Our Research Team

Project Leads/Co-Leads

* Names listed based on alphabetical order

Dr. Marla Beauchamp (Project Lead)

Faculty of Health Sciences (SRS)

Dr. Beauchamp is a Physical Therapist and Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster. She is also an Associate Member in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Beauchamp completed her PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Toronto (2012) and her postdoctoral training in outcomes measurement at the Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The overall objective of Dr. Beauchamp’s research program is to develop evidence-based strategies to improve mobility among older adults. Her research has two key arms related to this aim: 1) advancing the assessment of mobility problems among older adults; and 2) personalized rehabilitative interventions to optimize late-life mobility. Dr. Beauchamp’s ongoing research is supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s Aging and Technology Network (AGE-WELL NCE), the Canadian Respiratory Research Network (CRRN), and the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging within the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA).

Dr. Qiyin Fang (Co-Lead)

Faculty of Engineering (Eng & Physics)

Dr. Fang works on the development of optical spectroscopy and imaging systems for biomedical and environmental applications. His recent research projects include: multimodality optical biopsy techniques for real-time clinical diagnosis and guided therapy, optical endoscope designs for gastrointestinal cancer screening, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) technologies for high content screening; ultrafast laser micromachining for medical implants; miniaturized optical sensing and imaging technologies for environmental, point-of-care diagnosis, and aging research.

Dr. Paula Gardner (Co-Lead)

Faculty of Humanities (Communication Studies & Multimedia)

Dr. Paula Gardner is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia, the Asper Chair in Communications, and the director of the Pulse Lab at McMaster University. Her research interests include feminist media studies, digital culture, and biometric technological practices. Paula’s media background allows her to explore research using various production mediums. The ABLE project (Arts Based Therapies Enabling Longevity for Geriatric Outpatients) brings together researchers from five McMaster Faculties to develop technologies that will enhance the cognitive, physical and emotional health of frail older adults.

Dr. Ayse Kuspinar (Co-Lead)

Faculty of Health Sciences (SRS)

Dr. Ayse Kuspinar is an Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. She is a registered physical therapist with several years of clinical experience in health conditions including orthopedics, geriatrics and neurology. Ayse worked with the GHS Research Group on a project funded by the Canadian Network of Excellence, AGE-WELL (Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life), where she examined Canadian policy and regulatory issues in enabling technological innovation. Ayse studies the longitudinal changes in function and quality of life in neuro-rehabilitative conditions in older adults. She has training in both clinical epidemiology and rehabilitation science. 

Sarrah Lal (Co-Lead)

Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences

Sarrah Lal is an Assistant Professor of Health Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. She holds a Masters in Law in Innovation, Law & Technology (University of Toronto), a Masters of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Devices (University of Toronto), a Masters in Business Administration (McMaster University), and a H.B.Sc. in Chemical Biology (McMaster University). Her research and teaching interests are in health innovation, entrepreneurship, economic development, and new technology validation.

Dr. Paul McNicholas (Co-Lead)

Faculty of Science (Mathematics & Statistics), Director of the MacDATA Institute

Dr. Paul McNicholas is a Professor and University Scholar in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at McMaster University, where he is also Director of the MacDATA Institute. Dr. McNicholas is the (Tier 1) Canada Research Chair in Computational Statistics and a member of The College of the Royal Society of Canada. His research focuses on computational statistics, especially mixture model-based clustering and classification. Current research includes work on non-Gaussian mixtures, matrix variate distributions, and real problems in big data analytics.

Dr. Bruce Newbold (Co-Lead)

Faculty of Science (School of Earth, Environment & Society)

Dr. Bruce Newbold is a Professor in the School of Earth, Environment & Society (SGES) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He received his PhD in Geography from McMaster University in 1994, and worked at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign between 1994 and 2000 before returning to McMaster in 2000. Since returning to McMaster, he has held Guest Scholar positions at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California San Diego (2004), and the Medical Research Council’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow (2008), a position which included a Fellowship through the Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow. His research interests focus on population issues as they relate to immigration, migration, health, and aging. Recent research has focused on the role of migration in the development and transfer of human capital and income across space, commuting and sustainability questions, the income benefits associated with migration, immigrant health, and immigrant settlement processes.

Dr. Parminder Raina (Co-Lead)

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. Parminder Raina is a Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, Lead Principal Investigator of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) and Scientific Director of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA). As well, Parminder holds a Canada Research Chair in Geroscience and the Raymond and Margaret Labarge Chair in Research and Knowledge Application for Optimal Aging and is one of the founding members of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal and the Ontario Research Coalition of Aging Institutes/Centres. He was also member of the National Seniors Council from 2018 – 2021. Parminder specializes in the epidemiology of aging with emphasis on developing the interdisciplinary field of Geroscience to understand the processes of aging from cell to society. He has expertise in epidemiologic modeling, systematic review methodology, injury, and knowledge transfer.

