Stroke Program in Neurorecovery (SPiN) Workshop

In late July 2020, CPSR's National Trainee Association hosted a hugely successful three-day Stroke Program in Neurorecovery (SPiN), involving labs in Canada and the US and 65 participants from as far away as Australia and India. The massive amount of organization led to an almost seamless rollout.

The event -- held for the first time as a virtual workshop because of the pandemic -- included excellent presentations, opportunities for communication and networking and, for the first time, lectures and demonstrations from labs across North America.

This year's themes placed an emphasis on physical rehabilitation and assistive technologies, brain stimulation, imaging and analysis techniques. Trainees also had a chance to share their research and the event included mentorship and career discussions.

Says stroke neurologist and Sunnybrook site leader Dr. Sandra Black: "This is a very special event that takes a lot of work and coordination to provide a unique blend of learning and mentorship to promote interdisciplinary understanding, scientific exchange and social networking. This year, because it was virtual, it allowed more people at various career stages to attend more "locations" across time zones to help build a community of scholars focused on enhancing stroke recovery."

Post-SPiN evaluations were stellar.

"It's been a fantastic experience. I would say that I've learned as much as I could have learned if this training was to be conducted physically face to face."

"SPiN is an excellent training opportunity. I feel lucky that this is offered and I hope it continues in the future!"

100 per cent of trainees said they would recommend the workshop and 98 per cent planned to apply again (only those who would no longer be trainees said they wouldn't). About 70 per cent said they would recommend running it as a virtual workshop again, although many commented that a mix of in-person and online would be desired.

Many thanks to Farrell Leibovitch, CPSR's Director of Research and Training Programs, and to the NTA co-chairs for organizing such a phenomenal SPiN. CPSR's Basic Science co-chairs are Michael Liu (PhD candidate with Dr. JoAnne McLaurin at Sunnybrook) and Zanna Vanterpool (PhD candidate with Dr. Greg Silasi at University of Ottawa) and the Clinical Research co-chairs are Matt Chilvers (PhD candidate with Dr. Sean Dukelow at University of Calgary) and Lydia Kuhl (MSc candidate with Dr. Sean Dukelow at University of Calgary).

If you would like to learn more about SPiN or to take part in the next workshop, please direct questions to


Trainee Webinar Series   

The Trainees4Trainees Webinar Series starts again on Sep 21, 2020. This webinar series, limited to trainees enrolled in the CPSR National Trainee Association, provides an opportunity for trainees to gain practice presenting to peers in an informal webinar setting. Trainees enrolled in the CPSR NTA (link to apply: will get an email with details on how to participate in the Zoom webinar.

Next webinar: 

Sep 21, 2020 @ 3pm ET Webinar

Combined motor and somatosensory training intervention to improve arm function after stroke

Dr. Urvashy Gopaul, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University Health Network


ExStRA! ExStRA! Hear all about it! Findings from the Exoskeleton for post-Stroke Recovery of Ambulation mixed-methods trial

Riley Louie, PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia