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Long-time friends share international award

John McGarry receives prestigious prize alongside high school classmate.

Queen’s Political Studies Professor John McGarry has been named the co-recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration Studies section of the International Studies Association (ENMISA) for their research on the political institutions of some of the world’s most divided states. Making the selection all the more exciting for Dr. McGarry is his long-standing personal and professional relationship with his co-recipient, Brendan O’Leary (University of Pennsylvania).

“The award is an honour for me, as some of the previous winners are people I’ve greatly admired and who have had a tremendous impact on my work,” says Dr. McGarry. “I’m particularly happy that the other co-winner is a long-time friend and co-author. Brendan and I went to high school together and we’ve been collaborating, more or less, ever since.”

The Distinguished Scholar Award is given to a senior scholar who has had an international impact on the study of ethnicity, nationalism or migration.  Dr. McGarry’s research has focused on the design of political institutions in countries or regions facing deep divisions along racial, ethnic, or religious lines.  He and Dr. O’Leary are seen as two of the leading academic exponents of “power-sharing,” an approach based on the view that inclusion is a moral and political necessity in deeply divided societies.

Dr. McGarry’s research has taken him around the world, from Northern Ireland to Bolivia, Israel, South Africa and the Philippines. Currently, he is lead adviser on power-sharing and governance in the UN-backed negotiations in Cyprus. He has worked extensively with his co-recipient, including on books on the conflict in Northern Ireland, Iraq, and on the effect of European integration on national minorities.

At the February 2017 annual meeting of the International Studies Association in Baltimore, the ISA will host a roundtable event to discuss Drs. McGarry and O’Leary’s work.  The award will be presented at a reception during the conference. For more information on the ENMISA Distinguished Scholar Award, please visit the website.


Tiny technology

Queen’s researcher forms international partnership with Australian firm

Researcher Richard Oleschuk and Trajan Scientific and Medical (Trajan) in Australia are collaborating on the development of the next generation of biochemical instrumentation that will improve the detection of diseases such as cancer.

Dr. Oleschuk (Chemistry) has developed a microscopic straw-shaped glass instrument that can efficiently generate and spray nanometer-sized droplets into spectrometers capable of analyzing biomarkers.

It might look large but this is a photo of the microfluidic shower head developed in the Oleschuk lab. It's approximately the diameter of a few human hairs.

“Our lab is working to allow researchers to detect biomarkers at concentrations below the equivalent of a couple of tablets dissolved in an Olympic-sized swimming pool,” says Dr. Oleschuk. “We are essentially making shower heads smaller than a human hair wide using ultra fine glass tubes. We are excited to form this partnership and expand our research.”

The framework for the commercialization of Dr. Oleschuk’s technology is being established through PARTEQ Innovations, the university’s technology transfer organization.

Development of the technology and additional research will be conducted in the Kingston Nano-Fabrication Laboratory, a CFI-funded lab located at Innovation Park, and in collaboration with Université Laval in Quebec City. 

“The collaboration between Queen’s (working in co-operation with Université Laval) and Trajan will enable the translation and transfer of research outcomes from bench to bedside,” says Dr. Steven Liss Vice-Principal (Research). “It will also promote new, and enhance existing, research programs that expand our research strengths and our international impact. Importantly, these opportunities arise from the investments in research through NSERC and CFI infrastructure, the support we are able to provide for industry partnerships, technology transfer and international engagement, and our excellent faculty and their collaborators.”

PhD candidate Kyle Bachus played a large role in the project, optimizing protocols and procedures and working directly with Oleschuk’s academic collaborators at Université Laval.

“A partnership such as the one being established with Université Laval and Trajan opens many doors for not only me, but for the entire Oleschuk research group whether it be present or future members,” says Mr. Bachus. “It generates a direct avenue for myself and my co-researchers to the industrial side of scientific research and offers significant career opportunities. Not only this, but it is extremely valuable to have such exposure to the entire process of signing non-disclosure agreements to filing provisional patents to the signing of commercial partnerships.”

The next steps in the process include moving towards commercialization testing and refinement.

For more information visit the Trajan website.

Crossing borders for collaborations

Fostering connections in research and innovation, and raising awareness about Queen’s were the aims of a recent visit to Boston by Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss.

Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss, right, meets with Canadian Consul General to New England David Alward during his recent visit to Boston. (Supplied photo) 

During the visit, Dr. Liss met and spoke with a number of key groups and stakeholders, including members of the New England-Canada Business Council (NECBC), Queen’s alumni and Canadian Consul General to New England David Alward. In these conversations, his message was clear: the importance of international and cross-border relationships in advancing research as well as the opportunities for Queen’s and its potential partners.

“That’s always the point, reaching out and connecting with people, and an opportunity to really talk about Queen’s and perhaps a Queen’s that they are not as familiar with as they could be,” Dr. Liss says. 

Another key aspect of the visit was to promote Enviro Innovate, a cleantech accelerator based at Innovation Park, which, in collaboration with Queen’s, is seeking to attract start-ups and established enterprises looking to commercialize or acquire innovative technologies. 

As Dr. Liss explains, Boston, along with Palo Alto, Calif., is one of the main hubs for innovation in the United States, and internationally. With leading institutions such as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the area has also become a draw for leading researchers and entrepreneurs. However, they are not only limited to the universities.

“So this means there is a cluster of very smart people. And not just in the universities, but people who have moved there to be part of that scene, to take advantage of the synergies and the connections, the large available legal expertise and financial capital as well as access to expertise supporting accelerators and incubators. The communities themselves that have formed in the area have been self-propagating and grow around the innovation culture that’s been created there,” Dr. Liss says.

While still in the early stages, Queen’s is following a similar path. His presentations on the strategic goals for Queen’s and its efforts in innovation and entrepreneurship in the areas of cleantech and the environment struck a chord with many of those who attended the presentations, especially alumni and other Canadian expats, Dr. Liss says.

“There were many people I spoke with who were excited by the conversation around partnerships, research collaboration, industry engagement, technology transfer and so forth,” he says. “So they were very pleased with that and it was a very positive reception.”

In a presentation to the NECBC, Dr. Liss turned to a historic link between Queen’s and the United States. In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt visited the university to receive an honorary doctorate. During his speech, Roosevelt spoke about the importance of free trade to global prosperity and security and the role of universities in this, even at a time when tensions were nearing a breaking point in Europe. 

Later in the day, President Roosevelt took part in the official opening of the Thousand Islands Bridge, providing a physical link over the border.

“This was a particularly interesting perspective for an American president to talk about in 1938 − what it meant for universities to be the sources of knowledge and ideas, but the idea that this knowledge needs to be traded freely in the world,” Dr. Liss says, adding that the message continues to resonate today.

Dr. Liss also provided updates on the current political climate for funding research and innovation and found that there was great interest in the ongoing developments at Queen’s, especially from alumni.

It’s a conversation that is certain to continue, he says.

There will be more connections to develop between Canada and the United States, and opportunities to build on the initiative led by Tom Thompson, Chairman and CEO of Enviro Ambient (a Boston-based cleantech venture), who, in collaboration with Queen’s, has been the driving force behind the establishment of Enviro Innovate.

Castle choirs prove 'wonderfully enriching'

Collaboration with Oxford this year provided an exciting challenge for BISC singers.

Queen's in the World

Every September, during orientation, musician in residence Shelley Katz has a few questions for the new group of students at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) in Herstmonceux, England.

He is eager to get them involved in the choir program at the Castle, and so, he asks:

“Who sings?”

A few hands go up among the 140-plus students.

“In a choir?”

A couple of hands.

“In the shower?”

Several more hands go up.

BISC students joined with Oxford students to perform Mozart's Coronation Mass at Oxford's University Church of St. Mary. (Supplied photo)  

“We want the choir programs at the BISC to be as inclusive and accessible as possible,” says Diana Gilchrist, also a musician in residence at the Castle who runs the choir programs with Dr. Katz. “Many students join the choirs with little to no musical experience. Over the course of the year, they strengthen their abilities and it becomes a wonderfully enriching experience that builds their confidence and teamwork skills.”

In addition to many other musical activities, Ms. Gilchrist and Dr. Katz offer the opportunity to sing in a large choir, or a smaller chamber choir. The highlight of the year is the chance to collaborate on a large-scale performance. This past academic year, the BISC students joined with the Choir of St. Hilda’s College at Oxford University – an uplifting experience that was, for many students, the pinnacle of their time at the BISC.

“This was a great challenge and an extraordinary opportunity,” says Ms. Gilchrist. “The students prepare a full work – this time, Mozart’s Coronation Mass – for these collaborative performances. It required a lot of dedication and a substantial time commitment on their part, but they rose beautifully to the challenge of performing this work for appreciative audiences.”

For the collaboration with St. Hilda’s, the BISC choir prepared for a good part of the year, working towards a weekend in February with performances at both the Castle and at Oxford, a two-hour-plus drive away. The weekend also included social events with the Oxford students, who stayed overnight at Bader Hall at the Castle. At Oxford on Sunday, they performed at the University Church of St. Mary with a student orchestra. Afterwards, they attended a college banquet at St. Hilda’s, which gave students special access to Oxford college life and hospitality.

“It was a surreal experience being part of such a powerful group of musicians all singing together,” first-year student Leah Battista (Artsci’19) wrote in a BISC newsletter. “Standing in the ballroom (at the Castle), it was easy to let yourself be swept away by the magnificent sounds filling the room. I know I was.”

Ms. Battista also commented on the challenge of performing the Coronation Mass, and the strength of Ms. Gilchrist and Dr. Katz’s leadership.

“It was a difficult, rewarding process that gave our choir a strong sense of purpose towards a shared goal,” she wrote. “Our spirits were bolstered by the incredible determination Shelley and Diana brought to rehearsals every week.”

Dr. Katz and Ms. Gilchrist are seasoned musicians who have been based in England for more than 20 years and have had a strong presence at the BISC since 1997, when Alfred and Isabel Bader initiated the musician-in-residence program. Because of the transitional nature of the campus, every year they build up the choirs from scratch. Ms. Gilchrist says this presents a challenge, especially when you want to work with other choirs that build up their student base over many years, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to see the intense development of students’ abilities over a short time.

“Most students who participate in the choirs are not music majors – this can seem daunting for everyone, but throughout the year, we get to see the great sense of accomplishment the students feel after working very hard and dedicating themselves to the process,” she says.

“It truly is an excellent experiential learning opportunity – and the rewards are great.”

For more information, visit the BISC website or contact Dr. Katz and Ms. Gilchrist by email.

Delegation from Guangdong visits Queen's

A delegation from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS), led by President Zhong Weihe, front, third from left, visited Queen’s University on Tuesday, to meet with their Queen’s counterparts. (University Communications)

A delegation from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) visited Queen’s University on Tuesday, to meet with their Queen’s counterparts.

Queen's In the World

The delegation, headed by President Zhong Weihe, met with representatives of the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Arts and Science to explore areas of cooperation between Queen’s and GDUFS, including research collaboration and student and faculty mobility.

Currently, the university, located in southern China, has a Memorandum of Understanding and Graduate Student Exchange Agreement with the Faculty of Education.

The delegation also toured Queen’s campus as well as the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

In photo, front from left: Cai Hong, Director of International Office, GDUFS; Hugh Horton, Associate Dean (International), Faculty of Arts and Science; Zhong Weihe, President, GDUFS; Rebecca Luce-Kapler, Dean, Faculty of Education; and Liying Cheng, Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language, Faculty of Education. Middle row: Zhao Junfeng, Dean of School of Interpreting and Translation Studies; Zhiyao Zhang, Director, China Liaison Office; Barbara Yates, Associate Director, International, Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (International); Craig Walker, Director, Dan School of Drama and Music; Robin Cox, Director, School of English, Faculty of Education; and Jenny Corlett, Associate Director (International Initiatives), Faculty of Arts and Science. Back row: Wang Weiqiang, Associate Professor, School of English for International Business, GDUFS, and Visiting Scholar at Queen’s; Xie Wenxin, Director of Human Resources Division, GDUFS; Donato Santeramo, Head, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures; and Don Klinger, Associate Dean Graduate Studies & Research, Faculty of Education.

Queen’s launched its Comprehensive International Plan in August 2015 to support its internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through programs like academic exchange programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on the Queen’s campus.

International fieldwork tests students' skills

[Queen's in the World]
Queen's in the World

Several occupational therapy students are heading to Tanzania and India this summer to participate in international fieldwork that will push them out of their comfort zone and force them to think creatively on the job, according to Cate Preston.

