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October 3, 2022 

The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) and the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging (LCMA) announce newly funded research totaling $240,000 in 2022. 

Six research projects, one from each of McMaster’s Faculties, have been selected by MIRA to receive a Labarge Catalyst Grant in Mobility in Aging. The awards, each valued at $40 000, offer the opportunity to conduct collaborative and interdisciplinary research focused on mobility in aging, where mobility is broadly defined to include physical, social and community aspects. Beyond the $240,000 awarded by MIRA, the projects have secured an additional $90,000 in cash and in-kind support.

Suzanne Labarge listens to a research poster presentation beside a McMaster trainee.

With a focus on addressing complex problems in aging, each team includes researchers from at least three different Faculties as meaningful contributors to the project — stimulating new interdisciplinary collaborations that will conduct feasibility or pilot studies, scale existing interventions or collect preliminary data to support future proposals for full-scale studies. 

“We are so pleased to announce this cohort of Labarge Catalyst Grants, supporting a diverse group of early career researchers and established leaders in the field,” says MIRA Research Manager Audrey Patocs. “The topics span cutting-edge technologies in mobility and aging; navigating the digital world; recognizing misinformation; and the aging experiences of women and BIPOC communities.”  

Catalyst Grant projects employ design thinking and user-centered approaches in the development of the project. Integration of the perspectives of end-users from the project outset ensures outcomes are well positioned to benefit older adults and other stakeholders. 

Headshots of Dylan Kobsar, Nicole Dalmer, Ingrid Waldron, Yingying Wang, Milena Head and Jenna Smith-Turchyn

From left to right: Dylan Kobsar, Nicole Dalmer, Ingrid Waldron, Yingying Wang, Milena Head and Jenna Smith-Turchyn.

This year's projects are: 

Understanding Antecedents to Misinformation Susceptibility for Older Adults  
PIs: Milena Head, Professor of Information Systems, DeGroote School of Business, in collaboration with the Faculties of Humanities (Terry Flynn) and Social Sciences (Nicole Dalmer).  

DRL-based Physics Modeling of Aged Locomotion for Motion Simulation, Stability Analysis and Data Augmentation 
PI: Yingying Wang, Assistant Professor Department of Computing and Software, Faculty of Engineering, in collaboration with the Faculties of Health Sciences (Marla Beauchamp) and Science (Dylan Kobsar). 

A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Virtual Peer-Support Exercise Intervention for Older Adults with Cancer 
PI: Jenna Smith-Turchyn, Assistant Professor Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, in collaboration with others in Health Sciences (Marla Beauchamp, Julie Richardson, and Lehana Thabane) the Faculties of Science (Stuart Phillips) and Social Sciences (Anthea Innes). 

The Experiences of Black Canadians Living with Dementia in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and Their Care Partners in Providing Care  
PIs: Ingrid Waldron, Professor, HOPE Chair in Peace and Health in the Global Peace and Social Justice Program, Faculty of Humanities, and Lydia Kapriri Professor, Department of Health Aging & Society, Faculty of Social Sciences, in collaboration with the Faculties of Health Sciences (Pamela Baxter, Laura Garcia Diaz, Margaret Fahnestock, Lori Letts and Jennifer Walker) and Social Sciences (Ellen Badone). 

Integrating Innovative Technologies into an Orthopaedic Clinic to Support Decision-making and Personalized Care: A Feasibility Study  
PI: Dylan Kobsar, Assistant Professor Kinesiology, Faculty of Science, in collaboration with the Faculties of Engineering (Rong Zheng) and Health Sciences (Anthony Adili and Kim Madden). 

Women Growing Older: Older women’s experiences of accessing cannabis information and support through virtual community  
PIs: Nicole Dalmer, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Aging & Society, and Saara Greene, Professor | DIrector, School of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences, in collaboration with the Faculties of Health Sciences (Amanjot Sidhu) and Humanities (Liss Platt).

MIRA’s mandate is to support innovative research approaches that build on McMaster’s culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and to engage older adults and other key stakeholders throughout the conceptualization, evaluation and implementation of interventions and technologies. Funding listed above is supported in part by the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging, which was created by a $15-million gift from McMaster’s former Chancellor Suzanne Labarge in 2016. 

MIRA is currently accepting applications for the following funding opportunities:  

MIRA & Global Nexus Catalyst Grant in the Biology of Aging - special call: aging populations and infectious threats (deadline November 1, 2022, valued at up to $50,000);  

MIRA IPRC Catalyst Grant in Aging and Pain (deadline November 15, 2022, valued at up to $60,000);  

MIRA Interdisciplinary Fellowship Grant (deadline November 15, 2022, valued at up to $50,000);  


MIRA External Grant Application Development Fund (rolling deadline, valued at up to $5,000); 

MIRA is also excited to announce MIRA and AGE-WELL award over $80 000 to three McMaster trainee projects

Email MIRA at:       Follow us on Twitter : @MIRAMcMaster
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