Pursuing the discovery to better the lives of others
An appreciation for the application of research within individual and population-level contexts is an important lesson Andrew Robertson took away from his doctoral studies in the Aging, Health, and Well-Being program. Andrew initially began his career working as a Registered Kinesiologist, “I wanted to impact individual lives”. However, after several years he felt the need to challenge himself again, this time with the intention of bringing positive change to not only individuals, but also to communities and populations. It was during his master’s degree that he began contemplating a career in academia. Andrew recalls the feelings of studying at the University of Waterloo,
I felt invigorated by the environment… using state of the art technology to further innovation and discovery.
The satisfaction of making a “discovery”, as he calls it, was a big source of motivation to continue on in the field of research.
Translating evidence to practice
Now as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Sunnybrook Research Institute and University of Toronto, Andrew investigates how physical exercise can help improve brain health among adults with stroke, and how this not only translates into innovative stroke rehabilitation methods, but also as possible preventative measures for lowering stroke risk. After being exposed to different viewpoints and research methodologies during his collaborative doctoral studies, Andrew “approaches challenges with more open-mindedness” in his own research. As a new investigator, he understands the importance of drawing upon a broad network of health care professionals and researchers who can help to enhance and translate his research findings from “bench-to-bedside”. Andrew notes that the AHWB program “brought things full circle” for him, "I use these state of the art techniques and discoveries from my area of interest… and apply them to a broader context of population healthcare and well-being where we can impact individuals”.