The COVID-19 global crisis appeared in numerous countries, spreading rapidly with multiple waves of infection, and has resulted in unprecedented social change and challenges in terms of public health, health and continuing care systems, economies, communities, and families. Although there have been numerous other pandemics in recent history (e.g., HIV/AIDS, H1N1, SARS, MERS, etc.), COVID-19 has developed into one of the most serious pandemics for almost a century, since the occurrence of the Spanish flu. Furthermore, COVID-19 has been conceptualized as a ‘gero-pandemic,’ defined as a disease that has spread globally with heightened significance and deleterious consequences for older people. With the appearance of this crisis, the Gerontology Research Centre pivoted to address the structural, system-level contexts of COVID-19, and individual-level risks, experiences and responses. Below are a list of recent grants, publications and media stoies that the GRC has spearheaded.


  • Cosco, T. D. (Co-Is: Wister, A. et al.). COVID-19: mental health needs and technological interventions for social connectedness amongst older older adults. SSHRC: Partnership Engage Grant. Total: $25,000.
  • DeMarco, M. L. (Co-Is: Best, J. R. et al.). Quantitative isotype profiling and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infections: next-generation serology. MSFHR: Covid-19 Research Response Fund. Total: $124,000.
  • O’Connell, M. E. & Haase, K. (Co-Is: Cosco, T. D. et al.) Socialization intervention and mental health monitoring for older adults in the era of physical distancing due to COVID-19. CIHR: Operating Grant: COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery. Total: $199,577.
  • Wister, A. (SFU PI/Lead, National PIs: Raina, P., Kirkland, S. & Wolfson C.). CLSA COVID-19 studies: 1) COVID-19 telephone/online longitudinal study; 2) Sero-prevalence COVID-19 study. Total: $6,035,000 includes CIHR CLSA: Core Funding; McMaster Institute for Research on Aging: Juravinsky Fund: $800,000; Nova Scotia Health Research Coalition: $35,000; PHAC: $1,200,000; PHAC: Immunity Task Force: $4,000,000 ask.
  • Wister, A. COVID-19 community wellbeing and socioeconomic deprivation in BC: environmental scan toward neighbourhood social capital. SSHRC: Partnership Engage Grant: Special Initiative COVID-19. Total: $24, 850.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Cosco, T. D., Best, J. R., Davis, D., Bryden, D., Arkill, S., van Oppen, J., ... & Conroy, S. What is the relationship between validated frailty scores and mortality for adults with COVID-19 in acute hospital care? A systematic review. Age and Ageing
  • Klasa, K., Galaitsi, S., Wister, A., & Linkov, I. (2021). System models for resilience in gerontology: application to the COVID-19 pandemic. BMC Geriatrics, 21(1), 1-12.
  • Wister, A. & Speechley, M. (2020). COVID-19: Pandemic risk, resilience and possibilities for aging research. Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, 39(3), 344-347.


Book Chapters

  • Wister, A. (In Press). Health promotion and aging during a pandemic: risk, resilience and COVID-19. In I. Rootman, P. Edwards, M. Levasseur & F. Grunberg (Eds.), Health of older adults: The Canadian experience. Canadian Scholars Press Inc.
  • Wister, A. (Forth.). Precarious aging: COVID-19 risk, resilience and response. In B. Trump & I. Linkov (Eds.), COVID: Risk and resilience. Springer.



Celebrating 40 years