Jump to a specific Day
Tue., Nov. 16 (Day 1) Wed., Nov. 17 (Day 2) Thu., Nov. 18 (Day 3)
Tuesday, November 16

Opening Remarks

Cathy Craven, Chair CSCI-RA

Keynote Presentation

Family Caregiving Research: Reflecting on the Past to Inform the Future

Jill Cameron, PhD, University of Toronto
Nimmi Bharatwal lecturer

Break & Poster Viewing


Scientific Poster Presentations

Post-doctoral Category Award Winners


Scientific Poster Presentations

Clinical/Best Practice Application Award Winners


Scientific Poster Presentations

Health Services Award Winners

SCIO Award Presentation

Stuart Howe, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Poster Session


Break & Poster Viewing


Concurrent Workshops #1


Concurrent Workshops #2


Quick Break


Speed Mentoring

Wednesday, November 17

Opening Remarks

Kristin Musselman, Conference Chair

Keynote Presentation

Strengthening of the Corticospinal Pathway after Spinal Cord Injury

Monica Perez, PhD, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab




Champion of Change Presentation

Chester Ho

Scientific Poster Presentations

Technology Innovation Award Winners


Lunch & Poster Viewing


Poster Session


Concurrent Workshops #3


Concurrent Workshops #4

Thursday, November 18

Opening Remarks

Milos Popovic, CSCI-RA Vice Chair

Break & Poster Viewing


Scientific Poster Presentations

Student Award Winners


Lunch & Poster Viewing


Concurrent Workshops #5


Concurrent Workshops #6


Poster Session


Concurrent Workshops #7


Scientific Poster Presentations

Knowledge Generation Award Winners


Closing Remarks

Speaker Profiles

Peter Athanasopoulos

Peter Athanasopoulos has been supporting the interests of the disability community in public policy and advocacy for 20+ years. He started his rewarding career at Spinal cord injury Ontario, formally the Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario in 2001 as a Provincial Peer Support Coordinator. In 2008 he continued in the position of SCI Networks and Services Manager as a relationship builder working with people with SCI, service providers, hospitals, policy makers, researchers, and other stakeholders to strengthen planning and delivery of services for Ontarians with SCI. In 2015, Peter continued enhancing his services to people with SCI by working with communities across Ontario to address and resolve systemic barriers that impact quality of life of people with SCI through his role as Senior Manager, Public Policy and Government Relations. Presently, he is the Executive Director of the Ontario SCI Alliance and Director of Public Policy at Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.

Gustavo Balbinot

Session: Electrophysiological Multimodal Assessments Improve The Prediction Of Strength Recovery In Hand Muscles After Cervical Spinal Cord Injury. ( Tue., Nov. 16 )

Dr. Balbinot is a Postdoctoral fellow at KITE – Toronto Rehab – University Health Network. He received his kinesiology/biomechanics degree from the University of Rio Grande do Sul in 2010 (Brazil), his M.Sc. in Neuroscience from the University of Rio Grande do Sul in 2013 (Brazil), and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rio Grande do Norte in collaboration with the University of Ottawa in 2019 (Brazil/Canada). His research interests are in expediting the translation of novel treatments/drugs as adjuvant therapies for rehab after spinal cord injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.

Andrea Bandini

Session: Automatic Detection Of Hand-object Interactions In Individuals With Tetraplegia Living In The Community Via Egocentric Video And Long-term Recurrent Convolutional Networks ( Tue., Nov. 16 )

Andrea Bandini has been a postdoctoral research fellow at KITE-Toronto Rehab since September 2016. He holds a Ph.D. (2016) in Bioengineering from the University of Bologna (Italy). The overarching goal of his research is to improve the access to healthcare and optimize interventions in people with neurological disorders by developing multi-modal and intelligent tools for remote assessment. His research focuses on neurological disorders and ageing and lies at the intersection of artificial intelligence, computer vision, biomedical signal processing, and rehabilitation engineering. He is the author and co-author of 30+ peer-reviewed papers published in international journals and conference proceedings. Since September 2021, he is working at the BioRobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy).

Allison Banks

Session: Interdisciplinary Pain Education For Sci; An Engagement Workshop ( Tue., Nov. 16 )

Allison Banks is a registered Occupational Therapist at Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation in Fredericton, New Brunswick and Registered Yoga Teacher. Allison has worked for 14 years with adult neurological diagnosis population. She has keen interest in pain management. She can be contacted at Allison.Banks@horizonnb.ca for further information.

