Determining the effects of gating modifier compounds on cultured central nervous system neurons as potential therapeutics against epilepsy.

Voltage-gated sodium channels are key contributors to excitability in living organisms; hence, modulation of these channels through mutations and/or environmental triggers can often lead to serious disorders. Having an enriched understanding of the sodium channel electrophysiology may result in uncovering potential therapeutic targets. The general aims of our research include studying the effects of various modulators on sodium channels through well-established electrophysiological techniques.

Altitude & Heat - environmental synergies to optimize human performance

The environmental stress of altitude and heat have both been shown to elicit divergent adaptive responses and are used by elite athletes to augment training adaptation and subsequent performance.   Indeed, 3-4 weeks at moderate altitudes can increase the body’s natural erythropoietin (EPO) responses, raising hemoglobin by 4-6% and enhancing endurance performance.  Conversely, as little as 5-7 days of exercise induced heat acclimation can increase blood volume by 5-10%, resulting in increased tolerance to heat, increased VO2max /cardiac output and improve endurance performance as well.

The G.I.F.T (Girls Incredible Football Team) Project

Over the past decade, Jamaica has been described as having an increasingly high rate of violence, of which sexual violence against young people (mostly girls) is a “silent emergency”. Community activists and researchers addressing the issue of sexual violence within Jamaica posit that the culture of silence is a main contributor to the continued perpetuation of this atrocity. Sport is a conduit that addresses violence and encourages social inclusion and peacebuilding globally.

The Effects of Mild Bilateral Jugular Vein Compression on Cerebrovascular Physiology

This project will investigate the effects of using the Q collar to apply gentle pressure to the jugular veins of the neck to monitor changes in brain (cerebrovascular) physiology during exercise and postural changes. Specifically we will investigate changes in brain blood flow velocity, relative changes in blood volume and oxygen levels, and changes in the space between the skull and the brain called the subarachnoid space. We will also monitor the heart and blood pressure. Following baseline resting data collection, postural changes will include lying down, sitting and standing.

“I CAN PLAY!” (Initiating Community Sport Access through Physical Literacy and Active Play)

Canadian children are currently not meeting the daily amount of physical activity recommended to reduce their risk for negative health outcomes. The RA Centre in Ottawa, Ontario has the resources to offer various sport opportunities to children and recognizes the need to develop programs that are developmentally appropriate and accessible for children with lower physical skill and confidence levels.

A comparison of finite element model-predicted brainstem strains between injurious and non-injurious laboratory reconstructed football impacts

Studies of concussive events have shown that the response of the brain during an impact may not be the most reliable predictor of concussion, since the injury may be more closely related to the forces affecting the brainstem. A laboratory crash test protocol was developed to simulate player-to-player collisions in contact sports using crash test dummies and the impact forces on the dummy head were calculated.

Effective knowledge translation of evidence-based best practice for healthy lifestyle behaviours

The proposed research will support the effective knowledge translation of evidence-based best practice information related to healthy lifestyle behaviours (such as physical activity, healthy eating, smoking cessation, stress management, and alcohol moderation). Over a two-year period, the post-doctoral fellow will create a series of knowledge translation tools (including web- and smartphone-based applications) that can be used in the effective primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease through lifestyle behaviour modification.

Understanding the Impact of Fontan Circulatory Repair on Brain Blood Flow Health - Year two

Children born with an absent or ineffective right or left ventricle (single ventricle) have a low life expectancy and will undergo at least three surgical procedures ultimately leading to the Fontan Procedure (FP), which allows blood to travel directly to the lungs (bypassing the heart) to become oxygenated. Adolescent FP-patients indicate poor cardiovascular health which in turn could challenge brain blood flow, thereby affecting cognitive capacity and increasing risk of stroke. FP is a relatively new procedure and long-term effects on brain health are unknown.

Exploring the Physical Education-Related Needs and Self-Efficacy of Elementary School Teachers

The objective of the proposed internship is to conduct a needs assessment to identify the challenges of teaching physical education in elementary school, and determine supports/resources to improve teachers? confidence to instruct physical education. As the GoodLife Kids Foundation supports national, provincial, and local programs that provide ongoing physical activity opportunities for kids, findings from this project will be used to inform future program planning and evaluation of prior initiatives.

Field Study of Community-Based Personal Support Workers’ Occupational Exposures to Injury Risk Factors

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) provide 70-80% of all paid home care. Unfortunately, they experience occupational injuries at more than twice the rate of the general population. These injuries increase costs for home care providers, reduce the availability of skilled workers, reduce workers’ quality of life, and impact the consistency of care that can be provided to clients.
This project is part of a larger study to directly measure the physical risk factors for common injuries as PSWs assist with daily activities in clients’ homes.

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