Brenda Vrkljan
Professor, Rehabilitation Science

Brenda Vrkljan is a Professor in McMaster’s School of Rehabilitation Science and the inaugural Director of the Integrated Rehabilitation and Humanities undergraduate program. Clinically trained as an Occupational Therapist, Brenda is leading and co-leading investigations involving older adults focused on leveraging technology to support healthy aging, mobility, and out-of-home participation among older Canadians. Brenda’s expertise lies mainly in the assessment and rehabilitation of older people specific to medical fitness to drive. She is also the co-scientific lead of the McMaster Collaborative for Health and Aging, which focuses on building capacity regarding the involvement of older adults, their caregivers, and others with lived experience in research that advances health and well-being in later life. Across her research program, Brenda partners with individuals from different backgrounds and expertise to examine complex issues, and develop approaches that are centred around their needs. She is the recipient of the Donald A Peterson Award from the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) that honours excellence in scholarship in academic gerontology for an article in a volume of the journal 'Gerontology & Geriatrics Education.' Dr. Vrkljan's studies have been featured in the New York Times, CAA magazine, the Globe and Mail, Global News, CTV, and CBC television. She received the YWCA Women of Distinction award for business, education and mentorship as well as other teaching awards for graduate supervision and community engagement. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy.
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