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Aging Research Centre - Newfoundland and Labrador

Aging Research Centre – Newfoundland and Labrador Congratulates Canada Research Chair in Aging and Auditory Neuroscience
January 17, 2022

CORNER BROOK, NL – The Aging Research Centre – Newfoundland and Labrador (ARC-NL) congratulates Dr. Benjamin Zendel, ARC-NL’s Chair of Research, on his reappointment as the Canada Research Chair (CRC) on Aging and Auditory Neuroscience.

The Government of Canada announced Dr. Zendel’s renewal as a research chair on January 12, 2022.

“ARC-NL is very fortunate to have a researcher of Dr. Zendel’s caliber as part of our team,” said Dr. Ian Sutherland, VP Grenfell Campus (pro tempore) and chair of the ARC-NL Management Board. “His guidance, support and advice help to position ARC-NL as an integral research centre within Memorial University.”

Dr. Zendel is an associate professor in aging and auditory neuroscience in the community health and humanities division, Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Dr. Zendel was initially appointed as a Canada Research Chair in 2015 and has been renewed to July 31, 2026.

A member of ARC-NL’s leadership team, Dr. Zendel, leads the research at the CAANLab which is ARC-NL’s main research facility located at Memorial University’s St. John’s campus. The research is focused on age-related changes in hearing and cognition to generate knowledge to improve hearing abilities for older adults. The research is diverse, and includes psychacoustics, speech perception, music cognition, memory and learning.

Recently, Dr. Zendel collaborated with Dr. Veronica Hutchings, ARC-NL Director; Dr. Roberta DiDonato, Memorial University researcher; and Bethany Power, student; on research to examine whether older adults, particularly those with hearing loss, had a problem remembering health information delivered via telehealth. That research was presented at ARC-NL’s Research Talk on November 25, 2021, and can be viewed here. That study can also be found here.

Dr. Zendel also provided an overview of his research during ARC-NL’s Virtual Open on June 29, 2021. You can view that presentation here. Access to both presentations is available through the ARC-NL News and Events Page.

Dr. Zendel earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary and his Master’s and PhD from the University of Toronto. Dr. Zendel completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Université de Montréal. More information about his work can be found here.

Dr. Zendel was one of two researchers at Memorial University to receive CRC renewals on January 12 which results in a total investment of $1 million over five years in research in health-related topics. You can read more about that in the Gazette.

Grenfell Campus Recruiting Director

Aging Research Centre-Newfoundland and Labrador (ARC-NL)

Grenfell Campus is currently seeking a Director for the Aging Research Centre - Newfoundland and Labrador (ARC-NL).  Normally, the Director is a full-time tenured or tenure-track member of the faculty at Grenfell Campus, however, individuals outside of these categories may be considered for the position and are encouraged to apply. A part-time position, the Director’s appointment shall normally be for a three-year term and is renewable. Qualifications for the position include at least a masters degree in aging or age-related research/cognate discipline; demonstrated work, or potential for work, in aging and age-related research; and, demonstrated leadership capacity in an organizational setting. 

The Director of ARC-NL oversees its operations with the support of part-time coordinators located at the Grenfell and St. John’s campuses. The new Director will strategically: help shape ARC-NL’s longer-term priorities, structures, and position as a research centre of Memorial University and its research and policy agenda on aging; work and collaborate with representatives from community, university and government agencies involved in aging; engage with older populations on aging-related research; and, be involved in planning and actioning core activities and events, such as the inaugural ARC-NL Conference scheduled for Spring 2022.

About ARC-NL

Established in 2018, ARC-NL is a pilot research centre, with a goal to become a permanent research centre at Memorial University in 2023. ARC-NL has built relationships with researchers, encouraged students to pursue aging-related research, offered grants and fellowships to support the research, and shared that research with the public, particularly our older population.  There are currently 86 research members, 55 student members, and 54 community members.  Please visit www.grenfell.mun.ca/arc or email arcnl@grenfell.mun.ca to learn more about ARC-NL. 

