Transdisciplinary Research in Action
Barrier-breaking transdisciplinary research is happening in all corners of Brock University. Some examples include:
Limiting damage caused by stroke and heart attacks
Neuroscientist Cheryl McCormick, organic chemist Jeffrey Atkinson and biologist Jeff Stuart will pool their knowledge to study compounds that could limit the damage to tissue caused by stroke and heart attack. The three researchers offer complimentary skill sets to a project that could not be realized by any one of them on their own. Atkinson designs and synthesizes new molecules that should inhibit a key step in programmed cell death. Stuart enquires whether these molecules hold up to their promise by monitoring the health of target cells and mitochondria. McCormick confirms that these biochemical assessments and outcomes are manifest in preclinical trials.
Assessing the impact of climate change on the wine industry
Biologist Gary Pickering leads a team of 19 researchers from different backgrounds — and universities — studying the effect of climate change on the grape and wine industry, which contributes nearly $1-billion a year to Ontario’s economy.
Improving the lives of children
The Department of Child and Youth Studies ranges from developmental psychology to neuroscience, criminology and sociology. Professors routinely collaborate on files that go beyond their own disciplines, including a current project on rights for persons with intellectual disabilities.
Examining Canada's water supply
Economist Steven Renzetti is leading a major federally-funded study, involving more than 20 Canadian and international researchers (including economists, biologists, political scientists and governance experts), to examine a large range of issues regarding Canada’s water supply, including how we use it and how the rising demand for water creates the potential for conflict in Canada and globally.
Community Health Science associate professor Dan Malleck runs history courses that combine health studies with humanities. He says students learn not only different medical issues, but “how different disciplinary perspectives affect the way we perceive the world. Students benefit from experiencing how these different views operate.”
Preparing students for a globalized world
Political science professor Leah Bradshaw teaches programs that embrace literature and arts. “These programs attract precisely the kind of student that we need in a globalized, complex and integrated world,” she said. “Students who seek out interdisciplinary graduate programs are among the brightest and the most creative.”