The McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART) has had wonderful experiences with the Hamilton Health Sciences High School Research Bursary Program, where youth join a research team during the summer and have the opportunity to take part in research activities. Our participants for the past 5 years all made wonderful additions to our team, and this year’s student was no exception.
Our placement student in 2019 was Ana Spasojevic, who is entering Grade 12 at Colonel By Secondary School in Ottawa. Interested in neurology and mental health, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine. Ana spent the summer working with Dr. Stelios Georgiades and his research team at the Offord Centre for Child Studies, supporting the Pediatric Autism Research Cohort (PARC) Project, which aims to embed a standardized research protocol into the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre ASD Service.
She supported the development of a database, helped prepare study summary reports, engaged in data management tasks, and helped to create a study progress report. Through this placement Ana gained valuable research skills while learning about the state of scientific research in ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders – and most importantly, she has seen the positive impact of research on families living with autism. We thank her for her contributions to our work this summer!