Interested applicants should submit an expression of interest, including their CV and cover letter, to the attention of the Vice-President (Grenfell Campus) at the following email address, please indicate the following in the subject line “EOI Director ARC-NL”:

Deadline: 12 noon (NDT) January 17, 2022

ARC-NL Research Talk 

The Aging Research Centre – Newfoundland and Labrador, held a Research Talk on November 25, 2021, as part of Memorial’s Research Week. The event featured research talks on aging-related research. The Research Talk can be viewed by clicking on the video below:


Aging Research Centre – Newfoundland and Labrador Awards Grants and Fellowships to Support Aging-Related Research

News Release - November 23, 2021

CORNER BROOK, NL – The Aging Research Centre – Newfoundland and Labrador (ARC-NL) has awarded research and development grants and fellowships totaling just over $100,000 to support research related to aging in Newfoundland and Labrador. ARC-NL made the announcement of the recipients as Memorial University recognizes Research Week, November 22-26.

For the 2021 awards, ARC-NL received 11 applicants for its research and development grants available to researchers at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and 13 applications for fellowship grants available to master’s- and doctoral-level students at Memorial University.

“We were very pleased with the quantity and quality of the applications we received for our 2021 awards program,” said Dr. Veronica Hutchings, ARC-NL director. “The applications covered a broad range of topics and issues that are related to issues that face our growing aging population. We look forward to seeing the results of the research that ARC-NL has funded and sharing that knowledge to the broader community, particularly our older population.”

The work of ARC-NL supports the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s efforts to better understand and plan for demographic change and healthy aging across the lifespan. Through Budget 2021, the Provincial Government has allocated $100,000 to assist ARC-NL in its efforts to address needs, issues and opportunities of an aging society.  


“As the province’s demographics continue to shift, having sound research will be key to helping the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador create policies and programs that support healthy aging,” said the Honourable John G. Abbott, Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development. “I would like to congratulate the recipients of this year’s research and development grants and fellowships that support research related to aging in the province. I am pleased to see such a variety of research topics across disciplines and I look forward to learning about the progress made.”

ARC-NL has awarded research grants totaling $75,000 with the support of funding provided by the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development. The grants were awarded to:

  • Dr. Janna Andronowski, Assistant Professor of Clinical Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine – Age- and Sex-related Changes in the Bone’s Cellular Network: Impacts on Aging Bone Health - $25,000
  • Dr. Vishaal Rajani, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Medicine – The Role of Calcium Signaling in Memory Impairment During Aging and in Alzheimer’s Disease - $25,000
  • Dr. Susan Mercer, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, and Clinical Chief, Eastern Health – An Interprofessional Model of Care for Frail Older Adults in Newfoundland and Labrador - $25,000.

ARC-NL introduced a new award this year that will assist researchers to develop proposals and the research team required to apply for funding for more significant grants available from national funding agencies. The award is valued at $7,500 and the first winner is:

  • Dr. Susan Mercer, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, and Clinical Chief, Eastern Health - The Implementation and Evaluation of an Interprofessional Model of Care for Frail Older Adults in Newfoundland and Labrador - $7,500.

ARC-NL also fosters the development of the next generation of researchers with its ARC-NL Graduate Fellowships for master’s-level and PhD-level students at Memorial University. Through funding provided by the Office of the Vice-President of Research and the School of Graduate Studies of Memorial University, two students will receive the 2021 Fellowship Awards totaling $18,000. The 2021 fellowship recipients are:

  • Vahid Salehi (PhD student) – A Systematic Approach for Investigating and Enhancing Health-Related Issues of Frail Older People During Hospital to Home Transition Processes - $12,000.
  • Joshua Taylor (Master’s student) – Determining the Relationship of Age and Sex on the Cellular Network of Bone - $6,000.

This year’s awards will also see ARC-NL partner with AGE-WELL for the first time to increase the amount of a fellowship award. Mr. Salehi is the first recipient of the ARC-NL and AGE-WELL Fellowship that will see his total award valued at $24,000. As Canada’s technology and aging network, AGE-WELL brings together researchers, older adults, caregivers, partner organizations and future leaders to accelerate the delivery of technology-based solutions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians.

