Dr. Edward Sykes, Director of Sheridan College's Centre for Mobile Innovation, becomes the first college professor appointed as an affiliate scientist with UHN’s KITE Research Institute. (Photo: KITE Research Institute)

Mobile innovation expert is first college professor to receive scientific appointment at KITE

Dr. Edward Sykes has become the first college professor appointed as an affiliate scientist with UHN's KITE Research Institute.

Dr. Sykes is the Director of Sheridan College's Centre for Mobile Innovation (CMI). The CMI is an internationally recognized research centre that focuses on Mobile Health (mHealth) and creates innovative solutions to health care problems by utilizing leading technologies, such as mobile, artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning, wearable computing and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR).

"The focus of our work on smart clothing and e-textiles marks the dawn of a promising future," Dr. Sykes says. "I believe the profound impact these technologies will have on enhancing people's lives and health will stand as a significant milestone in scientific advancement."

Dr. Sykes' appointment is an important milestone in KITE's ongoing partnership with Sheridan College, which began in 2019 with the creation of the Fabric Based Research Platform (FIBRE).

Patients at Toronto Rehab, Lyndhurst Centre finished painting their goose to be displayed at the Canadian National Exhibition. (Back row, L to R) Laura Haas, Charlene White, Mary Brence, Vinh Ngo, Carrie Mizzoni, LJ Donnelly; (Front row, L to R) Tanya Callara, Charlene Alton, Alison Fry. (Photo: UHN)

Toronto Rehab patients flock to art

Canadian geese have made their way home for the summer and patients at Toronto Rehab, Lyndhurst Centre have been working hard to paint a fibreglass version of this notable Canadian symbol.

This sculpture is part of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) challenge, called the Goose on the Loose Project which provides Ontarians with various abilities the opportunity to create a unique piece of art. The CNE provides the teams with the painting supplies and statue, which is between six and seven feet tall.

"Art is a very functional activity that gets patients moving, whether they're standing and reaching, or moving their arms or hands," says Carrie Mizzoni, an occupational therapist, who led patients in the 2019 Raccoon Art Project and is thrilled that Toronto Rehab will be part of the challenge again.

"This is also something different and fun to do while you're in rehab, since it provides an opportunity to engage social while allowing patients to take their mind off their challenges and simply paint a goose for a while," Carrie says.

Each of the 10 organizations participating this year, including Toronto Rehab, will have their goose displayed for the duration of the exhibition, which runs from Aug. 18 to Sept. 4. The 10 statues will then be auctioned off and the proceeds will go back to the participants.

(L to R) Judy Verses, Natalie Farra, Robert Bruning, Nikki Woods, Kevin Hames, Tahseen Khanday, Aman Sium, and Juanita Richardson. (Photo: UHN)

Importance of diversity in science workforce focus of TIER forum

The Institute for Education Research (TIER) at UHN recently brought together more than 50 leaders and experts in the scientific workforce to address the importance of diversity of personnel in science and troubleshoot how to build more inclusive educational and research environments.

The forum – "Driving Diversity in the Scientific Workforce" – was made possible by TIER's partnership with publishing company Elsevier.

The event began with remarks from Dr. Brian Hodges, Executive Vice President of Education and Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President of Research, who both emphasized the critical need for diversity and inclusivity in scientific research. Fostering such an environment leads to enhanced innovation and breakthroughs in the field, they said.

Three distinguished speakers also shared their unique perspectives on the issue.

Dr. Kelly Mack, Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education, delivered an inspiring keynote calling for diversity at every level of academia, from undergraduate education to the highest ranks of scientific leadership. She encouraged the audience to challenge traditional hiring practices and create pathways for underrepresented individuals to excel in science.

Judy Verses, President of Academic and Government Markets at Elsevier, discussed the role of publishing houses and academic institutions in promoting equitable representation, and emphasized the need for collaboration and commitment from all stakeholders.

Aman Sium, Vice President of Experience, Transformation, and Social Accountability at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, shared his personal experiences with diversity and social accountability in a hospital setting. He advocated for nurturing social responsibility within scientific communities and drove home the point that diversity goes beyond numbers – it's about embracing unique perspectives and experiences to enrich the scientific enterprise.

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