Signature areas of research help USask highlight its strengths – News

(From left): Dr. John Gordon (PhD) and Dr. Jennifer Lang (PhD) are leading the Health and Wellness signature area of research. (Photos: submitted)

Like Quantum Innovation and Communities and Sustainability, the Health and Wellness signature area of research is also interdisciplinary in nature. It has brought together five distinct concepts—the pillar leads and affiliates of the Origins of Health and Disease; Population and Public Health; Music, Arts, and Wellbeing; Climate Change; and Population Demographics proposals—and is now co-led by Dr. Jennifer Lang (PhD), a faculty member in the Department of Music in the College of Arts and Science, and Dr. John Gordon (PhD), a faculty member in the College of Medicine.

Researchers from numerous USask colleges and departments see the Health and Wellness signature area as “a window of opportunity” in which their work is reflected, and they also envision themselves and their work as part of this critical field of study, said Lang and Gordon.

“Health and Wellness is a natural and welcoming home and a collaborative gathering place for our arts scholars, population health, public health, biomedical, clinical, Indigenous, social, and political science researchers at levels not seen previously at our institution,” said Lang.

The Health and Wellness signature area is a collaboration between scholars from multiple disciplines who have varied perspectives but who share a common passion for health and wellness as it relates to individuals, communities, and the Earth. The signature area also aligns with national and global priorities on health inequalities, focusing its formidable and expanding research expertise on these long-standing issues and on preparedness for pandemic emergencies, such as the current global COVID-19 pandemic, said Lang and Gordon.

“This signature area has the potential to explore initiatives at the community level in addition to powerful overarching research that will impact our pedagogical and clinical practices moving forward,” Gordon said.

Lang and Gordon said the Health and Wellness team sees itself as a collective in its efforts to critically investigate matters related to health and wellness. The researchers also see great potential in the ways the new signature area can complement and partner with the eight other signature areas, as well as with departments, colleges, schools, and centres on campus and beyond.

“We will collectively focus our energy on real-world, pressing problems that need to be answered, rather than focusing on work solely within our separate disciplines,” Lang said.

Visit USask’s research website to learn more about all nine signature areas of research and the research expertise at the university.



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