Skip to main content

Faculty of Health Sciences research seminars

The Faculty of Health Sciences continues to work towards enhancing research dialogue within the faculty by providing a platform for researchers (both internal and external to faculty) to share their research. These informal bi-weekly seminars are a great way to allow faculty and graduate students to engage in meaningful conversations that could lead to collaborative projects.

2015-2016 Research Seminar Series:







Wednesday, September 23

2 to 3 p.m.

UL Building, Room 8

Ellen Aartun, PhD

Spinal Pain in Children

The severity and course of spinal pain (neck pain, mid-back pain, low-back pain) and its predictive factors are poorly understood in adolescents. Physical activity is thought to play a role, either as a risk factor or protective factor for spinal pain, but current evidence is conflicting. Dr. Aartun will present her PhD thesis, which was based on five papers. The presentation will aim to:

  • Describe the severity and course of spinal pain.
  • Determine the extent to which different levels of physical activity were predictive of the incidence of spinal pain.
  • Determine the extent to which different levels of physical activity were predictive of the progression of spinal pain.
  • Determine the diagnostic and predictive values of commonly used clinical tests for current and future spinal pain, respectively.
  • Determine whether these tests were reliable.

A school-based two-year prospective cohort study involving 1,348 adolescents aged 11 to 13 years was conducted. The results of this study will be presented and there will be time for questions from the audience. 

Wednesday, October 7

2 to 3 p.m.

Science Building, Room 4170

Andra Drinkwalter, UOIT

Graduate Granting Workshop

Wednesday, October 21

2 to 3 p.m.

Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC), Room 1058 

Nazira Jaffer
Director, Strategic Initiatives at Ontario Shores

The story of TeleMental Health Strategy at Ontario Shores

This presentation is about leadership and change management. It is a story about innovation using technology to enhance access and capacity for mental health services. The journey to improve services, including challenges, risks, and critical success factors, are discussed.

Wednesday, November 4

2 to 3 p.m.

UL Building, Room 10

Cindy Malachowski, PhD, OT

The 'Work' of Workplace Mental Health: An Institutional Ethnography

Rationale: In addition to enormous economic costs, mental health issues in the workplace carry a significant social burden.  Mental health issues are predictive of unemployment and reduced career goals, resulting in a decrease in quality of life and diminished community participation. 
Objectives: To explore the social relations and institutional practices that provide the context for employees who are both dealing with episodes of mental ill health, and attempting to stay employed.
Methods: This institutional ethnography was conducted within a large industrial manufacturing plant in Ontario, Canada. Data collected included 140 hours of ethnographic observations, 17 participant interviews, and a textual analysis of relevant organizational policies and procedures.
Results: We explicate three institutionally organized processes that co-ordinate the experiences of employees with mental health issues:

  1. Employees' work of managing and negotiating episodes of mental ill health while adhering to company procedures and doing and keeping the job.
  2. Managers' administrative work of maintaining privacy and confidentiality through corporate procedures.
  3. The administrative work of authorizing illness by the emplyee, physician, manager and wellness team.

Conclusions: There are numerous struggles within the workplace for individuals living with mental health issues. This institutional ethnography explicates three institutionally organized processes that co-ordinate experiences of employees with mental health issues. Findings show that the social organization of sick time utilization inadvertently restricts employees from attending to their mental health.

Wednesday, November 18

2 to 3 p.m.

Science Building, Room 4170

Ron Bell, Teaching Faculty, UOIT

Statistics in the Real World 

Join Ron Bell for a glimpse into the past and the development of statistics in the real world as it affects you and everyone around you. Among many other 'real world' examples, Bell will talk about the Mississauga Train Derailment, the Hagersville Tire Fire, and the Port Colborne Human Health Risk Assessment - and the statistics that go into these results. 

Wednesday, December 2

2 to 3 p.m.

ERC, Room 1058

Obidimma Ezezika, PhD, MEM - 
Founder and Executive Director: African Centre for Innovation and Leadership Development

From the lab to the village: The role of trust in fostering food security innovation in sub-Saharan Africa

There is a global trend to hasten innovation in developing countries. In this seminar, Dr. Ezezika will present his recent work on the ethical, cultural and social challenges to food security innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. He will shed light on why and how establishing trust among businesses, government, research institutions and the public is central to efforts to improve food security. He draws from experiences in Burkina Faso, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda to provide lessons for building effective partnerships based on trust. He will also explain how trust can be leveraged to improve food security, nutrition and global health.

Wednesday, January 20

2 to 3 p.m.

