CanStroke Recovery Trials is the world’s first clinical trial platform dedicated exclusively to stroke recovery. CanStroke has the infrastructure to quickly and efficiently run stroke recovery trials across Canada. It’s the launching pad to test and evaluate innovative therapies, interventions and devices.
This multidisciplinary platform brings together research leaders with backgrounds in physiatry, neurology, neuropsychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, clinical epidemiology and neuroscience to lead large-scale, multi-site clinical trials to advance discovery and transform care.
Critical elements of the CanStroke platform include:
- harmonized training programs for coordinators and therapists;
- standardized outcome measures;
- procedures for data collection and management; and,
- communication mechanisms to share best practices and lessons learned.
The CanStroke platform has also helped investigators overcome common barriers to conducting stroke recovery trials. For example, recruitment for stroke recovery trials can often be challenging because some studies recruit days after a stroke, but some recruit several months or years post-stroke, depending on the intervention being studied. By conducting multiple studies at multiple time points on the CanStroke platform, investigators have ready access to “recruitment pathways”, or a broader pool of individuals over time, making recruitment significantly more efficient.
Since its establishment, CanStroke has gained attention worldwide. Research teams from around the world have approached the Canadian trials group because they know that a well-managed network and collaborative approach get the job done.
The CanStroke Recovery Trials (CSRT) Platform has a Steering Committee, Executive Committee and Management Committee. In addition, the CanStroke National Trainee Association, which is led by elected trainee co-chairs annually, runs on the CSRT platform.
The Steering Committee, led by Chair Dr. Sean Dukelow, University of Calgary, will provide broad oversight and leadership for the CSRT Platform.
Steering Committee members include:
- Chair – Dr. Sean Dukelow, University of Calgary/ Hotchkiss Brain Institute
- Site Leader Representatives – Representatives from participating sites
- NTA Trainee Representative from the CanStroke National Trainee Association – TBC
- Equity Diversity & Inclusion Advisor – TBC
- Pre-Clinical Advisor – Dr. Numa Dancause, Université de Montreal
- External Trial Advisor – Dr. Alexander Thiel, McGill University
- Stroke Community Advisors – TBC
About the Chair:
As CanStroke Principal Investigator and Chair, Dr. Sean Dukelow, MD, PhD, leads a team of the top stroke recovery researchers, clinicians and academics in Canada to design, develop, and implement game-changing clinical trials focused on new therapies and devices. In this role, Dr. Dukelow chairs both the platform’s Steering Committee and Executive Committee.
Dr. Dukelow is a physiatrist, neuroscientist, respected research leader, and professor at the University of Calgary/Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and serves as Medical Director of Stroke Rehabilitation for the Calgary Stroke Program. Dr. Dukelow’s core research involves better understanding and facilitating neural recovery and rehabilitation, with a key focus on developing robotic assessment and rehabilitation tools for use in stroke.
With CanStroke, Dr.Dukelow leads a team of the top stroke recovery researchers and academics at universities, hospitals and research centres across Canada. The CanStroke platform includes large and small academic centres and diverse populations.
Dr. Dukelow and the CanStroke team also collaborate with research networks and professional societies around the world, and promote global cooperation to advance stroke recovery.
Dr. Mark Bayley, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
Dr. Sandra Black, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
Dr. Sean Dukelow, University of Calgary/Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Calgary, AB, Canada
Dr. Janice Eng, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dr. Bradley MacIntosh, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
Dr. Marilyn Mackay-Lyons, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
Dr. Michelle Ploughman, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada
Dr. Courtney Pollock, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dr. Sepideh Pooyania, Riverview Health Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Dr. Brodie Sakakibara, UBC-Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada
Dr. Ada Tang, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Dr. Robert Teasell, Western University, London, ON, Canada
Dr. Nathanial Heinrichs, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Dr. Trish Helm-Neima, Island Health Integrated Services, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Dr. Catherine Mercier, CIUSS de la Capitale-Nationale, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada
Dr. Benjamin Ritsma, Providence Care Hospital, Kingston, ON, Canada
Dr. Stephen Scott, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
Dr. Nathania Liem, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor, ON, Canada
Dr. Jennifer Voth, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor, ON, Canada
Dr. Aleksander Tkach, Kelowna General Hospital, BC, Canada
Executive Committee, led by Chair Dr. Sean Dukelow, University of Calgary/Hotchkiss Brain Institute, will oversee the running of the Platform and report to the Steering Committee.
Executive Committee members include:
- Dr. Sean Dukelow (Chair) is a physiatrist, neuroscientist, respected research leader, and professor at the University of Calgary/Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and serves as Medical Director of Stroke Rehabilitation for the Calgary Stroke Program.
- Dr. Mark Bayley, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, is Program Medical Director and Physiatrist-in-Chief at UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Bayley has held a number of health system leadership roles and this work has helped to redesign rehabilitation systems in Canada. He has led large randomized controlled trials, and has implemented evidence at a health system level.
- Dr. Janice Eng is Canada Research Chair in Neurological Rehabilitation, Killam Professor in the University of British Columbia Department of Physical Therapy, and one of the most respected and recognized stroke recovery researchers in the world. Her work has had a global impact. Dr. Eng led the development of FAME, Fitness And Mobility Exercise program, for people living with stroke. She developed Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP), and she has mentored a generation of research leaders.
- Farrell Leibovitch, CSRT Platform Director.
Management, led by Platform Director Farrell Leibovitch, will be responsible for managing the activities of the platform and report to the Executive Committee. Reporting to the Platform Director will also be a Central Trial Coordinator, Business Manager, Training Events Manager, and a Database Manager.
Farrell Leibovitch is the Platform Director for CanStroke. Prior to taking on this role, he worked at the HSF Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery (CPSR) for more than 20 years – most recently as Director of Research and Training Programs. Mr. Leibovitch has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience and biology from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s degree from the Institute of Medical Sciences at U of T, where his research explored brain-behaviour relationships in stroke patients who were experiencing hemispatial neglect. Before joining CPSR, Mr. Leibovitch worked as a clinical trial coordinator in the area of stroke and dementia.
In addition to the platform director, the management team will also include a Central Trial Coordinator, Business Manager, Training Events Manager, and a Database Manager.
There are also clinical trials coordinators at each of the CanStroke sites who are working to recruit, screen, and liaise with participants. Each of the ongoing trials has site coordinators and these individuals, in turn, receive training and support from the CanStroke management team. To connect with a trial coordinator at any one of the CanStroke sites, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and your request will be directed to the appropriate person and applicable trial.