Grad students host first cross-disciplinary virtual research day

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Grad students in Kinesiology and Health Science recently had the opportunity to showcase their research, and present it to colleagues and faculty, during the first Broaden Horizons: Cross-Disciplinary Virtual Research Day held July 8.

Organized by the Kinesiology and Health Science Graduate Student Association (KAHS GSA), which formed in August 2019, the online event aimed to bring together a sense of community during the pandemic.

Twenty graduate students from KAHS presented proposals, 3MT (three-minute thesis) and complete studies, and the event also included four professor spotlights (Chris Ardern; Janessa Drake; Chris Perry; and Parissa Safai).

Top presentations were awarded in several categories, including:

  • Proposal winner: Mikhaela Slavin – “The effects of aerobic exercise on ATF5-mediated regulation of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response in skeletal muscle;”
  • 3MT winner: Tia Rogers-Jarrell – “Challenging and dismantling ageist attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours through intergenerational programs;” and
  • Complete Study winner: Monica Tawadrous – “Are there direct consequences of the systemic physiological effects induced by the ketogenic diet on breast cancer growth?”

“Broaden Horizons virtual debut was a huge success that we hope to continue annually in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science,” said Heather Johnston, PhD candidate and president of KAHS GSA. “The School of Kinesiology and Health Science has a vision to be Canada’s leading academic centre for knowledge creation, integration and dissemination about physical activity and its importance for human health, health science and society. I believe we truly hit the mark on that. Broaden Horizons was a great stage to showcase the breadth of disciplines within our school and was a unique opportunity to learn about fundamental research findings through real world applications.”

Conference organizers included teaching assistants Tia Rogers-Jarrell and Alia Mazhar, GSA members Johnston, Luca Delfinis, Dan Desroches, Cecilia Power, Daniel Sibley, Jonathan Memme, Emerald Bandoles and Ariane Massie, faculty advisor Heather Edgell and staff member Stephanie Marston.

“Seeing the attendance and performance of our school was overwhelming and inspiring. It truly demonstrated how resilient, determined and hardworking our students are,” said Johnston. “As I enter my final year in the department, I am proud to be part of a strong community of leaders in innovative health research and I look forward to seeing where the future takes us.”

For more on the conference, or on KAHS GSA, email