Assistant Professor

Alison Novak

Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy


KITE, Toronto Rehab - University Centre - UHN
550 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 2A2
Research Interests
Movement Science, Occupational Science, Rehabilitation Technology Sciences
MSc, PhD

Dr. Alison Novak is a Scientist at The KITE Research Institute at University Health Network and Assistant Professor (Status) in the Department of Occupational Science and Therapy and Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto. Dr. Novak received a BSc in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, MSc in Neuroscience from Queen’s University, and PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University. Dr. Novak’s primary research focuses on understanding mobility in challenging environments (such as stairs, ramps, bathrooms) to reduce fall risk across the lifespan, with an emphasis on biomechanical evaluation of movement. Current research investigates impact of environmental design on biomechanical risk factors of falls and balance recovery reactions in persons with and without mobility impairments. Dr. Novak is a member of the CSA Standards Committee on Accessibility of the Built Environment, and actively contributes to National Building Code of Canada technical task groups.

Recent Publications

  1. Komisar V, Nirmalanathan K, King EC, Maki BE, Novak AC (2019). Use of handrails for balance and stability: characterizing loading profiles in younger adults. Applied Ergonomics 76: 20-31
  2. Komisar V, Nirmalanathan K, Novak AC (2018). Influence of handrail height and fall direction on center of mass control and the physical demands of reach-to-grasp balance recovery reactions. Gait and Posture 60: 209-216
  3. King EC, Novak AC. (2017) Effect of bathroom aids and age on balance control during bathing transfers. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 71(6): 1-9
  4. Novak AC, Komisar V, Maki BE, Fernie GR (2016) Age-related differences in dynamic balance control during stair descent and effect of varying step geometry. Applied Ergonomics 52: 275-284