​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Welcome to KITE, the research arm of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. KITE is the top ranked rehabilitation research institute in the world. We are dedicated to improving the lives of people living with the effects of disability, illness and aging.​

KITE @ UHN logo​ 

The mission of KITE, an acronym for Knowledge, Innovation, Talent and Everywhere, is to be a trailblazer in research, education and knowledge translation. KITE’s areas of focus include injury prevention, restoration of function, enhanced participation and independent living. Researchers are actively engaged in developing new treatments, devices and products as well as gathering evidence that guides changes to policy and public opinion.

KITE Team on Research Day 2019
KITE Team on Research Day 2019

KITE is home to more than 300 scientists, students and support staff engaged in rehabilitation science. Our teams are organized into the following 11 teams:

  • Acquired Brain Injury & Society
  • Brain Discovery & Recovery
  • Communication
  • Mobility
  • Optimization of the Rehab System
  • Swallowing Science
  • Artificial Intelligence & Robotics in Rehab (AI&RR)
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Home, Community & Institutional Environments​ (HC&IE)
  • Neural Engineering & Therapeutics (NET)
  • Sleep Science

Research & Innovation
Research & Innovation

KITE is led by Dr. Milos R. Popovic, a world leader in the field of biomedical engineering. A tenured professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Popovic’s fields of expertise include functional electrical stimulation, neuroprostheses, neurorehabilitation, brain machine interfaces, modeling and control of linear and non-linear dynamic systems, robotics, and signal processing. In 2014 Dr. Popovic was named the University Health Network’s Inventor of the Year.​

  • KITE is No. 1 ranked Rehab Research Facility in the world
  • 127 scientists
  • 151 trainees: 26 research fellows; 105 graduate students; 20 other students
  • 175 staff
  • 627 publications
  • 11 major research teams
  • 56,000 square feet of dedicated research space
  • $30.6 million in external research funding​
  • KITE is led by Institute Director Dr. Milos R. Popovic


DriverLab city street view
DriverLab City Street view

KITE was founded in 2001 as the Toronto Rehab Research Institute following a $15-million funding commitment from Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Jack Williams was its first Research Director. Here are some other milestones from our past:

  • ​​​​2018

    Dr. Milos R. Popovic, a world leader in rehabilitation science, is appointed Research Director.

  • Toronto Rehab partners with the Krembil Research Institute to launch CRANIA, the Centre for Advancing Neurological Innovation to Application, after securing $16.3-million in funding from the federal and provincial governments.

  • Former research director Dr. Geoff Fernie is appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

  • 2017

    IDAPT DriverLab, the most advanced driving simulator in Canada, opens at Toronto Rehab.

  • 2016

    Researchers Hisham Alshaer, T. Douglas Bradley and Geoff Fernie awarded UHN’s Inventor of the Year Award for creation of sleep apnea device BresoDX.

  • 2015

    TRI Research launches the AGE WELL National Centre of Excellence, a network of researchers, industry and other stakeholders dedicated to helping people live at home longer.

  • Research conducted at TRI’s IDAPT facility leads to changes to the National Building Code of Canada requiring an increases in minimum stair depth of treads.

  • 2014

    Institute receives $15-million funding commitment through the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation for research into spinal cord injury.

  • Senior Scientist Dr. Milos R. Popovic named UHN Inventor of the Year for MyndMove, a device that helps people with paralysis regain movement.​

  • 2011

    The IDAPT (Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation and Technology) Centre for Rehabilitation opens at Toronto Rehab. This facility is home to more than 13 state-of-the-art labs, workshops and research spaces.

  • 2010

    Toronto Rehab joins the University Health Network because of the shared desire to strengthen care, research and education within the field of rehabilitation.​​

  • 2007

    The federal and provincial governments commit to spend $36-million for construction of a 60,000-square-foot research facility at Toronto Rehab dedicated to studying people and their environments.

  • 2003

    Geoff Fernie takes over as Research Director, serves in role for 15 years.

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