Stuart MacDonald, psychology, elected into the Royal Society of Canada's new college

Stuart MacDonald and Margaret-Anne (Peggy) Storey have been elected by their peers into the Royal Society of Canada’s newly formed College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

 Members of the college are considered “the emerging generation of intellectual leadership in Canada.” To qualify, members must be within 15 years of receiving their PhDs or equivalent. The membership term is seven years.

MacDonald’s research focuses on cognition—thought, reason and memory—as we age, looking for early indicators for decline and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

 He and his team are now able to detect the first signs of cognitive decline up to 10 years in advance of dementia diagnosis. Early detection offers hope of pushing back the onset of disease, by using interventions such as exercise, social interaction and regular cognitive activity. “Living an engaged lifestyle helps us maximize ‘healthspan’ and helps us avoid multiple diseases of aging, including vascular diseases which negatively influence cognitive function,” he says.

 Being part of the first cohort in the new college is very gratifying, says MacDonald. “I’m particularly excited by the opportunity to liaise regularly with experts from across Canada, with the promise of influencing policy and facilitating successful aging for Canadians.”