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Student awards

The following awards were presented at the Annual PERFORM Centre Research Conference in May of the corresponding year.

Award recipients


Emily Carrese-Chacra

Ed Whitlock Award

Winner: Emily Carrese-Chacra

Emily Carrese-Chacra is completing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University. As a member of the Stress, Interpersonal Relationships, and Health Laboratory, Emily's doctoral research aims to identify interpersonal processes that influence health behavior change in younger as well as older adults. More specifically, her research examines the specific interpersonal processes (i.e., social control, communal coping, autonomy support) that may play a role in how overweight or obese, cohabiting romantic partners influence each other as they attempt to alter their health behaviors (i.e., eating and physical activity habits) post the COVID-19 confinement period. This research will inform couples-based interventions for health behavior initiation and maintenance by highlighting key interpersonal processes clinicians need to target in their couple interventions. Moving forward, Emily will continue to focus on promoting health and wellbeing in the older adult community in her volunteer work, through her graduate training, and her future clinical practice.

Patricia Dudar Award ($500)

  • Winner: Christiane Meyer
    Presentation title: Environmental desynchrony affects voluntary alcohol intake and emotionality during alcohol withdrawal in female rats
  • Winner: Stefanie A. Tremblay
    Presentation title: Accounting for covariance in studies of multimodal microstructure — a model for multivariate quantification in health and disease

Réseau de recherche en santé cardiométabolique, diabète et obésité (CMDO) Award ($500)

  • Winner: Emily Marcotte
    Poster presentation: Evaluation of motor functioning after Bmal1 Habenular knockout
  • Winner: Hanieh Mohammadi
    Poster presentation: The Effect of Antihypertensive Treatment on Cerebral Pulsatility in Older Adults with Cardiovascular Risk Factors
  • Winner: Pascale Doherty-Haigh
    Poster presentation: Impact of Bmal1 Knockout in the Nucleus Accumbens on Alcohol Drinking Behaviour


Kayla Hollett

Ed Whitlock Award

Winner: Kayla Hollett

Kayla completed a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology at Memorial University before beginning a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University in 2020. As a member of the Stress, Interpersonal Relationships, and Health Laboratory, Kayla's doctoral research focuses on health behaviour change for older adults seeking to improve their eating and physical activity habits. Specifically, her research aims to expand what we know about health behaviour change by addressing the notion of interdependence in romantic relationships. Moving forward, Kayla's research will help older adults live happier and healthier lives through feasible changes to daily eating and physical activity habits.

Patricia Dudar Award ($500)

  • Winner: Amanda Cammalleri
    Presentation title: A Randomized Pilot Trial of Exercise Training Versus Relaxation for the Treatment of Chronic Insomnia in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Effects on Insomnia Severity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Winner: Brittany Intzandt
    Presentation title: Cardiovascular fitness does not influence relationships among sex, cortical thickness and overweight in aging

Réseau de recherche en santé cardiométabolique, diabète et obésité (CMDO) Award ($500)

  • Winner: Popi Kasvis
    Poster presentation: Cancer symptoms and nutritional status are inversely associated with health-related quality of life in patients awaiting liver resection
  • Winner: Sara Matovic
    Poster presentation: Association between physical activity and psychological distress during COVID-19: A longitudinal study of older adults in Quebec.
  • Winner: Charissa Losloso
    Poster presentation: Heart Rate Variability Before and After an Exercise intervention in Individuals with Comorbid Insomnia and Obstructive Sleep Apnea


Brittany Intzandt

Ed Whitlock Award

Winner: Brittany Intzandt

I am currently a doctoral candidate under the supervision of Drs. Claudine Gauthier and Louis Bherer. Health care systems and societies will experience an unprecedented increase in the number of older adults, presenting a unique strain to the health care system due to cognitive decline that can occur with aging. Importantly, there is evidence that exercise can stimulate changes in the brain, including enhancing brain hemodynamics like brain blood flow and brain vascular reactivity, which can improve cognition. For me, it is of upmost importance to understand how non-pharmacological strategies, like exercise, can influence brain health in aging and prevent cognitive decline. This would allow older adults to age healthy and with a high quality of life. Therefore, my thesis aims to look at a combination of brain vascular reactivity and blood flow, exercise, and other physiological outcomes known to influence brain health in aging. Early results from our work indicate that those with higher fitness have higher brain blood flow and there is likely an influence of sex and obesity. This work will increase the evidence for the beneficial effect that exercise has on brain health and cognition in aging and help to further comprehend the underlying mechanisms that occur in the brain due to exercise. Furthermore, it will lead the way for studies to investigate other physiological outcomes that could be modulating the relationships between aging, brain health and exercise. My long-term research goals are to continue to study the positive role that exercise has on brain health across the life span and in different chronic diseases.

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