September 13, 2018


Following external review, the following researchers have been awarded CPSR Collaborative Innovation Grants and Trainee Awards for 2018-19. Thanks to all participants in this competition. The applications were of excellent quality and scope.

 

In total, CPSR is providing approximately $596,000 of new funding, as follows:
 
8 new catalyst grants – approx. $400,000 (including two in partnership with REPAR), and
13 new trainee awards – approx. $196,000 

  • 4 MSc Awards @ $8,750, 
  • 4 PhD Awards @ $15,000, 
  • 5 PDF Awards @ 20,000; 

In addition, the top-rank trainees in each category will also receive a $2,000 top-up that can be used for them at their supervisor’s discretion.

Collaborative Innovation Grants:

1. Strengthening oropharyngeal muscles as a novel approach to treat obstructive sleep apnea after stroke: A randomized feasibility study
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Mark Boulos, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr.Yana Yunusova, Toronto Rehab – University Health Network
 
Brief Project Description: This pilot randomized controlled trial will assess the feasibility of using a throat exercise protocol in stroke patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

 

2. Validating the English version of the Language Screening Test (LASTen) for Aphasia: Post-stroke diagnostic accuracy and acute stage aphasia outcomes
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Heather Flowers, University of Ottawa
 
Brief Project Description: This study will test the validity of a quick screening test for language difficulties (aphasia) in stroke patients. 

 

3. Increasing access to aerobic exercise in stroke rehabilitation: The STroke AeRobic exercise implementation Toolkit (START)
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Elizabeth Inness, Toronto Rehab – University Health Network (TRI-UHN)
Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr. Ada Tang, McMaster University

Brief Project Description: This research study will lead to the development of the STroke AeRobic exercise implementation Toolkit (START) that will support clinicians on how to best implement aerobic exercise within complex practice settings.

 

4. Theory-informed development of a toolkit to increase uptake of perturbation-based balance training in stroke rehabilitation practice  
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Avril Mansfield,Toronto Rehab – University Health Network (TRI-UHN)
Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr. Elizabeth Inness, TRI-UHN
 
Brief Project Description: This study will develop a balance training toolkit for clinical use with stroke patients.

 

5. CPSR-REPAR Partnership Grant
Bilateral repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in acute post-stroke aphasia: Does it stimulate changes in white matter?
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Karine Marcotte, Université de Montréal & Research Center of Centre intégré universitaire de santé et services sociaux Nord-del’île-de-Montréal (CIUSSS NIM)
Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr. Simona Maria Brambati, Université de Montréal &Centre de recherche de l’Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal                                                    
Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr. Louis de Beaumont, Université de Montréal & CIUSSS NIM           
CPSR Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Elizabeth Rochon, Toronto Rehab – University Health Network

Brief Project Description: This research study will test whether the combination of bilateral repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique for modifying brain activity, and speech therapy is effective in improving recovery in post-stroke aphasia.

 

6. Optimizing closed-loop measurement of mouse brain activity and sensory or synthetic channel feedback to improve outcome following stroke   
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Tim Murphy, University of British Columbia (UBC)  
 
Brief Project Description: This studywill compare the ability of two different methods of using brain stimulation and feedback to restore brain activity and neurological function after stroke in mice.

 

7. Improving facial tracking technology for the assessment of orofacial deficits and their recovery after stroke ***Top ranked grant and distinction as the 2018 Dr. Tony Hakim Stroke Research Award***
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Babak Taati, Toronto Rehab (TRI) – University Health Network (UHN)
Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr. Yana Yunusova, TRI-UHN

Brief Project Description: This project will test the ability of an artificial intelligence program to accurately assess deficits of the mouth and face after stroke. 

 

8. CPSR-REPAR Partnership Grant 
Effects of an innovative continuing professional development intervention on rehabilitation clinicians’ practices for improving walking, independence in activities of daily living and health-related quality of life after stroke: a pilot study for a stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial 
Principal Investigator: Dr. Aliki Thomas, McGill University
CPSR Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Michelle Ploughman,Memorial University of Newfoundland

Brief Project Description: This pilot study will examine whether repeated exposure to an innovative knowledge translation intervention will influence clinician practice and positively affect walking capacity in stroke patients. 

Trainee Award Competition Recipients
 
Post-Doctoral Fellows   

1. Dr. Matilde Balbi (Supervisor: Dr. Timothy Murphy), University of British Columbia ***Top ranked application & winner of the 2018 Martin Rothstein Post-Doctoral Fellow Award***
Project Title: High-throughput automated mouse model to pilot translational brain stimulation during long term recovery from stroke
 
Brief Project Description:  
This project will combine an innovative movement-based rehabilitation training program with brain stimulation in stroke-affected mice to inform future stroke recovery interventions.  

