Vivienne Hang

1st Year MSc Candidate​​

I joined the CRIPT in October 2021 after interviewing with Dr. Wilson and Dr. Biswas (my co-supervisors) for my current research project, and getting matched. I had read into the interesting research coming out of the CRIPT and was intrigued since day 1! My research is an anatomical that will explore forming a comprehensive field block (a regional nerve block within a localized surgical site) of the breast and axilla region. We will inject dye (acting as an anesthetic) into the fascial plane under targeted muscles at two different injection sites, and at two different volumes. Dissection, visualization, and digitization will be performed on the cadavers to determine the nature of spread within the fascial plane, and to quantify it for knowledge translation into clinical applications (i.e., various breast surgeries). I'm excited to learn from the various members of the CRIPT, and those that we work closely with, over the next year as we work together to achieve our research goals. Though I am not 100% sure what I want to do after graduation, I know that I will be able to accomplish anything I set out to do using the skills and knowledge that I have acquired from the Clinical Anatomy program and my time in the CRIPT!​​

Livianna Gallone

1st Year MSc Candidate​​

I joined Professor Wilson and Michelle Sveistrup on the Haptics project. My research project involves using the novel HAT test developed in the CRIPT lab, to research the effect of instructional cueing on Haptic Abilities. The CRIPT lab is very supportive and has demonstrated the importance of team work and collaboration while working on projects. Even if one has no past knowledge on the topic, the ideas shared and the support offered in the bi-weekly meetings create an environment that fosters success. I am so excited to be apart of this team and am excited to see what the future brings!

Kody Wolfstadt

2nd Year MSc Candidate​​

I got involved in the CRIPT through the Master's in Clinical Anatomy program, where Dr. Wilson was one of my professors. I enjoyed his teaching style and emphasis on student development, which motivated me to complete my Master's research project in the CRIPT lab. My project is investigating the effects of incremental maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) on airway resistance and facial alteration. By ventilating and scanning fresh-frozen cadavers that have undergone MMA surgery, we are uncovering a relationship between airway resistance, soft-tissue advancement, and MMA. In the future, this novel relationship may be used to optimize the required amount of jaw advancement and accurately model facial outcomes, allowing sleep apnea patients to make informed decisions about their treatment. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with Dr. Wilson and all of my fellow CRIPTmates. In the future, I look forward to utilizing the skills and lessons I learned throughout my time in the CRIPT, no matter the node I am at on my life's road.

Ethan McQueen

1st Year MSc Candidate

As a Clinical Anatomy MSc. student in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Western, my graduate research project is with the CRIPT lab. Dr. Wilson's areas of research attracted me to the lab. My research project is looking at the effects of Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA) surgery, an effective treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea, which moves the bones of the jaw forward to prevent the airway from collapsing during sleep. We are studying changes to facial appearance and airway resistance by performing a study in which the surgery is performed on cadavers to allow for incremental movement of the jaw forward while measuring changes to the face and airway resistance. This will allow us to define the relationship between the magnitude of MMA surgery and the associated changes to appearance and breathing and better understand how these will change when the surgery is performed on patients. The CRIPT lab is an incredible place to work as it embodies a growth mindset, always helping each member to improve and look forward to what we can achieve. Beyond my time here, I aspire to become a medical doctor to continue improving care for patients.

Michelle Sveistrup

2nd Year MSc Candidate

I am a second year M.Sc. in Clinical Anatomy student in the CRIPT lab. Prior to joining the CRIPT lab, I completed my Honours B.Sc. in Kinesiology at McGill University, a program that combined my interest in physical health wellness and anatomy. My work experience while at McGill included working as an undergraduate course assistant lab demonstrator and being a member of the Cardiovascular Health and Autonomic Regulation Lab under Dr. Charlotte Usselman’s supervision. In that position, I conducted an independent research project in the field of women’s health and cardiovascular physiology, focusing on the effect of an acute apnea on muscle sympathetic nerve activity in women with and without polycystic ovary syndrome. My current research project in the CRIPT is investigating the behavioural interactions between spatial abilities and haptic abilities. Under Dr. Tim Wilson’s supervision, I created the Haptic Abilities Test (HAT), a three-dimensional test used to assess an individual’s haptic abilities. This novel test mimics the established test of mental rotations (MRT) used to assess an individual’s spatial abilities. Using scores obtained on both the MRT and HAT, eye tracking, changes in pupillary diameter and video footage of hand behaviours, I can identify the potential relationships that exist between both spatial and haptic abilities. These interactions play an important role in areas of technical expertise including medicine, dentistry and engineering and also prove to be relevant in learning such technical skills. The data from this project suggests that haptics should be incorporated into teaching, learning and potential assessment strategies in current education approaches to raise performance in individuals with low spatial abilities when learning demanding theoretical materials and technical skills in STEM disciplines.
While completing my all-encompassing research project, I designed a thorough protocol, created a novel test, submitted ethics for research involving human participants, completed an exhaustive literature review, recruited human participants amidst a global pandemic and have collected and analyzed my data with the goal of submitting a manuscript for publication. Throughout this experience, I learned how to set up, manipulate and analyze the data obtained from the eye-tracker. I also gained experience serving as a mentor to an undergraduate work study student who helped with the extensive data analysis as well as teaching and guiding the 1st year M.Sc. student who plans to continue the project on haptic abilities. Looking ahead at my future career goals, I plan to either pursue my academic journey at the doctorate level to teach anatomy in higher education and/or attend medical school.

Kristine Walker

PhD Candidate

Since my days of being a swimmer, I have always had a passion for working with athletes and finding ways to help them enhance their performance. I met Dr. Wilson at the Grad Club while celebrating my masters degree. A conversation was sparked with Tim about ice hockey and continued until he was a member on my advisory committee. Although I was not originally a member of the CRIPT, when my original supervisor retired, Tim stepped into the role and introduced me to the CRIPT.
If you watch any hockey game, there are times you can point to and wonder what the athlete was thinking. Why didn’t they pass the puck to their open teammate, why wasn’t it an accurate pass or why didn’t they see the oncoming player with whom they collided? Ice hockey is a fast-paced game where players always need an awareness of their surroundings. Often when hockey players drop their head and look down at the ice, their ability to see is impacted potentially limiting their performance and leading to injury. Coaches have a wealth of knowledge and experience within the sport, however when they seek out alternative solutions to enhance their team’s performance, they often turn to other coaches to have conversations or attend coaching conferences (Fullagar et al., 2019; Reade et al., 2008) rather than coaching science. The disconnect between the fields of coaching and science, hinders a coach’s ability to base their training methodologies on evidence. As coaching methodologies are in advance of scientific literature (French & Ronda, 2022), developing studies in collaboration with coaches creates opportunities to gain practice-based evidence. Knowledge gained from practice-based studies can inform the direction to conduct research in order to garner support for the continued implementation of current practice methodologies or alternatively, if refinement should occur. Through collaboration with an NHL skills development coach, researching and developing a way to quantify an area of particular interest, has developed into a better understanding of the relationship between head positioning and field of view. The practice-based knowledge informed the basis of this dissertation with the evidence obtained being able to inform practice. This creates a cycle to evaluate and enhance performance. The overall question of this dissertation was “How does head position effect game vision and skill demonstration in ice hockey players?" I work as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Western Mustangs travelling with the Football and Men's Ice Hockey teams. My future aspirations include working within the performance department of an NHL or NFL team with a focus on sport science, player development and strength & conditioning to enhance performance.

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