioural presentation, (2) clinical recognition and diagnosis, (3) neurobiology, and (4) etiologies of autism, as well as its co-occurring neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions. A particular focus is on females with autism and the complex relationships between autism and sexual differentiation, gender socialization, and sex- and gender-related factors. His research also extends to social cognitive development, mind-brain-body interactions, health of sexual and gender diverse populations, and psychiatric nosology.