Concordia University

Research Awards

Concordia stimulates interest in research, participatory research, or research-creation work that complements undergraduate coursework, and prepares students for graduate studies and research-related careers.

Past award recipients

Winner of the Ed Whitlock Award

Kerri Delaney
Kerri Delaney

The aim of my research is to further develop our understanding of how obesity leads to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). In Canada, the number of individuals who suffer from T2D has almost doubled in the past 10 years, with individuals who are 65 years or over having the highest rate of new diagnosis. Individuals with obesity are two times more likely to develop T2D than healthy weight comparisons, however not everyone who is obese develops T2D. Recent evidence has indicated that changes of the cellular activity in fat tissue may be to blame. Fat tissue from different regions of the body can vary greatly in inflammatory markers, immune cell presence and fat cell size and number, all of which can be related to insulin resistance. The objectives of my thesis project are to compare the effects of obesity and T2D on regional inflammation, immune cell presence, and fat cell characteristics and to determine how weight loss modulates changes in these outcomes. Furthering our knowledge in these areas will help to improve obesity and T2D prevention and management programs, promoting increased quality of life and healthier aging.

Winner of the Ali Ahmed Shams Award

Kesaan Kandasamy
Kesaan Kandasamy

I am an undergraduate psychology student working under the supervision of Dr. Karen Li. The project I am engaged in examines the influence of attention, memory, and suppression of goal-irrelevant information on postural control in older adults. We are testing participants here at the PERFORM centre using a cued platform movement paradigm.

Poster Awards

Patricia Dudar Award  ($500)

Winner: Amel Yaddaden
Poster Presentation: Cook to Support Elderly in Meal Preparation: Clinicians Perspective

Patricia Dudar Award  ($500)

Winner: Maude Brisson-McKenna
Poster Presentation: Auditory discourse processing in bilinguals: an ERP analysis

SGS Fitness Scholarship  ($500)

Winner: Aiden Hallihan
Poster Presentation: Analyzing male and female hockey players during a stop-and-go transition skating task

SGS Fitness Scholarship  ($500)

Winner: Alida Esmail
Poster Presentation: Clothing in the Everyday Life of Persons with a Physical Disability: A Scoping Review

Réseau de recherche en santé CardioMétabolique, Diabète et Obésité (CMDO) Award ($500)

Winner: Julia Huck
Poster Presentation: High resolution atlasing of the venous brain vasculature from 7T quantitative susceptibility

Réseau de recherche en santé CardioMétabolique, Diabète et Obésité (CMDO) Award ($500)

Winner: Chelsea Pozzebon
Poster Presentation: Computing a meaningful change index on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in healthy older adults

Winner of the Ed Whitlock Award

Rachel Downey_Professional Photo
Rachel Downey

Rachel Downey received a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Guelph, and an M.Sc. in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Toronto, where she evaluated the clinical utility of a sideline concussion assessment tool (SCAT3) in varsity athletes. She is currently completing her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University under the supervision of Dr. Karen Li. Her current graduate work is investigating the effect of aerobic exercise, gross motor flexibility, or cognitive training on mobility outcomes in older adults. Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRs), we hope to gain insight into the underlying neural mechanisms driving changes in mobility across these different training protocols.

Post Doc Award

Dana Hayward
Dr. Dana A. Hayward

Dana Hayward earned her B.Sc degree in Human Behavioural Biology from the University of Toronto, and a B.Ed from York University. After teaching high school science for a few years, she began her graduate studies at McGill University. Her graduate work investigated social and non-social attention, including how it varies across individuals or populations (e.g., autism spectrum disorder) and how it is influenced by motivation and reward. Following this, she came to Concordia University as a postdoctoral fellow to be trained in neuroimaging, with a focus on exploring the link between individual differences in cognitive processes and mental/physical health. One such project is focusing on the role of various brain processes and their link with attention for social, emotional, and non-social information, along with level of physical fitness and depressive symptomology.

