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Rebecca Pillai Riddell

York University

Rebecca Pillai Riddell



Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell, BA, MA, PhD, CPsych is currently Associate Vice-President Research at York University. Dr. Pillai Riddell is also the Director of the Opportunities to Understand Childhood Hurt Laboratory or The OUCH Lab (www​.yorku​.ca/​o​u​chlab). As both a basic behavioural scientist and a clinician-scientist, Dr. Pillai Riddell leads a research program in infant and young child pain that is funded by all three federal Canadian research councils (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council). Her work sets out to better understand the biological, psychological and social mechanisms subsuming the development of pain responses in young children. 

Among her research accomplishments, she built the largest cohort in the world studying young child and parent interactions in vaccinations over the first five years of life between 2006 and 2015. Currently, alongside an ongoing longitudinal cohort studying healthy toddlers during vaccination, she is also leading a multinational team in the pursuit of an artificial intelligence solution to objectively measure infant pain. She is also a registered psychologist, licensed to work with children and adults in clinical and health psychology. 

Dr. Pillai Riddell is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. She was most recently awarded the 2020 Canadian Pain Society’s Outstanding Mentorship Award and the 2019 American Pain Society’s Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children’s Pain.