Kinesiology researchers renewed as Canada Research Chairs

Friday, June 14, 2019

Professor Callaghan and Professor Dickerson

Two researchers in the Department of Kinesiology have been renewed as Canada Research Chairs:

  • Jack Callaghan, NSERC Tier 1, in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention ($1.4 million over seven years)
  • Clark Dickerson, NSERC Tier 2, in Shoulder Mechanics ($500,000 over five years)

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced the new and renewing Canada Research Chairs (CRC) on June 14, with more than $275 million to support 346 researchers. Fourteen researchers from the University of Waterloo were named new or renewing CRCs.

Callaghan examines lumbar spine tissues to understand how various repetitive loads contribute to low-back injuries and pain. He aims to develop methods to assess daily loading on the back and to set workplace exposure limits as preventative measures. 

Low-back injuries affect about 80 per cent of people at some point in their lives and result in huge amounts of work absences and loss of enjoyment of life. According to the World Health Organization, lower back injury is one of the top three occupational health problems. Callaghan’s research will lead to setting exposure limits for prevention and improved treatment for existing low-back pain sufferers.

Dickerson studies fundamental shoulder functioning, creating mathematical formulas to predict shoulder demands, how to prevent workplace injury, and rehabilitation strategies for shoulder health. 

Shoulder impairments cost the health care system nearly $1 billion per year in Canada, not including the costs related to lost productivity. More important are the loss of autonomy and reduced quality of life suffered by people with shoulder injuries. Dickerson and his team are looking to eliminate and mitigate shoulder damage. His research has the potential to improve our understanding of shoulder damage and may result in changes to workplaces, interfaces and our daily lives to protect shoulder health and improve quality of life.

Read the Government of Canada news release here.

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