STAFF

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Mohammad Alavinia PhD, MSc, MPH
Biostatistician II / Knowledge Translation Officer

As a biostatistician, I collaborate on different projects at Lyndhurst and Rumsey Cardiac Rehabilitation centre, including creating a risk score for fragility fracture and preventing falls among individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. I also joined the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as Knowledge Translation Officer to help medical residents plan, manage, and implement practical and innovative research projects.

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Lindsie Blencowe HBSc, MSc, CCRA, PhD(c)
Clinical Research Coordinator

I have been with the team since 2007. Most patients and staff at Lyndhurst know me for my role in coordinating our bone research programs, particularly the Bone Quality cohort study. Currently, I also co-coordinate the RoBaCO trial. This clinical trial aims to determine if rosuvastatin (a cholesterol medication) would be a safe and effective therapy for osteoporosis and cardiometabolic disease risk after spinal cord injury. My research interests are focused on the biochemical changes which contribute to osteoporosis and endocrine metabolic disease.

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Louise Brisbois HBA
Research Manager, Clinical Research Coordinator

I manage the Research Central Recruitment department which provides recruitment services to scientists for all inpatient based studies at TRI. Our team serve as liaisons between patients, clinicians, and researchers to enable patients to engage with research in a voluntary and fully informed way. I am responsible for the Research Volunteer Pool study (check out our new webpage here https://kite-uhn.com/rvp ). I am also the site coordinator for the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR) study.

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Andrea Brown BSc
Patient Research Liason

I serve as a bridge between our patients and researchers in the Spinal Cord Injury units of Toronto Rehab. Through me, patients can learn about and engage in research, and researchers are introduced to eligible patients willing to participate in their studies. The Central Recruitment department recently launched the Research Volunteer Pool (RVP). I am responsible for recruiting current and former patients to become members of the RVP so they can remain connected to research, and our researchers to them, for future research opportunities. Ask me about Centralized Recruitment and the RVP!

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Betty Chan HBSc
Grants & Accounts Finance Lead

My primary role on the Neural Engineering and Therapeutics Team at KITE includes overseeing and managing financial activities on grants held by the NET Team scientists

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Parvin Eftekahr OT PhD
Affiliate Scientist

I am an Occupational Therapist by training, Affiliate Scientist, KITE Research Institute and Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto. I have been a practicing occupational therapist since 2001 with areas of expertise in neuro-rehabilitation with a focus on Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury and Acquired Brain Injury. I have been practicing advanced, evidence-based interventions to treat and manage spasticity, with an emphasis on restoring function and improving quality of life. My research interest areas are neuromodulation (sEMG, NMES/FES) coupled with traditional rehabilitation modalities such as exercise, massed practice, splinting/serial casting after upper limb paralysis or nerve transplant in individuals with Stroke or SCI. 

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Farnoosh Farahani HBSc, CCRP
Clinical Research Coordinator

As the evaluation manager for the Spinal Cord Injury Implementation & Evaluation Quality Care Consortium (SCI IEQCC), I am involved with overseeing the evaluation of prioritized quality improvement initiatives across SCI rehabilitation programs in Ontario and beyond. I also manage the operational activities of the network and liaise with content experts for the implementation of best practices. In addition, I am the manager for the SCI-High Project and support the engagement and collaboration of national stakeholders (clinicians, researchers, administrative leaders, policy makers, patients, and community partners) to facilitate the development of consensus-derived indicators across 11 domains of rehabilitation. I am interested in bringing evidence based knowledge into practice to advance quality of care for individuals living with SCI

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Lisa Fong HBSc
Administrative Assistant

I am an Administrative Assistant, on the Neural Engineering and Therapeutics Team at KITE, Toronto Rehab - University Health Network. I provide a variety of support to the NET Team scientists, staff and students.

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Sharon Gabison BSc, BScPT, MSc, PhD
Collaborator

I am the Hallisey Affiliate Scientist in Pressure Injury and Home Care Research with the Engineering Health Team at Toronto Rehab - UHN. I am a collaborator within the CravenLab. My research in spinal cord injury and pressure injuries (also known as “bed sores”) along with my clinical background as a Physical Therapist with additional training in wound care and patient-oriented research has led to my interest in the development of technology and tools to support individuals at risk of developing pressure injuries and the caregivers who support them. I am focused on ensuring that the inter-disciplinary research that I engage in involves a co-design approach, actively engaging end users throughout the research cycle. My overall objective is to improve the lives of those at risk of or living with pressure injuries and the caregivers who support them through the development of tools and technologies.

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Hamed Hami
Research Volunteer

I have been a Research Volunteer working with the CravenLAB for 2 years now. I assist with data cleaning and analysis on a variety of projects. 

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David Houston R Kin, MSc
Patient Research Liaison

I joined the team in September 2021. As a Patient Research Liaison, I am responsible for presenting research opportunities to inpatients admitted to the Stroke & Brain Rehab Programs, screening interested individuals screen patients for eligibility to participate in ongoing studies, and ensuring that access to patients for research purposes is fair and equal among the various investigators at Toronto Rehab. In addition to this role, I am also a Clinical Research Coordinator for Dr. Anthony Burns where I conduct research related to quality of life following spinal cord injury

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Suban Kangatharan, BSc, RKin
Research Associate

I am a Registered Kinesiologist (RKin) by background and I joined Dr. Craven’s research team in October 2021. My role involves patient-facing data collection for the RIISC cardiometabolic project, questionnaire management, and providing feedback and educational resources to patients living with spinal cord injury/disease regarding their cardiometabolic health.

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Masae Miyatani BEd, MSc, PhD
Clinical Research Coordinator

Currently, I am responsible for coordinating the RoBaCO trial (Efficacy and Safety of Rosuvastatin for Modifying Bone Mass and Cardiometabolic Disease Outcomes: RoBaCO). I have been involved in several cardiometabolic health related clinical trials such as Cardiovascular Health / Outcomes: Improvements Created by Exercise and education in SCI (CHOICES), and the Whole Body Vibration and Passive Standing Therapy (WAVE) study. 

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Maryam Omidvar PharmD, MSc
Research Associate

I am an associate working as the site major data master for Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR) doing data abstraction. I also contribute to the SCI-High project performing systematic search and converting the available literature to cause & effect driver diagrams to be used for the development of quality of care indicators. My main area of interest and expertise is conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Ask me about the RHSCIR study.

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Nahid Raja MRT-N, CDT
Medical Radiation Technologist - DXA Lab

I am a Nuclear Medicine Technologist and am working with the Cravenlab at the Lyndhurst centre as a DXA Lab Tech. I perform Bone Mineral Density (BMD) scans for people with spinal cord injuries and other neurological problems. I have been associated with a number of research studies like Choices, Bone Cohort, Bone Fragility study and am currently working with the RoBaCO trial scanning the whole body, spine, hip and the knee.

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Julia Rybinka BSc, BA, MSc
Patient Research Liason

I joined the Craven Lab in 2017 as a Patient Research Liaison (PRL) with the Central Recruitment Department. My role entails ensuring equal access to research opportunities for inpatients, specifically the Geriatrics, Musculoskeletal and Complex and Continuing Care units. I am responsible for introducing, screening and enrolling patients into available research studies as well as the Research Volunteer Pool. Aside from my PRL role, I am also involved in various projects including C2ARE and the SCI Peripheral Nerve Transfer Program. In my spare time I enjoy reading, hiking, podcasting and training for triathlons.

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Lori Wong BSc MRT(N) CDBT

Medical Radiation Technologist - DXA Lab

I am one of the medical radiation technologists with Dr. Craven’s research team and a member of Bone Density Lab in the Lyndhurst Centre of Toronto Rehab.  My training was done at the University of Toronto and the Michener Institute with a clinical year spent at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.  I thoroughly enjoy being a part of the Toronto Rehab team, and I value the patient interactions that have been forged throughout the years.  I find the research endeavors exciting and look forward to contributing to the team in any way that I can. 

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