Jan 2, 2024

TDRA Welcomes New LEAP Co-Chairs

LEAP new co-chairs

We are pleased to introduce our new Lived Experience Chair and Scientific Co-Chairs for TDRA’s Lived Experience Advisory Partners (LEAP) Council, who begin their terms this month.

Chaitali Desai is a PhD student at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto. Her research examines the utility of assistive technology products (e.g., reminding devices, personal emergency systems) and service bundles for dementia management in Canada. Since 2019, Chaitali has been actively engaged across numerous TDRA governance councils in her capacity as a (now former) caregiver for someone living with dementia. 

Dr. Mary Chiu is a Research Scientist at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and an Adjunct Professor at Ontario Tech University. Her research focuses on the social psychology of older adults and the concept of psychological resilience in the context of informal caregiving and dementia. Her primary research aim is to identify individual level factors (e.g. psychological and somatic well-being) and community-level factors (e.g. social-connectedness and workplace enablers and barriers) that promote resilience and effective coping by exploring the interactions within and across these levels using an ecological framework applied to informal carers. Mary leads TDRA’s Caregiving Research Working Group.

Dr. Wai Haung (Ho) Yu is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and Scientist with the Brain Health Imaging Centre and the Adult Neurodevelopment and Geriatric Psychiatry Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). His lab examines how brain cells fail to recycle the building blocks of the cells in neurodegeneration and depression, and understanding how risk factors can impact this molecular event and lead to disease onset and progression. The ultimate goal is to identify biological targets for treatment and diagnosis. In addition, his clinical work focuses on risk of dementia in Asian populations, a group that is often underrepresented in clinical research. Ho has been involved in TDRA for many years and has contributed extensively to knowledge translation and community education activities.

Chaitali, Mary and Ho have substantial experience working and collaborating with people with lived experience, and we look forward to their leadership as Co-Chairs. 

Thank you again to David Bogart, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar and Dr. Carmela Tartaglia, who have served as Scientific Co-Chairs since 2019. 

The TDRA team