Krista Best

Session: Physical Activity And Cardiometabolic Health In Sci: Shared Reflections From An Elearning Module, Community-based Activity Programs, And Collecting Quality Care Indicators ( Thu., Nov. 18 )

Dr. Krista Best is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Université Laval and a Quebec Health Research Foundation Junior 1 Scholar at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration in Quebec. She dedicates 90% of her time to her research in mobility, participation and adapted physical activity, with specific consideration for SCI. Dr. Best holds national, provincial, and private funding for advancing mobility and physical activity for people with mobility impairments, including a Craig H Neilsen Psychosocial Award. She has 56 peer-reviewed publications and an H-index of 16 on Google scholar. She is the Scientific Animator of the Mobility and transportation theme of the Cirris, member of the Wheelchair Skills Program editorial committee, co-lead the Quebec Network for Research in Aging in Gerontechnology, and Quebec lead for the Rehabilitation Interventions for Individuals with a SCI in the Community Research (RIISC) Team.

Brian Chan

Session: The Financial Burden Of Health Care For Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury And Their Families ( Mon., Oct. 25 )

Brian is an Affiliate Scientist with the Neural Engineering and Therapeutics Team at KITE – Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on economic analyses and health technology assessment for individuals requiring rehabilitation including spinal cord injury. The goal is to provide evidence that will inform the development of technologies that can improve health. Current projects include evaluating the evidence for the cost effectiveness of telerehabilitation technologies, developing a framework for early health technology assessment and understanding the economics of activity based therapies.

Rebecca Charbonneau

Session: Exoskeleton Use In Acute Rehabilitation Post Spinal Cord Injury: A Qualitative Study Exploring Patients’ Experiences. ( Thu., Nov. 18 )

Dr. Rebecca Charbonneau is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. She is also the Medical Lead for Spinal Cord Injury at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. Dr. Charbonneau received her undergraduate education at McMaster University followed by medical education at the University of Western Ontario. She completed residency training at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Lovisa Cheung

Session: Activity-based Therapy After Spinal Cord Injury Or Disease: An Introductory Workshop ( Wed., Nov. 17 )

Lovisa Cheung is a resident physiotherapist and doctoral student in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Toronto. She completed her BSc in Kinesiology at McMaster University in 2018 and her MSc in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto in 2020. She has been involved in research studying activity-based therapy for individuals with spinal cord injury, and her current research interests include spinal cord injury, sport, and aging.

Cathy Craven

Cathy Craven is the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute/ University of Toronto Chair in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation, Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program and Senior Scientist at KITE Research Institute within University Health Network.,Dr Craven is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the American Spinal Injury Association She has clinical and research expertise in health services and medical rehabilitation after Spinal Cord Injury. Dr. Craven is Chair of the Canadian SCI – Rehabilitation Association (cscira.org), Panel Chair for the 2021 PVA Consortium’s Bone Health and Osteoporosis Management Clinical Practice Guideline. She leads the Ontario SCI Implementation and Evaluation Quality Care Consortium (sciconsortium.ca) She has published 200 articles cravenlab.ca.,#@drcathycraven

Michael Fehlings

Session: Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (dcm): Findings From An Ontario Summit To Provide A Framework To Advancing Knowledge And Management Of Dcm In Ontario ( )

Dr. Fehlings is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the Spine Program at the University of Toronto. He combines an active clinical practice in complex spinal surgery at the Toronto Western Hospital with a translationally oriented research program focused on discovering novel treatments for the injured brain and spinal cord. He has published over 1000 peer-reviewed articles (h-index 100) chiefly in the area of central nervous system injury and complex spinal surgery. Dr. Fehlings has held a number of prominent leadership roles, including current President of the International Neurotrauma Society, the Chair of the AO Foundation Clinical Investigation and Documentation Advisory Committee, past Chair of the AO Spine International Spinal Cord Injury Knowledge Forum, past President of the Cervical Spine Research Society, and leader of several international clinical research trials.