Poster Awards

Réseau de recherche en santé CardioMétabolique, Diabète et Obésité (CMDO)  ($500)

Winner: Zhengchen Cai
Poster presentation: NIRS 3D Reconstruction Based on Maximum Entropy on the Mean (MEM)

SGS Fitness Scholarship  ($500)

Winner: Raquel B. Graham
Poster presentation: Physical activity and risk of cognitive decline in individuals with hypertension and diabetes

Patricia Dudar Award  ($500)

Winner: Thomas Vincent
Poster presentation: Bayesian fNIRS smooth adaptive deconvolution

Patricia Dudar Award  ($500)

Winner: Kerri Delaney
Poster presentation: Regional adiposity and markers of inflammation in pre-school age children

Winner of the Ed Whitlock Award

Vi Dam_2016
Vi Dam

Vi Dam completed her BSc in nursing at the Université de Montréal and is a registered nurse in Quebec and Ontario. She is currently enrolled in the INDI PhD program, Pure Science at Concordia University where she graduated with an MSc (2015) from the Department of Exercise Science. Her past nursing experience includes working in the cardiology unit at Ottawa’s Hôpital Montfort. More recently, she has worked as a research nurse for studies conducted at the McGill University Nutrition and Performance Laboratory. Ms. Dam has had the opportunity to train under experts in the areas of age and obesity-related dysfunction, chronic diseases, and diabetes research at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia Santosa at PERFORM’s Clinical Analysis Suite, she is now investigating how obesity-related immune function in fat tissue affects metabolism and future disease risk such as insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

Post Doc Award

Yiming Xiao
Dr. Yiming Xiao

Yiming Xiao earned his Bachelor of Engineering degree from the Electrical Engineering Honours program at McGill University in 2009. He gained his first research experience in neuro-imaging under the guidance of Dr. Tal Arbel on the topic of MRI intensity normalization for Multiple-Sclerosis patients during his time at McGill. In 2011, Dr. Xiao completed his Master of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering with Dr. Louis Collins at the Montreal Neurological Institute. His thesis proposed a new multi-contrast MRI sequence to improve the visualization of the basal ganglia for the surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Later, he pursued his doctoral studies also under the supervision of Dr. Louis Collins with a focus on image-guided surgery and medical imaging analysis. His research interests lie in combining neuroscience, computer science, and signal processing to improve the understanding and treatment of neurological diseases. In his free time, he is a photographer and visual artist.

Doctoral Awards

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Jessica Murphy

Jessica Murphy received a BSc and MSc in nutritional science from McGill University, and is currently a PhD student in Concordia’s Individualized Program. She is conducting her research under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia Santosa and Dr. José Morais within the Department of Exercise Science and PERFORM’s Clinical Analysis Suite. Her graduate work is investigating whether the period of obesity development (childhood-onset versus adult-onset) influences the way adipose tissue and skeletal muscle respond to a lifestyle weight loss protocol.

Julian Chiarella(2)
Julian Chiarella

Julian Chiarella obtained his B.Sc degree in 2013 from Queen’s University in Kingston (Ontario) with a major in Psychology and Life Sciences. He is presently finalizing his M.Sc. studies at the same institution and I will be starting his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University this September. HIs research interests lie in neuroimaging in the context of mental health and underlying epigenetic processes. For his Master’s thesis, he is studying the neural and epigenetic correlates of depression and trauma in adolescents. He is extremely grateful to have received the PERFORM doctoral award, which he will use to support his PhD studies in which he will be further trained in PET and fMRI imaging as well as in lifestyle measures. Specifically, at PERFORM, he will be studying the role of the serotonin 1A receptor in the neural processing of negative emotions, attentional control and physical fitness.

Doctoral Merit Award

Oren Weiner
Oren Weiner

Oren Weiner received his B.A. in Psychology from Ryerson University in 2011. He then worked full-time during the subsequent year as an overnight polysomnographic technician in a diagnostic sleep medicine clinic. Mr. Weiner began his graduate training at Concordia in 2012. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Thanh Dang-Vu. His research program uses EEG to examine the cross-frequency coupling (CFC) of distinct brain oscillations during sleep in relation to cognition and overnight memory consolidation between healthy and cognitively impaired older adults. Mr. Weiner’s research will also incorporate multi-modal neuro-imaging data obtained using MRI, PET, and MEG scanning. An overarching aim of his research is to provide evidence for using measures of brain activity during sleep as non-invasive bio-markers of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, with the goal of advancing both the diagnosis and longitudinal monitoring of neurodegeneration in the elderly.

