Grants & Research

Grants Received

  • Dr. Anthony Scimè, received $135,889 to better understand the Metabolic Syndrome and how it might be prevented by stem cell therapy. The Metabolic Syndrome is a group of risk factors, most notably obesity, that contribute to chronic diseases, such as diabetes. The syndrome represents a significant Canadian health care problem that is aggravated by an increasingly sedentary and aging population.
  • Dr. Roni Jamnik and second Principal Investigator Dr. Michael Riddell along with Co-Investigators Dr. Chris Ardern and Dr. Jennifer Kuk, have received $300,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport to continue their research on Pre-Diabetes Detection and Intervention. This is the third consecutive year that the PRE-PAID team has received substantial funding from the Ministry totaling $725,000 to combat the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in persons most at risk. PhD candidate, Chip Rowan, is the Project Coordinator. The PRE-PAID program is housed in the Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Unit, Room 358 Bethune College.
  • Drs. Joe Baker, Jessica Fraser-Thomas and Frances Flint, together with their colleague, Bill Montelpare at Lakehead U, were recently awarded $247K over 2 years by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation for the development of an educational program to prevent neurotrauma in youth. The project is called “Preventing concussion and spinal cord injuries through skill-based training: The Play It Cool Neurotrauma Injury Prevention Program." Much of the data collection with be done by the York team members and a large cohort of our undergraduate students.
  • Drs. Norm Gledhill, Roni Jamnik, and Michael Riddell; along with Co-Investigators Drs. Paul Ritvo, Chris Ardern, and Jennifer Kuk, recently received $400K in research contracts from the Ontario's Ministry of Health Promotion for “Pre-Diabetes Detection and Physical Activity Intervention.” The project is designed to combat increasing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in communities at risk through a unique pre-diabetes detection and culturally-preferred physical activity intervention program, followed by the province-wide diabetes-specific education of highly qualified exercise professionals. Read more.
  • Dr. Michael Riddell has received a $80K research grant from “Canadian Diabetes Association” for research to clarify how regular exercise influences the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in Zucker diabetic rats and how it helps prevents diabetes development by acting on several tissues including the brain, pituitary, adrenals and various other insulin sensitive tissues.
  • Dr. Denise Henriques was awarded $110,000 over five years from NSERC for her research project titled “Neural representations of spatial information in sensorimotor control.”
  • Dr. Mazen Hamadeh has received $20,000 from NSERC for his research project titled “The role of exercise and antioxidants in modulating oxidative stress: adaptation vs. pathology.”
  • Dr. Ola Adegoke was awarded $100,000 over five years from NSERC for his research project titled “Mechanism of nutritional regulation of protein metabolism in skeletal muscle.”
  • Dr. Olivier Birot has received a NSERC RTI award in the amount of $63,708 for his project “Acquisition of complete imaging workstation for chemiluminescent and fluorescent analysis of gels and blots.” Co-investigators on the study are Drs. Tara Haas, Mazen Hamadeh and Olasunkanmi Adegoke.
  • Dr. Denise Henriques was awarded $50,250 from the J P Bickell Foundation for her project “Parkinson Disease: Deficits in Integrating Visual and Proprioceptive Information”.
  • Dr. Hala Tamim’s proposal to SSHRC was funded under the Sport Participation Research Initiative. Hala has received $90,000 over three years for her project entitled “Tai Chi for older adults: improving physical and psychological health and identifying and overcoming cultural/ethnic barriers to participation.” Co-investigators on the study are Drs. Chris Ardern, Joe Baker, and Paul Ritvo.
  • Dr. Anne Moore was awarded $54,063 by the Workplace Safety Insurance Board for her project “Assessment Tools for Non-Fixed Work.”
  • Dr. Jessica Fraser-Thomas proposal for 2008 SSHRC grant was approved, entitled “Assessing youth sport programs’ facilitation of positive youth development.”The grant is $82K over 3 years and her co-investigators are Drs Jean Cote at Queen’s and Nick Holt at University of Alberta.

Research Updates

  • Dr. David Hood and his research team discovered that regular exercise can effectively turn back the clock for aging skeletal muscle. The study, “Molecular basis for an attenuated mitochondrial adaptive plasticity in aged skeletal muscle,” was recently published in the journal Aging. The results indicate that the elderly are able to rebuild muscle mass, and while they will not achieve the abs of a 20-year-old, they can reverse significant damage and loss of muscle function caused by inactivity and old age. Read more.
  • Dr. Lauren Sergio and PhD candidate, Joshua Granek, study finds playing video games may prepare you to become a laparoscopic surgeon one day. The findings, published online in the journal CORTEX, demonstrate that playing video games reorganizes the brain’s activity and can lead to better control of skilled movements. Alterations to the brain’s cortical network in young men who have significant experience playing video games gives them an advantage not only in playing the games, the study concludes, but in performing other dissociated visuomotor tasks. Read more.
  • Dr. Hala Tamin, along with graduate student Evan Castel, Drs. Roni Jamnik, Sherry Grace, Norman Gledhill and Alison Macpherson, and McMaster University Professor Peter Keir's, recent research shows that Tai Chi can help mitigate musculoskeletal disorders caused by extended computer use and provide a lift in mood. Learn more.
  • Dr. Alison Macpherson and researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have found that using granite sand as playground surfacing reduces the risk of arm fractures in children. The researchers compared the sand surfacing to frequently used wood-chip surfaces. The study is published in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine. Read more.
  • Dr. Tara Haas and colleagues in York’s Muscle Health Research Centre have identified a cell-signalling process that stimulates blood vessel growth and may help break the cycle of diabetes by making it easier for patients to exercise. Their research aims to improve outcomes for patients with peripheral artery disease, a condition that compromises circulation, often seen in patients with high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes. Learn more.
  • Burr'sPhD candidate, Jamie Burr’s (Supervisor: Dr. Norm Gledhill) groundbreaking research study examines the health and fitness effects of off-road riding. His research is supported in part by the Ontario Federation of Trail Riders and the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council. Read more.
  • The-Masters-AthleteDr. Joe Baker published a new book: The Masters Athlete: Understanding the Role of Sport and Exercise in Optimizing Aging.
  • Dr. Alison Macpherson and graduate student Jonathan Josse's research finds approximately one-fifth of all childhood injuries occur at school.
  • Dr. Dorota Crawford's study found a gene mutation found in some people with autism appears to disrupt very early stages of brain development and contribute to the nervous system deficits that are the hallmarks of autism disorder. The study traces the link from autism and a mutated gene to the molecular mechanisms of cell signalling that occur as the brain is developing. It provides the first direct evidence that this gene influences brain development and the incidence of autistic behaviour. Learn more.
  • Dr. Paul Ritvo is Co-Investigator for a study that is taking place in Kenya to test the use of cell phone and text messaging technology to support HIV and AIDS patients.
  • Drs. William Gage and Sherry Grace, were appointed as York Central Hospital (YCH) research scientists. Their goals are to facilitate the establishment of solid working relationships between York University faculty members and YCH clinicians and researchers, which will form the foundation for developing collaborative research projects between the two institutions. Read more.