Including the 2021 awards, ARC-NL has awarded 31 grants and fellowships totaling just over $342,000 to Memorial University researchers and students since it was established in 2018. Those awards include 16 research and development grants totaling approximately $200,000 and 15 fellowships totaling $142,000. 

“On behalf of Grenfell Campus and Memorial University, I want to congratulate this year’s awards recipients and commend them for their commitment to advancing aging-related research,” said Dr. Ian Sutherland, Vice-President, Grenfell Campus, pro tempore. “As chair of ARC-NL’s management board, I am quite pleased to see the diversity and quality of the research that is taking place related to aging. With Newfoundland and Labrador having a rapidly aging population, I look forward to working with ARC-NL to advance research on this very important topic to the people and prosperity of our province.”

The full list of the research that ARC-NL has funded can be found here.

ARC-NL featured some of the aging-related research at a recent Virtual Open House that can be viewed here

More information on ARC-NL, be found here or by contacting Carmel Turpin, Co-ordinator, at arcnl@grenfell.mun.ca


Dr. Janna Andronowski, left, research grant recipient, and Dr. Veronica Hutchings, ARC-NL Director.


Dr. Ben Zendel, left, ARC-NL Chair of Research, and Dr. Susan Mercer, recipient of a research grant and a development grant.


Dr. Vishaal Rajani, left, research grant recipient, and Dr. Veronica Hutchings, ARC-NL Director.


Vahid Salehi, left, fellowship recipient, and Dr. Veronica Hutchings, ARC-NL Director.


ARC-NL recently presented its 2021 research awards. In photo from left are: Dr. Vishal Rajani, Dr. Veronica Hutchings (ARC-NL Director), Dr. Janna Andronowski, Dr. Kelly Vodden (Associate Vice-President Research and Graduate Studies, Grenfell Campus), Vahid Salehi, and Joshua Taylor.


Joshua Taylor, left, fellowship recipient, and Dr. Veronica Hutchings, ARC-NL Director.


ARC-NL - 2021 Virtual Open House

The Aging Research Centre – Newfoundland and Labrador (ARC-NL) held its second Virtual Open House on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. The Open House featured presentations on aging-related research. To watch a video of the ARC-NL Virtual Open House please click on the below video.


ARC-NL Provincial Conference – UPDATE

The Aging Research Centre – Newfoundland and Labrador has postponed indefinitely its inaugural conference previously scheduled for May 2020. It was after careful consideration that the decision was made due to the continued need to follow public health measures put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal of our conference is to promote interactions between researchers and older adults in Newfoundland and Labrador in order to address important issues around aging in our province and to share some of the exciting research currently taking place. Based on the current environment and the amount of time required to plan such a conference, we anticipate our inaugural conference will not happen until Spring 2022. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.

In the interim, we will follow up on our successful open house held in November 2020 with another open house in Spring 2021. Please follow us on our website at www.grenfell.mun.ca/arcnl, follow us on Twitter @MUN_ARC, or like our Facebook page.

Please contact us at arc@grenfell.mun.ca or (709) 639-4872 if you have any questions or concerns. We are so grateful for the interest expressed by the public for our inaugural conference and look forward to hosting this event.

ARC-NL 2020 Virtual Open House - watch now


On November 24, 2020 we held a 2020 virtual open house. Watch the recording to see updates on ARC-NL activities in the past year, as well as the announcement of the 2020 ARC-NL grants and fellowship awardees!

Webinar Series - NLCAHR Research Exchange Group on Aging

ARC-NL Members are invited to attend the regular webinar series hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research's Research Exchange Group on Aging. Full schedule and connection details can be found here. Please contact arc@grenfell.mun.ca if you have any questions.

Aging Research Centre (ARC)

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
20 University Drive, Corner Brook, Newfoundland
A2H 5G4, Canada

Office: FC4022
Phone: 709-639-4872
Email: arcnl@grenfell.mun.ca

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