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Project descriptions

The following scientists are accepting summer student applications for the 2017 year. Please ensure you familiarize yourself with Ward summer student application requirements.


Darcy Fehlings

The student will be a member of an interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians focused on children and youth with cerebral palsy (CP). While there may be an opportunity to work on a few projects, the student will specifically assist with the development of a manuscript to be published in a peer-reviewed journal looking at identifying risk factors associated with pain in children and youth with CP.  This role will specifically involve literature reviews, data cleaning, data analysis/interpretation, and manuscript development to the point of submission. The student may also gain practical experience in clinical research skills specifically involving ethics closure documentation, creating family-friendly summaries of funding, and knowledge translation processes. To be eligible, students must be in their 3rd or 4th year of study and have an academic average of 75% or over.

See Darcy Fehling's Scientist Profile

Deryk Beal

Dr. Deryk Beal is a Clinician Scientist, speech-language pathologist, and director of the CONNECT Lab in the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Beal’s primary interest is the cognitive neuroscience of speech and language. His innovative research aims to understand the neurobiological and behavioural characteristics of communication disorders in childhood and to develop new treatments for children with these impairments. The summer student will contribute to one or more research studies examining the neural development of speech and language, the efficacy of neuromodulation for induced neuroplasticity and learning, and treatment outcomes for children undergoing speech therapy.To be eligible, students must be in their 3rd or 4th year of study and have an academic average of 75% or over.

See Deryk Beal's Scientist Profile

Elaine Biddiss

The mission of PEARL (Possibility Engineering And Research Lab) is to design and evaluate technologies that create possibilities for disabled children to engage in physical activities and therapies, music, and the arts. Our innovative solutions are designed and evaluated through interdisciplinary collaborations with health professionals, engineers, designers, social scientists, children and their families.

See Elaine Biddiss' Scientist Profile

Evdokia Anagnostou

At the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at Holland Bloorview, we do research that aims to improve the function and quality of life of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD or autism) and their families. We conduct innovative research to understand the biology and symptoms of autism, and to develop novel interventions for children and adults with autism. Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou and Dr. Jessica Brain are co-directors of ARC. To be eligible, students must have an academic average of 80% or over.

See Evdokia Anagnostou's Scientist Profile

Gillian King (2 summer student positions)

Dr. Gillian King is a Senior Scientist within the Bloorview Research Institute, Canada Research Chair in Optimal Care for Children with Disabilities, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on psychosocial aspects of intervention for children/youth with disabilities and their families. Dr. Laura Hartman will be involved in co-supervision. There are opportunities for two summer students to be involved in the following projects (each project is looking for one student): (1) an internally funded program of research on the arts within Holland Bloorview, focusing on our Spiral Garden program; (2) an interdisciplinary program of research regarding a transition framework for youth with disability to facilitate achievement of meaningful adult roles. The students will assist with literature reviews and preparation of educational materials, as well as other knowledge translation and mobilization activities.  Students should be currently enrolled in a social sciences or health sciences program and must have an academic average of 80% or over.

See Gillian King's Scientist Profile

Jan Andrysek

As part of the PROPEL lab you will work alongside a team of researchers, engineers and clinicians on projects relating to human biomechanics and human gait, computational biomechanical modeling, the development and evaluation of mobility assistive technologies (MATs) including artificial limbs and orthotics, development and evaluation of quantitative gait and mobility measurement techniques, the application of design management systems in rehabilitation engineering, the assessment of clinical practices and the use of research evidence in the field of prosthetics and orthotics. Students should be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, preferably in engineering.

See Jan Andrysek's Scientist Profile

Laura McAdam

Dr. Laura McAdam is a Clinician Investigator at Holland Bloorview and a Pediatrician in the Neuromuscular clinic and Rett Syndrome Pathway clinic at Holland Bloorview.  Her research focuses on children with Neuromuscular Conditions and Rett Syndrome. There main project that the student would be involved in is surveying clinics across Canada regarding clinical care in Rett Syndrome. The student will assist with literature reviews, development of the questionnaire in REDCap, and summarizing data. To be eligible, students must be in their 3rd or 4th year of study and have an academic average of 75% or over.

See Laura McAdam's Scientist Profile

Melanie Penner

At the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at Holland Bloorview, we do research that aims to improve the function and quality of life of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD or autism) and their families.  Dr. Penner is conducting research looking at health service delivery for children with ASD, including evaluating cost-effectiveness, measuring resource use, and eliciting perspectives of service providers.

See Melanie Penner's scientist profile

Nick Reed

Nick Reed is a Clinician Scientist and occupational therapist within the Bloorview Research Institute and Co-Director of the Concussion Centre at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital where he is involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of concussion research, educational and clinical programming.  The summer student will contribute to one or more research studies that look at the area(s) of mild traumatic injury/concussion in kids.

See Nick Reed's Scientist Profile

Shannon Scratch

Shannon Scratch is a Clinician Scientist at the Bloorview Research Institute and a clinical neuropsychologist (supervised practice) within the outpatient Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team. Dr. Scratch conducts research examining neuropsychological and mental health outcomes in children who sustained an acquired brain injury. She is also interested in parent and family functioning within this population. The summer student will contribute to one or more research studies and have the opportunity to engage with an interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians. To be eligible, students must be in their 3rd or 4th year of study in a psychology program and have an average of 75% or over.

See Shannon Scratch's scientist profile

Steve Ryan

Steve is a Senior Scientist in the Bloorview Research Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. His research focus is on the application of health research methods and measurement science to understand better the real-world impact of assistive technology devices for children and youth with disabilities. This research leads to new thinking about how children’s products should be designed, prescribed, supported, and funded. The summer student will be involved in projects that relate to understanding the effectiveness of augmentative and alternative communication systems for children who have a speech-related disability. The student will help with recruitment, data collection, data entry, and analysis. To be eligible, students must be in their final year in psychology or health sciences, with an academic average of 80% or over.

See Steve Ryan's scientist page

Tom Chau

The prism lab discovers new ways to decode behavioral and physiological manifestations of communicative intent in nonverbal children and youth with severe physical disabilities. Current research projects include various motor-based access technologies that harness orofacial gestures, muscle contractions, and vocal fold vibrations, as well as brain-based access alternatives including opto-hemodynamic and neuro-electric brain-machine interfaces. Specifically, we have developed brain-machine interfaces that are driven by mental tasks, those that are controlled by intentional modulation of blood flow in a task-free paradigm, as well as interfaces that detect particular event-related potentials as well as spontaneous evolution of brain states. In parallel, we have developed an access technology delivery protocol that engages the client, families and where appropriate teaching staff and clinicians to facilitate consistent and functional use of novel access technology. To be eligible, students should be currently enrolled in second year or higher, in an engineering/technical program, with an academic average of 80% or over.

See Tom Chau's Scientist Profile

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