Our multidisciplinary team includes world leaders from across Canada. Our 13 core researchers include established scholars and trainees with strong research records and over 1200 collective publications. This research program builds from a history of successful collaboration between key team members. Drs. Krassioukov, Craven and Ditor served together in the Canadian Cardiovascular Working Group (2006), initiated by the Rick Hansen Foundation to outline research priorities for cardiovascular function following spinal cord injury (SCI). Drs. Craven, Ditor, Hicks and MacDonald have collaborated extensively to examine the cardiovascular effects of exercise after SCI. This research program will harness the combined expertise of our researchers for a targeted approach to the problem of cardiovascular health in Canadians with chronic SCI.
Recent work of our team members has had national and international impact on cardiovascular health and exercise after SCI. Dr. Krassioukov chairs the International Autonomic Committee established by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS). Through his leadership, the Committee developed international autonomic standards for SCI assessment which are being implemented around the world. Drs. Hicks and Martin Ginis recently developed Canadian guidelines for exercise after SCI, the first evidence-based guidelines available. As the Director of SCI Action Canada, Dr. Martin Ginis is a pivotal player in Canadian knowledge translation for SCI.
Numerous centres across Canada have developed expertise in exercise physiology and cardiovascular dysfunction following SCI. Despite numerous attempts by our team members to collaborate on various projects, the majority of this work has taken place in isolation. This team program unites Canadian expertise in an attempt to minimize redundancy in research and expedite the translation of research findings into clinical practice. Clinical co-investigators Eng and Lam (UBC) are clinician–scientists with expertise in human exercise and locomotor physiology. Drs. Ginis, Hicks, MacDonald and Ditor are internationally-recognized leaders in exercise physiology, BWSTT, and cardiovascular physiology. This group was instrumental in the development of the latest Canadian guidelines for physical activities for individuals with SCI. Our Toronto team includes a clinician scientist and physiatrist with expertise in SCI (Craven), and a clinician-scientist with expertise in rehabilitation interventions (Verrier).
Together, we have created a unified research strategy and systematic approach that brings together key people, equipment and facilities across Canada in a synergistic and integrated way to explore creative and novel solutions for crucial cardiovascular health-related problems for individuals with chronic SCI.
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