Balance for Better: Celebrating McMaster's Women in Aging Research
Photo: MIRA/Labarge Research Day 2018 | Mike Lalich
Today, the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) is celebrating International Women’s Day by honouring some of its members who are making a significant impact in aging research. These researchers hail from all six faculties at McMaster University, and are using their skills, knowledge, and creativity to improve the lives of older adults.
“At McMaster, women in all fields of research are encouraged to push the boundaries of knowledge,” says Ine Wauben, managing director of MIRA.
“By generating ground-breaking research projects, gathering data for health and lifestyle improvements, creating innovative technologies, and developing community programs for older adults, female researchers are changing the way we think about aging,” she adds.
So, just how are women at McMaster University making advancements in aging research?
Marla Beauchamp and Rebecca Ganann are leading innovative interdisciplinary research projects on mobility in aging. Read more about their research
Dawn Bowdish continues to complete extensive research on the aging immune system, focusing on preventing Pneumonia as we become more susceptible with age. Read more about her research
Paula Gardner is leading a MIRA Catalyst Grant funded project entitled the ABLE project, catching media attention for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to aging research and technology. Read more about her research
Kathryn Grandfield is improving bone implants, such as dental implants and hip replacements, in older adults with bone disease. Read more
Lauren Griffith is working to analyze and develop Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) data to help inform research around chronic conditions in older adults. Read more about her work
Jennifer Heisz is examining the interplay between brain and body fitness in the promotion of health for healthy older adults as well as older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Read more about her research
Patricia Hewston is working to develop the GERAS Dancing for Cognition and Exercise (DANCE) program, a YMCA affiliated program focused on using dance to prevent memory and mobility issues in older adults. Read more
Anju Joshi is focusing on how aging is understood by the public, aiming to make aging a more positive experience. Read more
Courtney Kennedy is working to understand how engagements in mind-body exercise programs can improve the health of older adults. Read more
Maureen Markle-Reid and Jenny Ploeg are working with older adults and caregivers to improve aging at home and address caregiver needs. Read more about their work
Alexandra Papaioannou is leading exercise based studies, such as Fit Joints, with the potential to improve frailty among older adults. Read more
Cheryl Quenneville is focusing on the causes of fracture and looking at ways to better protect people who are subjected to traumatic events, such as hard falls and broken hips. Read more about her work
Ada Tang is studying how exercise affects the health of older adults, and finding ways to make physical fitness more easily approachable for the aging population. Read more
Brenda Vrkljan is working to keep older adults behind the wheel for as long as safely possible. Read more about her work
Allison Williams is helping to set guidelines for employers to accommodate employees who are caring for aging, chronically ill or disabled loved ones. Read more about her work
Rong Zheng is working to integrate sensing, connectivity, and intelligence to applications for the aging population. Read more about her research
The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) aims to optimize the longevity of Canada’s aging population through research, education, and collaboration. Interdisciplinary teams work alongside older adults and key stakeholders to find ways that will help Canadians spend more years living well. MIRA also acts as an entry point to some of McMaster’s existing research platforms in aging, including the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal and the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging. The Labarge Centre, funded through a donation from Chancellor Suzanne Labarge, places emphasis on mobility, which is a cornerstone of healthy aging. By better understanding the range of health and social challenges associated with mobility in aging, we have the potential to optimize the well-being of Canadians, and reduce related health and social costs.