In August, Waterloo Pharmacy’s Colleen Maxwell was appointed a University of Waterloo Research Chair. The position recognizes exceptional achievement in a particular field of knowledge. Professor Maxwell’s primary field is pharmcoepidemiology – the study of medication use and effects in human populations – and she is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in aging-related research.
Maxwell has dedicated the past 20 years to improving the quality of care and lives of vulnerable older Canadians. She joined the University of Waterloo in 2011 as a Professor at Waterloo Pharmacy with a cross-appointment to the School of Public Health & Health Systems. Over her career and since arriving at the University of Waterloo, her scholarly contributions have been impressive: she’s received ongoing research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Public Health Agency of Canada, and, more recently, the Canadian Frailty Network. Over the course of her career, she’s earned $24.7 million in research funding and generated over 150 publications.
“Professor Maxwell’s accomplishments have established her as one of Canada’s most preeminent scholars,” says David Edwards, Hallman Director of the School of Pharmacy. “She is a recognized authority in the assessment of frailty in the geriatric population – the School of Pharmacy’s graduate and pharmacy students benefit from her expertise.”
As a health researcher, Maxwell conducts relevant research that can inform policy and practice change. She is an innovator in her field who was the first investigator in Canada to explore assisted living as a residential care option for Canada’s aging population. Primarily, her research aims to improve medication and care practices for older adults living with dementia and other chronic diseases.
“I am very honoured to receive this award and most grateful for the mentors, colleagues and students I have had the opportunity to work with over the years,” says Maxwell.
“As I started my academic training at the University of Waterloo, I feel immensely privileged to be in a position to give back to my home University and community. With this recognition I will continue to dedicate my research toward identifying pharmacotherapy and other care interventions that improve the lives of older Canadians while also nurturing the next generation of Canadian scientists in these areas.”
Maxwell also fosters effective research skills in others as a mentor and collaborator. She has established several valuable research partnerships with organizations like the Public Health Agency of Canada, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and various national and international organizations involved in improving the quality of care of older adults. She is both an active mentor and a role model to her graduate students, many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in government, academia, and industry.
Maxwell’s diverse and robust research portfolio demonstrates her capacity for efficiently conducting studies and effectively translating findings to numerous audiences. Her dedication to excellence in education, research, and service is an outstanding example of the vision and quality championed by the University of Waterloo.
Congratulations, Professor Colleen Maxwell!