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MIRA awards over $600,000 in funding for interdisciplinary projects in aging and mobility

001-labarge research day-2019

Published: August 27, 2021

The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) and the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging (LCMA) announce newly funded research for 2021.

Sixteen projects, spanning all six McMaster faculties will receive a total of $662,000 in combined funding, including six Labarge Catalyst Grants, six MIRA and Labarge Postdoctoral Fellowships, four MIRA and Labarge Scholarships and two AGE-WELL/MIRA Co-funded Trainee Awards. Read on to learn about the recipients and their projects.

After a COVID-19-related hiatus in 2020, MIRA is pleased to announce the return of the Labarge Catalyst Grant for Mobility in Aging. Valued at $40,000 per Faculty, these grants offer the opportunity to conduct collaborative and interdisciplinary research focused on mobility in aging. This year's projects include:

Long term care network capacity planning with considerations of equity, diversity and inclusion

  • PI: Kai Huang, Operations Management, DeGroote School of Business, in collaboration with the Faculties of Health Sciences and Science

Annotating virtual tai chi sessions to improve learning and health outcomes for older adults

  • PI: Rong Zheng, Computing and Software, Faculty of Engineering, in collaboration with the Faculties of Health Sciences and Humanities

​Studying aging, mobility and chronic low back pain in older adults using remote monitoring

  • PI: Harsha Shanthanna, Anesthesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, in collaboration with the Faculties of Science and Engineering

Enhancing digital literacy and online mobility for under-represented older adults: A pilot project with Arabic-speaking communities in Hamilton

  • PI: Carmela Alfaro-Laganse, School of the Arts, Faculty of Humanities, in collaboration with the Faculties of Social Sciences and Business

Designing new futures: co-creating housing and support pathways for "aging in community" to reduce premature long term care intake

  • PIs: Jim Dunn and Michelle Wyndham-West, Health, Aging and Society, Faculty of Social Sciences, in collaboration with the Faculties of Health Sciences and Science

Improving physical and mental health via live online physical activity for older persons: A pilot randomized control trial

  • PI: Stuart Phillips, Kinesiology, Faculty of Science, in collaboration with the Faculties of Health Sciences and Social Sciences

MIRA significantly increased trainee funding in 2021 for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from just over $200,000 in 2020 to nearly $400,000 in 2021. Postdoctoral fellowships and scholarships are awarded via two streams: the MIRA Aging Research stream supports interdisciplinary research with a focus on research impact, stakeholder engagement, and academic excellence and the Labarge Mobility stream focuses on aging and mobility, which includes both physical and community aspects of mobility, such as execution of daily activities and participation in society. The 2021 cohort of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students include:

2021 MIRA and Labarge Postdoctoral Fellows:

Isabel Braganca Rodrigues, Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences - Building on what we know: Using design thinking to tailor routine assessments and interventions for fall and fracture prevention in long term care

Jessica Breznik, Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences - Examining the role of frailty in SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine response in older adults

Stephanie Hatzifilalithis, Health, Aging, and Society, Faculty of Social Sciences - Ageism in the time of technological innovation: Understanding older people’s digital landscapes

Mina Nouredanesh, School of Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Health Sciences - Identification of older adults' mobility decline trajectories in longitudinal studies using machine learning approaches

Diego Roger-Silva, School of Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Health Sciences - Relationship between biomarkers and musculoskeletal pain and falls in older adults. A cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging data

Chi-Ling Joanna Sinn, Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences - Developing a real-world framework for remote patient monitoring technologies that promote optimal aging

 2021 MIRA and Labarge Scholarship recipients:

Augustine Okoh (PhD), Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences - A transdisciplinary approach to older adults’ care in a Canadian primary healthcare setting: Exploring the possibility in an interprofessional education program.

Matthew Ruder (PhD), Kinesiology, Faculty of Science - Assessing validity and sensitivity of remotely collected wearable sensor data in patients

Mariia Khamina (Master’s), Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Faculty of Science - Understanding how aging affects blood pressure through oxidative stress

Rebecca Correia (PhD), Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences - Promoting optimal aging through equitable access to 'Care of the Elderly' family physicians

MIRA is currently accepting applications for three new funding streams, totalling $150,000 in additional funding: MIRA Catalyst Grant in the Biology of Aging (deadline September 30, 2021); MIRA Interdisciplinary Fellowship Grants (deadline November 15, 2021); and MIRA External Grant Application Development Fund (rolling deadline). To learn more about these upcoming opportunities or to download the calls and application forms, click here.

MIRA’s partnership with AGE-WELL, a federally-funded Centre of Excellence, has resulted in combined funding of $70,000 for two McMaster trainees. MIRA and AGE-WELL co-funded trainees work to create, implement and evaluate technologies and services that benefit older adults and caregivers.

Joyla Furlano (Postdoctoral fellow), Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences - Indigenous inclusion in the Canadian Therapeutic Platform Trial for Multidomain Interventions to Prevent Dementia (CAN Thumbs Up)

Elise Wiley (PhD), School of Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Health Sciences - Examining the intersection between sex-and gender-based considerations and exercise-based telerehabilitation in individuals with stroke: A pilot randomized controlled trial

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