Julio Furlan

Session: Health Economics In Spinal Cord Injury And Disease: From Evidence To Policy Change ( Wed., Nov. 17 )

Julio C. Furlan, MD, LLB, MBA, PhD, MSc, FRCPC, is a staff neurologist and a Clinician Investigator in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the SCI Rehabilitation Program at the Lyndhurst Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Toronto. He recently completed five years of residency training in Adult Neurology at University of Toronto in June 2014. Most recently, he completed a two-year clinical fellowship in Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto in June 2016. Dr Furlan’s research has been focused on outcome measures and predictors of outcome after traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injury. In addition, he has interest and expertise in autonomic dysfunction after spinal cord injury and economic analyses.

Chester Ho

Chester Ho is a Professor and Spinal Cord Injury Research Chair at the University of Alberta. He has a research and clinical interest in the prevention and management of complications, as well as the delivery of healthcare services following spinal cord injury.

Miranda Li

Session: Exploring The Role Of Ehealth Literacy In An Online Self-management Program For Canadian Adults Living With Spinal Cord Injury ( Thu., Nov. 18 )

Miranda Li is a recent Bachelor of Science graduate from the University of Toronto, with a double major in Health & Disease and Cell & Molecular Biology, and a minor in Psychology. She has research interests in the accessibility of health literacy in the digital age, with a focus on the Canadian spinal cord injury community. She looks forward to learning more from the other presenters and researchers at the conference.

Adalberto Loyola-Sanchez

Dr. Loyola-Sanchez completed his medical & specialty training in Mexico City and his research training at McMaster University and at the University of Calgary . Since then, he has been working on developing a program of research to design, implement and evaluate community-based rehabilitation programs for people living with disabilities produced by chronic illnesses in outreach communities. He is currently working clinically in the Spinal Cord Injury program at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton and is also the new principal investigator for the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry- Edmonton site.

Filomena Mazzella

Session: Covid-19 Panel Discussion ( Thu., Dec. 10 )

Filomena Mazzella is a Ryerson University Nurse Practitioner student completing her training with the Toronto Rehab, Spinal Cord Rehabilitation program. She has been a nurse with University Health Network’s neuroscience ambulatory care and spinal cord rehab programs for over 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to improve care for individuals with physical disabilities within the expanded nurse practitioner scope.

Kyle McIntosh

Kyle is physiotherapist and manager at the Peter Lougheed hospital in Calgary, Canada. He obtained his Masters of Physical Therapy from the University of Alberta in 2011. Kyle worked as a front line clinician for 8 years focusing mostly on patients with spinal cord injury and neurological disorders. He spent 2 years as a research physiotherapist before transitioning to his current leadership role.

Sonja McVeigh

Session: Workshop: Challenging Neurogenic Bowel Cases In Spinal Cord Injury ( Tue., Nov. 16 )

Dr. McVeigh is the Physician Lead for the SCI and Neurorehabilitation Program at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre.

James Milligan

Session: Agm Flu Panel ( Thu., Dec. 10 )

Jamie Milligan is a family doctor at the Centre for Family Medicine FHT in Kitchener-Waterloo. He is director of the Mobility Clinic, an interprofessional primary care based clinic with the goal of improving primary care to individuals with SCI and other physical disabilities.

Barry Munro

Session: Csi-ra Agm Presentation ( Thu., Dec. 10 )

Barry Munro is a person with lived experience (C-5, C-6) quadriplegic. Injured in 1987, Barry has been advocating for people with spinal cord injuries and SCI research as the former Chair of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, and currently the Chief Development Officer of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization and director of the North American SCI Consortium.

Kristin Musselman

Session: Activity-based Therapy After Spinal Cord Injury Or Disease: An Introductory Workshop ( Wed., Nov. 17 )

Dr. Kristin Musselman is a physical therapist, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, and a Scientist at KITE-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. She completed BSc degrees in Life Sciences and Physical Therapy at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, and an MSc in Neuroscience and PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Alberta. Dr. Musselman was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Kennedy Krieger Institute from 2010-2013. The overarching aim of Dr. Musselman’s research is to develop innovative, clinically feasible approaches to restore movement, function and participation for individuals living with complex neurological disease across the lifespan. She chairs the Canadian Activity-Based Therapy (ABT) Community of Practice.

