Jacob A. (Jake) Burack is a Professor of School Psychology and Human Development in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He is the founder and director of the McGill Youth Study Team, a research consultant at Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, and a co-investigator on three networks funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research – the Autism Research Training program, the National Network on Aboriginal Mental Health, and Roots of Resilience (co-funded by the Medical Research Council of New Zealand). He is the editor of the International Journal of Down Syndrome, a member of the editorial boards of Development and Psychopathology and the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, and a member of the advisory boards of both the Postdoctoral and Merck Doctoral Program on Research in Mental Retardation at the University of Wisconsin.
Jake and his students work within the MYST motto of “a commitment to excellence in the study and education of all children." Their theoretical framework is that of developmental psychopathology, the interface of typical and atypical development and developmental histories. Accordingly, the emphasis of their conceptual writings is on the contributions of developmental theory and methodology to the study of psychological risk and well-being. One focus of their empirical study is the development of attention and cognition among typically developing children, persons with autism, and persons with Down syndrome. Another focus of their empirical work is the school-based study of role of the cultural identity and other predictors in the academic success, social adaptation, and emotional well-being of First Nations adolescents in northern communities.
Jake’s recent co-edited volumes reflect the diversity of the work by him and his students. They include The Oxford Handbook of Intellectual Disability and Development, edited by Jacob A. Burack, Robert M. Hodapp, Grace Iarocci, and Edward Zigler and published by Oxford University Press in 2012; Cognitive Neuroscience, Development, and Psychopathology, edited by Jacob A. Burack, James T. Enns, and Nathan A. Fox and published by Oxford University press in 2012; and Cultural and Contextual Perspectives on Development and Well-being edited by Jacob A. Burack and Louis A. Schmidt that will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.