Rotman Associate Scientist awarded INS Early Career Award
December 28, 2016
Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum, associate scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI), will receive the prestigious International Neuropsychological Society (INS) Early Career Research Award for her contributions towards a better understanding of the relationship between the brain and behaviour.
The award recognizes researchers who are early in their careers, boast a national or international reputation and are recognized by their peers. Recipients are chosen by an international committee of scientists and the award will be presented at the INS 50th Anniversary meeting in New Orleans in February 2017.
Dr. Rosenbaum was nominated by RRI senior scientist Dr. Brian Levine, himself a past recipient of the INS Benton Mid-Career Award in 2015.
Her research adopts an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to understand how memory is organized and how different types of memory change when the brain’s function is compromised during aging or brain damage. Her work also explores how certain brain structures that were traditionally related to memory are responsible for other brain functions, such as decision-making and social interaction. Through her research, she seeks to improve neuropsychological tests to capture subtle deficits in brain function that can be debilitating in everyday life.
“It is important to develop more sensitive tests to help predict the natural course of cognitive deficits, placing us in a better position to develop more targeted methods of intervention,” says Dr. Rosenbaum, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Centre for Vision Research at York University. She is also a newly appointed York Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory through the Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) program, of which Baycrest is a partner.
“This award recognizes the value of examining areas of impaired and preserved memory in patients with brain lesions in understanding brain-behaviour relationships, and it speaks to the strength of training I received at Baycrest.”
Dr. Rosenbaum completed her graduate studies with RRI senior scientist Dr. Morris Moscovitch in 2003 and received training as a clinical neuropsychologist with RRI Founding Director Dr. Donald Stuss until 2005, both of whom are INS award recipients. Dr. Moscovitch received the INS Distinguished Career Award in 2012 and Dr. Stuss received the INS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Recently, Dr. Rosenbaum collaborated with Baycrest researchers to discover the first direct human evidence of a specific brain region responsible for differentiating between similar events in memory, which could help with earlier detection of dementia.
As an award recipient, she will deliver a presentation on the importance of studying the brain through the lens of patients with unique forms of brain damage, and how this work can inspire larger patient group or neuroimaging studies.
“We’re proud of Dr. Rosenbaum’s achievement and this is a great example of how Baycrest’s educational excellence sets future cognitive neuroscience researchers on the path to flourish in their careers,” says Dr. Randy McIntosh, Baycrest’s Vice-President of Research and Director of the RRI. “Our researchers continue to collaborate with many of their past trainees which opens doors for worldwide partnerships as we seek to better understand the brain and find ways to aid in healthy aging.”