Improving Personalized Health-care through Artificial Intelligence.

Monday, June 7, 2021 - 9:00 to 10:00 A.M.

AI and Machine learning offer many powerful new methods for automatically discovering and optimizing treatment strategies. In this talk I will review some of the most recent advances in AI, including deep learning, reinforcement learning and generative models. I will also examine promising methods to improve treatment planning using AI. Examples will be drawn from several past and ongoing research projects on developing new treatment strategies for chronic and life-threatening diseases, including epilepsy and cancer.

Bilingual presentation

My name is Institutional Suitability. I am twenty years old.

Monday, June 7, 2021 - 12:40 to 1:40 P.M.

Since the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR) was created to promote interdisciplinary approaches and sustained exchanges between researchers, it was obvious that many research projects would bring together researchers from different institutions and more than one university. This raised the question of the ethics review of a myriad of multi-centre projects. According to the legal and administrative standards applicable at the time of the creation of CRIR, a researcher had to obtain the approval of the research ethics board (REB) of his or her university and that of the REB of each institution that would host the project. This corridor of multiple reviews would cause considerable inconvenience to the process and substance of ethics reviews. An avenue with a simple procedure that would promote excellence in ethics review and protection of research subjects was needed.

The search for a solution led to the creation of the first joint REB in Quebec. The idea was to centralize the ethics review of projects that were totally or partially implemented within one of the CRIR institutions. The Board of Directors of each CRIR institution adopted a resolution designating this joint REB as its REB, hence the name REB of CRIR institutions. There was one remaining issue. Since the ethics review would be centralized, it would be virtually impossible for the joint REB to assess the feasibility and relevance of all projects in the context of each institution. This is where institutional suitability comes in. I had the good fortune to imagine the concept of institutional suitability in the week of November 26, 2001. Since its inception, institutional suitability has evolved and is now applied throughout Quebec. CRIR has been an eminent innovator in research, in its arrangement of research ethics and in its implementation of institutional suitability.

French presentation

  • Michel T. Giroux

    Michel T. Giroux

    Director of the Institut de consultation et de recherche en éthique et en droit (ICRED) and President of the Research Ethics Board (REB) of the CRIR's institutions.

    Michel T. Giroux is a lawyer and a doctor of philosophy. Mr. Giroux is the director of the Institut de consultation et de recherche en éthique et en droit (ICRED), an organization he founded in Quebec City in 1996.

    A consultant in health law and ethics, Mr. Giroux is a member of the Clinical and Teaching Ethics Committee of the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale and of the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ). He is also president of the research ethics committee of the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR), president of the research ethics committee of Genizon Biobank at Génome Québec and a member of the permanent steering committee of the Service d'évaluation des risques de transmission d'infections hématogènes dans la prestation des soins de santé (SERTIH). Mr. Giroux teaches the course Ethics and Public Health, a seminar for graduate students, at the Faculty of Medicine of Laval University.

    Among his past occupations, Mr. Giroux worked in public health ethics as vice-president of the Comité de biovigilance du Québec for 19 years. He also worked in research ethics and organizational ethics for 16 years as an ethics advisor for the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec.

    His current work in clinical ethics focuses on the notion of appropriateness in health interventions. He also conducts extensive research on social justice in health and social services practices, particularly in public health. Mr Giroux has just published, with eight contributors, a book entitled À la rencontre de la relation d’aide difficile. Approches inspirantes pour les professionnels de la santé et des services sociaux.


Life after a SCI... Fulfilling or Boring?

Monday, June 7, 2021 - 7:00 to 8:00 P.M.


I will be speaking about my life experiences beginning with the worst year of my life 2012. My marriage ended violently, my father left and I was paralyzed. How could my life possibly go on? Let me tell you a story of re-discovery, depression, strength, resilience, creativity, and advocacy. I turned my biggest tragedy into a huge triumph that is now helping hundreds of Albertans living with neurologic conditions. I talk about starting a non profit organization, ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre where we reconnect the brain to the body, retrain the nervous system and redefine what is possible. I am unconventional, motivating, inspiring and most importantly FUN!

