Scientists who will be lecturing at this year's PCRC
David A. E. Bolton received his BSc in Human Kinetics (University of Guelph, Canada) and later obtained his Master’s degree in Exercise and Sports Sciences (University of Florida, USA) where he studied upper limb motor recovery in stroke patients. He then went on to complete his PhD degree in Neuroscience (University of Alberta, Canada) using both animal and human models to study balance regulation during walking. Following his PhD, he completed over three years of postdoctoral training at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada) where he helped develop a model to study cortical contributions to human balance. During this time, he also studied how the prefrontal cortex (an area critical for executive function) modifies sensory transmission according to task demands. Prior to starting his faculty position at Utah State University, he was a research fellow at Queens University Belfast (Belfast, United Kingdom) where he investigated neural adaptations that underlie motor learning, specifically addressing how these adaptations change with an aging nervous system.
Dr. Bolton’s current research focuses on the neural control of balance and the role of higher brain function in fall prevention, especially in older adults. He uses experimental tools to expose how the brain contributes to balance, which includes Electroencephalography (EEG) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) that can directly measure what the brain is doing both before and after a fall. This extends upon traditional approaches where neural processes are inferred from external measures such as video motion capture, muscle responses and/or ground reaction forces. He also investigates cognitive processes such as Response Inhibition (i.e. the ability to suppress highly automatic, yet unwanted action) to understand how this ability relates to fall prevention. His long-term research goal is to provide a mechanistic understanding of what the brain does to help us avoid falls in the complex settings we face in daily life.
David A. E. Bolton, PhD Assistant Professor,
Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences,
Utah State University
Mary A. Carskadon, PhD is an authority on adolescent sleep and circadian rhythms. Dr. Carskadon serves as director of the Chronobiology and Sleep Research Laboratory at Bradley Hospital and is a Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School. Carskadon’s early research with her graduate mentor, William C. Dement, culminated in the development and application of a standardized measure for daytime sleep tendency, the multiple sleep latency test. One focus of Dr. Carskadon’s scientific activities has been research examining interrelations between sleep regulatory systems (circadian timing system, sleep homeostat) and sleep/wake behavior of children, adolescents, and young adults. Her findings have raised public health issues regarding the consequences of insufficient sleep for adolescents as well as concerns about early starting times of schools. For example, adolescents’ circadian phase becomes later; their sleep “need” does not diminish; their sleep homeostatic system is modified in a way that alters sleep timing. Her work has affected education policy, prompting the AAP and others to promote later school timing for adolescents and many school districts to delay school start times.
Carskadon’s current research includes an evaluation of how sleep and circadian timing influence smell, taste, food choices, and food consumption in adolescents. This work has confirmed that obese early adolescents tend to eat a greater proportional of daily caloric intake at a later time of day and a later circadian phase than other adolescents. A new project examines sleep/health disparities in children with asthma. Proposed new research projects seek to (1) measure sleep and next-day cognitive effects of serial nights of alcohol use in adults (with Dr. McGeary); (2) evaluate the impact of chronic and acute caffeine ingestion on sleep bio-regulation in middle-school-aged children; (3) examine the role of sleep duration and regularity in epigenetic aging.
Dr. Carskadon is a distinguished alumna and honorary degree-holder of Gettysburg College and holds an earned doctorate in neuro- and bio-behavioral sciences from Stanford University, with a specialty in sleep research. Dr. Carskadon has received awards from several national organizations recognizing her scientific, educational, and public policy contributions. She is an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Mary A. Carskadon, PhD Professor,
Psychiatry and Human Behavior,
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Chronobiology and Sleep Research Laboratory,
EP Bradley Hospital
Catherine Field is a CRC Tier I professor of Human Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Alberta. Her research program centers on the effect of nutrition on the immune system. Current areas of research are: the role of polyunsaturated fats on the development of the infant’s immune system, the use of specific fatty acids in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and identifying the association between nutritional status and maternal mental health and infant neuro-physical development.
She is a co-PI of a large maternal infant cohort, APrON (Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition). She has published more than 250 peer reviewed publications, been invited to speak more than 100 times nationally and internationally and has trained over a 100 students, from high school to post-doctoral levels, in research. Dr. Field received the McCalla and Killam Professorships from the University of Alberta, the Earl Willard McHenry Award for Leadership in Nutrition from the Canadian Nutrition Society and the Mary Mitchell Award for service to the Dietetic Profession in Alberta.
Dr. Field is currently the Past-President of, and only the second non-American, of the American Society for Nutrition, which is an academic society of researchers, educators and translators of nutrition with more than 7000 members globally. She current serves on the International Life Sciences Board of Trustees, is member of the CIHR Institute for Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes Advisory Board, and an Associate Editor for Advances in Nutrition. She was one of the co-founding Directors of the Cancer Research Institute of Northern Alberta in 2012 that brought together cancer researchers from 10 different Faculties at the University of Alberta.
Catherine Jane Field, PhD, RD Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science,
Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Science,
University of Alberta
Dr. Franceschini is an Associate Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Her background is in physics, with specific training in optics. Throughout her entire scientific career, she has been working on the development of novel non-invasive optical imaging methods to achieve a deeper understanding of the brain and to impact the clinical management of patients. Her tools are allowing investigation of brain oxygen delivery and consumption in health and disease. Dr. Franceschini has published over 90 original peer-reviewed publications in the field of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). She has been cited more than 13,000 times and has an H-index of 59.
The strength of her research is her interdisciplinary approach, which encompasses electrical engineering, optics and lasers, theoretical modeling, and experimental work. The research includes preclinical studies in small animals and translation to humans from premature infants to older adults, with applications ranging from the bedside and operating rooms in hospitals to the gym, and on to rural villages in developing countries. She is an innovator and over the years she has invented several new optical technologies and methods and filed 15 patents. To facilitate dissemination and clinical translation of some of these new methods she has founded a non-profit organization (Neuluce) and a start-up company (149 medical).
Dr. Franceschini has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of near infrared spectroscopy and diffuse optical imaging. She is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the American Academy of Radiology, and the Optical Society of America (OSA). She is the president elect of the Society of functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (SfNIRS), member of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Standards Committee, and standing member of the Emerging Imaging Technologies and Applications (EITA) NIH study section.
Maria Angela Franceschini, PhD Associate Professor,
Massachusetts General Hospital,
Harvard Medical School
Patrick Ragert studied Biology at the Ruhr-University in Bochum and received a PhD in Neuroscience from the International Graduate School of Neuroscience in 2004. After completing postdoctoral training at the NIH (2005-2007), Dr. Ragert joined the Department of Neurology at the Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig as a group leader. Since 2015, Dr. Ragert is a full professor at the University of Leipzig in Germany working at the Sport Science Faculty. His main research interests are in the field of motor control/ learning and associated neuroplasticity on a structural and functional level in humans.
Patrick Ragert, PhD Professor,
Sport Science Faculty,
University of Leipzig
Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD is the Benjamin and Virginia T. Boshes Professor in Neurology and Professor of Neurobiology at Northwestern University. She is also the Director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine (CCSM), Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Zee is the founder of the first circadian medicine clinic in the US, where innovative treatments are available for patients with circadian rhythm disorders.
Dr. Zee also has authored more than 300 peer reviewed original articles, reviews and chapters on the topics of sleep, circadian rhythms, and sleep/wake disorders. She has also trained over 50 pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students and has mentored numerous faculty members. Dr. Zee is a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and member of the American Neurological Association She is past President of the Sleep Research Society, past President of the Sleep Research Foundation and past Chair of the NIH Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board. Dr. Zee is a Member of the NIH Heart Lung and Blood Disorders Advisory Council. She is the recipient of the 2011 American Academy of Neurology Sleep Science Award and the 2014 American Academy of Sleep Medicine academic honor, the William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award.
Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD Professor,
Neurology and Neurobiology,
Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine
Feinberg School of Medicine,