CCAA Research Director Dr. Don Paterson Receives the 2012 CSEP Honour Award

From the CSEP Communiqué November 2012CSEP Honour Award

CSEP Honour Award


Dr. Donald Paterson is truly dedicated to the field of exercise physiology. His exemplary achievements and the testaments of his peers epitomize his outstanding contributions as a researcher, academic, mentor and volunteer. 

Dr. Paterson obtained his Bachelor of Science (Hons P.E.) in 1971 at York University, a Master of Arts (Physical Education) at the University of Western Ontario in 1972, and his Doctorate at the University of Toronto in 1975.  Dr. Paterson has been a Faculty member at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) for the past 34 years and is currently a Professor, and former Associate Dean, in the School of Kinesiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Dr. Paterson is also the Research Director for the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging, a position he has held since 1993.

Dr. Paterson's CV attests to his academic excellence and outstanding contributions to exercise physiology in Canada and internationally. Dr. Paterson's research is in the area of integrative human physiology. Over his career he has studied cardiorespiratory responses to exercise, initially with emphasis on the cardiovascular system and then respiratory function, and more recently on muscle blood flow and metabolism. At the same time his research has been focused on "population groups" and is presently aimed at understanding the exercise responses and limitations in older adults and the relationships of fitness to health and overall well-being of older adults. Most recently, his research interests have expanded to include exercise program evaluation and dissemination.
Throughout his career Dr. Paterson has consistently translated his basic science work to applied outcomes.  His most significant scientific contribution in the area was perhaps the longitudinal follow-up in which, for the first time, he and his colleagues showed that after controlling for age and diseases, cardiorespiratory fitness was a major determinant of functional autonomy. The recognition that cardiorespiratory fitness is pertinent for maintenance of functional ability, quality of life and independence in older age has immense practical significance. As a result of  these contributions he was recruited by the CSEP Physical Activity, Measurement and Guidelines committee to undertake the scientific review to revise the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults. He served on the committee throughout the process of development, publishing, public messaging, and promotion. His 2007 review was used as a source in the development of the US Physical Activity Guidelines. Further, this review and a systematic review published in 2010 provided the scientific basis for the development of the UK Older Adult Guidelines and the World Health Organization Guidelines. His work has been broadly used by end users to educate young professionals such as CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologists® and Senior Fitness Instructors.

Dr. Paterson has published over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts, has over 300 published abstracts and in excess of 60 invited scientific presentations. Dr. Paterson has also had tremendous success at acquiring grant funding - approximately $3,000,000 as a PI over the course of his career.

In addition to these measureable indicators of productivity and success, Dr. Paterson is also a caring mentor who is invested in the success of students under his supervision. He has served as the primary supervisor for 20 MSc students, 12 PhDs, 3 Post-Doctoral Fellows and numerous undergraduates. He has also been a member of the supervisory committee for another 47 MSc and 26 PhD students. Several of these former trainees now hold academic appointments at "research intensive" universities in North America.  Despite his incredible accomplishments he remains a humble and dedicated scientist.

It is important to acknowledge Dr. Paterson's leadership and involvement in the Society as a volunteer.  Over the last 35 years he has been a member of two AGM organizing committees (1978 and 1993), and twice a member of the CSEP journal Editorial Board - for the Canadian Journal of Applied Sport Sciences (1981-1984), and the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology (1994-1998).  He served as Treasurer to the Society (then CASS) from 1981 to 1984 and a term as President-elect, President, Past-President from 1985 to 1988.  He regularly attends the CSEP AGM and CSEP Presidents' Council meetings to remain informed and involved.

Dr. Donald Paterson, as a result of your outstanding accomplishments and distinguished service, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology is pleased to present you its highest form of recognition, the CSEP/SCPE Honour Award.

Posted by: Liza Stathokostas

Photo:  Dr. Earl Noble, CSEP President, presenting the Honour Award to Dr. Paterson

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