Dr. Jacob A. Burack

Academic title(s): 

Director, McGill Youth Study Team (MYST) | Co-Director, Institute for Human Development and Well-Being (IHDW)

Dr. Jacob A. Burack
Contact Information
Email address: 
jake.burack [at] mcgill.ca

Education Building
3700 rue McTavish
Montréal, Quebec H3A 1Y2

Educational and Counselling Psychology (ECP)
Developmental Psychology & Inclusive Education
Diversity, Identity & Indigenous Topics
Areas of expertise: 

The development of attention and cognition among typically developing children, persons with autism, and persons with specific syndromes associated with intellectual disabilities.


Jake Burack is a Professor of School/Applied Child Psychology and Human Development in McGill's Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology. He is the founder and director of the McGill Youth Study Team (MYST) and a co-investigator on three past and current national 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, his students, and colleagues work in academic settings with Indigenous youth around the theme of identification with ancestral culture as essential to emotional well-being, social adaptation, and academic success. Jake is a founding co-investigator of two national networks funded by the CIHR — the Autism Research Training Program (ART) and the National Network on Aboriginal Mental Health (NAMHR) — and a member of the Research Management Committee of the (CIHR-funded) Kids Brain Health Network. He is also a longtime member of the board of directors of Summit School.

  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • M.Phil., Yale University
  • M.Sc., Yale University
  • B.A., Columbia University
Selected publications: 
  • Burack, J.A., Stewart, J., & Landry, O. (under contract). Historical perspectives on developmental contributions to the study of persons with Down syndrome. In J. A. Burack, J. Edgin, L. J. Abbeduto, & J. Busciglio (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of Down syndrome and development. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Burack, J. A., Russo, N., Kovshoff, H., Fernandes, T.P., Ringo, J., Landry, O., & Iarocci, G. (in press). How I attend - not how well do I attend:  Rethinking developmental frameworks of attention and cognition in autism spectrum disorder and typical development. In V. K. Jaswal, N. Akhtar, & J. A. Burack (Eds.), Building bridges: Cognitive development in typical and atypical populations. New York: Routledge.
  • Blacklock, A., Schmidt, L. A, Fryberg, S., Klassen, G. H., Querengesser, J., Stewart, J., Campbell, C.A., Flores, H., Reynolds, A., Tootoosis, C., & Burack, J.A. (in press). Identification with mainstream, but not ancestral, culture is associated with increased problem behaviors among First Nations youth. Transcultural Psychiatry.
  • Burack, J.A., Gurr, E., Stubbert, E., & Weva, V. (In Press). Personality development among indigenous youth in Canada: Weaving together universal and community-specific perspectives. New Ideas in Psychology.
  • M.A. Human Development
  • Ph.D. Human Development
  • M.A. School/Applied Child Psychology
  • Ph.D. School/Applied Child Psychology
Graduate supervision: 

Accepting Master's and Ph.D. students for 2023-24

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