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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

FHSC project summaries

Supervisors
Bernadette Murphy Ginny Brunton Janet McCabe JoAnne Arcand Laura Banks Manon Lemonde
Mika Nonoyama Nick La Delfa Paul Yielder Syed Qadri Winnie Sun

 

Supervisor name:  Bernadette Murphy, PhD
Project title:  Does altered muscle feedback from the neck affect brain processing?

Summary of research project:  When people learn new skills it changes the way the brain processes information. Recent work in our lab indicates that neck pain and neck fatigue both affect upper limb performance accuracy. It may also change the way that the brain processes information from the arm and controls movement. The aim of this project is to use novel neurophysiology techniques to investigate how altered input from the neck changes brain excitability, and how it affects upper limb movement and performance. Neck fatigue occurs in many occupations, and it also occurs due to constant technology use. This project will provide important information on whether this leads to workplace errors and increases injury risk.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  Students will assist in recruiting and testing participants, and performing data analysis. They will acquire skills in:

  1. Collecting and analyzing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) data.
  2. Collecting and analyzing somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to study sensory processing by the brain.
  3. Running statistical analyses and data presentation.
  4. Communicating with research participants.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

Kinesiology students who have strong grades in Neuroscience courses (e.g. Intro to Movement Neuroscience, Motor Control completed or in progress) are eligible to apply.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Training in acquisition of neurophysiological data.
  • Training in analysis of neurophysiological data.
  • Training in statistical analysis and data presentation.
  • Communication skills in both interpersonal communication and presentation.
  • Improved scientific writing.

Award available:  Ontario Tech STAR Award or NSERC USRA


Supervisor name:  Ginny Brunton, PhD
Project title:  Training in systematic review methods: research on home birth

Summary of research project:  Research evidence can bring new knowledge to people making decisions about health care. Researchers use the systematic review method to locate, assess and analyze the relevant research in order to bring this knowledge into personal, practice and policy decisions. A recent CIHR-funded scoping review of home birth identified several topics for further synthesis. These include fathers’ views of home birth, perceptions of rural home birth and the experience of transfer from home to hospital during birth. This project seeks to provide systematic review training to undergraduate students through their involvement on a qualitative evidence synthesis of stakeholders’ views of home birth.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  Students will assist with the systematic review qualitative evidence synthesis process, supported by the supervisor. This will include:

  • Searching multiple databases and websites.
  • Use of EndNote software.
  • Screening of identified references: full text retrieval, data extraction, critical appraisal, synthesis and communication of results.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

Eligible students will show evidence of:

  • An interest in research and close attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently and consult regularly with their Supervisor.
  • A 75+ average in a critical appraisal course.
  • Ability to access/search electronic databases (e.g. MEDLINE) and use citation software.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Students will gain specific training in systematic review methods.
  • They will also gain skills in
    • Critical thinking.
    • Time management.
    • Team work.

Award available:  Ontario Tech STAR Award


Supervisor name:  Janet McCabe, PhD
Project title:  Supporting Food Literacy and Individuals with Intellectual Disbabilities

Summary of research project:  This small qualitative project aims to provide key pilot data that will build the foundation for a larger grant application. The project is driven by the overarching objective of improved understanding of the needs of individuals with intellectual disability with regards to food literacy. Specifically, the project will aim to answer the following research questions:

  1. What areas of food literacy do individuals with ID identify as a priority.
  2. What is the experience of caregivers of individuals with ID in regards to the priority areas identified?

The research questions will be answered through the use of qualitative interviews and focus groups.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  Responsibilities of the student will include: 

  • Arranging and participating in focus groups and interviews.
  • Transcribing
  • Data analysis.

In addition, the student may be engaged with drafts of poster presentations and articles, including required background literature reviews.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • Year 3 or 4 health science or social science student with an interest, and experience, working with individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
  • The student must be comfortable and confident working in an online/group environment, and be self directed.
  • Basic computer skills required.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • The student will be expected to be an active participant of the research team.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Training in interviews and focus groups will be provided by the PI.
  • Training in transcription will be provided by the PI.
  • An overview of the health inequalities and system level barriers to health experienced by individuals with intellectual disability will be provided as it relates to the study.
  • The student will be supported in learning communication techniques for working with individuals with intellectual disability.

