Physics student researching dementia
Raised in Winnipeg and studying at Acadia University, Thalia Magyar has returned home this summer to do research at UWinnipeg thanks to a Canadian Frailty Network Summer award. She is working with Dr. Melanie Martin in the joint University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba Magnetic Resonance Microscopy (MRM) Centre developing tools to diagnose dementia early before severe brain damage has occurred.
Currently the brain damage in those who have dementia can become so severe that they end up in a personal care home. The goal of the Martin project, which uses magnetic resonance imaging to study brain tissue samples, is to diagnose dementia earlier so that treatments can begin earlier and the need for a personal care home can be delayed.
“I am very thankful to be working with Dr. Martin,” explained Magyar. “She has given me an introduction to the field of medical physics and provided me with experience that will be incredibly valuable in graduate school and beyond. I am also honoured to have a part in improving health care for the aging population.”
“Thalia is quickly picking up the physics behind MRI, the neuroscience behind dementia, the computer science behind data analysis, and the ethics and safety training needed to complete this project,” says Martin. “She is already working with several members of the MRM Centre to create better diagnostic techniques.”
Magyar will return to Acadia in late August to complete her Bachelor of Science, Physics, Honours degree.
The CFN Summer Student Awards are unique in providing undergraduate students with interdisciplinary experience, while developing their knowledge of the opportunities and challenges in caring for an aging population. Students work with supervisors from their disciplines, and meet regularly with mentors from a complementary discipline. CFN has funded 51 undergraduate students at 21 host institutions in four cohorts of Summer Student Awards since 2013. For more information please visit the Canadian Frailty Network.
Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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