Research Associates

CCAA Research Associates connect and collaborate with colleagues at Western University, with other national and international colleagues at leading, research-intensive universities, and with Community Partners from CCAA’s provincial and national networks of functional fitness leadership facilitators and trainers.

Research Associates often conduct studies on activity, health, well-being and aging that include participants recruited from CCAA’s large membership of older adults enrolled in its on-site and in partners’ community-based functional fitness group exercise and activity classes. They also can access the CCAA research database (i.e., Healthy Active Living Database- HAroLD) that contain annual functional fitness assessment data collected since 2009.

Research Associates include outstanding, award-winning junior, mid- and senior-career faculty, postdoctoral fellows and high-quality graduate research students from a range of disciplines and professions including exercise and movement science, exercise physiology, geriatric medicine, gerontology, health and rehabilitation sciences, kinesiology, neuroscience, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physical and rehabilitative medicine, psychology (e.g., neuropsychology, clinical, etc.), among others.

  • Internal Associates

  • External Associates

Glen Belfry

Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Physiology and biochemistry of exercise training
  • Exercise and testing protocols to enhance body composition in youth

Anita Christie

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Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Neuromuscular function
  • Neurophysiological and functional changes with advanced age
  • Neurophysiological and functional changes following mild traumatic brain injury

Denise Connelly

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Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Physical activity participation
  • Function and mobility
  • Aging in place
  • Health promotion in long-term care

Leah Dagenais

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PhD Student, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Dementia
  • Discourse
  • Neurogenic communication disorders

Lorie Donelle

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Associate Professor, Labatt Family Research Chair (Digital Health), Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Digital health
  • Health literacy

Cheryl Forchuk

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Distinguished University Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Health promotion
  • Issues related to community integeration for people who have mental illness, including: Therapeutic Relationships
  • Social support, housing/homelessness

Cecilia Flores-Sandoval

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PhD Candidate, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Health promotion
  • Patient and family engagement in decision-making
  • Transitional care
  • Geriatrics health care teams
  • Geriatrics and gerontology education
  • Ageism
  • Interprofessional education

Paula Folkeard

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Research Audiologist, National Centre for Audiology, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Hearing aid technology and outcomes with adults
  • Product evaluation

Anna Garnett

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Assistant Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Older adults
  • Caregivers
  • Chronic disease management
  • Physical activity
  • Health promotion in older adults

Laura Gonzalez-Lara

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Community Research Coordinator, BrainsCAN, Western Research

  • Community Engagement
  • Neuroscience

Matthew Heath

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Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences and Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry

  • Executive function
  • Brain health
  • Neuropsychology
  • Movement
  • Aerobic

Susan Hunter

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Associate Professor, School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Falls in older adults
  • Rehabilitation of people with dementia
  • Assessment of balance

Anita Kothari

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Associate Professor, School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Supporting the use of research and knowledge in healthcare decision-making
  • Integrated knowledge translation or research co-production
  • The impact of research and evidence
  • Public health systems and services
  • Health equity

John Kowalchuk

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Professor Emeritus & Adjunct Research Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Integrative human physiology
  • Exercise metabolism
  • Cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory adjustments and their control during exercise
  • Aging and cardiovascular and metabolic responses to exercise

Debbie Laliberte Rudman

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Professor, Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Critical qualitative methodologies
  • Occupational and social inequities in later life
  • Precarity and aging
  • Social inclusion in later life
  • Aging, work and retirement

Michael Marsala

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Doctoral Student, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Neuromuscular Function
  • Sex differences in neuromuscular physiology
  • Motor unit control of force production

Laura Murray

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Professor and School Director, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Acquired cognitive and communicative disorders (e.g., aphasia, dementia)
  • Cognitive and communicative aspects of typical aging

Manuel Montero-Odasso

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Professor; Geriatrician, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Parkwood Institute

  • Gait and brain health
  • Falls
  • Dementia

Marco Prado

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Professor and Scientist and Canada Research Chair Tier 1, Robarts Research Institute; Department of Physiology and Pharmacology; Anatomy & Cell Biology

  • Neurochemistry
  • Alzheimer's disease, dementia
  • Parkinson's
  • Aging

Charles Rice

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Professor, School of Kinesiology, and Dept. of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Fac of Health Sciences and Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry

  • Neuromuscular Physiology
  • Aging
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Exercise

Alison Rushton

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Professor and Director, School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Spinal pain
  • Precision musculoskeletal rehabilitation
  • Evidence syntheses
  • Pilot, feasibility and definitive trials
  • Observational studies
  • Mixed methods