Registration required
After register, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the conference.

  • Bean Gill

    Bean Gill

    Cofounder & Executive Director at ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre.

    Bean Gill worked as an x-ray technologist when she was paralyzed by a virus in July 2012. Now happily divorced and running a growing non profit organization called ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre she is changing the way the public sees people with disabilities. She advocates for equality in ALL aspects and uses her loud voice to raise awareness. Some of her accolades include: Global's Woman of Vision award, Top 40 Under 40, RBC's Women of Influence Award and she is the reigning Miss Wheelchair Canada.....a few steps forward in her plan to change the world❤️
    ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre

Poster | Public lecture

Bean Gill: Life after a SCI... Fulfilling or Boring?

Moving Beyond Standardized Care in Stroke Rehabilitation.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 9:00 to 10:00 A.M.

Moving Beyond Standardized Care in Stroke Rehabilitation: Developing an Evidence-Driven Framework to Improve Targeted Rehabilitation Outcomes Along the Time Continuum.

Standardization of first principles has transformed stroke rehabilitation in developed countries and helped to guide the appropriate allocation of resources to ensure better outcomes for patients. The result is stroke rehabilitation remains a largely one-size-fits-all approach, which is then modified by clinicians based on stroke severity, deficits and clinical experience. Although there is strong support for one-on-one basic stroke rehabilitation therapies which are high intensity and task-specific, there is little clinical consensus as to the use of adjunct therapies, despite strong research evidence of therapeutic efficacy; as a result these adjunct therapies are underutilized.

Up to June 30, 2020 there have been 1,125 RCTs published in English studying interventions to improve stroke related impairment of the affected upper extremity. Of these, conventional therapeutic approaches, which constitute standardized stroke rehabilitation care, account for 102 RCTs or less than 10%. A further 95 RCTs are of interventions used to treat complications of spasticity and pain. The remaining over 900 RCTs have studied adjunct interventions which are rarely used, or at best underutilized. We believe the next step is better utilizing additional adjunct therapies to augment recovery using a framework that will intuitively appeal to clinicians. One such framework is to divide adjunct stroke rehabilitation interventions of the upper extremity into two distinct approaches; 1) treatments that specifically prime or stimulate the brain; 2) treatments that facilitate motor activities physically or at a peripheral level.

As well, there is very little direction for clinicians as to which adjunct therapy is the most effective and when post stroke. Network meta-analyses, using particular outcome measures of interest (our example will be the Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity motor assessment – a measure of motor impairment) allows one to predict using existing data and conventional care comparators, which therapeutic adjuncts are likely to be the most effective in changing that outcome and at what point in the patient’s recovery.

This approach builds on the standardized care approach and allows the integration of underutilized but well researched treatments into clinical care to further improve clinical outcomes. This is even more important as we try to determine how to best integrate new technologies into clinical care and provides an important focus of future research.

  • Robert Teasell, Ph.D.

    Robert Teasell, Ph.D.

    Research Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Research Institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care London.

    Dr. Robert Teasell is Professor, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, former Chair-Chief and current Research Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is Medical Director of the Stroke Rehabilitation Program, Parkwood Institute, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and Clinical Researcher with Lawson Health Research Institute, Parkwood Institute Research. Dr. Teasell has authored over 350 peer-reviewed articles and has been involved with over $21 million of research funding. Dr. Teasell has won several awards including recently the 2018 Lawson Health Research Institute Impact Scientist of the Year Award, the 2018 Post-Acute Stroke Award of Excellence from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the National Stroke Association (U.S.) and the 2019 Glen E. Gresham Visiting Professorship and Lecture in Rehabilitation Science. He has supervised a number of graduate students and since 2014, 3 research team members have won the Lawson Leadership Impact Award (best graduate student at Lawson Institute) and 3 have become Vanier Scholars.