“We are excited but nervous,” says Ms. Preston (OT’16), one of eight recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Diamond Jubilee Scholarships in International Community Based Rehabilitation for 2015-16. “As new grads, this is a chance to see what we can do while also building confidence in our skills and what we can offer communities.”

[QEII students]
Eight occupational therapy students received Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships in International Community Based Rehabilitation to complete international fieldwork this summer in Tanzania and India. The group includes (left to right) Cate Preston, Katie Fortuna, Allie Rogers, Steph Venedam, Josh Lee, Suzanne MacLeod, Kim Mikalson and Kara Dafoe. 

Ms. Preston and three other OT students will travel to Moshi, Tanzania. Over a three-month period, the students will complete both a clinical and a community development placement. They will complete their clinical placement at the Pamoja Tunaweza Women’s Health Centre.

At the health centre, the students will participate in a supervised clinical practice that will address the health needs of high-risk women in the Kilimanjaro region. Many of the women are affected by the impact of HIV/AIDS, and experience poverty and gender-based violence.  

For the community development portion, the students in Tanzania will work with current and former street youth through the Pamoja Tunaweza Boys and Girls Club (PTBGC). Their goal is to develop resources and programming that will help empower the youth and allow them to become mentors and leaders for future generations. They will work side-by-side with current youth leaders to create curriculum that they can use when teaching life skills, healthy living and business to at-risk youth who will begin classes at the centre on June 1.

Four other students will complete their clinical and community development placements at Amar Seva Sangam (ASSA), a rehabilitation and development centre in rural India. ASSA is a grassroots non-governmental organization that is dedicated to the rehabilitation, education and empowerment of people with disabilities. 

While at ASSA, the students will participate in supervised clinical practice and community development initiatives that support the centre’s integrated schools, early intervention programs, outpatient rehabilitation programs, vocational training program and village-based programs that support children and youth affected by disabilities.

International experiences allow our students to broaden their horizons and see what occupational therapy practice looks like in other countries. The Queen Elizabeth II Scholars can also think about what they can bring back to their Canadian occupational therapy practice.
— Susanne Murphy,  Queen’s Occupational Therapy Program fieldwork co-ordinator 

As she prepared to travel to Tanzania, Ms. Preston looked forward to the challenge of working in an unfamiliar culture. While the students had a general idea of what they would be doing in Tanzania, Ms. Preston stressed that they would reflect critically throughout their fieldwork to ensure they remained focused on the clients and the community.

“I expect we will have to be creative as we come up with ways to best serve the local population,” she says. “I want to listen to stakeholders in order to find out what they need and what will work best for them.”

QEII scholarships support young global leaders

The International Centre for the Advancement of Community-Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) was one of two Queen’s projects to receive funding from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program in 2015.

One aspect of the ICACBR project enables occupational therapy students to complete their community development and advanced clinical placements in low- and middle-income Commonwealth countries. Eight more OT students will be awarded Queen Elizabeth Scholars for the 2016-17 school year.

Susanne Murphy, lecturer and fieldwork co-ordinator for the Queen’s Occupational Therapy Program, says the scholarship program removes the financial barrier to an important opportunity for students.

“International experiences allow our students to broaden their horizons and see what occupational therapy practice looks like in other countries,” she says. “The Queen Elizabeth II Scholars can also think about what they can bring back to their Canadian occupational therapy practice.”

Ms. Murphy says the students will strive to ensure the long-term sustainability of their fieldwork.

“International fieldwork is not about jetting in, doing a few things and then leaving,” she says. “The students will seek to enable individuals living in those communities and equip them with the skills so that they can carry on the good work after the students return to Canada.”

More information about the Queen Elizabeth II Scholars program is available online. The scholars are sharing their experience and work through blogs and on social media using the hashtag #QEScholars.

Planning the cities of tomorrow today

An international symposium focused on energy use and how it affects our lives is being held Thursday, May 5 at Queen’s University.

The third annual Energétique et Ville du Futur (Energy and the City of the Future) brings together experts from Canada and France in a variety of fields of environmental research.

Jean-Michel Nunzi (Physics) makes a presentation at last year's Energétique et Ville du Futur (Energy and the City of the Future) conference. (Supplied Photo)

However, as co-organizer Jean-Michel Nunzi (Physics), the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Photonics for Life, explains, the primary goal of the symposium, which is sponsored by the Embassy of France in Canada, is fostering exchange between researchers, students, and industry and institutional representatives on energy issues and sustainable cities.

