Postdoctoral scholars named Banting Fellows

From studying specific brain mechanisms that support math skills to learning more about internalized weight stigma, Western welcomes two new Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship recipients. The fellowship program provides funding – $70,000/year for two years – to the top postdoctoral students, both nationally and internationally, who are seen to contribute to the country’s economic, social and research‑based growth.

A total of 70 fellowship are awarded each year through the Tri-Council agencies, made up of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

The fellowships are named in memory of Sir Frederick Banting, the Canadian physician, researcher, Nobel laureate and war hero who, together with his assistant Charles Best, is credited with the discovery of insulin.

Eric Wilkey, a postdoctoral scholar at Western’s Brain and Mind Institute’s Numerical Cognition Lab, is a cognitive neuroscientist focused on understanding how children learn and how disabilities may interfere with their educational goals. He will be using advanced brain-imaging methods and a new theoretical approach to tackle specific brain mechanisms when it comes to the learning of math.

Under the supervision of Psychology professor Daniel Ansari, Wilkey’s research looks to pave the way to better diagnose learning disabilities and remediation of math deficits.

Angela Meadows, who comes to Western from the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter (U.K.), will be investigating individual and group dynamics around stigma resistance and collective action against discrimination. She is interested in the effects of experienced and internalised weight stigma and their impact on health behaviours and outcomes.

Under the supervision of Psychology professor Rachel Calogero, Meadows’ research on internalized weight stigma and resistance is closely aligned with Calogero’s past and ongoing research program into the social psychological tools emphasising social change and collective action among oppressed groups.