2021 SSA Awardees

Congratulations to all 2021 Summer Student Awardees and their Supervisors. Meet the future of frailty care!

Niousha Headshot

Niousha Alizadehsaravi is currently in her fourth year of Applied Human Nutrition at the Mount SaintVincent University. She is completing her dietetic internship and training to become a dietitian. Niousha previously completed a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology 2016 from University of New Brunswick. Her research interests include nutrition and bone health along the continuum of care and optimization of clinical outcomes with combined nutrition and physical rehabilitation interventions

Supervisor: Dr. Caitlin McArthur

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Patrick Butler is a student at the University of New Brunswick entering fourth year in the Bachelors of Science in Nursing program. His interests include health promotion and increasing the quality of life in the older adult population. Through his work and volunteer experience, he developed an interest to pursue research about improving health care in the older adult populations. His research will be based out of the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Center and will work to address social isolation, frailty, and vulnerability while supporting ageing-in-place for seniors living in New Brunswick

Supervisor: Dr. Tracey Rickards

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Nayla Léveillé is a 2nd year medical student at the University of Montreal. Throughout her medical studies, she had the chance to develop her interest in research related to vulnerable and frail patients, as she has worked on projects related to Schizophrenia therapy using virtual reality, and to the implementation of community services connected to emergency departments to prevent mobility loss in frail seniors following an acute injury. She is also involved in health disparities related to race, as she is a member of the foundation Swab the World, which has as goal to diversify ethnically the stem cell registry

Supervisor: Dr. Laura Marie Drudi


Jenny Lam is a third year BScN (Honours) student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. Her experience as a recreation aide and nursing student in nursing homes sparked her interest in research that works towards improving the quality of life for older adults in care settings. Jenny’s current research with Dr. Matthias Hoben focuses on analyzing the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the quality of life of nursing home and assisted living residents

Supervisor: Dr. Matthias Hoben

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Ishani Khanna is a third-year BScN student at Dalhousie University. Ishani is currently involved in research under the supervision of Dr. Elaine Moody that focuses on interventions to improve nursing care of people living with dementia in hospital settings. She hopes that her research will empower patients and caregivers to vocalize their personal experiences and contribute to improving the quality of care for aging Canadians living with frailty and dementia. In addition to research, Ishani has developed a passion for helping underserved populations reach optimal health outcomes by applying evidence-based care in her clinical practice setting as a student nurse.

Supervisor: Dr. Elaine Moody 


Brooklynn Fernandes is currently a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Science in the Department of Biology. She was the first author of a systematic review regarding the management of dementia in primary care. Brooklynn continues to develop a keen interest for working with seniors to improve the care that they receive in the community and within the health care system. Brooklynn is the co-founder of the non-profit foundation, What the Tech Calgary, which services the elderly community in Calgary through seminars and services designed to make technology accessible to the elderly

Supervisor: Dr. Jayna Holroyd-Leduc


Mike Carroll is completing his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton NB. He is interested in pursuing Masters level research working with individuals with chronic conditions to better improve clinical outcomes. Mike has a passion for physical activity and believes that better implementation and awareness of physical activity outcomes will lead to improved quality of life for individuals with chronic conditions. Outside of academia, Mike is a former member of the UNB rugby team and continues to live an active lifestyle through recreational sports such as hockey and golf. Mike completed his honours research project under the supervision of Dr. Danielle Bouchard and is excited to continue to work under her supervision as he improves his research skills and expand his knowledge on the impact that physical activity can have on clinical populations.

Supervisor: Dr. Danielle Bouchard

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Grace Lew is a BHSc student at the University of Calgary with a major in Health and Society and a concentration in economics. Grace is also a member of the Dinos Wrestling Team. As a student researcher, Grace has interests in geriatrics and knowing more about aging-related diseases and how to mitigate their effects. Last summer, she helped conduct a systematic review on drug interventions that treat apathy in Parkinson’s Disease. In the long-term, Grace has interests of pursuing international human rights, continuing her research interests and how they can apply to health law, and wrestling for Canada internationally.

Supervisor: Dr. Zahra Goodarzi


Amanda Austin-Keiller is in her first year of the M.D., C.M. program at McGill University.  She completed her BSc in Microbiology & Immunology in 2018 and her MSc in Psychiatry in 2020, both at McGill University.  She is interested in maximizing patient engagement to better match care to values.  With an aging population, it is important that the healthcare system as a whole and physicians themselves can adapt to the population’s needs. Amanda is eager to learn from the participants in the summer research project involved in developing a HRQL measure for older people living in the community.

Supervisor: Dr. Nancy Mayo

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Melissa Brausse is currently completing her third year of Nutrition in the College of Pharmacy & Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan. She is starting her dietetic practicum in Regina, SK in the fall. Melissa is grateful for the important opportunity to contribute to the research about end of life nutrition care for older adults in long term care homes.

Supervisor: Dr. Allison Cammer


Alexandre Roberge-Milanese is a fifth year Computer Science student at Ryerson University. He is a research assistant at the Inclusive Media And Design Centre (IMDC). For the last 3 years, Alexandre has been developing inclusive and assistive technologies that are designed to help people with a wide range of disabilities. He will be working to develop and evaluate customisable and mobile communication alternatives for older frail users with acquired speech and mobility limitations.

Supervisor: Dr. Deborah Fels


Ramtin Hakimjavadi is a first-year medical student in the MD2024 class at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine. He attended Western University as an undergraduate student, where he pursued an Honors Specialization in Medical Health Informatics for his Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMSc) degree. With an interdisciplinary educational background in medical and computer science, his research interests centre around the intersection of healthcare and information technology. In 2020, he received an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) scholarship from the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Research Opportunities to study the health information technology in Ontario’s long-term care setting.

Supervisor: Dr. Clare Liddy

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Quentin Michalchuk is a third-year student in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia.  Quentin has been involved in geriatric research with Drs. Goodarzi and McMillan. Specifically, he has investigated and presented on the interplay between Parkinson’s Disease and frailty in a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature.  His project is focused on a Delphi procedure for developing an evidence-based pathway to managing anxiety in long term care residents. Quentin has interacted closely with frail patients with Parkinson’s Disease at the Point Grey Hospital and performed piano and violin at senior homes throughout Vancouver and Calgary.

Supervisor: Dr. Zahra Goodarzi

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Paneet Gill is in her final semester of studies at Simon Fraser University, where she is majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Gerontology. Currently she works as a research assistant for the SFU Gerontology Research Centre with Dr. Gloria Gutman to examine minority group experiences and future care planning in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her research this summer will focus on exploring advance care planning rates and self-reported frailty of those living in assisted living and seniors housing. She will be starting her Masters of Public Health in Fall 2021.

Supervisor: Dr. Gloria Gutman


Dylan Guan is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. He is working towards an Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Neuroscience, minor in Psychology, and a minor in Physiology. Dylan has previously conducted research on post-stroke anxiety disorder, agitation and impulse dyscontrol in older adults, structural neuroimaging of mild behavioral impairment, functional neuroimaging in women with surgical menopause, and non-cognitive markers of dementia. Currently, he is a link between mild behavioral impairment and frailty to enhance our understanding of the behavioral and neuropsychiatric aspects of frailty and the early detection of dementia risk.

Supervisor: Dr. Zahinoor Ismail


Nebojša Oravec is a second-year medical student at the University of Manitoba. His project is focused on the development and evaluation of a multimodal, opioid-sparing pain management strategy for cardiac surgery. Nebojsa is also involved in qualitative research that engages cardiac surgery patients and caregivers in the development of strategies to enhance recovery.

Supervisor: Dr. Rakesh Arora