Katharine is an Ontario native from the small town of Dundas (about 45 minutes southwest of Toronto). She spent six years living in Toronto, where she completed her undergraduate degree and Master of Science in Exercise Sciences at the University of Toronto. Katharine then moved back to her hometown to complete her PhD in Kinesiology at McMaster University, which focused on cardiovascular health in patients with cardiovascular diseases, and the effects of novel exercise strategies for the treatment and prevention of further complications.
Katharine was first introduced to the field of spinal cord injury through her PhD supervisor, Dr. Maureen MacDonald, and the MacWheelers Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation program at McMaster University. Given her interests in cardiovascular health and cardiovascular disease, which presently is the leading cause of death following spinal cord injury, it seemed natural to transition her research focus to individuals living with spinal cord injury. Following the completion of her PhD, Katharine moved to Vancouver in September 2012 to purse a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with Dr. Andrei Krassioukov. Her project is examining the changes in cardiac health following spinal cord injury, and what effects different exercise interventions have on cardiac health. Her aim is to gain experience working with individuals with spinal cord injuries, and to gain expertise in echocardiography.