Science Building, Room 3240

Lori Livingston, PhD - 
Dean and Professor, UOIT

Changing the Call: Rethinking Attrition and Retention in Amateur Sport Officiating

Amateur sport officials are a vital part of the Canadian sport system, yet annual attrition rates are high. While the popular media is quick to highlight verbal abuse from players, coaches and fans as the key contributor to this phenomenon, there is little in the way of peer-reviewed research to support or refute this supposition.  Officiating research is limited both in quantity and scope, with the majority of efforts to date focused on the physical, intellectual and emotional demands experienced by elite adult-aged officials involved in team sports. There is much more to be understood about the lived experiences of sport officials including what factors contribute to an individual's decision to enter into and remain active in the role. In addition, at a more discrete level, we need to boraden our understanding of the issues by differentiating between populations to be studied (e.g., novice entry-level vs. experienced, male vs. female), the demands imposed by the sport in question (e.g., combat vs. individual aesthetic vs. team-oriented invasion, net/court, fielding or target games), and the realities of officiating in urban versus rural environments. In this presentation, I will explore the results of a number of recent studies aimed at broadening our understanding of the issues which contribute to or constrain an individual's involvement in amateur sports officiating.

Wednesday, February 3

2 to 3 p.m.

ERC, Room 1058

Scott Leatherdale, PhD

The COMPASS Study: A research platform for evaluating natural experiments among youth populations

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded COMPASS study is a cohort collecting hierarchical longitudinal data from 89 secondary schools and the more than 50,000 grade 9 to 12 students attending those schools in Ontario and Alberta. The study uses a longitudinal quasi-experimental research design to evaluate how changes in programs, policies or built environment resources within or surrounding schools are related to changes in youth risk factors and outcomes (tobacco use [including e-cigarettes], obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, screen time, alcohol use, marijuana use, bullying, and academic achievement) over time. The study facilitates knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) by annually providing each participating school with customized KTE tools to facilitate school-specific prevention actions, which our team then evaluates as natural experiments.  COMPASS data are available for use by external trainees and researchers via an online data request system on the COMPASS website.

Wednesday, March 2

2 to 3 p.m.

Science Building, Room 4170

Holly Jones-Taggart, PhD, Associate Professor,

Investigating Anti-Atherogenic Potential of Fermented Dairy Products

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart disease and strokes, are major health issues Canadians face, and are leading causes of death in the world today. New understanding of the process through which CVD develops indicates that the body's defense system - the immune system - plays a pivotal role.  Interestingly, recent studies indicate that consumption of fermented dairy products is associated with decreased risk of CVD; however, much remains to be learned about exactly how these dairy products work to stop or slow down the process of CVD development. Certain fermented milk components have been shown to decrease hypertension, and to have 'calming' effects on the immune system, suggesting a route through which these milk products maybe cardio-protective. The overall challenge underpinning this project was to examine the cardio-protective potential of milks fermented with probiotic bacteria, by examining their impact on immune and cardiovascular cell types.  Examining the effects of fermented milk components at the cellular and molecular level provides the insight necessary to understand their role in promoting heart health.

Wednesday, March 9

2 to 5 p.m.

Science Building, Room 3240

Graduate students

Elevator speech event

Graduate students explain their research in three minutes.

Wednesday, March 16

2 to 3 p.m.

Science Building, Room 3240

Nadège Lemeunier, PhD,

Practice Guidelines for French Chiropractors

Chiropractic was legalized in France in 2002; it was later regulated in 2011. To date, no practice guidelines are available to assist French chiropractors in the exercise of their profession. The French Chiropractic Association (FCA) in collaboration with the Franco-European Institute of Chiropractic (IFEC) and the Foundation of Donation in Chiropractic Research (FDRC), funded a post-doctoral Fellow, Nadège Lemeunier (MSc, PhD), teacher/researcher at IFEC, to address this issue. In France, the FCA is responsible for transferring new scientific knowledge to its members.

Dr. Lemeunier's post-doctoral fellowship, which is supervised by Pierre Côté (DC, FCCS(C), MSc, PhD), aims to develop recommendations for the diagnosis and management of neck pain and its associated disorders. Nadège started working on the project in August 2015. The project is a collaboration between the French chiropractic College (IFEC), the French Chiropractic Association (FAC), the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) and UOIT.

Wednesday, March 30

2 to 3 p.m.

ERC, Room 1058

Stacey Alpous, MHK, CSEP-CEP

Physcial Literacy Assessment 101: The Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL)

The Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) is a 'research-grade' assessment, with proven validity and reliability for children eight to 12 years of age. It is the first objective assessment of childhood physical literacy that combines assessments of daily behaviour (physical activity/sedentary), motivation and confidence, knowledge and understanding, and physical competence (fitness/motor skill). Through this session, participants will gain detailed knowledge about the CAPL assessment procedures and will understand the many ways in which the CAPL can be used (which children, in which settings, and for what purposes, etc.). Use of the CAPL website for recording and interpreting assessment results, and providing feedback to individuals or groups of children, will also be demonstrated.

University of Ontario Institute of Technology logo