Erin Maloney and Peter Tanuseputro honoured for their outstanding work

Research and innovation
Awards and recognition

By University of Ottawa

Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, OVPRI

Peter Tanuseputro and Erin Maloney
Once again this year, two researchers at early stages in their careers shine bright among uOttawa’s research community. The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation is pleased to present the Early Career Researcher of the Year Award to Erin Maloney, a Faculty of Social Sciences professor who holds the Canada Research Chair in Academic Achievement and Well-Being, and to Peter Tanuseputro, a Faculty of Medicine professor who holds the Clinical Research Chair in Palliative and Predictive Analytics.

“We are delighted to award this recognition to two high-level researchers whose early career achievements are already having tangible impacts on our youngest and oldest populations,” said Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, research and innovation. “Our two laureates’ success is a product of the tremendous effort they put into their respective work in education and in long-term and palliative care. We warmly congratulate them for this well-deserved award.” 

Erin Maloney - Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Psychology 

When children start school, their parents develop the reflex of supervising them during homework time, which may seem natural. But what if some parents, who may be anxious about mathematics, unwittingly interfere with their children’s learning? Professor Erin Maloney, Canada Research Chair in Academic Achievement and Well-Being, finds that parents’ own emotions and beliefs can negatively impact their children’s success in math and science.  

“When parents are anxious about math themselves, and when they help their children with their math homework, the children learn less math and become more anxious themselves over the school year,” she explains. 

To help better teach the subjects and, ultimately, build children’s confidence in their abilities, Maloney and her team are developing tools, such as a book titled Peyton and Charlie Challenge Math: A Book Filled With Tips for Math Anxiety. The book walks children (and their parents and teachers) through some simple steps to reducing anxiety.  

“These strategies have been shown to improve math performance in people who are anxious about math,” says the researcher. 

Maloney and her team are currently testing videos designed to help parents help their children with their math homework. The team has also made audio recordings and infographics available on the Cognition and Emotion Lab website.  

Maloney is also very committed to educating the next generation of researchers. She is an inspiring mentor to undergraduate and graduate-level students in the early stages of their careers. What’s more, these students have already experienced a great deal of success, further proof that the researcher is quite a leader in her field! 

Peter Tanuseputro – Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Palliative Care, Bruyère Research Institute and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute 

At a certain point in life, many families face a new and challenging reality: one of their members needs long-term and palliative care. To help patients, families, and health-care practitioners better navigate this crucial period, Professor Peter Tanuseputro has established a research team that leads the nation in identifying gaps in the performance of health-care systems for frail and end-of-life populations, thus making substantial contributions to improving end-of-life health-care services. 

He works with a team that creates and implements solutions, including predictive tools such as RESPECT, to improve the ability of health-care practitioners, patients, and caregivers to identify outcomes that are significant to them, including patient transitions in care settings as well as in end-of-life. These tools are used by hundreds of thousands of individuals. 

“The RESPECT algorithm automatically generates survival information for publicly funded home care patients as routine assessments are performed,” says Tanuseputro. “Thus, these tools generate risk information that is used to match services to personalized needs. It ensures that interventions match a person’s prognosis and optimizes the balance between treatments that focus on lengthening life and those that maximizes quality of life.” 

By improving access to quality palliative and end-of-life care, Tanuseputro and his team seek to achieve a very specific goal: to benefit of all Canadians by reducing costly intensive care in hospital settings and enhancing the experiences of people during their last days. 

The Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, offered by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, highlights research excellence in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts and literature, as well as in pure and applied science. It comes with a $10,000 research scholarship to cover the salary of a supervised graduate student.