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Wicked problems and multidisciplinary approaches to collaboration, the changing health sector

Photo of Dr. Susan Aitken

Dr. Susan Aitken

Chair, Dept of Health Sciences

Associate Professor, Health Sciences, Biology and Biochemistry

January 23, 2015 12:00 - 13:00

Tory Building Room 202, Carleton University




There has been a paradigm shift from single scientist and single practitioner approaches to one in which team members from a range of backgrounds and disciplines come together, each contributing specialized knowledge and tools, to address the complex health issues and challenges facing society. We will explore the personal and practical implications of this change.


Sue Aitken completed her PhD (2000, Concordia) in Biochemistry at the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research in Montreal. Sue joined Carleton's Department of Biology and Institute of Biochemistry in 2003, following a 3-year postdoc with Dr. Jack Kirsch at the University of California, Berkeley, and achieved the rank of full professor in 2014. Her research in biochemistry focuses on amino acid metabolism and investigation of the structural features that underlie function at the molecular level. Projects underway in her lab span biomedical, agricultural and biotechnological applications. Sue was the Associate Chair - Graduate Programs of the Department of Biology from 2010-12 and she chaired the program development committees for the Health: Science, Technology and Policy masters and diploma programs, launched Sept 2012, and the Bachelor of Health Sciences, launched Sept 2014. Sue is currently the Chair of the new Health Sciences Department at Carleton. She is very engaged in knowledge mobilization and the networking required to support an interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment. A dedicated teacher and mentor, she has received the Faculty of Science and the University Teaching Achievement Awards (2007/08) as well as the Faculty Graduate Mentoring (2010) and the Research and Academic Excellence (2013) awards, both in the inaugural years. Sue currently co-instructs Interdisciplinary Problems in Health, a core 1st year course of the HSTP program, and coordinates, with a multidisciplinary team, the collaborative group research projects.

Last updated January 22, 2015

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