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Matthew McDonald

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Chatham, Ontario. I completed my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Melling, my graduate work investigated the role of regular exercise in improving cardiovascular health for populations with Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

What compelled you to pursue stroke research?

Having witnessed family members affected by stroke, I am interested in using my background in exercise physiology to improve the quality of life for individuals following stroke. Despite compelling experimental and clinical evidence that post-stroke exercise is beneficial, many people are inactive before and following stroke. Further research is warranted in order to make exercise more easily attainable during the recovery from stroke.

What is the focus of your research?

The emphasis of my research will be determining the ideal mode, intensity, and duration of regular exercise that results in the largest benefit for post-stroke recovery. I am particularly interested in the potential of exercise to stimulate cerebral angiogenesis and subsequently muscle and brain plasticity mechanisms commonly implicated in stroke recovery.

At what stage are you in your research, and what are your current future plans?

I will begin my postdoctoral training in September 2016, working with Dr. Dale Corbett and Dr. Baptiste Lacoste at the University of Ottawa. My future plans are to remain in research and study physical activity as a treatment option for stroke recovery and for the co-morbidities common among individuals recovering from stroke (hypertension, dyslipidemia, vascular disease, diabetes, etc.).

How do you and others benefit from being part of the National Trainee Association?

The CPSR’s National Trainee Association can be a beneficial experience for researchers early in their careers. The collaborations that it fosters provides opportunities to learn from leading stroke recovery researchers while also increasing the translational aspects of your research.

What other interests do you have?

I enjoy spending my spare time with my family, my beautiful wife, and our dog. As an exercise physiologist, I enjoy playing recreational sports (baseball, golf, and hockey). I am also an avid fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays.