Dr. Christine Chambers is an award-winning IWK psychologist and researcher. This article from IWK’s internal newsletter for staff, physicians and volunteers, Making Waves, is reprinted with permission.
“I was one of those annoying people who always knew what they wanted to be,” Dr. Christine Chambers replied when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. “After reading a book about a child psychologist in Grade Six, that is what I wanted to be.”
At just 19-year-old, Dr. Chambers started her research career at the IWK Health Centre as a summer student working alongside Dr. Patrick McGrath. “I appreciate the tremendous support that the IWK offers researchers such as myself,” she says with gratitude. “I have always felt supported in my research and I think that is something pretty special about the IWK.”
Since her days as a summer student, Dr. Chambers has become known for her significant contributions to clinical pain research and is the recipient of a number of early career awards. Most recently, Dr. Chambers received the Ulf Lindblom Young Investigator award for Clinical Science, an award of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) that honours an individual under the age of 40 who has achieved a level of independence as a scholar in the field.
Dr. Chambers received the international award in recognition of her achievements related to childhood pain research. Her research focuses on the role of the family in pediatric pain management and pain assessment in children.
“I was very honoured to be named the recipient of this award,” says Dr. Chambers. “What is most rewarding is the realization that my research will make a difference in children’s lives.”
Out of all her accomplishments, one in particular stands out for Dr. Chambers. “I am most proud of the very talented and capable research trainees I’ve had the privilege of supervising over the past ten years,” she says. “Their energy and enthusiasm, and their important research contributions, are what really make my career most enjoyable.”
Not only enjoyable, but increasingly busy. In addition to the very active research lab, Dr. Chambers is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology and Canada Research Chair in Pain and Child Health at Dalhousie University. In the little spare time that she does have, she enjoys the simple moments with her two young children (and another on the way!) like reading stories and going to the playground.
“It can sometimes be hard to catch my breath, but I enjoy it all,” she says with a smile.