Dr. Julie Richardson (Co-Lead)

Faculty of Health Sciences (SRS)

Julie Richardson is a Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science. She is interested in interventions to promote mobility and lower-extremity functioning in older adults as well as risk factor assessment for mobility decline and functioning with aging and the health transitions that older persons undergo in the process of disablement. Julie is focused on identifying persons at risk for functional decline and rehabilitation interventions to maintain their health for those with chronic illness. She works with family physicians around the assessment of preclinical disability to teach seniors how to avoid falls and maintain their mobility. Julie’s recent work has involved clinical trials examining complex rehabilitation interventions in primary care.

Dr. Darren Scott (Co-Lead)

Faculty of Science (School of Earth, Environment & Society)

Dr. Darren Scott is a Professor in the School of Geography & Earth Sciences at McMaster University where he teaches courses in Geographic Information Science. Dr. Scott was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Geosciences at the University of Louisville between 1999 and 2002, and held a Visiting Research Professor position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich) in 2008. Dr. Scott’s undergraduate degree is in geography (BA. Honors and Co-op, 1991), with graduate degrees also in geography from the University of Western Ontario (MA, 1994) and McMaster University (PhD, 2000). Dr. Scott has published over eightly refereed journal articles in leading transportation, regional science, and urban studies journals. Dr. Scott’s research program has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation of the United States (NSF), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and Geomatics for Informed Decisions (GEOIDE), among other funding agencies. In 2008, Dr. Scott established a research lab – TransLAB – in the School of Earth, Environment & Society where advanced transportation research is conducted by students working under his supervision.

Dr. Brenda Vrkljan (Co-Lead)

Occupational Therapist and Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science

Brenda Vrkljan is a Professor at the School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, and a trained Occupational Therapist. Brenda understands that there is a lack of research in the area of automobile technology and mobility in older adults, which often leads to ageist policies that are implemented to discourage older adults from driving. Brenda is the lead investigator of the McMaster-Candrive team, a Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)-funded initiative. She is passionate about promoting safe and functional mobility across the lifespan, which is evident in her research in the CanDrive initiative, a study that focuses on older adults and driving patterns. She is also involved in the development of an in-vehicle camera system for tracking the driving performance of older drivers.

Dr. Manaf Zargoush (Co-Lead)

Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management at the DeGroote School of Business

Dr. Manaf Zargoush is an assistant professor of Health Policy & Management at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University. He holds a Ph.D. in Healthcare Operations and Information Management (McGill University, Montreal, Canada), a Ph.D. in Decision Science and Statistics (ESSEC Business School, Paris, France), M.Phil. in Decision Sciences(ESSEC Business School, Paris, France), M.Sc. in Socio-Economic Systems Engineering (Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran), and B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (Jundi-Shapoor University, Ahvaz, Iran). His main areas of research expertise and interests include using Data Science (machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistical modeling) for descriptive and predictive analytics and optimization (stochastic dynamic optimization, Markov and Semi-Markov Decision Processes, Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes) for prescriptive analytics of a wide range of health-related problems, such as medical decision-making, and healthcare operations management.

Research Associate

Dr. Renata Kirkwood

Faculty of Health Sciences (SRS)

Dr. Renata Kirkwood is a Physical Therapist, with a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from Queen’s University post-doctoral training on gait biomechanics at the Human Mobility Research Centre at Queen’s University (1997-1998). Renata began her academic career in Brazil, where she worked as an Assistant Professor at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Her research focuses on the biomechanics of falls, particularly investigating the effects of age-related gait changes. Her work has significant implications for improving the quality of life for older adults. In pursuit of her research goals, Renata returned to Canada in 2010 for her second post-doctoral training in statistics at the Dept. of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s University (2010-2011). Currently, she is a Research Associate at McMaster University and manager of the MacM3 project. 

Technical Engineer

Cody Cooper

Engineer – Software Developer

Cody graduated from McMaster University in 2019 with a degree in Mechatronics and Management Engineering. After graduating, he worked in the MacREAL lab at McMaster on various projects making use of wearable and motion capture technologies for Dr. Marla Beauchamp and Dr. Janie Wilson. Cody continues to work for Dr. Marla Beauchamp as a software developer and is developing the software solutions for wearable devices used in the MacM3 project. He also works part time for the CLSA (Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging) writing systems integration software. Cody enjoys writing software and working in jobs that challenge him to continue learning and improving his software competencies.

Research Coordinators

Dr. Lisette Machado

Lisette is a medical doctor from Venezuela. She worked for 7-years as a Research Coordinator at the University of Calgary, where she collaborated with a group of researchers mainly focused on respiratory diseases such as Asthma and COPD. In addition, during that time she completed certificates in Professional Writing and Project Management.  She has transferred her skills as a clinician and researcher to deliver clinical trials in the Canadian setting and make a difference in our population. She strives to achieve high quality and ethical standards in clinical trials. She recently joined Dr. Marla Beauchamp’s team, pleased to share their passion and commitment for helping improve people’s quality of life through research.

Tara Noble

Tara received her Bachelors of Applied Science in Kinesiology with Honors from Guelph-Humber University and a degree in Fitness and Health Promotion from Humber College. After graduation Tara became a Registered Kinesiologist and worked with older adults prescribing exercise primarily for special populations. Eventually Tara discovered research was her true passion after taking on a side project recruiting participants for a biomechanics study. Tara left her practice to begin working full time in clinical research at Hamilton Health Sciences as a research assistant before moving to McMaster. Tara is now the full time Research Coordinator for Dr. Marla Beauchamp for the MacM3 research platform. In her spare time, Tara is a volunteer Girl Guide Leader and enjoys crafting and camping.

Sachi O’Hoski

Dr. Sachi O’Hoski has a Diploma in Fitness and Lifestyle Management from George Brown College, a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, A Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree from the University of Toronto, and recently completed her PhD in Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Her research focuses on participation in life roles of people with chronic lung disease. Currently, she works as a Research Coordinator for the MacM3 project at MIRA Dixon Hall in Toronto. She is passionate about using her clinical and research skills on projects that aim to improve the lives of older adults. In her spare time, Sachi enjoys dancing flamenco.

Hope Morrison

Hope received her bachelor’s degree with High Honors in Psychology and a minor in Linguistics from Colgate University in 2017. Since then, she has worked as a Research Coordinator in labs in the US and Canada, gaining experience across a range of fields including cognition, language, disorders of consciousness, mobility, and aging. Hope enjoys all aspects of the research process, from research design to data collection to analysis, and she is always excited to learn from the projects she’s involved in – whether that knowledge comes from the study results or the participants themselves. Hope is now a full-time Research Coordinator at McMaster University working on several studies related to mobility and aging. In her free time, she enjoys playing outside with her dog, doing macrame, and practicing yoga.

Research Assistants

Kathleen Romanoski

Kathleen’s career was originally focused as an Executive Assistant supporting Medical Specialists at the Hamilton General Hospital, the Chief Operating Officer at the Cancer Centre, the Chief of Staff at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and for various Vice-Deans for the School of Rehab Science and Nursing at McMaster University. Kathleen was introduced to research originally by providing transcription services and discovered her “niche” becoming interested in various research studies at McMaster and especially through Dr. Beauchamp who focused on wellness, aging, and mobility. She began her role as a Research Assistant both recruiting participants and providing follow-ups for MacM3 and the Functional Recovery Study (COVID) in 2021. In her personal life she runs Kathleen’s Sweet Sensations, a home baking business where she continues her other passion which is creating delicious desserts!

Jasmyn Stoffers

Jasmyn is a recent graduate from Redeemer University where she received her Bachelor’s of Experimental Psychology with Honours. Jasmyn has a passion for research and has joined the MacM3 team as a Research Assistant. Although she has no formal physiotherapy education, Jasmyn has gained valuable information and insight on the subject through her years as a varsity volleyball player, which additionally lead her to an interest in mobility and physical ability.

Jenna Scott

Jenna is currently a student at Trent University, studying Forensic Biology. She is a Research Assistant, aiding in data collection for the MacM3 Study. Jenna has a great interest in photography and uses this to help capture moments in the MacM3 study, such as photographing participants performing their physical assessments and other events. 

Rhea Sinha

Rhea is a recent graduate from the Honours Life Science program at McMaster University. She is involved in the MacM3 study and the INITIATE study within the School of Rehabilitation Science. Having previously worked with patients with arthritis at a Rheumatology clinic, she is interested in the integration of technology as a means of finding solutions to improve mobility. Besides research, she also likes learning other languages and playing video games with her sisters. 

Research Students

Sara Abbas

Sara is currently an undergraduate student at McMaster University, working as a research assistant with Dr. Marla Beauchamp’s research lab. She primarily supports the MacM3 study with data collection, participant recruitment, and any follow-up calls needed. Sara has learned invaluable skills during data collection, and she hopes to continue to use them in the future.

Nancy He

Nancy He (legal name: Youyue He), is a current undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences at McMaster University while completing two concurrent certificates in Rehabilitation Sciences and Immunology, Microbiology & Virology. Nancy currently supports MacM3 study via data collection and participant recruitment. In addition, she helps with the expansion of the study by acting as the liaison between the Mandarin-speaking community and the MacM3 study. In her spare time, you can often find Nancy in the McMaster Greenhouse delivering tours or continue to grow her insect collection!

External Stakeholders

Older adults and caregivers

  • Mary Mills
  • Kathy Holden
  • Karin Van Dorsten
  • Pat Ward
  • Siddonia Poppa
  • Graham Boyce
  • Al Ward

Policymakers and Not-for-profit Community Organizations

Industry and Community Partnership