Christy Au-Yeung obtains a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

July 8, 2024

We are very pleased to announce that Christy Au-Yeung (Lepage lab) has been awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

On May 28, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the winners of the prestigious Vanier and Banting scholarships.

Across Canada, 166 doctoral students have received Vanier scholarships and 70 researchers have been awarded Banting fellowships. These programs are funded by the Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 

“Canada is a world-leader in research and innovation, and the individuals we are recognizing today are a testament to that. Their research holds tremendous promise for making our lives better and healthier in a variety of ways.”

– Mark Holland, Minister of Health


Christy Au-Yeung’s research proposal focuses on schizophrenia.

Understanding and Treating Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: A Cognitive Lens. 

Schizophrenia is one of the most debilitating mental health disorders, which greatly decreases quality of life. A core feature of schizophrenia, which is unfortunately understudied, are negative symptoms. Negative symptoms are deficits of expressions (facial, vocal, gestures) in social settings and in goal-directed behavior. Despite the profound impacts of negative symptoms, there are no effective treatments available to treat them, and we have a limited understanding of how they develop.

A promising area of understanding negative symptoms, and subsequently establishing treatments, is the role that cognitive processes like memory and executive function (i.e. higher level thinking and reasoning), have in how negative symptoms occur. My research investigates the relationship between cognitive processes and negative symptoms, and how we could use and adapt treatments that improve cognitive processes to treat negative symptoms. Ultimately, to improving the quality of life and functioning of those with schizophrenia.

While her success in the Vanier scholarship competition is exceptional, her supervisor, Dr. Martin Lepage, was not at all surprised with the outcome:

Christy absolutely deserves such a prestigious award considering her tireless dedication to research and clinical training in psychology. Her innovative doctoral work will provide fresh new insights into our understanding of the association between specific symptoms of schizophrenia and cognitive impairments.

Dr. Martin Lepage

Congratulations Christy!



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