Scientific Program Committee

WAIMH 2020 Scientific Program Committee


David Oppenheim – Chair

David Oppenheim, Ph.D. is Professor and former Chair in the Department of Psychology and a member of the Center for the Study of Child Development at the University of Haifa, Israel. Dr. Oppenheim’s research focuses on the central importance of attachment relationships for children’s social and emotional development. In particular, his research has examined the role of parental Insightfulness and parent-child open communication in the organization of attachment relationships throughout childhood.

Dr. Oppenheim’s studies on these questions involved longitudinal studies, and included typically developing children, children at high risk such as those in foster care and those whose parents experienced trauma, and children with atypical development such as Autism and Mental Retardation. In addition to a focus on basic research, Dr. Oppenheim's writing and teaching stresses the clinical application of developmental research for work with young children and their families. This includes work of mental health professionals and also the work of other professionals working with young children experiencing stress or with special needs.


Reija Latva

Reija Latva an Associate Executive Director of WAIMH and a member of the program committee of Brisbane congress. She is a child psychiatric and works as the head of the Department of Child Psychiatry at Tampere University Hospital in Finland. Infant psychiatry has been her special interest many years and she have done research in the field of infant psychiatry. She is a president of the Finnish Association for Infant Mental Health, Pirpana.


Kaija Puura

Kaija Puura, M.D., Ph.D is Professor of Child Psychiatry in the University of Tampere, Finland, and Chief of Child Psychiatry in Tampere University Hospital. She has authored or co-authored over 80 peer reviewed articles, chapters in both national and international books on assessment and treatment of young children, and is currently an Associate Editor of the Infant Mental Health Journal. Her professional activities as a clinical child psychiatrist have involved combining research activities with clinical work in various projects both in primary care and mental health services.

Her interests cut across the following areas: gene-environment interplay in social and emotional development of young children; preventive and mental health interventions for young children; development of family therapeutic methods for families with young children and comprehensive interventions for children with trauma. Her current research project is focused on emotion regulation and shared pleasure and joy in mother-child interaction. She is a member of the Finnish Child Psychiatric Association, and of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. She received the WAIMH New Investigator Award (2002), was appointed Associate Executive Director of the WAIMH 2009, and Executive Director of WAIMH 2018. In July 2018 Professor Puura became Vice President of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions.


Miri Keren

Miri Keren, Born in Paris, France, immigrated to Israel in 1970, graduated in medicine at the Ben Gourion Medical school (1975-1981). After her residency in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and certification of the School of Psychotherapy at the Tel Aviv University Sackler Medical School, she spent two years at Brown University (USA) for a fellowship in Infant Psychiatry (1993-1995). Since 1996, she is the director of the community-based infant mental health unit, affiliated to Geha Mental Health Center in Petah-Tiqwa, which was the first Community Infant Psychiatry Unit.From 1996 to 2006, she supervised the Israeli national project of preschool mental health units implementation, under joint sponsorship of the Ministry of Health and Sacta-Rashi Foundation.

She has served as the President of the World Association of Infant Mental Health (2012-2016) and iss currently on the Board as Past President and Honorary President of the Israel WAIMH Affiliate. Miri’s academic position is Assistant Clinical Professor at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry department, Tel-Aviv Sackler Medical School, Head of the Infant Psychiatry Post Graduate course, Tel-Aviv Sackler Medical School, International Advisor on the Editorial board of the Infant Mental Health Journal and Member of the Diagnostic Classification for Early Childhood Revision International Task Force. She teaches as a Visiting Professor at Valencia (Spain) University, International early childhood psychology program, sponsored by AEPEA. She is also involved in joint Israeli-Palestinian professional projects.


Campbell Paul

Campbell Paul is a Consultant Infant and Child Psychiatrist at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and Honorary Principal Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. At the University he and colleagues have established postgraduate courses in Infant and Parent Mental Health. These courses developed out of his longstanding experience in paediatric consultation liaison psychiatry and work in infant parent psychotherapy. He has a special interest in the understanding of the inner world of the baby, particularly as it informs therapeutic work with infants and their parents.

With colleagues he has developed models of working in therapeutic groups with troubled parents and infants.He is the President Elect of the World Association for Infant Mental Health and he has been a participant in and organizer of a number of local and international conferences and activities in the field of infant mental health.


Giampaolo Nicolais

Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome.

President of the Italian Association for Infant Mental Health – AISMI.

Ordinary Member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health – WAIMH.

Faculty of Harvard University “Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program”.

Main research topics and clinical areas of intervention are in the fields of developmental psychopathology, attachment and moral development in preschool and school years, post traumatic disorders.

Author of several publications on peer-reviewed scientific journals on child maltreatment, methodology of clinical intervention in childhood trauma, intergenerational transmission of psychological trauma, parenting at risk.


Elisabeth Hoehn

Dr Elisabeth Hoehn is the Medical Director and Consultant Child Psychiatrist for Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health. The Centre delivers clinical and family support services to infants, young children and their families, across Brisbane and Pine Rivers in Queensland, Australia. In addition, the Centre provides cross-sector support for the development of a state-wide continuum of care for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health.

Elisabeth has more than 25 years experience in child and youth mental health, including clinical service delivery, service management and development, quality enhancement and outcome evaluation. She is passionate about perinatal and infant mental health service development, family-centred and community-based care, collaborative practice, training and advocacy.