Making an impact: Neuroscience and mental health research at the U of A

An update on the recent contributions of three NMHI members

Megan Eatock - 21 January 2020

When you think of Edmonton, neuroscience and mental health research might not be the first things that come to mind. However, researchers at the University of Alberta's Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute (NMHI) may be changing this. Last year a number of prestigious awards and accolades were given out to NMHI researchers, helping to solidify the U of A's position as a powerhouse for neuroscience and mental health research.

At each stage in a scientist's career, recognition and affirmation of their work are essential. Not only do awards bring funding to help push research forward, they also bring awareness of the advances being made. Here are three neuroscience and mental health researchers, all at different stages in their careers, who have been recently recognized for their contributions.

Glen Jickling: MD, Stroke Research and Clinical Treatment

Glen Jickling, '03 MHM, a clinical neurologist and associate professor who specializes in stroke research and treatment, recently received the new Killam Accelerator Research Award for early-career investigators.

Jickling's work has been widely recognized throughout his early career. He was awarded the Derek Denny Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award in Clinical Science and the Henry J. M. Barnett Scholarship as part of the New Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. His current research looks to identify biomarkers that can predict which patients are at risk for a stroke.

Jaynie Yang: PT, PhD, Rehabilitation Medicine

Jaynie Yang is a professor in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine whose work focuses on understanding how the complex systems in the brain and body enable humans to walk. Her research has led to new developments that are helping improve function for individuals with spinal cord injury.

Yang has been recognized for her innovative research and dedication to helping those affected by spinal cord injury, most recently with the Champion of Change Award from the Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Association-a huge honour for an individual in this field of research.

Hailey Pineau, MD/PhD Student

Hailey Pineau is the inaugural recipient of the Studentship for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias offered jointly by the NMHI and Synergies in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (SynAD).

Currently a graduate student in the NMHI, she is well on her way to a successful career in medicine and research. She is enrolled in the U of A's MD/PhD program and will be completing a medical degree following her PhD (a competitive and ambitious route for students who wish to become physicians and also conduct research). Supervised by Valerie Sim, Pineau is studying neurodegeneration and aging, working to establish a model that more accurately represents features of Alzheimer's disease.