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Mayank Bansal (left) and Caitlyn Dignard (right)

Caitlyn & Mayank's Research Journey

Caitlyn Dignard and Mayank Bansal have shared the journey they have been on in the past year as they conducted research with Orange Neurosciences Canada on their digital cognitive therapy for reading and writing improvement for neurodivergent children.

"With hard work and excellent guidance from Dr. Vinay Singh, we were able to present our findings at several conferences on the provincial, national, and international level. It all started with the 2022 Ontario CEC Annual Special Education Conference in Toronto, where we were able to share our research on evidence-based practices, instructional strategies, and technology to support the well-being, learning, and achievement of all students with special education needs. The conference was a tremendous success, and we were inspired by the diverse range of presentations and engaging discussions.

Next, we took our research to a national level and presented it at the 18th Annual Canadian Undergraduate Conference on Healthcare (CUCOH) at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. CUCOH is one of the largest undergraduate healthcare conferences in Canada, bringing together over 180 delegates from universities across the country. We were honoured to be awarded with first place for our research presentation. It was especially meaningful for us because it showed that our work had real-world implications and could make a difference in the lives of neurodiverse children.

Motivated by our success at CUCOH, we decided to take our research international and presented our findings at the 12th Annual Individualizing Medicine Conference held by the Mayo Clinic in Ponte Vedra Beach. We attended this conference on a full scholarship awarded to us from the Mayo team. This conference was an exceptional opportunity for us to connect with experts in the field, learn about the latest developments in individualised medicine, and share how artificial intelligence can be used to optimise digital cognitive therapy for reading comprehension. While it was not a competition, we received positive feedback from doctors, PhD, and Masters students and were blown away by the calibre of the speakers and the depth of knowledge that they shared. We left feeling inspired and motivated to continue our work in this field. 

Overall, this journey has been a tremendous learning experience for us, and we are incredibly grateful for the opportunities we had to present our research and connect with experts in the field. It has inspired us to continue our work and make a positive difference in the lives of those who need it most. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the BHSc program for equipping us with the skills, knowledge, support, and confidence to pursue our academic and extracurricular interests. Their commitment to fostering a culture of academic excellence and community engagement has played an integral role in our personal and professional development. We hope that our achievements will serve as a source of inspiration for other BHSc students and encourage them to pursue their passions with the same level of dedication and enthusiasm."

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