Daniel R.Y. Gan, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology
I create opportunities for transformative service learning and research in partnership with community organizations.

Daniel is an emerging scholar in the field of community geropsychology (environment, mental health, and ageing). He leads multiple international research groups and professional organizations to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and promote best practices, with support from national and international funders.

His disciplinary contributions include place-based approaches and methods for health equity, multilevel path analysis to test mechanistic hypotheses and identify immediate targets for contextual interventions towards healthy ageing in place, and mixed-method conceptual development and measurement on neighbourhoods and health.

Learn more here: www.equigenesis.ca

  • PhD (National University of Singapore; 2020)


Community Psychology; Gerontology; Health Care Sciences and Services; Public, Environmental and Occupational Health

  • "Brain Health in Community (BHIC): Co-developing and piloting a place-based brain wellness model and program with community-dwelling older adults for community-dwelling older adults," Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) ($25,000) Principal Investigator (PI); 2023-2024
  • "Developing an Engagement Strategy to Embed Health and Cultural Wellness into Official Community Plan Update Processes," BC Healthy Communities PlanH Healthy Public Policy Grant ($15,000) with Julie McGuire; 2023-2024
  • "Healthy IDEAS+: A modified effectiveness-implementation trial to improve cognition in community housing," CIHR ($90,000) PI; 2021-2023
  • "Brain Health in Community: Cohesion, at-homeness, playfulness?," SFU ($9,715) PI; 2021-2022
  • "Enhancing cognitive reserve in the community: Exploring the effects of Sensory Environment and Playfulness on Depression and Cognition (SEPDC) among older adults,” NRF Healthy Longevity Catalyst Award ($25,000) with Dr. Zdravko Trivic et al; 2021-2022

Awards & Honors

  • CIHR-IMHA Inclusive Research Excellence Prize (Patient Engagement); 2023
  • CIHR-IA Postdoctoral Research Excellence Prize; 2021
  • GSA Interdisciplinary Paper Award; 2021

Recent Publications

  • Gan, D. R. Y., Wister, A., & Best, J. R. (2022). Environmental Influences of Life Satisfaction and Depressive Symptoms Among Older Adults with Multimorbidity: Path Analysis Through Loneliness in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Gerontologist, 62 (6), pp. 855-864. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnac004
  • Gan, D. R. Y., Fung, J. C., & Cho, I. S. (2021). Neighborhood atmosphere modifies the eudaimonic impact of cohesion and friendship among older adults: A multilevel mixed-methods study. Social Science & Medicine, 270, 113682. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113682
  • Ng, T. K. S., Gan, D. R. Y., Mahendran, R., Kua, E. H., & Ho, R. C.-M. (2021). Social connectedness as a mediator for horticultural therapy’s biological effect on community-dwelling older adults: Secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial. Social Science & Medicine, 284. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114191
  • Gan, D. R. Y., Chaudhury, H., Mann, J., & Wister, A. (2021). Dementia-friendly neighborhood and the built environment: A scoping review. Gerontologist, 62 (6), e340-e356. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnab019
  • Zhang, L., Tan, P. Y., Gan, D. R. Y., & Samsudin, R. (2022). Assessment of mediators in the associations between urban green spaces and self-reported health. Landscape and Urban Planning, 226, 104503. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104503

Affiliations & Memberships

  • Director, Urban Mission Canada; 2023
  • Member, Age-Friendly Planning Table, City of Kamloops; 2023
  • Affiliate, Population Health and Aging Rural Research Centre, TRU; 2023
  • Convener, Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Community-Engaged Research; 2021-2023
  • Research Director, Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health (international); 2021-2023

  • PSYC 207 Data Analysis (Fall)
  • PSYC 215 Lifespan Development (Fall & Spring)
  • PSYC 390 Special Topics in Psychology: Friendship in Late Life (Spring)
  • PSYC 498 Senior Thesis Seminar