Munira Sultana

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Post Doctoral Fellow, Parkwood Institute, Gait and Brain Lab, St. Joseph Health Care

  • Dementia
  • Cognitive health
  • Balance and gait
  • Metabolome and Lipidome markers for dementia

Aleksandra Zecevic

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Associate Professor, School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Falls, injury, fall-related injury, risk of falls and injury, mobility
  • Safety in later life, adverse events, older adults, aging
  • Aging globally, international collaborations in aging, Scandinavia, Japan
  • Age Friendly Cities, health care systems
  • Gerontology education, gerontology
  • Biomechanics

Quincy Almeida

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Director/Full Professor, Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre/Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Faculty of Science, Wilfrid Laurier University

  • Parkinson's
  • Movement disorders
  • Rehabiltation
  • Motor control
  • Gait
  • Biomechanics

Danielle Bouchard

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Associate Professor, Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick

  • Aging
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentarity

Lauren Bechard

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Doctoral Candidate, Department of Kinesiology, Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo

  • Dementia
  • Healthy Cognitive Aging
  • Health Promotion
  • Physical Activity
  • Behaviour Change
  • Patient-Engaged Research

Steven Crawford

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CEO, McCormick Care Group

  • Dementia care
  • Quality of life

Shilpa Dogra

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Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Active transportation
  • Respiratory disease
  • E-bikes
  • Built environment

Kate Dupuis

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Schlegel Innovation Leader in Arts and Aging, Sheridan Centre for Elder Research, Sheridan College

  • Arts
  • Aging
  • Health
  • Neuropsychology
  • Dementia
  • Caregivers
  • Recreation and leisure

Lora Giangregorio

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Professor and Schlegel Research Chair, Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo

  • Exercise
  • Rehabilitation
  • Osteoporosis

Navjot Gill

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Doctoral Student (Aging, Health and Wellbeing), School of Public Health and Health Systems, Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo

  • Health promotion and falls prevention in seniors
  • Aging, health and wellbeing
  • Home care
  • Aging in place
  • Health-seeking behaviour
  • Dementia care

Tim Hartley

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Research Coordinator, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program, St. Joseph's Health Care London

  • The intersection of health and fitness
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Exercise physiology
  • Cardiopulmonary exercise testing

Kelsey Harvey

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Postdoctoral Fellow, Paul R. McPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching, McMaster University

  • Social and Educational Gerontology
  • Recreation and Leisure
  • Physical Activity and Aging

Jennifer Jakobi

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Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Health and Social Development, University of British Columbia Okanagan

  • Sex-specific differences
  • Functional mobility
  • Exercise neuroscience
  • Motoneuron physiology

Shanthi Johnson

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Professor and Dean, School of Public Health, University of Alberta

  • Health promotion and falls prevention in seniors
  • Aging in place in rural and remote areas
  • Social isolation in seniors especially among immigrant and refugee seniors

Tara Kuhn

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Doctoral Student, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Universtiy of Waterloo

  • Aging
  • Sleep
  • Exercise

Monica Maly

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Associate Professor, The Arthritis Society/CIHR-IMHA STARS Midcareer Award, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health, University of Waterloo

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knee biomechanics
  • Physiotherapy, rehabilitation

William McIlroy

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Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health, University of Waterloo

  • Balance
  • Gait
  • Exercise
  • Aging
  • Neurodegeneration

Samira Mehrabi

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PhD Candidate - Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo

  • Physical exercise, cognition and mental well-being in older adults
  • Technological innovations to support active aging

Said Mekary

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Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Professional Studies, Acadia University

  • Aging
  • Chronic disease
  • Exercise physiology
  • Cardiovascular physiology
  • Cognition
  • Neuro-imaging

Laura Middleton

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Associate Professor, Faculty of Health, Univeristy of Waterloo

  • Integrated knowledge translation

Juan Murias

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Associate Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary

  • Exercise training and cardiovascular adaptations with focus on aging

Stuart Phillips

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Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Science, McMaster University

  • Aging
  • Muscle
  • Fitness
  • Diet

Silvia Pogliaghi

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Associate Professor of Human Physiology, Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Italy

  • Exercise physiology
  • Muscle metabolism

Lia Tsotsos

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Director, Centre for Elder Research, Sheridan College

  • Aging
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Sensory systems
  • Health promotion
  • Inclusive design
  • Interdisciplinary studies
  • Scientific literacy