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MIRA Trainee Network 

The MIRA Trainee Network includes graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and MIRA undergraduate research fellows with interests in research on aging. The network connects trainees from across all six McMaster Faculties, creating an opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange and networking. During this time, trainees have the opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities related to their research on aging, gain interdisciplinary perspectives on their work and learn about potential future careers. All trainees are welcome. 

trainees1 trainees2

The MIRA trainee network hosts events and activities supporting interdisciplinary connections among McMaster trainees interested in aging research. Events include trainee poster sessions, community research fairs, interdisciplinary knowledge translation and exchange, networking and speed mentoring, and our regular meetings: a monthly #MIRATraineeTalks on the fourth Wednesday of the month. 


Join the MIRA Trainee Network and connect with fellow McMaster graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are advancing the field of aging research. 


#MIRATraineeTalks is a monthly in-person seminar series (with pizza!), held on Wednesdays from 12 – 1 PM in MDCL.

MIRA trainees, includong graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from acrosss all six McMaster Facultie, will resent their aging research to their peers. 

Trainees and other research colleagues are invited to RSVP to the series of talks. There is also an option to attend virtually. Trainee Network members should have received the recurring invite and zoom link (so no need to RSVP if attending virtually). Other colleagues wishing to attend may RSVP to Gesine Alders ( to request the meeting link.

 #MIRATraineeTalks 2023

 All meetings held in-person in MDCL with option to join online. Pizza lunch provided (in person only – we don’t deliver!) please RSVP to attend in person meetings here

JANUARY 25 | 12 – 1 PM | MDCL 3016

Shirin VellaniSchool of Nursing | International researchers’ perspectives on including in research, persons with lived experiences in dementia and end of life care

MIRA Trainee EC | Planning 2023 MIRA  Trainee Events | Pitch Your Project, Speed Networking, MIRA & Labarge Research Day

FEBRUARY 22 | 12 – 1 PM | MDCL 3016

Ava MehdipourSchool of Rehabilitation Sciences Psychometric properties of the virtually administered gait speed test in older adults

Hajar Abu Alrob, Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact | Osteoporosis treatment rate in long-term care following implementation of the Fracture Risk Scale

MARCH 29 | 12 – 1 PM | MDCL 3016

Raghava NeelapalaSchool of Rehabilitation Science | Exploring pain phenotypes in people with early knee osteoarthritis

Hailey WangSchool of Biomedical Engineering | Remote monitoring of mobility and sleep patterns in older adults using context aware smart-home technology to predict abnormal aging in early Alzheimer’s onset

Karla Martinez Pomier, Chemistry and Chemical Biology | Understanding how aging leads to amyloid diseases and neurodegeneration

APRIL 26 | 12 – 1 PM | MDCL 3016

Alexandra Mayhew, Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact | Understanding the biological pathways through which body composition impacts mobility in older adults

Sophini SubramaniamSchool of Biomedical Engineering | Insole-based Sensor System for Plantar Pressure Distribution and Gait Analysis

MAY 24 | 12 – 1 PM | MDCL 3016   

Wei SongKinesiology | Sex and age dependent autoimmunity in Alzheimer’s disease model

Wouter van den BergBiology | Analysis of the genetic components underlying aging through the lens of the worm

JUNE 28 | 12 – 1 PM | MDCL 3504

Dee Begin, School of Rehabilitation Science | The Use of Art as a Tool to facilitate conversations about health, well-being, risk and safety with older adults

Amanda Bull, Health, Aging & Society | Ageism in the workplace and labour market: The experiences of older adults

JULY 26 | 12 – 1 PM | Room TBD

Kevin Zhao, Medicine | Age-associated inflammation impairs macrophage killing of S. pneumoniae

Sama Jaberi, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences | PET tracers for diagnosis of basal forebrain neurodegeneration in aging

AUGUST 16 | 12 – 1 PM | Room TBD

Diego Roger-Silva, School of Rehabilitation Science | Evaluating the association of Inflammatory biomarkers with musculoskeletal pain and falls in older adults. A secondary analysis of data from the CLSA

Geoff Coombs, Kinesiology | Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment



  • Michelle (Yixue) Mei, Department of Kinesiology, PhD student
  • Kenny Noguchi, Rehabilitation Sciences, PhD student

Members of the 2022-2023 Executive Committee 

  • Hajar Abu Alrob, Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, PhD student​
  • Deedee (Diane) Begin, Dual PhD in Rehabilitation Science/MSc in Occupational Therapy​
  • Jasdeep Brar, Health Research Methodology, MSc studen​t
  • Stephanie Hatzifilalithis, Health Aging & Society​, postdoctoral fellow
  • Michael Kamal, Department of Kinesiology​, PhD student
  • Sophini Subramaniam, Biomedical Engineering, PhD student ​

Members are invited to present their research to the group. Email the MIRA Trainee Network at if you are interested in presenting.

For the latest trainee news and updates, visit the MIRA Trainee Network blog.​

“The Trainee Network has provided me with the opportunity to network with other researchers in aging, gather feedback on study and data analysis protocols, and ample opportunity to practice skills in knowledge translation. I’m looking forward to maintaining these connections moving forward as I finish my Ph.D.”

— Sara Oikawa, PhD Candidate

“Since I have been involved with the Network from the beginning, the Executive Committee has become an outlet to develop my own leadership skills and to cater meetings and events to reflect the needs of this group of researchers as well as give visibility to our members through the website.”

— Sydney Valentino, MSc Candidate

“This experience influenced my research goals as I now wish to pursue a post-graduate degree studying the aging population and continue this work in my career. The Fellowship allowed me to continue to enhance the skills I had previously obtained through my thesis and create connections with other professionals and students in the field.”

— Giulia Coletta, MIRA Undergraduate Fellow

“Being able to connect with research trainees in other Faculties dedicated to research on aging has broadened my awareness of the complexity of the issues that need to be addressed. The opportunities provided by the MIRA Trainee Network have helped me develop my skills in research collaboration, knowledge dissemination and leadership.”

— Ruheena Sangrar, PhD Candidate

Email MIRA at:       Follow us on Twitter : @MIRAMcMaster
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