 

2. Dr. Andrew Huntley (Supervisor: Dr. Avril Mansfield),Toronto Rehabilitation Institute -  University Health Network
Project Title: Determining the ability to generate braking force in response to a forward fall: Post-stroke characteristics and implication for reactive balance control assessment 

Brief Project Description:  This study will analyze characteristics of stepping strength to inform our understanding our reactive balance control and help find ways of decreasing the risk of falling in stroke patients. 

 

3. Dr. Hsing-Ching (Cherie) Kuo (Supervisor: Dr. Adam Kirton), University of Calgary
Project Title: Robotic TMS motor maps and functional connectivity as individualized biomarkers of mechanisms and responsiveness to neuromodulation in children with perinatal stroke  

Brief Project Description:  This study will examine the relationship between brain networks and functional behaviour in children with perinatal stroke who undergo a combination of intensive therapy coupled with brain stimulation to identify ways to optimize stroke recovery therapies. 

 

4. Dr. Julie Vaughan-Graham (Supervisor: Dr. Dina Brooks), Toronto Rehabilitation Institute -  University Health Network
Project Title: Integration of powered exoskeletons into post-stroke gait rehabilitation: Development of a novel training protocol 

Brief Project Description:  This study will explore the use of wearable powered exoskeletons in chronic stroke patients and will try to identify the facilitators and barriers to enable implementation beyond the clinic environment.

 

5. Dr. Chieh-ling Yang (Supervisor: Dr. Janice Eng), University of British Columbia
Project Title: Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a tool to uncover early neuroimaging predictors of motor and cognitive recovery following stroke

Brief Project Description:  This study will try to predict motor and cognitive recovery in subacute stroke patients using non-invasive real-time brain imaging. 
 
Graduate Students - PhD

1. Lucas Crosby (Supervisor: Dr. Kara Patterson), Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - University Health Network ***Top ranked application & winner of the 2018 Luc Vanneste PhD Graduate Student Award***
Project Title: Exploring how rhythmic abilities and self-perceptions shape gait symmetry post-stroke 

Brief Project Description:  This study will assess whether a person`s ability to recognize their own walking asymmetry after stroke can influence their ability to benefit from a promising walking intervention.

 

2. Adrianna Giuffre (Supervisor: Dr. Adam Kirton), University of Calgary 
Project Title: Modeling Traditional and High Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Children with Perinatal Stroke 

Brief Project Description:  This project will investigate two forms of brain stimulation in children with perinatal stroke in order to inform future stroke recovery interventions. 

 

3. Ronan Denyer (Supervisor: Dr. Lara Boyd), University of British Columbia 
Project Title: Neuroanatomical predictors of response to a bimanual robotic intervention in chronic stoke patients 

Brief Project Description:  This project will investigate brain network patterns following bimanual robotic therapy in chronic stroke patients to inform future therapies.

 

4. Sarah Gregor (Supervisor: Dr. Kara Patterson), Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - University Health Network
Project Title: Music training for people with stroke 

Brief Project Description: This study will assess whether a music training program can help improve walking ability in chronic stroke survivors.

Graduate Students - MSc

1. Saffire Krance (Supervisor: Dr. Walter Swardfager), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre 
***Top ranked application & winner of the 2018 Luc Vanneste MSc Graduate Student Award***

Project Title: Contributions of diabetes to cognitive decline; mediation by subcortical infarcts 

Brief Project Description:  This study will investigate the relationship between subcortical strokes and diabetes and its effect on cognition.

 

2. Angela Dykes (Supervisor: Dr. Dale Corbett; Co-supervisor Dr. Gergely Silasi), University of Ottawa
Project Title: Effect of remote ischemic conditioning on post-stroke motor recovery 

Brief Project Description:  This project will investigate whether a promising alternative therapy that mimics the benefits of exercise is effective in improving motor recovery in a rat model of stroke.

 

3. Alexa Keeling (Supervisor: Dr. Sean Dukelow), University of Calgary
Project Title: Understanding Rehabilitation Progression in a Robotic Rehabilitation Trial 

Brief Project Description:  This project will assess whether the time of initiation and intensity of a robotic rehabilitation therapy affects upper arm recovery following stroke.

 

4. Melissa Filadelfi (Supervisor: Dr. Gergely Silasi), University of Ottawa
Project Title: Assessing the functional and structural impact of cerebral microinfarction in the motor system of mice 

Brief Project Description:  This study aims to characterize the impact of tiny strokes on the motor system of mice.