Potential Supervisors

The following is a list of RSI faculty who have funding and are currently looking to recruit students. Please note that this list is constantly changing so be sure to check back for more updates:

Vincy Chan

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Dr. Vincy Chan is an Assistant Scientist at the KITE Research Institute at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network and Assistant Professor (status) at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on understanding the health, health service use, and health outcomes of individuals with a traumatic brain injury across the lifespan and continuum of healthcare. Dr. Chan is recruiting a MSc student to participate in a program of research focused on addressing traumatic brain injury in underserved populations.

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: vincy.chan@uhn.ca

Tracey Colella

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

PREP-TAVI: The Effect of a Prehabilitation intervention on Clinical Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI). A Pragmatic Non-Randomized Trial

Prehabilitation (prehab) has been defined as a preoperative intervention involving exercise, patient education and psychosocial support with the overarching goal to reduce complications and improve patient transitions. The primary objective of this pragmatic non-randomized trial is to examine the effect of an individualized, multi-modal prehabilitation intervention on functional/mobility status (6-minute walk test-6MWT) in patients undergoing a TAVI procedure. Secondary outcomes will include: frailty score, length of hospital stay (LOS), in-hospital major adverse cardiac/cardiovascular endpoints (MACCE), 30-day readmission, quality of life, safety and patient satisfaction. 

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: tracey.colella@uhn.ca 

Heather Colquhoun

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Current research suggests that approximately 30-40% of the health care delivered is not consistent with recommended best practices, and 20-40% of the care delivered is of no benefit or even harmful. As a knowledge translation (KT) scientist, Heather’s research focuses on how best to improve these percentages. Her work is currently focused on measuring care gaps in rehabilitation, designing KT interventions to close gaps with a focus on audit and feedback, and developing and applying theories and frameworks to improve our ability to design effective KT interventions. Heather also studies the methodologies used to design and report scoping reviews. Her current funding would support projects specific to either knowledge translation or knowledge syntheses, and in particular methods supporting scoping reviews.

LOOKING FOR: MSc, PhD

CONTACT: heather.colquhoun@utoronto.ca

Janine Farragher

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Chronic kidney disease affects 1 in 9 Canadians, yet it is often overlooked as one of the major chronic diseases impacting our population’s health. My research is focused on understanding how chronic kidney disease and dialysis treatment impact people’s ability to participate in life activities and roles (eg. doing household tasks, socializing, working at a job), and how to minimize their impact. My research investigates person-level and environmental factors contributing to disability, and uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to develop implementable solutions that can improve day-to-day participation for people with chronic kidney disease and other chronic diseases. I would love to work with motivated and dedicated students interested in chronic disease management and related topics.

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: janine.farragher@utoronto.ca

Emily Ho 

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Dr. Emily S. Ho is an Assistant Professor in the Department of OS&OT and a Clinician Investigator in the SickKids Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Her research program currently involves measuring and understanding the psychological and physical determinants of participation in youth with upper limb musculoskeletal disabilities. MSc candidates interested in pediatric upper extremity rehabilitation, youth and family engagement, and mixed methods research including knowledge synthesis, qualitative interviews, and patient-reported outcomes may send their CV and cover letter to Dr. Ho.

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: emilys.ho@utoronto.ca

Gillian King

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Topics related to (1) client engagement, resiliency, and outcomes in pediatric rehabilitation, (2) understanding environmental qualities and client experiences in the context of various intervention approaches, including solution-focused coaching, and (3) promoting the development of service providers’ skills and strategies, including listening and engagement skills.

LOOKING FOR: PhD, PostDoc

CONTACT: gking27@uwo.ca

Sally Lindsay

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Funding is available for an MSc student and a postdoctoral fellow for a CIHR-SSHRC study on "Healthy and Productive Work for Youth with Disabilities" (HAPPY) which focuses on building and evaluating toolkits for youth and young adults and clinicians to help with disability disclosure and workplace accommodations.

HAPPY is the latest project from the TRAIL lab, focused on enhancing inclusive employment for youth with disabilities. Dr. Sally Lindsay, senior scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview) is leading the team in developing evidence-informed, gender-responsive solutions on disability disclosure and workplace accommodations.

LOOKING FOR: MSc, PostDoc

CONTACT: slindsay@hollandbloorview.ca

Website

Rosemary Martino

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

The University of Toronto/University Health Network Swallowing Lab is open to applications for Doctoral Student  positions  available  in  Fall  of  2021  under  the  supervision  of  Dr.  Rosemary Martino.  Our  work focuses on understanding swallowing impairment (dysphagia) and reducing its burden for patients, their caregivers and  the community. The  focus of  these positions will be dysphagia in  the adult population, particularly  oropharyngeal  dysphagia,  secondary  to  neurological,  cancer and  cardiovascular etiologies. 

The candidate will have the opportunity to receive advanced training and opportunities with large registry data  sets,  videofluoroscopic  analysis,  both  qualitative  and  quantitative  research methods  and  applied outcomes research in the clinical setting. In addition, they will have extensive opportunity to network and collaborate with clinicians, other scientists and research project stakeholders within the SLP department and the University Health Network.

Required Qualifications: An ideal candidate will be a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual who meets the Admission requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy, Rehabilitation Sciences Program at U of T and has demonstrated advanced research qualifications in speech and language sciences. Candidates with previous research experience in swallowing, swallowing disorders, exposure to grant writing, peer reviewed publications and scientific presentations are preferred but not required. Must work productively both independently and collaboratively with enthusiasm and poise.

LOOKING FOR: PhD

CONTACT: trixie.reichardt@uhnresearch.ca

Website

Kathy McGilton

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

My research focuses on enhancing the care of the older adult, especially those with dementia, through the development and application of interventions, outcome measures and models of care in practice.  My work has examined the nature of relationships between nursing staff and older adults and between staff and their supervisors in long-term care and the effect on staff outcomes and quality of care of older adults.

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: kathy.mcgilton@uhn.ca

Crystal MacKay

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Dr. Crystal MacKay is a Scientist at West Park Healthcare Centre and has an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto. With training in physical therapy, health services research and implementation science, she uses qualitative and quantitative methods. Her program of research aims to improve health services delivery and health outcomes for people living with chronic health conditions, with a focus on individuals living with limb loss. Her research interests are developing and testing rehabilitation interventions (e.g., physical activity and exercise interventions) and examining patients’ health experiences and health outcomes.

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: crystal.mackay@westpark.org

Website

Amy McPherson

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

My research focuses on health promotion for children and youth with disabilities. Topics include weight-management, body diversity, and sexuality. I am interested in how healthcare professionals, families and children talk about 'difficult' topics and create research-informed resources to support strengths-based conversations.

LOOKING FOR: MSc, PhD

CONTACT: mcpherson@Hollandbloorview.ca

Tatyana Mollayeva

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Dr. Mollayeva is an Affiliate Scientist at the KITE Toronto Rehab-UHN and an Assistant Professor (Status) at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She is also an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health with the Global Brain Health Institute. 

Dr. Mollayeva’s  research explores sex- and gender-specific risk factors of neurological disorders and injuries to support primary prevention initiatives, pathophysiological and social hallmarks of neurological disorders and injuries to support secondary prevention and gender-transformative care, and disorders’/injuries’ progression to support rehabilitation and tertiary and quaternary prevention. Questions about equity in brain health are central to Dr. Mollayeva’s research.

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: tatyana.mollayeva@utoronto.ca

Fiona Moola

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Dr. Fiona Moola is a professor and scientist and director of the HEART Lab at Ryerson University, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the University of Toronto. With Dr. Ronald Buliung (Geography and Planning, University of Toronto), Dr. Roberta Woodgate (Nursing, University of Manitoba), Dr. Nancy Hansen (Disability Studies, University of Manitoba), and Dr. Lynne Heller (OCAD University), Dr. Moola is leading a national research program on childhood disability and the arts, funded by SSHRC.

Dr. Moola is looking for a PhD student to undertake QUALITATIVE & ARTS-BASED RESEARCH in the VISUAL ARTS, SOCIOLOGY AND HUMANITIES. Specifically, the desired PhD student will do their thesis on investigating the complex relationship between children and youth with disabilities and the visual arts, in Ontario. The student will be utilizing an arts-based research methodological approach, to generate sociological knowledge by exploring the artistic experiences and artistic creations of children and youth with physical disabilities in Ontario. This will be a funded PhD.

LOOKING FOR: MSc, PhD

CONTACT: nmoothathamby@hollandbloorview.ca

Sarah Munce

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

A Doctoral Student position is available starting September 2022 under the co-supervision of Drs. Sarah Munce, Robert Simpson, and Mark Bayley) in the area of Mindfulness and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).   

The student will have the opportunity to receive advanced training and opportunities related to mixed methods research and knowledge translation, including integrated knowledge translation. The ideal candidate will have had previous experience or interest in working on research related to MS/neurological conditions and/or a background in psychology/mindfulness interventions. 

Currently, one year of funding is available to support a PhD student to undertake a project that will produce a toolkit for program developers and peer leaders in the MS population seeking to implement online Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) across Ontario. The project will involve a mixed methods exploratory sequential study design, involving a qualitative descriptive approach followed by an online survey.

