$1 million donation received for 4 research projects

By Everett Dorma Posted: November 23, 2015 11:25 a.m.

(L-R) Dr. Lei Zhang, Dr. Kim Dorsch, Dr. Thomas Hadjistravropoulus and Holly Bardutz each received part of the $1 million from an anonymous donor to fund their research.
(L-R) Dr. Lei Zhang, Dr. Kim Dorsch, Dr. Thomas Hadjistravropoulus and Holly Bardutz each received part of the $1 million from an anonymous donor to fund their research. Photo: U of R Photography

An anonymous donor has provided $1 million to support four research projects that were selected through a call for brain research proposals process the University held in July 2015.

“Through the generous support of this anonymous philanthropist the University will be able to engage in research that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of countless people suffering from injuries and diseases affecting the brain,” says Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Regina.

A proposal for the Exploration of neurogenesis, neuroplasticity and their impact received $300,000.  “The research will examine the impact of exercise on brain function and quality of life in older adults with an emphasis on neurogenesis, which is the ability of the brain to grow new neurons,” says Holly Bardutz, Instructor Dr. Paul Schwann Applied Health and Fitness Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, who is pursuing her doctorate in the area of Human Development with a Concentration in the Area of Aging, Culture and Society.

A proposal for the establishment of the Unit for Innovation in Dementia Care received $250,000. “The Unit will be a leader for innovation in dementia care by facilitating the training of highly qualified personnel supporting the continuing education of health professionals and the implementation of evidence-based clinical protocols, “ says Dr. Thomas Hadjistravropoulos, Research Chair in Aging and Health and Professor of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts.

A proposal for the Study of attention using multiple object tracking received $225,000.  “This research into cognitive-perceptual enhancement through multiple object tracking training using NeuroTracker Systems (new 3D multiple object tracking computer systems) will help improve performance in people with attention deficits due to injury or disease as well as in healthy individuals,” says Dr. Kim Dorsch, Professor Sports Psychology Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

A proposal for the Non-invasive stimulation of the brain to treat neurological diseases received $225,000.  “The research will explore the brain’s reaction patterns to determine how electronic brain stimulation works to treat chronic pain, depression and Parkinson’s,” says Dr. Lei Zhang, Assistant Professor Electronic Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“The Integrated health: equity, disease and prevention research cluster is a significant area of focus for the University and this donation will allow us to build on our strengths in this area,” Dr. David Malloy, Vice-President (Research), University of Regina.

For information on the University of Regina’s commitment to research that has impact visit: http://www.uregina.ca/strategic-plan/index.html.

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