Our researchers are working with clinicians, students, industry partners and investigators from top academic institutions worldwide to rapidly expand the horizons of rehabilitation science.
We’re producing practical solutions to real-life challenges – to help people recover more effectively, stay healthy and stay safely in their own homes. Our discoveries also assist family and professional caregivers.
Our scientists conduct research in 9 key areas:
The Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Team is developing advanced technologies that can deliver safe and effective patient care – in the hospital, in a clinic or at home – and support caregivers and clinicians in their work. These new technologies use advanced techniques from the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, computer vision and pervasive computing. Our goals: To improve the delivery and outcomes of rehabilitation and health-care delivery and help people with disabilities and older adults to live more independently.
Team leaders: Drs. Alex Mihailidis and Jesse Hoey
Current projects include:
The Cardiopulmonary Fitness Team identifies best practices for cardiac rehabilitation. Our researchers are working to improve access to rehabilitation services. We are developing new models to improve the effectiveness of exercise and lifestyle interventions. Findings are applied to other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and cancer. Our team also assesses the impact of participation in cardiac rehabilitation across large populations.
Team leader: Dr. David Alter
The Cognition Team is working to prevent brain injury and to improve recovery for people living with brain injury. Our researchers are developing therapies, identifying best practices and conducting population-based research. We are gaining insights into underlying neurological causes of poor recovery. These findings are informing new approaches that can help people with brain injury function better in the community. Our team’s initiatives address person-centered care, chronic disease prevention and management.
Team leader: Dr. Robin Green
The Communication Team undertakes research to improve assessment and treatment of communication deficits related to aging and, in particular, to neurological conditions such as dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s disease. Our research focuses on the interaction and impact of sensory, cognitive, linguistic and environmental factors on communication disorders. The team also develops new assistive technologies that aid communication.
Team leader: Dr. Elizabeth Rochon
The Mobility Team develops therapeutic techniques and assistive technologies to improve people’s mobility and reduce the risk of falling. Our researchers are devising new training programs and equipment to improve health among those with neurological injury. They are developing new technology to assess and diagnose mobility challenges outside the lab in the real world. Another area of activity involves creating improved and standardized tools for clinicians to assess patients’ mobility. Our research is also increasing basic knowledge of the factors that influence mobility and risk of falling.
Team leaders: Drs. William McIlroy and Avril Mansfield
The Neural Engineering & Therapeutics Team conducts research to improve participation in daily life for older individuals and those who have experienced a stroke, spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. Our researchers are developing new therapies and clinical assessment tools, as well as assistive technologies.
Team leader: Dr. Milos R. Popovic
Team Optimize investigates ways of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of all aspects of rehabilitation service delivery. Our 2 main themes are: knowledge translation, and the development and evaluation of interventions that range from decision aids to models of care.
There is a particular emphasis on chronic disease prevention and management, and person-centred care.
Team Optimize is home to the Strategic Policy and Research Communications (SPARC) unit, which acts as a liaison between Toronto Rehab researchers, provincial rehabilitation stakeholders and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Team leader: Drs. Susan Jaglal and Kathy McGilton
The Sleep and Upper Airway Team focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. Our researchers have shown that sleep apnea is linked to serious conditions, such as stroke and cardiac events. Our team is investigating the causes of sleep apnea and the impact of treating the condition on patients with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Another area of activity is the management and treatment of swallowing disorders.
Team leader: Dr. Douglas Bradley
The Technology Team develops technologies to help people live more safely and independently in their own homes and to assist family and professional caregivers. The need is urgent – the first baby boomers reached 65 years of age in 2011, and they want to continue living at home. Our team is also identifying ways for older people to move around the community safely, even in winter. Another area of focus is the growing problem of hospital-acquired infections. Our researchers are now testing a novel hand-hygiene prompting system that reminds health care workers to wash their hands. Our team also prepares advanced equipment that researchers and industry partners can use to produce meaningful products for the market.
Team leader: Dr. Tilak Dutta