Colleen Cuthbert

Killam Predoctoral Scholarship Recipient

University of Calgary

My doctoral research is focused on supporting the health and wellbeing of family members of cancer patients. Previous research has shown that family members of cancer patients can have high levels of depression and anxiety, poor quality of life, and little time for self care to maintain their own health. My doctoral research will explore whether there are common health concerns in cancer family caregivers and test an exercise intervention as a novel way of supporting the health of family caregivers.

I hope that lasting impact in my field will be that health care providers and health care systems recognize the value of family caregivers as partners in health care, and that family caregivers will feel more supported in maintaining their own health.

Once my doctoral work is complete, I plan to work as a clinician scientist in cancer care and continue my work with cancer patients and their families. I hope to develop a program of research focused on health promotion and healthy behaviors in cancer care.

Being a Killam Laureate
Being a Killam scholar means that my work is recognized as important and worthy of support from the Killam Trustees. Given the passion that I have for my research topic, and for improving the lives of cancer patients and their families, it is very meaningful to have others within the larger academic community agree that this is an important topic. I am also inspired by the hard work and dedication of other Killam scholars, and this motivates me to ensure that my research efforts live up to the same quality and calibre.

 Why did you choose the University of Calgary?
Born and raised in Calgary, I chose to study at the University of Calgary because of my supervisors Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed (Kinesiology) and Dr. Dianne Tapp (Nursing). Dr. Culos-Reed is a leading researcher in the field of Exercise in Cancer and has an established research program and research lab. Dr. Dianne Tapp is a strong leader in the nursing profession and is an expert in family nursing. The combination of mentorship from these strong visionary academics is one of the most valuable aspects of my doctoral studies.

What are some outside Interests?
I am an outdoor enthusiast and endurance athlete passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle. I have participated in many types of endurance races including marathons and ironman triathlons. I volunteer with a number of organizations, including the triathlon group at Wellspring Calgary, as a way to encourage others to live healthy and active lifestyles. Not only does an active lifestyle complement my work, but it also provides me with an opportunity to stay engaged within my community and is great stress relief!


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