Two FHS Members Named to Canadian Academy of Health Sciences

Congratulations to Faculty of Health Sciences professors Michelle Mottola (Kinesiology) and Ingrid Johnsrude (Communication Sciences and Disorders), on their inductions as fellows of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS). The academy recognizes those who have a history of outstanding performance in the academic health sciences in Canada.

An anatomist and exercise physiologist, Professor Mottola is the Director of the R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation Exercise and Pregnancy Lab and has a joint appointment in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry’s Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology.

Throughout her career, Professor Mottola has been a leader in gestational diabetes exploration. She co-led the team whose work culminated in the 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity Throughout Pregnancy, a set of recommendations for physical activity for pregnant women developed with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP). 

In addition to providing a nationally recognized framework for gestational diabetes prevention, CSEP guidelines are cited in the World Health Organization’s 2020 Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour.

The Western Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of Western’s Brain and Mind Institute, Professor Johnsrude’s major contributions are related to how the brain is organized for perception of speech and language. She trained as a clinical neuropsychologist and uses neuroimaging and psychoacoustic methods to study how cognitive control and knowledge facilitate speech comprehension when background sound makes it hard to hear.

In particular, she has contributed novel magnetic resonance imaging methods to study brain-behaviour relationships; has discovered how familiar voices aid speech perception in noise, and her work on brain organization supporting speech perception has been influential. Her work is especially clinically relevant for older people, who often have difficulty understanding speech in noise.

About the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences

The objective of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences is to provide assessments of and advice on key issues relevant to the health of Canadians. In order to achieve this role it will:

  • Serve as a credible, expert and independent assessor of science and technology (S&T) issues relevant to the health of Canadians;
  • Support the development of timely, informed and strategic advice on urgent health issues;
  • Support the development of sound and informed public policy related to these issues;
  • Enhance understanding of S&T issues affecting the public good by transmitting the results of assessments and providing opportunities for public discussion of these matters;
  • Provide a collective authoritative multi-disciplinary voice of health sciences communities;
  • Represent Canadian health sciences internationally and liaise with like international academies to enhance understanding and potential collaborations on matters of mutual interest.

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