Colleen O’Connell

Session: Sci – Planning For Flu Season ( Thu., Dec. 10 )

Truly an East-coaster, and never far from water, Colleen completed medical school at Memorial University of Newfoundland and residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Dalhousie University. She specializes in neuro-rehabilitation, is Research Chief at New Brunswick’s Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation and Clinical Research Director of University of New Brunswick Institute of Biomedical Engineering. Believing in the strength of collaboration, or perhaps having difficulty saying no, she is a member of many networks, including the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute, Canadian SCI Alliance, Canadian Neurologic Diseases Network, Atlantic Mobility Action Project. Research interests and outputs reflect tendency to early adoption and include applied technologies for mobility and function. Development of best practices are priorities, and she contributes as member of the PVA SCI Guidelines Consortium, Canadian SCI Pain Guidelines, Canadian SCI High Performance Indicators, among others.

Monica Perez

Dr. Perez is the Scientific Chair of the Arms + Hands Lab at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University, and a Research Scientist at the Edward Jr. Hines VA Hospital. She has studied neural mechanisms contributing to the control of voluntary movement in healthy humans and in people with spinal cord injury for over 15 years. Her research aims to understand how the brain and spinal cord contribute to the control of movement with the ultimate goal of using this mechanistic information to develop more effective rehabilitation therapies for people with spinal cord injury. This theme is mainly investigated from a neurophysiological point of view, using a combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation, magnetic resonance imaging, electrical stimulation, and behavioral techniques.

L. Michelle Read

Session: Wound Rounds: A Hands -on Interdisciplinary Team Approach To Tissue Integrity Management In Inpatient Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation ( Wed., Nov. 16 )

Chip Rowan

Session: W5-1physical Activity And Cardiometabolic Health In Sci: Shared Reflections From An Elearning Module, Community-based Activity Programs, And Collecting Quality Care Indicators ( Thu., Nov. 18 )

Chip Rowan is an Assistant Professor at York University in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science. His areas of expertise include the importance of physical fitness and lifespan physical activity participation to optimize performance and health. He recently completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the KITE Research Institute, part of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and University Health Network. This work focused on technology enabled solutions to increase accessibility to care for individuals with spinal cord injury and the creation of an eLearning module for health professionals about exercise prescription which was funded through the Paralyzed Veterans of America Education Foundation. Chip passionate about health and fitness education that embraces experiential education and community integration.

Karen Smith

Session: Top 6 Articles ( Wed., Nov. 17 )

Dr. Karen M. Smith, Professor at Queen’s University in the Faculty of Health Sciences from l994 to the present. She served as Department Head 1998-2008 and as Associate Dean of Continuing Professional and Faculty Development 2011-2018, Queen’s University. She is attending physiatrist for the ABI and SCI Rehabilitation Services from 1994 to 2013 and now shares these responsibilities. She was Associate Professor at McMaster University until 1994. Dr Smith completed her Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency training at McMaster University. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Diplomat of the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with subspecialty certification in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. She is actively involved in knowledge translation to improve the primary care experience of individuals with SCI.

Andrea Townson

Session: Top 6 Articles ( Wed., Nov. 17 )

Andrea Townson is a Clinical Professor, UBC Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Associate Head, UBC Department of Medicine. Her clinical and research interests include high lesion spinal cord injuries including ventilator dependent tetraplegia, health service delivery and medical education.

Sandra Walsh

Session: Panel Discussion ( Thu., Dec. 10 )

Sandra Walsh is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE) who works within UHN’s Toronto Western Hospital and Lyndhurst Spinal Cord Rehab Program. Through her role as an RT in acute care, rehab and outpatient settings Sandra assesses and treats patients while educating them, their caregivers and other health care professionals in optimizing the respiratory health of patients with a variety of respiratory conditions and a specific focus on spinal cord injury and neuromuscular disorders.

Erica de Passille

Session: Interdisciplinary Pain Education For Spinal Cord Injury: An Engagement Workshop ( Tue., Nov. 16 )

Erica is a Physiotherapist with 18 years of experience, including the last 14 years at the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation (SCCR) in New Brunswick where she treats in-patients with neurological diagnoses. Erica graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy in 2003 and has completed a wide range of post-secondary pain management courses. Erica has co-developed a pain education group at SCCR and has delivered a variety of presentations to colleagues across the province. Erica participated in the review of a set of entry-level Physiotherapy pain management competencies. She was a member of the SCCR Site Implementation Team for the Rick Hanson Institute KMN project for the implementation of pain practices. She and her colleagues were awarded runner-up for the Horizon Health Network 2020 Quality Quest Award for their project “Enhancing self-management of pain: Interdisciplinary pain education and intervention.