“My main area of interest is looking at how bone health is affected in chronic disease populations, and how this is related to muscle health and physical activity,” explains Dr. Sarah West, a faculty member in the Kinesiology department at Trent University.
Professor West, who was welcomed to the Trent community as a new faculty member just last summer, hopes her research can help those with chronic diseases improve their bone health.
“Ultimately, my research aims to use exercise interventions to improve bone health in a multitude of chronic diseases,” she says, adding: “As a new faculty member, I am still in the process of starting up a research program at Trent. Right now we are working on starting a research project investigating exercise and health in nursing students at Trent University, and I will have an undergraduate student who will be assisting me with this project starting this fall.”
As a faculty member who was given the opportunity to start her own research as a third-year undergraduate student, Prof. West understands the importance of getting hands-on experience early on in a student’s academic career.
“At the moment I have been primarily working with undergraduate students; I have had two students take a reading course under my direction, and I have one student who will be pursuing a thesis course under my direction as well. As I become more established at Trent, my research plan will be to include more Trent students, as well as the wider Trent community.”
Prof. West’s research at Trent is a continuation of her interest in the health of both pediatric and aging populations. Through her research at Trent, Prof. West hopes to determine what types of exercise interventions can have the most benefit and impact, in special populations. By establishing this, she says, “We can have a research based approach to prescribing exercise programs to those who need it; ultimately improving the health and well-being of many populations.”
Along with her title at Trent, Prof. West is also an adjunct scientist with SickKids and hopes this connection will be of value to Trent University. “Establishing this connection between Trent University and SickKids is very beneficial, and opens up the door for future collaborative efforts with pediatric chronic disease populations.”