Masters Award

Aude Jegou

Aude Jegou received her Biomedical Engineering degree from ESIR (Ecole Supérieur d’ingénieur de Rennes) University of Rennes in France in 2015. She is currently a Masters student in Concordia’s Department of Physics. Ms. Jegou is conducting her research under the supervision of Dr. Christophe Grova and Dr. Thanh Dang-Vu. For her Masters project she will study the effect of sleep deprivation on brain function during sleep recovery using simultaneous EEG-fMRI acquisitions.

Réseau de recherche en santé CardioMétabolique, Diabète et Obésité (CMDO)         ($250)

Winner: Sherri Lee jones
Poster presentation: Development of segmentation protocols using magnetic resonance imaging to study the morphology of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis: Applications to project ice storm

Réseau de recherche en santé CardioMétabolique, Diabète et Obésité (CMDO)         ($250)

Winner: Florian Joly
Poster presentation:  Influence of the alteration of flow topology on the abdominal aortic aneurysm local growth

Biospective ($250)

Winner: Steve Desbiens
Poster presentation:  Investigating age-related differences in task-set inhibition from the dual mechanisms of control theory

Biospective ($250)

Winner: Hossein Khodadadi
Poster presentation: Edge-Preserving Ultrasonic Strain Imaging with Uniform Precision

Poster Awards

Winner of the Ed Whitlock Award

Jessica Murphy

Jessica Murphy received a BSc and MSc in nutritional science from McGill University, and is currently a graduate student in Concordia’s Department of Exercise Science. She is conducting her research under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia Santosa within PERFORM’s Nutrition, Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory. Her graduate work will investigate whether the period of obesity development (childhood-onset versus adult-onset) influences the metabolic and cellular responses to a lifestyle weight loss protocol.

Post Doc award

Dr. Maryse Fortin

Dr. Maryse Fortin graduated from Concordia University in the Athletic Therapy/Exercise Science program in 2008. As a certified Athletic Therapist, she then opened her sports medicine clinic in Montreal, and worked with a great variety of athletes from all disciplines and levels of competition for 3 years. During that period, Dr. Fortin also worked in a breast cancer center, Ville-Marie Women’s Fitness and Wellness Center, where she evaluated and treated patients pre- and post-surgery. Dr. Fortin received her PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Alberta in 2013. Her PhD work focused on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) measurement of paraspinal muscle degenerative changes (e.g. asymmetry, atrophy, fatty infiltration) in relation to painful conditions of the lumbar spine. Dr. Fortin also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University and worked with a group of orthopedic spine surgeons, where she further explored and developed novel three-dimensional MRI measures of spinal cord compression and cervical muscle morphology in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

Dr. Fortin’s research is primarily focused on the development of new MRI measures of spine degeneration in order to improve the diagnostic value of medical imaging and advance current knowledge in the epidemiology, prognosis, and treatment of cervical and low back pain. Her primary goals as a researcher are to improve patients’ quality of life by contributing to the understanding, diagnosis, and management of common spinal disorders.

Poster awards

Réseau de recherche en santé CardioMétabolique, Diabète et Obésité (CMDO) Award ($500)

Winner: Kangjoo Lee
Poster presentation: Organization of Functional Hubs in Healthy Human Brain

Réseau de recherche en santé CardioMétabolique, Diabète et Obésité (CMDO) Award ($500)

Winner: Maryse Fortin
Poster presentation: Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analysis of the Cervical Spine extensor muscles: A pilot study

Réseau de recherche en santé CardioMétabolique, Diabète et Obésité (CMDO) Award ($500)

Winner: Tanya Babiuk-Henry
Poster presentation: Thyroid Hormone Mediation of T Cell Proliferation and Apoptosis; Implications for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism

Heart & Stroke Foundation Award ($250)

Winner: Husein Mohammed
Poster presentation: A Cluster RCT Evaluating the Effect of Iodized Salt on Infant Development in Amhara Region of Ethiopia

Alzheimer Society of Montreal Award ($250)

Winner: Selin Neseliler
Poster presentation: Functional Brain Changes Associated with Weight Loss

Institut université de gériatrie de Montréal Award ($250)

Winner: Ali Salimi
Poster presentation: Spindles and Slow Waves Predict Treatment Responses to Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Chronic Primary Insomnia

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