Dr. Aaron Kociolek, got a financial shot in the arm for his unique research on the human hand today.
Anthony Rota, on behalf of the Minister of Science, announced a Discovery Grant of $152,500 in support of the Nipissing University biomechanics and ergonomics researcher, who is considered to be a pioneer in Ontario for research on the intricate functions of the human hand.
“I think in Ontario I might be the only researcher in biomechanics that is focussing entirely on the hand. That was really important for me to partially find a niche where I can make a difference but also recognizing that the hand is quite remarkable, the number of joints and the number of pathologies and the different disorders that can go wrong with it and there was very little there so I sort of saw an opening or a need for research in that area,” stated Dr. Kociolek.
Kociolek will receive $115,000, a $20,000 grant will go to psychology professor Dr. Steven Arnocky and student Daryl Tjin was awarded a $17,500 graduate scholarship.
During the press conference, that hand research was demonstrated Thursday afternoon.
He says the five-year-long funding grant is a huge momentum boost for his research program.
“It is going to allow me to build critical mass in this area and make a difference in the area of occupational biomechanics for the hand which I would not be able to do without that sort of funding, building that critical mass,” he explained.
“For the university as a whole we are going to be able to attract students. It is going to help me attract really high-quality students to the university so that is going to assist in terms of the university as well in helping our research focus.”
Anthony Rota, the Nipissing-Timiskaming MP, was impressed by the achievements and looks forward to seeing the research success.
“This government is committed to supporting researchers as they make the breakthroughs that provide us with knowledge and innovations and ensure generations to come acquire the necessary skills for jobs of tomorrow.”