Heavy hitter

Adam Paish, PhD Candidate, leads something of a double life.
In the hallways of Robarts Research Institute, he’s a hard-working and dedicated trainee.
His other calling is known for being the national pastime, although he has put in more effort than the moniker indicates. Baseball – his sport of choice since the age of six – has taken him to lofty heights during his years of playing.
“It’s my after-hours life,” he said with a laugh. “Being well-rounded is important to me and I like to be well-versed in as many things as I can be. Life is just more exciting that way.”
Life is certainly exciting for the baseball-wielding researcher. Between his two high-level pursuits, Paish has more than enough to keep him on the go.
When donning his baseball persona, he is the captain of the Western University varsity baseball team, a squad he has played with since starting his undergraduate kinesiology degree at Western in 2008. He is also playing semi-professionally with the London Majors this summer.
Having been awarded Ontario Pitcher of the Year twice by the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) – a provincial record – picking up a baseball is definitely more than just a hobby for the 26-year-old.
As a PhD Candidate with the Department of Medical Biophysics, the work he’s doing behind the scenes in the lab is also getting Paish noticed these days.
Off the field, the trainee has also burst onto the scene, recently representing Schulich Medicine & Dentistry at the Canadian Student Health Research Forum in Winnipeg.
Working with supervisor David Holdsworth, Paish’s research is testing functional implants in preclinical models. “Using 3D metal printing technology we can create precise, functional and reproducible components that can be small enough to install in more widely available models than previously possible,” he explained.
Paish is specifically looking at hip replacements, working toward a more cost-effective method to investigate implant fixation and cartilage health. “We’re hoping this becomes a translational model for basic sciences that are studying pre-clinical orthopaedic implants,” he said.
As part of the Bone and Joint Institute at Western, and as a trainee in both the Joint Motion Program (JuMP), and the Collaborative Program in Muskuloskeletal Health Research (CMHR), Paish is exposed to a wide range of scientific experts and other trainees. Having also completed a Health Leadership Training Program at the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation, the possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration are seemingly endless.
“It’s a great training environment to be exposed to,” said Paish. “I love being able to work with so many bright people, with lots of ideas to share.”
It’s an environment that has enabled Paish to flourish as a student athlete, while successfully working toward his academic and career goals.
With his research career taking off, balancing his double life is getting more difficult. Paish is uncertain how long he’ll continue playing high-level baseball, but he’s already turned his sights to coaching to satisfy that competitive and athletic edge. In addition to a 36-game season with the Majors, he is looking forward to a summer coaching the London Badgers, an Under 13 team.
“I’m very appreciative of the opportunities and support I’ve been given,” he said. “I think I’d suffer as a person if I wasn’t able to do both research and baseball.”