Research Chairs

Research chairs expand the horizons of rehabilitation science and showcase Toronto Rehab’s international leadership in rehabilitation research, provide a continuous and reliable source of income to fund research, and secure commitment between Toronto Rehab and renowned professionals within the rehabilitation science field.

Established with generous private donor support and a contribution from the University of Toronto, Toronto Rehab currently has six research chairs. For more information on how to fund a Research Chair at Toronto Rehab please contact Alex Vaccari, Vice President & Chief Development Officer at 416-597-3040.

Learn more about research at Toronto Rehab. 

Research Chairs at Toronto Rehab

Saunderson Family Chair in Acquired Brain Injury Research
Supporting research that focuses on the causes of brain injury, and the development and evaluation of rehabilitation treatments to improve recovery, this chair also enhances efforts to prevent head injuries, and to improve quality of life for people living with these injuries. 

Chair Holder: Dr. Mark Bayley

Toronto Rehab Chair in Cardiac Rehabilitation
Focusing on chronic disease management and rehabilitation through exercise therapy, education and lifestyle change, this Chair was funded through proceeds of the Toronto Rehab Foundation's annual On Track to Cardiac Recovery fundraising walk. 

Chairholder: Dr. David Alter

The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Chair at the University of Toronto
Research aimed at optimizing the health care system so that people receive the best rehabilitation care in the most efficient and cost-effective way is the focus of this Chair established through a partnership between Toronto Rehab and the University of Toronto. 

Chair Holder: Dr. Susan Jaglal

The Clifford Nordal Chair in Sleep Apnea and Rehabilitation Research
This Chair helps expand and accelerate specialized research, teaching and clinical work to improve diagnosis and develop new treatments surrounding this complex disorder. Care and quality of life are being enhanced while relieving the burden of sleep apnea and its cardiovascular complications on the health care system.  

Chairholder: Dr. T. Douglas Bradley

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research
Funded by Toronto Rehab Foundation, this Chair supports new important areas of investigation with potential to enhance the health and neurorecovery of individuals living with spinal cord injury.  

Chairholder: Dr. Cathy Craven

Barbara G. Stymiest Chair in Rehabilitation Technology Research
Supporting the development of innovative technologies and modifications to the environment that help people with disabilities manage more effectively, this Chair was made possible by donors to Everything Humanly Possible: The Campaign for Toronto Rehab.  Learn more about the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics team.

Chair Holder: Dr. Alex Mihailidis

Chair Bios

Dr. David Alter
Dr. Alter is a practicing cardiologist and a Senior Scientist in Toronto Rehab’s Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program. His research spans across many disciplines including cardiovascular health services and outcomes, clinical epidemiology and social determinants, cardiac rehabilitation and more recently, music and medicine. He has published over 125 scholarly peer reviewed papers in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Alter’s research has also garnered wide media and public attention, including studies that found that the Canadian healthcare system could save $100 million annually through increased participation in cardiac rehab, and that proved the amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death, regardless of regular exercise

Dr. Mark Bayley
Dr. Bayley is Medical Director of the Brain & Spinal Cord Rehab Program. As a Clinician-Scientist at Toronto Rehab and an Associate Professor in the division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Toronto, Dr. Bayley has made significant contributions to the treatment of brain injuries worldwide. He leads a variety of research projects that examine strategies to promote neurological recovery, and how to develop new models of clinical rehabilitation and knowledge translation. His belief in facilitating research in all aspects of clinical programming has led to the success of the Balance, Falls and Mobility Clinic, as well as the Upper Extremity Clinic, where both researchers and clinicians work together to provide exemplary patient care. 
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Dr. T. Douglas Bradley
Dr. Bradley is a Respirologist and Director of the Sleep Research Laboratories at University Health Network’s (UHN) Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Toronto General Hospital. He was appointed to the Clifford Nordal Chair in Sleep Apnea and Rehabilitation Research in 2013 and also holds the Godfrey S. Pettit Chair in Respiratory Medicine.  Dr. Bradley’s clinical and research work focuses on the causes and consequences of sleep apnea on cardiovascular diseases, especially heart failure, hypertension and stroke. He is helping Toronto Rehab lead the way in developing innovative new technologies and treatments to better equip us to respond to the growing number of people living with sleep apnea and its related health conditions. He holds several peer-reviewed grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. He has published over 250 papers and book chapters on sleep apnea and related topics. He is also a co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of a company, BresoTec Inc., that has developed a home sleep apnea monitoring device, BresoDx. Watch Video

Dr. Cathy Craven
Dr. Craven is a Senior Scientist, Team Leader of the Neural Engineering and Therapeutics (NET) Research Team and heads up the Central Patient Recruitment team at Toronto Rehab. She is an Associate Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She leads the field with her clinical and research expertise in the prevention and management of sublesional osteoporosis and health services for patients living with multi-morbidity after spinal cord injury. Dr. Craven leads the SCI-High project to develop and implement structure, process and outcome indicators of quality SCI rehabilitation care nationally by 2020, is Chair of the Rick Hansen Institute’s CARE Committee and founding Chair of the new Canadian Spinal Cord Injury – Rehabilitation Association (CSRI-RA) created to promote access and inclusion for individuals living with SCI. She has been Chair/Co-Chair of the National SCI Conference since its inception in 2004.  

Dr. Susan Jaglal
Dr. Jaglal is a Senior Scientist and the Optimization of the Rehabilitation System Team Leader at Toronto Rehab. She is a Full Professor in U of T’s Department of Physical Therapy with cross-appointments to the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science and Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and Dalla Lana School of Public Health. A Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences, she is a Senior Researcher at Women’s College Research Institute. She has a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. She is currently the Vice-President of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
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Dr. Alex Mihailidis
Dr. Mihailidis is Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto with a cross appointment to the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. He has been conducting research in the field of pervasive computing and intelligent systems in health, specifically focused on the development of intelligent home systems for elder care and wellness, technology for children with autism, and adaptive tools for nurses and clinical applications. Dr. Mihailidis is also Joint Scientific Director of AGE-WELL, the first Canadian network of researchers, community stakeholders and industry partners that will develop and commercialize new technology to keep older adults in their homes safely and longer. A biomedical engineer by training, Dr. Mihailidis holds a PhD in Biomedical/Rehabilitation Engineering from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. 
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For more information about the Research Chairs, please visit the UHN website.