Award available:  Ontario Tech STAR Award


Supervisor name:  JoAnne Arcand, PhD
Project title:  Dietary sodium-related knowledge, attitudes and intended behaviours among Canadian adults with and without hypertension

Summary of research project:  Excess dietary sodium intake is a significant dietary risk factor for mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours (KAB) related to dietary sodium have a major impact on intake; however, there is no recent Canadian data on this topic and none that links dietary sodium intake to sodium KAB. This cross-sectional study will:

  1. Assess dietary sodium KAB, and
  2. Determine the relationship between sodium KAB and measured dietary sodium intake.

Participants will complete an online sodium KAB questionnaire, as well as two 24-hour urine collections and a 3-day food record to assess sodium intake. Recruitment is underway and is anticipated to be completed in June 2021.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  The student will work as part of an interdisciplinary research team that includes graduate students, research assistants and physician collaborators. The student will assist with participant recruitment, protocol implementation, and data collection, entry, analysis and reporting. The student will be required to participate in weekly research team meetings, and lab meetings with Dr. Arcand’s trainees.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

The ideal student will be:

  • Interested in nutrition, ideally with a minimum grade of A- in a nutrition course.Detail oriented.
  • Able to think critically.
  • Self-directed, take initiative, resourceful and responsive.
  • Highly skilled in written and interpersonal communication.
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Scientific skills: data collection analysis, data and statistical analysis, interpretation of results, scientific writing, dissemination.
  • Development of professional skills: teamwork, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, written and oral communication skills, networking.
  • Expanded nutrition knowledge and nutrition research skills: nutrition assessment, diet analysis using specialized software.
  • An understanding of the research process, including: protocol management (logistics, reporting) and implementation (recruitment, data collection).
  • Skills in research operations, including: interactions with participants, clinical operations and data flow (i.e., database maintenance).

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award


Supervisor name:  Laura Banks, PhD
Project title:  A systematic review of cardiovascular therapy-based randomized controlled trial (RCT) outcomes by age, sex, and race

Summary of research project:  Cardiovascular (CV) disease is a leading cause of death in Canada. A majority of CV therapy-based randomized controlled trials (RCT) have evaluated CV outcomes primarily in Caucasian males. Fewer data are available on the efficacy of CV therapies among underrepresented cohorts (female sex, older age, and non-Caucasian race), despite their prescribed use. The primary research objective of this project is to evaluate the outcomes of common CV therapy RCTs (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, ICD; and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy, CRT) by age, sex, and race. Project findings may yield clinically-relevant data to inform guidelines/care that is representative of our diverse population.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  The student will contribute to systematic reviews exploring cardiovascular (CV) therapy randomized controlled trial (RCT) outcomes by age, sex, and race. Student tasks include:

  • Develop advanced knowledge on CV therapies and RCT design.
  • Analyze/refine search strategy results (to be executed by a librarian).
  • Assist with manuscript preparation.
  • Collaborate with research team virtually and attend regular meetings (e.g. >2 days/wk).

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • Prior experience with manuscript data extraction, academic writing
  • Advanced research methods and/or statistical knowledge, including use of EXCEL, Covidence.
  • Faculty of Health Sciences student (GPA>4.0).
  • Prerequisite Courses:
    • HLSC 2462U/2463U - Altered Physiology I and II
    • HLSC 3910U - Research Methods for Health Care Professionals

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Conducting a systematic review (training provided by faculty supervisor).
  • Use of appropriate software (Excel, Covidence; provided by faculty supervisor).
  • Research ethics training (TCPS2 tutorial completion; available online).
  • Academic manuscript writing skills (provided by Writing Centre and/or faculty).

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award


Supervisor name:  Manon Lemonde, PhD
Project title:  Cannabidiol use in the health care system

Summary of research project:  The objective of this project is to conduct a systematic review focusing on how cannabidiol (CBD) could be used effectively in the healthcare system. Researchers will use current and reliable evidence to describe what CBD is being used for, how it is being used and the logistics of using CBD in clinical settings. Research will further touch on the physical, psychological and behavioral effects of CBD on individuals of all ages and living different health related concerns. With CBD becoming more popular among the public, it is important for healthcare professionals to get an understanding of the use of CBD in clinical and community settings.

