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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. Individual recordings of the talks are available below, or on this playlist

More information available here: Trainee Talks Poster.

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

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 & falls in older adults. A secondary analysis of data from the CLSA
Geoff Coombs, Kinesiology | Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment


The MIRA Trainee Grant Writing Workshop is a 6-month hybrid initiative to improve grant writing self efficacy among trainees interested in aging research..Specifically targeting grant writing self-efficacy has the potential to increase the likelihood of grant submission among trainees. A playlist of videos from the workshop series is available here. Individual presentations and slides are available below.

Kickoff Event 
Welcome and introduction, Kenny Noguchi
Aging funding landscape, intro to catalyst grant, Gésine Alders
Forming an interdisciplinary team, Ada Tang
Knowledge translation and mobilization, Casey Irvin
Tips for successful grant writing, Cynthia Belaskie
Writing a compelling rationale and research question, Peter Rosenbaum
Quantitative and qualitative methods, Laura Anderson, Sandra Moll
Perspectives from a grant reviewer and the process, Ravi Selvaganapathy

Writing a Lay Summary, Dr. Tara Packham, Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Science
Presentation Slides- Writing a Lay Summary

Canadian Common CV (CCV), Hanna Fang, Research Coordinator, School of Rehabilitation Science
Presentation Slides- Canadian Common CV

Engaging with Older Adults, Caregivers and Stakeholders Dr. Soo Chan Carusone, Assistant Clinical Professor, Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact & Penelope Petrie, McMaster Collaborative for Health & Aging
Presentation Slides- Engaging with Older Adults, Caregivers and Stakeholders

Statistical Analysis Plan, Dr. Luciana Macedo, Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University
Presentation Slides- Statistical Analysis Plan

Mechanics of Grant Writing, Dr Evelyne Durocher, Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University.
Presentation Slides - Mechanics of Grant Writing

Tips from an Early Career Researcher, Dr. Jeremy Walsh, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology, McMaster University
Presentation Slides - Tips from an Early Career Researcher

Budgeting 101, Julie Croskill, Research Grants Manager, Health Research Services (HRS) & Beatrice Fletcher, Senior Advisor, Research Office for Administration, Development and Support (ROADS)
Presentation Slides - Budgeting 101



  • 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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