LOOKING FOR: PhD

CONTACT: sarah.munce@uhn.carobert.simpson@uhn.ca

Kristin Musselman

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

The overarching aim of the SCI Mobility Lab is to develop optimal methods for the assessment and training of walking, balance, and upper limb function after neurological injury, with an emphasis on spinal cord injury. Our lab uses both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.

LOOKING FOR: PhD, PostDoc

CONTACT: kristin.musselman@utoronto.ca

Website

Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Dr. Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia is an occupational therapist and assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, where he holds the inaugural Emily Geldsaler Grant Early Career Professorship in Workplace Mental Health. Through an occupational lens, Dr. Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia’s research program is a systematic study of occupations in the areas of work disability prevention, return to work, and disability management. This approach is designed to produce results directly applicable to identify and assess risk and to develop interventions for preventing or improving high-risk behaviours in the workplace.

Dr. Nowrouzi-Kia’s work is motivated by efforts in the field of work disability prevention that extends beyond the efforts to prevent or cure diseases from a purely physical perspective, towards more holistic approaches. The major tenets of his work use a biopsychosocial perspective to understand work disability and extend towards incorporating personal characteristics (e.g., psychosocial) and environmental (e.g., healthcare system, workplace, workers’ compensation system) factors in improving health outcomes (e.g., mental, and physical health).

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: behdin.nowrouzi.kia@utoronto.ca

Website

Kelly O’Brien

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Dr. Kelly O’Brien’s research is focused on episodic disability and rehabilitation in the context of HIV and chronic disease. Her Episodic Disability and Rehabilitation Research Program includes profiling the episodic nature of among adults aging with HIV over time (Episodic Disability Framework), examining effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions (physical activity and exercise interventions) on health and disability outcomes among adults living with HIV (Community-Based Exercise Study), and developing and assessing the properties of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) of disability (HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ).

LOOKING FOR: PhD, PostDoc

CONTACT: kelly.obrien@utoronto.ca

Jennifer Rabin

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

I am a neuropsychologist and scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute. My research focuses on two main areas.

One area combines neuroimaging with sensitive cognitive measures to better understand modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Our group was recently awarded a CIHR grant that will investigate risk factors for cognitive impairment in a multi-ethnic cohort.

Another area of my work focuses on characterizing cognitive and psychosocial changes following novel neuromodulation interventions. This includes low intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) to open up the blood brain barrier in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and high intensity FUS to treat severe psychiatric and neurological conditions, such as depression, OCD, and tremor. Our group is particularly interested in using novel and innovative assessment tools to better capture treatment changes.​

LOOKING FOR: MSc

CONTACT: jennifer.rabin@sri.utoronto.ca

Darlene Reid

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Current research focuses on respiratory and limb muscle dysfunction in healthy people and those with acute and chronic conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease and mechanically ventilated patients Much of my research looks at responses to physical activity and exercise tests including cycling and respiratory muscle tests. A primary focus is aimed at understanding dyspnea and how respiratory muscle dysfunction and cognitive input contribute to the magnitude and distress of breathlessness.

LOOKING FOR: MSc, PhD

CONTACT: darlene.reid@utoronto.ca

Timothy Ross

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Dr. Ross is a Scientist at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. He is also a Registered Professional Planner and an Assistant Professor (status) with the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Ross’ research explores how children with disabilities and their families experience and view their community spaces (e.g., schools, playgrounds, hospitals, transportation environments). This research is oriented toward planning and designing more accessible and inclusive communities that account for the presence and diversity of childhood disability. His research program currently looks at four key topics: (1) education access, (2) transportation and mobility, (3) inclusive play, and (4) addressing institutional ableism. Questions about ableism and its normalcy within the planning and design of our built environments, services, and systems are central to Dr. Ross’ research.

LOOKING FOR: MSc, PhD

CONTACT: tross@hollandbloorview.ca

Shlomit Rotenberg

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

Currently recruiting a student for a qualitative study that will examine older adults’ perspective on commonly prescribed ‘health promoting activities’ (e.g., physical exercise, leisure activities, volunteerism) from a critical occupational justice and rights lens. Occupational justice is a form of social justice, requiring society to be responsible for upholding fair and equitable access to resources and services, to allow the universal realization of occupational rights of individuals and groups to be engaged in, and exert choice over, occupations that promote their health and wellbeing.

This study aims to understand how older adults experience ‘health promoting activities’ and reveal social and environmental barriers to engaging in such activities for older adults with diverse demographic and personal characteristics (e.g., age, gender, race, ethnicity and/or disability). The desired student must be passionate and committed to engaging in research to improve the lives of older adults. A background in social sciences, occupational therapy, mental health, and/or gerontology is required. Previous experience in qualitative research is an asset

LOOKING FOR: MSc, PhD

CONTACT: s.rotenberg@utoronto.ca