Dr. Catharine Winstanley has been elected into the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), as a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. This is the first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership. She is being inducted along with eight others in the UBC community who have showed excellence in their area of research.

Dr. Winstanley is a neuroscientist and DMCBH researcher, whose work explores the neural, neurochemical, and molecular basis of higher-order cognitive processes like impulsivity and decision making. She studies behaviour in both rat models and human subjects, with the goal of improving treatments for addiction and compulsive disorders. Her work to date has shown that pairing wins with casino-inspired sounds and lights during gambling simulations encourages both rats and humans to make risky choices and also alters the sensitivity of the dopamine system. This research helps explain why electronic gambling games are so addictive and why drug and gambling addictions often co-occur.

A unique aspect of Dr. Winstanley’s research program is that she often partners with groups outside of neurobiology and psychology. For example, her team is currently working with kinesiologists and engineering graduates to see if their research might be relevant to sports training.

“Being inducted into the Royal Society of Canada provides me with an opportunity to engage with scientists in different disciplines and will allow me to explore new ways of communicating our lab’s research to the public, which I’m really excited about,” says Dr. Winstanley. “I’m truly honoured to be recognized and look forward to being part of this community of leading scientists and scholars.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Winstanley on this amazing achievement!

UBC’s announcement can be found here. 

The Royal Society of Canada’s announcement can be found here.