Student responsibilities/tasks: 

  • The student will:
    • Focus on understanding CBD use in the health care system.
    • Be responsible for researching evidence-based literature about CBD from Canadian sources, as well as from other countries; the student will need to also consider the grey literature.
    • Develop a systematic review.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to develop awareness of the topic, uncover current perspectives of CBD, and find an interesting way to present the evidence.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • Interested in research within the health care system.
  • Completed two semesters in the faculty of Health Science.
  • Have obtained a 3.0 GPA in the last semester.
  • Autonomous, detail oriented with a strong sense of responsibility.
  • Self-motivated, goal oriented, and well organized.
  • Reliable, punctual.
  • Seeks new challenges and willing to accept accountability.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Critical thinking and analysis about health care system functioning.
  • Identification of reliable source of evidence.
  • Ability to discriminate information about the grey literature in a systematic review.
  • Building competence in learning about complementary therapies in clinical and community settings.

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award


Supervisor name:  Mika Nonoyama, PhD
Project title:  Identifying Research Priorities in Respiratory Therapy: A Delphi Survey

Summary of research project:  Respiratory therapists (RTs) are health professionals who assess and provide therapies to support people’s breathing, across all age groups, in a variety of practice settings and in an assortment of diseases. They provide care in mechanical ventilation, airway management, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, diagnostics, oxygen therapies and pulmonary rehabilitation. Despite RTs involvement in a broad range of tasks and activities, their role in research is in its infancy because RT-specific priorities have not been identified. The objective of this project is to create Canadian RT research priorities, based on the perspectives and expertise of RTs across Canada using the Delphi Survey Technique.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  Help with protocol development and research ethics board submission (SickKids and Ontario Tech University); aiding with data collection, and analysis (quantitative and qualitative).

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

The student must:

  • Be a 4th year Health sciences or science student.
  • Have successful completion of HLSC3910 (research methods) or equivalent with minimum B+.

Assets:

  • Completed HLSC4996/4997 (research applications) or HLSC4998 (research practicum) or equivalent.
  • Knowledge of respiratory physiology and pathophysiology.
  • Qualitative research experience.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Protocol writing
  • REB submission process
  • Delphi survey technique
  • Focus group process
  • Data collection, cleaning and preliminary analysis

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award


Supervisor name:  Nick La Delfa, PhD
Project title:  Exploring the interaction between cognitive and muscle fatigue on physical performance

Summary of research project:  Both muscle fatigue and prolonged mental exertion are individually linked to deficits in motor performance and strength. However, the combined effects of these exposures are relatively under-explored, which can have tremendous consequences in certain occupations (e.g. dentistry, surgery). Using both a laboratory-based study (if possible) and a systematic review of the literature, this research project will explore the individual and interactive effects of these occupational exposures on upper limb task performance and muscle capacity.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  For this research project, the student will work with more senior researchers on two main efforts. The first will be data analysis related to an experimental lab-based study. The student will meet regularly with Dr. La Delfa and grad students involved in this project and learn to process and analyze electromyography and force data. Other responsibilities will include contributions towards a systematic literature review in this area.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

A-' or higher in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics (HLSC 4471U) AND Occupational Ergonomics (HLSC 4475U).

Note: candidates currently enrolled in HLSC 4475U will also be considered.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Will gain familiarity with neuromechanics lab skills, including EMG and dynamometry
  • systematic literature review.
  • Signal processing and data analysis.
  • Preparing a manuscript to be submitted to peer-reviewed journal.

