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McMaster Symbiosis Student-Senior Co-housing Program

June 6, 2018 – The Symbiosis Co-housing Program connects graduate students in need of low-cost housing with seniors who have a spare room and who could benefit from companionship and a bit of extra support. The Program is now seeking older adults who may be interested in offering co-housing to a student this fall. The three matches made last year, the pilot year, are continuing this year – signaling successful arrangements for both seniors and students. Hamilton Aging Together promotes this superb example of aging in community and can assist either seniors or students in this co-housing program. For information, please contact or 647-648-4421.

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"MIRA brings world-leading researchers under one vision to reimagine aging now and in the future."

Dr. Patrick Deane

President, McMaster University

Our approach

  1. A coordinated, collaborative research agenda between academics and clinicians from all Faculties
  2. Use of design thinking to generate human-centred solutions
  3. Ongoing interaction with a diverse group of stakeholders

" Urban infrastructure is failing older adults who don’t drive – a growing population. How can housing and transit make people functional for longer? "

Jim Dunn

" Hearing underlies verbal & musical communication important for healthy aging. Music often reaches people after memory and language are gone. "

Laurel Trainor

" Driving is critical to seniors' independence, mobility and health. I research factors that keep older drivers safe behind-the-wheel for as long as possible. "

Brenda Vrkljan

" Keeping older adults infection free provides more years of healthy, independent living (because I need the free babysitting, thanks grandparents!) "

Dawn Bowdish

" I work to prevent hidden hearing loss which affects almost 30% of adolescents and forecasts serious hearing difficulties later in life. "

Larry Roberts

" My grandparents aged so optimally, it inspired me to practice and research with older persons who have a more challenging aging process, including those with multimorbidity. "

Jenny Ploeg

" Neuronal function declines with age. I aim to identify factors that conserve neuronal function during age so that we can live better, longer lives. "

Lesley MacNeil

" I work to help people live their best lives including how to use or not use medications ways that are effective and safe. "

Lisa Dolovich

" My research discovers age-associated biological processes with the goal of extending lifespan, promoting mobility, and maintaining healthy aging. "

Bhagwati Gupta

" It seemed to me that my grandparents lived forever. Why is it that some environments make people live long and others don't? "

Parminder Raina

" I study protein in human skeletal muscle – its mass, function, and maintenance – in aging. Healthy muscle = healthy aging "

Stuart Phillips

" My grandparents experienced the gaps in the health care system. I decided to use health care data to help fill those gaps in knowledge and practice. "

Andrew Costa

" I design and evaluate community-based health care interventions to improve access, quality of life and health outcomes at no additional cost. "

Maureen Markle-Reid

Our Team



MIRA’s governance draws upon the expertise from the private sector and experts on aging from within the academic community. 




Our researchers represent all Faculties of the University. The input of multiple perspectives and areas of expertise ensures our research creates useable, practical, older adult-centered solutions. Our solutions are real and implementable and promote aging in place.




MIRA collaborates with many partners in the field of aging, both at McMaster and in the wider community.


Areas of Focus


​Areas of Focus

MIRA coordinates research around areas of focus, each of which advances MIRA’s overall mission.



Labarge Centre for
Mobility in Aging

Mobility is a cornerstone of healthy aging, which can affect social and economic independence, along with physical and mental health. Addressing the range of mobility issues associated with aging has the potential to optimize the well-being of a large number of Canadians.



Our Story

MIRA grew out of recognition that the best way to tackle the complex issues facing an aging population was as an organised, interdisciplinary team that integrates the input of older adults and multiple perspectives. MIRA has mobilized researchers at McMaster to coordinate their efforts to enhance the university’s research strengths in aging.




Participants needed for research in campus walkability

July 3, 2018 – The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) is looking for volunteers who are 65 years and older to take part in a study of the walkability of the McMaster University main campus. Participants would be asked to take part in a 45-minute walk of the McMaster University main campus and a one hour focus group after the walk. Click this link for a letter of information which provides full details about the study. As a member of the Age Friendly University Network, McMaster University is committed to providing a more walkable and age-friendly campus. We are collecting information to assess the current walkability of the McMaster campus in order to provide suggestions to create a more walkable campus for older adults. This will increase our ability to bring together older adults and other members of the university community. Ultimately, the goal is to create a more accessible and pedestrian friendly campus that can be used by people of all ages. For more information about this study, or to volunteer for this study, please contact: Amanda Whalen McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) 905-525-9140 Ext. 27506 This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance, by the McMaster Research Ethics Board.


MIRA member named to Order of Canada

June 29, 2018 – Eight professors and alumni, including Jamal Deen, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and member of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging, are becoming members of the Order of Canada. Their appointments were announced Friday by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada.


Fostering undergraduate research

June 20, 2018 – MIRA member and mechanical engineering assistant professor Cheryl Quenneville has won the $25,000 Petro-Canada-McMaster Young Innovator award. The award helps build a connection between research and teaching by engaging undergraduate students in research.

Email MIRA at:       Follow us on Twitter : @MIRAMcMaster
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