The goal is to bring people together to share ideas and foster creativity for the benefit of the future.

“In principle I believe that research should have creativity. That should be obvious but it is not obvious because we have been trained to some paradigms,” he says adding that we can become fixated on our initial goals. “So creativity is not always the driving force. But if we bring many people together with events like this conference we can be creative.”

The topic of energy and its use is critical as it accounts for a third of global wealth and any increase in cost can have a drastic effect on other sectors, such as the cost of food. As the population continues to grow, planning the cities of the future now is key.

“Part of the solution isn’t to say stop using energy. It’s more of a vision of the future and as citizens are living in cities it’s the cities that have to be redesigned – how we use transportation, how to use heating, how to use natural resources, how to trap carbon,” Dr. Nunzi says. “(The conference) is a simple model. There is nothing new, we just try to make it happen. We try to make these ideas happen by listening to other people.”

Among those presenting at the conference is Andrew Pollard (Mechanical and Materials Engineering), the Queen’s Research Chair in Fluid Dynamics and Multi-Scale Phenomena, who will be speaking on Cement, Cities and Low Carbon Fuels in Ontario. Other presentations include: Green product from wood and biomass; Electric highways; Hydrogen storage and the energy mix; The energy register; and Socioeconomic activities and sustainable cities: between social responsibility and economic profitability.

Attendees will also be able to take part in poster sessions as well as a roundtable discussion on The city of the future in France and Canada.

The conference begins at 9:30 am at The University Club with an opening session featuring Jean-Christophe Auffray, Advisor for Science and Technology, Embassy of France.

Welcome to the Academy

Queen’s Professor Emeritus Art McDonald elected to National Academy of Science in the United States.

Queen’s University Professor Emeritus Art McDonald’s research on neutrino oscillations has garnered widespread acclaim from the scientific community. His work has earned him, amongst other honours, the Killam Prize in the Natural Sciences, the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics and an appointment as a Companion of the Order of Canada. Included in that group is his recent election to the US National Academy of Science (NAS).

Queen's University professor emeritus and Nobel Laureate, Art McDonald, has been elected as a foreign associate to the National Academy of Science in the United States. (University Communications)

“It is a great honor to be elected as a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States,” Dr. McDonald says. “With my graduate work at Caltech, a professorship at Princeton and extensive collaboration with US scientists throughout my research career, particularly in the SNO experiment, this honor is very significant to me. I have really valued my connections to the United States scientific community.”

Dr. McDonald is joined by 20 fellow researchers from 14 countries who were named Foreign Associates of the Academy. Their election to the academy comes in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Of the 465 foreign associates in the Academy, Dr. McDonald is one of only 18 Canadians. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States.

“Dr. McDonald is one of the most distinguished Canadian physicists of his generation,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “Election to the National Academy of Science is a tremendous international honour and a testament to his leadership, and to the fundamental importance and impact of his ground-breaking research on neutrinos.”

Dr. McDonald’s research, conducted at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, determined neutrinos are capable of changing their type – indicating that they have mass. He remains involved in research at SNOLAB, including the DEAP experiment, which has developed one of the most sensitive experiments ever with the goal of direct detection of dark matter. Dr. McDonald is also a collaborator on the SNO+ experiment which will look for a rare radioactivity called neutrinoless double beta decay to provide further information on the basic properties of neutrinos.

The Academy boasts a total number of 2,291 active members.Established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the National Academy of Science recognizes achievement in science and provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the US federal government and other organizations.

To learn more about the US National Academy of Science visit the website.

Asia-Pacific diplomats brought together

Diplomatic representatives, including a number of ambassadors and high commissioners, from the Asia-Pacific Region were hosted by Queen's University during the annual Ambassadors' Forum on Friday, April, 22. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Ambassadors and high commissioners from around the Asia-Pacific Region were welcomed to Queen’s University on Friday, April 22 to take part in the annual Ambassadors' Forum.

Queen's In The World

The event, first held in 2003, brought together diplomatic officials from 16 countries –Indonesia to India, Malaysia to Japan – for a special luncheon as well as a presentation and discussions.

In the afternoon, the guests attended a presentation by Queen’s alumnus Tiff Macklem, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and former Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, entitled “Global Forces, Canada and the Asia-Pacific Region.” 