Award available:  Ontario Tech STAR Award or NSERC USRA


Supervisor name:  Paul Yielder, PhD
Project title:  The effect of recurrent neck pain on the vestibulo-ocular reflex

Summary of research project:  Because of the particular role the part of the brain called the cerebellum has in modulating eye movements, it has provided us with a unique way to directly measure cerebellum function, using measures such as the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). The VOR keeps the eyes on target despite head and/or body movements that include the head, whether these movements are self-produced or externally imposed. This research uses a state of the art eye tracking system to measures changes in the way the output of cerebellum is affected by recurrent neck pain. This work will measure the vestibulo-ocular reflex and hand-eye coordination in individuals with recurrent neck pain

Student responsibilities/tasks: 

  1. The student will assist in:Recruiting participants and obtaining informed consent, statistical analysis and data presentation of collected data.
  2. Collecting and analyzing the vestibulo-ocular reflex using the Eye-Link II eye-tracking system.
  3. Using 3D motion analysis to measure spatial and temporal error in maintaining target fixation throughout head movement.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

Kinesiology students who have strong grades in Neuroscience courses (e.g. Intro to Movement Neuroscience, Motor Control completed or in progress) are eligible to apply.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

Student will:

  • Receive training in utilizing an advanced high speed eye-tracking system.
  • Receive training in analyzing vestibulo-ocular reflex results.
  • Learn to use 3D motion analysis to measure spatial and temporal error in maintaining target fixation throughout head movement.
  • Receive training in statistical analysis and data presentation.
  • Improve their interpersonal and research communication skills.

Award available:  Ontario Tech STAR Award or NSERC USRA


Supervisor name:  Syed Qadri, PhD
Project title:  Mechanisms of red blood cell microparticle release during blood bank storage

Summary of research project:  During their storage in blood bank, red blood cells (RBC) undergo numerous biochemical and structural changes which lead to progressive deterioration in their quality. Prolonged refrigerated storage of RBCs triggers the release of microparticles (MPs) containing various bioactive molecules derived from the parent RBCs. This project aims to identify the molecular mechanisms which regulate MP release from RBCs during storage.

Student responsibilities/tasks:  The student will assist in the preparation of different buffers required for RBC sampling and perform microparticle (MP) isolation. The student will further help in elucidating different MP proteins using flow cytometry and immunoblotting. The student will also be expected to perform thorough literature reviews to understand relevant research questions and methodologies for this project.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • BIOL 2030U – Cell Biology (Grade: B; 3.0 GPA)
  • BIOL 2020U – Genetics and Molecular Biology (Grade: B; 3.0 GPA)
  • BIOL 2080U – Biochemistry I (Grade: B; 3.0 GPA)
  • Basic laboratory skills required: Pipetting, preparation of simple solutions, preparation of samples, and using basic lab equipment such as water baths, pH meter, microcentrifuges, etc.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • Isolation and enumeration of RBC-derived microparticles.
  • Cellular phenotyping using flow cytometry analyses and Western blotting.
  • Comprehensive understanding of RBC product quality assessment in blood banking.

Award available:  Ontario Tech STAR Award or NSERC USRA


Supervisor name:  Winnie Sun, PhD
Project title:  Advancing Reminiscence Therapy through Virtual Reality Application to Promote Social Connectedness of Persons with Dementia

Summary of research project:  Reminiscence therapy is a multi-sensory treatment that uses a combination of sight, touch, taste, smell and sound to help persons with dementia (PWD) remember events, people and places from their past lives. The purpose of our study is to understand the effects of virtual reality over traditional forms of reminiscence therapy to help PWD recall memories from the past into present awareness. Our objective is to co-design and develop a framework prototype for creating immersive and interactive virtual reminiscence experiences to facilitate the caregiving and management of behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Student responsibilities/tasks: 

  1. To conduct usability testing of a prototype immersive/non-immersive virtual reminiscence therapy for persons with dementia at Ontario Shores.
  2. To evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reminiscence experiences using non-invasive data analytics and physiological measures.
  3. To analyze the effects of virtual reality in comparison with other traditional forms of reminiscence intervention in the Geriatric Dementia Unit.

 Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, etc.):

  • Health informatics or courses in aging/dementia care is preferred.
  • Minimum grade: B+.
  • Experience or interest in health informatics and technology evaluation.
  • Experience or interest in working with persons with dementia or older adults.
  • Experience in project management.
  • Knowledge in SPSS and Nvivo is preferred.
  • Good verbal and written communication.

Expected training/skills to be received by the student:

  • To co-design and develop a framework prototype for creating immersive and interactive virtual reminiscence experiences to facilitate the caregiving and management of behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia.
  • To develop health informatic skills in user needs assessment through focus groups, prototype development, usability testing and evaluation of technologies.

Award available:  Ontario Tech STAR Award