Research Labs

Acquired Brain Injury Research

Angela Colantonio
We are an internationally recognized research lab that performs population-based epidemiological and smaller-scale, quantitative research. Our research addresses issues such as injury prevention, health service utilization and health service inequities among vulnerable populations, work-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) and return to work afterwards, girls and women with TBI, and the role of sex/gender on outcomes of ABI for adults, youth, and children.
Lab website

Cognition and Everyday Life

Deirdre Dawson
My research is concerned with optimizing occupational performance, that is, enabling persons to do the day-to-day activities they want to do, in adults and older adults with cognitive impairments (particularly executive function impairments) arising from stroke, acquired brain injury, and aging. My interests are in determining the factors that contribute to successful outcomes and in designing and testing rehabilitation programs that use these. I am also interested in characterizing the impact of executive function impairments in everyday life through the use of naturalistic, ecologically valid assessment and am pursuing research to understand how our interventions can be informed by errors made in performance and by strategies used in situ.

Community Integration and Resiliency

Emily Nalder
The CI&R lab explores issues of integration into the community following injury, acquired brain injury in particular. This includes examining outcome measures, transitions and turning points in the life course, resiliency and psychosocial factors influencing participation, as well as how technology can be utilized to deliver rehabilitation in the community and optimize community integration.

The work of Dr. Nalder and the Community Integration and Resiliency Lab is partially funded through the March of Dimes Paul J.J. Martin Early Career Professorship and a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Resiliency and Rehabilitation.

Community and Work Integration

Bonnie Kirsh
The Community & Work Integration Lab utilizes qualitative and mixed methods, and participatory research strategies to examine community and work participation for marginalized groups. The primary focus is on employment for people with mental health issues and other invisible disabilities, through developing evidence-based interventions at the individual, service, and policy levels. In addition, Dr. Kirsh’s research explores the efficacy of stigma reduction interventions, quality improvement in community mental health services, and return-to-work issues for injured workers.

Human Occupation from an Ecological Perspective

Helene Polatajko
The Human Occupation from an Ecological Perspective (HOEP) lab seeks to improve our understanding of human occupation and its enablement. The lab is especially concerned with applying a life span perspective to human occupation — seeking to understand how ages and stages intersect with occupation and environment to support occupational competence and engagement. The lab is home to professional masters students, doctoral stream students, post-doctoral fellows, and visiting professors. Projects include developing and testing treatment approaches to children with DCD, adolescents with dystonia and adults on dialysis, understanding living with Autism, and the sequelae of sexual assault from an occupational perspective.

Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems (IATSL)

Alex Mihailidis, Rosalie Wang
“We are a multi-disciplinary group of researchers with backgrounds in engineering, computer science, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and gerontology.

Our goal is to develop zero-effort technologies that are adaptive, flexible, and intelligent, to enable users to participate fully in their daily lives.”
Lab website

Knowledge Translation and Practice Context

Susan Rappolt

Promoting Effective Practice

Heather Colquhoun
The Promoting Effective Practice Lab is engaged in examining knowledge-user engagement, evidence-to-practice gaps, theory application, and audit and feedback systems. In addition, we explore outcome measurement, tailored interventions and intervention reporting, as well as scoping and systematic reviews.

Occupational Transitions and Inclusive Communities

Lynn Cockburn, Barry Trentham, Jill Stier
Examples of the research conducted by the OTIC lab include work with persons at risk for occupational loss and deprivation, and who may experience discrimination on various levels. This includes a focus on the impact of discrimination – including agism, heterosexism, abilism and racism – on occupational participation and engagement in everyday living, participatory action research in community settings with senior citizens and people living with chronic mental illness.
Lab website

Quality of Life Research Unit

Rebecca Renwick
Lab website

The Family Lab

Jill Cameron
The central focus of research activities in the Family Lab is family caregiving. In the context of age-related medical conditions, the aim of our research is to understand the experiences, impact, and needs of family members who take on the caregiving role. We use this information to develop and test models of care delivery to minimize the negative consequences of caregiving. The lab actively engages students undertaking MScOT, MSc, PhD, and post-doctoral research training.