A key element for Queen’s is that the meeting provides a chance for the university to directly inform the visitors about a range of new and ongoing initiatives, particularly on the international front.

“We have many cross-disciplinary initiatives underway in the Asia-Pacific Region involving teaching, research and student exchanges,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “As Queen’s continues to promote international exchange and cooperation there remains significant potential for growth in all of these areas and establishing trusting diplomatic relations is an important part of creating strong global connections.”

The forum also serves as a chance for the ambassadors to meet in a neutral setting to promote international dialogue and cooperation.

“While it is not a large event the Ambassadors' Forum is important because not only are these national representatives here to learn about Queen’s, Kingston and Canada but they also have the opportunity to make connections and build relationships with each other,” says Professor Emeritus and former Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning Hok-Lin Leung, the organizer of the event.

Also representing Queen’s at the luncheon were Associate Vice-Principal (International) Kathy O’Brien, Vice Principal (Research) Steven Liss and Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) Caroline Davis.

Queen’s unveiled its Comprehensive International Plan in August 2015 with the aim of strengthening the university’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through programs such as academic exchange. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities at Queen’s.

A unique research opportunity

Two Queen’s PhD candidates receive grant to fund research trip of a lifetime.

Queen's In the World

Two Queen’s University PhD candidates have received a one-time $2,000 stipend from the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies (SKHS) to help support a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to further their research.

For Jeremy Walsh, a fourth-year exercise physiology PhD candidate, the stipend means crossing an item off his “bucket list” while providing a chance to further his research on the effects of high-altitude, low-oxygen environments on cognitive functions.

PhD candidate Jeremy Walsh will be climbing to Mt. Everest base camp to study the effect of exercise on brain function in low-oxygen environments.

“Visiting the Himalayas and Mt. Everest is the sort of thing that people at some point in their life would like to do,” says Mr. Walsh. “For me, it’s always been a cool idea but the opportunity has never come up. To have an opportunity to accomplish this goal, and have it align with my research, is really quite extraordinary.”

On May 5, Walsh and his co-researchers from Mount Royal University, University of British Columbia - Okanagan and University of Victoria will begin their 10-day, 62 km hike to Mount Everest base camp, which sits at an elevation of 5,360m. The team will conduct experiments at three different locations and elevations along the way to determine if exercise retains the ability to improve cognitive function of someone who is living in a low-oxygen environment for multiple days.

Prior research has shown that aerobic exercise can improve brain function for up to an hour after the exercise is completed. While hypoxic (low oxygen) environments have been shown to impair cognitive function in healthy adults, research has shown that performing 20 minutes of cycling while breathing low-oxygen air restored cognitive function to the same as sea level. Mr. Walsh and his colleagues hope to determine if the improvement is still noticeable when the subjects are living at altitude for a period of time, rather than simply exposed to short-term hypoxia.

Sarah Barnes, also a PhD candidate whose research focuses on how sleep has come to be seen as a significant ”natural” performance-enhancing strategy in elite sport, will be visiting the famed Harvard Fatigue Laboratory housed in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University.

PhD candidate Sarah Barnes will be visiting the famed Harvard Fatigue Laboratory, examining the lab's archives of unpublished research to chart how 'the athlete' emerged as a special model in exercise science research. 

Operating out of the Harvard Business School from 1927-1947, researchers studied working conditions, industrial fatigue and how subjects adapt to their environments. The lab also conducted a number of experiments on world-class athletes – the first lab to use athletes as subjects for experiments – to determine how exposure to extreme cold and elevation, intense exercise, or combinations of all three effected recovery.

“The Harvard Fatigue Laboratory laid the groundwork for the contemporary scientific management of sporting bodies, especially in relation to ideas and practices connected to fatigue and sleep,” Ms. Barnes says. “Having the opportunity to visit the lab’s archives and review the original research records, grant applications, and notebooks will allow me to chart how ’the athlete’ emerged as special type of human model in exercise science.”

This rare opportunity to access the lab will grant Ms. Barnes the opportunity to review original documents related to the lab’s activities — including professional correspondence and unpublished research records, lab reports, analyses, grant applications, notebooks and other writings. In doing so, she hopes to explore how these scientists studied fatigue and the assumptions that informed their work.


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