Getting kids to be more physically and mentally fit. Reducing damage caused by blood vessels breaking down in older age. Mapping out the impacts of parenthood and aging on the brain. Understanding how perfectionism and stress interact in young people.
These are the areas in which Brock University will be gaining a wealth of expertise with four new Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) and the renewal of an existing Chair announced Wednesday, Jan. 12 by Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne.
Canada Research Chairs are nationally recognized experts who contribute knowledge, understanding, and solutions to society. With Wednesday’s announcement, Brock is now home to 12 CRCs, with another two allocations expected to be filled in the next few years.
Brock University’s new CRCs and their research areas include:
- Paula Duarte-Guterman, Assistant Professor, Psychology. She is examining how parenthood and aging influence the formation of neurons in the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning and memory and the regulation of stress and anxiety.
- Matthew Kwan, Assistant Professor, Child and Youth Studies. He is investigating new theoretical and practical approaches to understanding ‘movement behaviours’ — sleep, sitting and physical activity — in youth and how these impact youth mental health and well-being.
- Danielle Sirianni Molnar, Associate Professor, Child and Youth Studies. She is studying the lived experience of young perfectionists and their parents, the roles of acute and chronic stress in perfectionism and its effects on adjustment and well-being, and how parent–adolescent relationships moderate links between perfectionism, stress, adjustment and well-being
- Newman Sze, Professor, Health Sciences. He is examining how early life adversities, stressful lifestyles and unhealthy diets can increase damage to the blood vessel lining and will also investigate if drugs targeting the blood vessel lining can be used to prevent age-related diseases.
Supporting this research is $623,933 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)’s John R. Evans Leadership Fund for the purchase of state-of-the-art specialized equipment.
“Brock University’s group of world-class researchers will make great contributions to our understanding of child and youth development and the aging process,” says Brock University Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon.
“CFI’s investment in Brock is critical support for the cutting-edge discoveries our researchers are making,” he says.
In addition to the new CRCs, Associate Professor of Kinesiology Michael Holmes, who was named Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Neuromuscular Mechanics and Ergonomics in 2016, has had his Chair renewed. He specializes in researching workplace injuries.
The Canada Research Chair Program invests around $265 million per year “to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds” in the fields of engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences, says the program’s website.
Similarly, the John R. Evans Leadership Fund helps institutions recruit researchers and to acquire the tools and equipment needed to conduct groundbreaking and important research.
To read more about all 12 Brock University Canada Research Chairs, visit the Research at Brock website.