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Holland Bloorview had the pleasure of hosting the Dr. Michael Merzenich, Professor Emeritus at the University of California San Francisco and Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer of the Brain Plasticity Institute to deliver the keynote Mickey Milner Professorship Lecture at the November 2013 symposium.

Based on the theme The Brain, this year’s symposium highlighted the cutting-edge research happening at the hospital, along with some innovative new client-focused programs including a Lived Experience panel with Holland Bloorview youth clients, and a multi-perspective Crosstalk debate on the value of walking.

Additionally we want to thank Marcy White, a parent and member of the BRI Family Engagement Committee co-hosted the event with Dr. Tom Chau, bringing a family perspective to all aspects of the day.

Lived Experience Panel

Autism Research Talk

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex condition that impacts normal brain development and affects a person's social relationships, communication, interests and behaviour. Drs. Evdokia Anagnostou, Jessica Brian, and Azadeh Kushki shared information about their cutting-edge research into the biology of autism, advances in early cognitive behavioural therapy, and technologies to help children with autism manage symptoms. We congratulate the Autism Research Centre at Bloorview Research Institute for the extension in Ontario Brain Institute funding to continue the POND Network, Canada’s first integrated database of clinical trials.

Acquired Brain Injury Research Talk

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) affects children of all ages, and Holland Bloorview is committed to providing excellent clinical care and pushing the envelope of brain injury research. A cross-functional team including Drs. Peter Rumney, Ryan Hung, and Nick Reed touched on the significance of the circle of care model, wherein treatment plans for acquired brain injury incorporate all caregivers and stakeholders in a clients’ life. Acquired Brain Injury research in the Concussion Research Centre is zeroing in on new ways to identify, assess, and manage acquired brain injury with the NeuroCare project, funding in part by grants of over $2 million from CIHR and the Trillium Auto Dealers Association.

BRI Research Quick Hits

Scientists and students from the Bloorview Research Institute provided 12 quick hits of research, timed at two minutes each, to provide a broad overview of the BRI’s diverse research pursuits.

Crosstalk on the Value of Walking


Keynote speaker: Dr. MichaelMerzenich on brain plasticity

We also enjoyed a presentation on brain plasticity from our Mickey Milner International Professorship Lecture keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Merzenich from the University of California, San Francisco and Posit Science. Dr. Merzenich presented a thought-provoking perspective on brain plasticity, hinging on the assertion that brain changes can be reversed.