Author Name: Mahnoor Akram

Author Introduction: Hello! My name is Mahnoor Akram and I am graduating this spring with an honours degree in Biology-Physiology from McMaster University. I’ve always loved being involved in my community and Hamilton Aging in Community has brought forth so many opportunities for me to expand my knowledge on aging and how I can work towards making a change in the geriatric population!

There are a plethora of research projects ongoing within the local Hamilton community and across Canada in hopes of understanding healthy aging better. One of the organizations is Hamilton’s very own, McMaster Institute for Research on Aging. 

What is the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging?


The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) aims to optimize the aging process through scientific research and education. Dr. Parminder Raina is the scientific director of MIRA and talked about trajectories in aging in a Walrus talk. An example of one of their research interests that Dr. Raina spoke about was looking at increasing the functional capacity of older adults as we age. Another interest of theirs is looking at how physical activity can improve the abilities of older people. Other topics of interest include housing, diets, social isolation and more. You can find some links to other articles and interests at the bottom of this post. 

What is the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging?

One of the studies that Dr. Raina is running is The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, otherwise known as the CLSA is a large study that aims to understand the process of healthy aging and help others live well. They have a cohort of around 50,000 participants in the study that they follow for up to 20 years. 

Who is involved in the CLSA?

As the CLSA is a large study in itself, it has a sizeable multidisciplinary team to conduct and analyze research. The lead principal investigator is Dr. Parminder Raina from McMaster University, Dr. Susan Kirkland from Dalhousie University and Dr. Christina Wolfson from McGill University are principal investigators, and Dr. Lauren Griffith and Dr. Cynthia Balion from McMaster University are co-principal investigators. Apart from the investigators, the CLSA also has more than 250 staff from around Canada. 

Where is the CLSA data collected?

Data for the study can be collected through telephone or on-site. The Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview sites are spread across Canada, with sites at University of Manitoba, Université de Sherbrooke, Dalhousie University and Simon Fraser University. The in-person sites are located in 11 cities with trained staff and teams. 

Further reading and links