    His research interests center around Clinical Application of Best Evidence in Neurorehabilitation utilizing the Evidence-Based Reviews and associated evidence-based Guidelines. He is principal investigator and editor of the internationally acclaimed Stroke Rehabilitation Evidence-Based Review (going into its 20th edition), Acquired Brain Injury Evidence-Based Review (now 13th edition) and co-editor of Spinal Cord Injury Evidence-Based Review (6 editions). He has been Co-Chair of the Canadian Best Practice Guidelines Committee in Stroke Rehabilitation 6th update. Dr. Teasell is a member of a Canadian Stroke Rehab Clinical Trials group. He is also involved in research determining the role of Obsessive Personality Traits in coping with Chronic Pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Post Concussion Syndrome and Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injuries and how that influences, chronicity, anxiety, stress, depression, disability and use of opioid medications.

Building Capacity for Inclusive Vision Sciences Research in Canada

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 9:00 to 10:00 A.M.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in vision sciences research is most often considered through the lens of recruitment of research participants, or the engagement of volunteers in research advisory committees. Unfortunately, this viewpoint does not reflect the breadth of engagement that persons with disabilities may have in research. CNIB’s Research and IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) Teams have a joint mandate to collaborate with partners in vision sciences research to understand the lived experience and measures of inclusion of persons who are blind, Deafblind and partially sighted in Canada; to conduct research into accessibility and inclusion; and, to lead by example in carrying out inclusive and accessible research.

Inclusive research involves fostering opportunities for researchers with disabilities to engage in all stages of research (planning, recruitment, data collection, analysis, interpretation, publication); providing a training environment for the next generation of researchers with disabilities; providing researchers without disabilities the skillset and tools to carry out research in respectful and inclusive ways; providing opportunities for researchers with disabilities to fully participate in meetings and conferences; and developing and utilizing inclusive tools and data collection approaches.

Over the previous four years, CNIB’s Research and IDEA Teams have worked together to build an international collaborative and inclusive research infrastructure, culminating in being awarded a grant to build an evidence-based universal design framework for employment standards in Canada. We have undertaken more than 15 research projects focused on employment and education outcomes, guide dog use, technology use, access to healthcare, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons with visual impairments in Canada. Moreover, we have undertaken a set of detailed analyses of census level data via the Canadian Survey on Disability 2017, to understand the social determinants of health and measures of social inclusion for people with sensory disabilities in Canada. Moreover, we have established a training infrastructure for students and postdocs living with and without disabilities, with a particular focus on teaching researchers without disabilities the principles of inclusive research.

In my presentation, I will highlight our accomplishments and findings to date, as well as contextualize the importance of our ongoing work. I will also offer a vision for inclusive vision sciences research in Canada.

  • Mahadeo Sukhai Ph.D. (he/him)

    Mahadeo Sukhai Ph.D. (he/him)

    Director of Research and Chief Inclusion and Accessibility Officer Canadian National Institute for the Blind | Assistant Professor (Adjunct) Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Queens University

    Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai is the world’s first congenitally blind biomedical research scientist. Dr. Mahadeo is Director of Research and Chief Inclusion and Accessibility Officer for the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), having previously served as a researcher at the University Health Network in Toronto. In his role at CNIB, Dr. Mahadeo leads a significant research program focused on social determinants of health and inclusion for people living with sight loss in Canada. He also is responsible for organizational employee culture-building strategy related to inclusion, accessibility and employee wellness. Dr. Sukhai is the Principal Investigator for and co-author of "Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences," a book based on his groundbreaking work on access to science within higher education, and serves as the principal investigator for national projects to understand the student experience for persons with disabilities, and to examine accessibility and inclusion within science education and healthcare. Dr. Sukhai co-founded IDEA-STEM, an organization dedicated to accessibility in science education, and NOVA, the international Network of researchers with Visual impairments and their Allies, a new professional society with the mission to improve accessibility and inclusion in the biomedical sciences for researchers with vision loss.

    Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

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