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About Us

Scientific Leadership

Dale Corbett, PhD

Scientific Director

(See full profile under Management Team)

Sandra Black, O.C., O.Ont., MD, FRCP(C), FRSC, FAAN, FAHA, FANA

Site Leader, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Dr. Sandra Black is the Director of Research for the Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and was Head of the Division of Neurology at Sunnybrook from 1995 until 2006. She is Medical Director of the Regional Stroke Program for North and East Greater Toronto Area and Director of the L.C. Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit. As well, she is a Senior Neuroscientist at Sunnybrook’s Research Institute and at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest.

Sandra obtained her medical and neurological training at the University of Toronto and completed her postdoctoral research at the University of Western Ontario in Behavioural Neurology and Stroke prior to taking up her full-time appointment at Sunnybrook in 1985. She also pursued graduate work in the history and philosophy of science at Oxford University.

Her research has focused on the cognitive sequelae of stroke and stroke recovery, the differential diagnosis of dementia, and the use of neuroimaging techniques to elucidate brain-behaviour relationships in stroke and dementia. She has over 226 publications 46 invited publications and has been actively engaged in treatment trials for Stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular Dementia.


Dar Dowlatshahi, MD PhD FRCPC

Site Leader, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Dowlatshahi is a Stroke Neurologist at The Ottawa Hospital and an Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, and Cross Appointed to Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa. He is the Scientific Director of the Ottawa Stroke Program and recently promoted to Scientist, Neuroscience, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is also a member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Dr. Dowlatshahi obtained his MD and PhD from McMaster University. He then completed a residency in Neurology at the University of Ottawa, followed by a Stroke Fellowship at the University of Calgary. He joined the University of Ottawa and OHRI in July 2010 and is both a Clinician Scientist and the Scientific Director of the Ottawa Stroke Program. In 2014 he was awarded the inaugural Department of Medicine Clinician-Scientist Chair Award, and a Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada New Investigator Award. His clinical research program in acute stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage focuses on multi-modal neuroimaging. Through collaborative trials and observational studies, Dr. Dowlatshahi hopes to discover a treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage.


Sean Dukelow, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Site Leader, Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary

The main focus of Dr. Dukelow’s research involves understanding the mechanisms of stroke recovery and facilitating stroke rehabilitation through the use of technology. In particular, his lab is developing robotic assessment tools to accurately quantify sensorimotor dysfunction following stroke. They are currently focused on determining the importance of proprioception and vision in functional recovery. Additionally, they are developing novel robotic therapies for individuals with stroke.

Dr. Dukelow also serves as the Research Director for the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s resident training program.

Janice Eng, PT-PhD

Site Leader, University of British Columbia

Dr. Janice Eng is a professor in the UBC Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia and directs an interdisciplinary research team in neurological rehabilitation with several graduate students, post-docs and staff in the Rehabilitation Research Lab at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. She is a recipient of a Senior Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research which protects her research time.  She is also a faculty member of the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), UBC graduate program in neuroscience, and UBC Brain Research Centre.  During her training years, she studied at the University of Toronto, graduating with an MSc in Biomedical Engineering and completed her doctorate in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Eng also completed her post-doctoral training in Neurophysiology at Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Eng’s research focuses on the development of innovative and effective rehabilitation interventions to improve functional abilities in people with neurological conditions. Her trainees have had backgrounds in physical therapy, occupational therapy, engineering, medicine, kinesiology, psychology or science. She studied as an undergraduate at UBC in the combined Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy (PT/OT) program.

Diane Lagacé, PhD

Site Leader, University of Ottawa

Dr. Lagacé’s lab uses a variety of molecular, cellular, histochemical and behavioral techniques to identify the mechanisms that produce new neurons in the adult brain and to determine their functional role in the healthy and pathological brain. For example, work in the lab is delineating the molecular mechanisms that regulate survival of adult-generated neurons and the crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis in regulating survival.

They are also examining the role of Presenilin proteins in adult neurogenesis in their work related to Alzheimer’s disease. These studies are providing insights into the basic biological processes that underlie the regulation of the potentially powerful adult generated neuron. This work complements behavioral studies that are elucidating the functional role of adult neurogenesis in normal physiology, as well as optimizing functional recovery in animal models of human disease. For example, as members of the HSF Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, a large number of studies in the lab are using novel models to examine whether the pronounced birth of new cells post stroke are functionally important in recovery and optimize regeneration and recovery of function during stroke recovery.

Jed Meltzer, PhD.

Site Leader, Baycrest

Dr. Meltzer’s research deals with the neural mechanisms responsible for understanding and producing language, with an emphasis on multiple partially redundant pathways. The study of multiple pathways for information processing is essential to future developments in stroke rehabilitation, as functional and structural assessments can be made of an individual’s capacity to exploit spared pathways to recover cognitive and linguistic abilities. Behavioural intervention strategies could be tailored to an individual’s post-stroke neuroanatomical status for maximal effect. Furthermore, physiological interventions such as noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) can be targeted and optimized for individuals to bring about the desired recruitment of brain networks to achieve functional restoration and compensation.

His work has explored the potential of magnetoencephalography (MEG) as a mapping tool in neurolinguistics, providing the spatial and temporal resolution necessary to measure the involvement of specific neural pathways on a time scale relevant to everyday language use. In current work, his team is using MEG to evaluate the brain’s response to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS), two techniques that may help promote beneficial plasticity in recovery from brain injury, but are as yet poorly understood.

Liz Inness, PhD

Site Leader, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network

Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Inness is a physiotherapist by background. Dr. Inness’  work aims to integrate research and clinical knowledge to develop optimal approaches that promote safe, independent mobility and participation in exercise and physical activity along the continuum of stroke recovery. To this end, she is an advocate for research: clinical partnerships and provides leadership to Toronto Rehab – UHN’s Balance, Mobility & Falls Clinic, which was co-developed with Dr. William McIlroy and Dr. Mark Bayley, and a partner with CPSR since inception in 2010.  The Clinic was developed to deliberately integrate clinicians and researchers in a patient care setting, provide a hub for knowledge exchange and a platform to test and adapt new innovations within the context of the practice setting and real-life complex patients, which can then immediately translate to practice.

Michelle Ploughman, PhD

Site Leader, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dr. Ploughman is a recognized expert in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation in stroke and multiple sclerosis. Her research focuses on the effects of aerobic exercise, intensive training paradigms and lifestyle habits on the brain challenged by injury, disease and aging. Dr. Ploughman was a Canadian Institutes of Health Research post-doctoral fellow and her work is published in journals such as Stroke, Neuroscience, Brain Research and Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is the Principal Investigator for the Canadian Survey of Health, Lifestyle and Aging with Multiple Sclerosis; the largest study of aging with MS in Canada with over 740 participants from 10 study sites. Dr. Ploughman continues to practice as a neurological physiotherapist in St John’s and her Recovery and Performance Laboratory is located in the Rehabilitation Research Unit (RRUNL), L.A. Miller Centre, St. John’s NL.