Fostering research innovation: Jill Zwicker, CIHR Foundation Grant recipient

Dr. Jill Zwicker

Dr. Jill Zwicker

Dr. Jill Zwicker, an assistant professor in the School of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, was a recipient of the highly competitive Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 2014 Foundation Grant competition. She received funding for her research focusing on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects an estimated 400,000 Canadian children.

Dr. Zwicker, who was awarded $684K for her research program, is one of the few occupational therapists world-wide to use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Over the next five years, she plans to conduct research that integrates brain imaging and rehabilitation with the goal of improving outcomes for children with DCD. Through her research-integrated DCD clinic at Vancouver’s Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, she also hopes to begin to understand psychosocial functioning and quality of life of children with the disorder. “I am particularly excited about being able to facilitate a diagnosis of DCD and provide families with educational materials and recommendations to support their children,” explains Dr. Zwicker. “My aim is to increase awareness of DCD and better understand the holistic needs of this under-served population.”

Research funding from CIHR is highly competitive. Only four percent of new investigators from across Canada were funded in this year’s competition. Dr. Zwicker is humbled by the honour. “I am incredibly grateful to my mentors, grants facilitators, and fellow faculty for their feedback and support in preparing this successful application,” she says. “Aside from the funding which allows me to carry out my research program, I was honoured that the peer review committees at the three stages of competition believed my research program for children with DCD is worthy of being conducted.”

This story is an excerpt from the chapter titled “Fostering Research Innovation” in the 2014/15 Research Annual Report.

Fostering Research Innovation

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