Interdisciplinary Research Fund supports six innovative projects

By Lori Dillon, March 9, 2017

Six teams of researchers from across McMaster's Faculties have been awarded $20,000 each from the Interdisciplinary Research Fund (IRF).

The fund, now in its second year, supports research projects involving two or more Faculties and is intended to build and strengthen academic, industry and community networks to better position research teams to apply for major external grants.

Rob Baker, vice-president, research, says there’s a real enthusiasm among the academy to collaborate on research projects, and the IRF is the perfect platform to test out the long-term viability of potential partnerships.

“The interest in IRF speaks to our researchers' commitment to collaborate with their peers in order to tackle research issues from a variety of perspectives and, ultimately, advance their work,” he says, noting the program’s value extends beyond the cash investment and serves as a springboard for future initiatives.

The competition attracted 31 applications including more than 115 researchers.

The successful projects include:

Project Title:  Touchscreen clinical tools for assessing upper-extremity motor skills in people with Parkinson’s disease

Principal Investigator:  Matthew Woolhouse, School of the Arts

Collaborators:  Peter Keir, Kinesiology; Michael Noseworthy, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Rick Paulseth, Medicine

Project title:  Quantitative modeling of spontaneous movement in infants:  Development and validation of a machine-learning approach

Principal Investigators: Vickie Galea, Rehabilitation Science and James Reilly, Electrical and Computer Engineering

McMaster Collaborators:  Ranil Sonnadara, Surgery; Dr. Salhab el Helou, Pediatrics

External Collaborators:  Mijna Hadders-Algra, Beatrix Children’s Hospital, The Netherlands; Christoph Fusch, Paracelsus Medical School, Nurenberg, Germany

Project title: Enhancing the online experience of older adults

Principal Investigators:  Khaled Hassanein, Information Systems and Scott Watter, Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour

Collaborators:  Milena Head, Information Systems; Geoff Norman, Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact

Project title:  Design and build of an MRI-compatible cyclic compressive loading device for whole intact porcine hind-limb specimens ex vivo

Principal Investigator:  Cheryl Quenneville, Mechanical Engineering

Collaborators:  Karen Beattie, Medicine, Michael Noseworthy, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Peter Keir, Kinesiology; Monica Maly, Rehabilitation Science

Project title:  Development of novel drugs and targeted delivery formulations for brain disorders

Principal Investigators:  Ram Mishra, Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience;

Collaborators: Bhagwati Gupta, Biology; Todd Hoare, chemical engineering

Project title: Development of a point-of-care microfluidic chip for rapid diagnosis of Von Willebrand disease

Principal Investigators:  Tohid Didar, Mechanical Engineering; Colin Kretz, Medicine