Jennifer Heisz: Pioneering Brain Health Research and Inspiring Personal Journeys

August 2023

The Banting Research Foundation is proud to spotlight the remarkable achievements of Jennifer Heisz, a recipient of our 2014 Discovery Award. Recently named a 2023 University Scholar, Associate Professor Jennifer Heisz continues to make waves in the realm of brain health and aging.

As a Canada Research Chair in Brain Health and Aging, Jennifer’s work has been pivotal in understanding dementia prevention and mental health. Her groundbreaking research reveals that physical activity could be a potent strategy for dementia prevention. This has led to her involvement in the development of exercise guidelines for dementia, commissioned by the Alzheimer Society and Ontario Brain Institute. Her contributions have been instrumental in creating the first evidence-based consensus statement for dementia prevention.

Jennifer’s research also delves into the intricate relationship between the brain and the immune system. She discovered that moderate-intensity exercise can reduce inflammation and uplift mood. During the challenging times of the pandemic, she adeptly shifted her research focus to women’s health, showcasing her adaptability and commitment to pressing health issues.

Her dedication to public service is evident in her recent appointment to the Board of Directors for the Canadian Mental Health Association of Hamilton. Here, she will continue her mission to serve marginalized community members.

Jennifer’s prowess extends beyond research. She has successfully transformed her findings from the NeuroFit Lab into a widely-read book for the general public. Her journey from a sedentary scholar to an Ironman finisher is a testament to her belief in her research and its real-world implications. Her story, featured in the Trained Podcast, offers insights into the profound effects of exercise on mental health.

The Banting Research Foundation congratulates Jennifer Heisz for her outstanding contributions to the field and her unwavering commitment to enhancing the well-being of society.

Interested in learning more about what we do at The Banting Research Foundation? Or perhaps you’re interested in supporting the next generation of young Canadian researchers? Feel free to contact to find out more.