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CV: Dr. Marina Wasilewski

December 3, 2019

Meet the newest rehabilitation research scientist at Sunnybrook’s St. John’s Rehab.

Bio basics: Marina is a scientist in the St. John’s Rehab Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI). She completed her MSc and PhD in rehabilitation science at the University of Toronto and a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Toronto and Saint Elizabeth Health Care. Marina joined Sunnybrook in October 2019.

What is your attraction to rehabilitation?

To me, rehabilitation is all about helping people live the highest quality life possible in the face of injury and chronic disease. To be a small part of someone’s recovery and reintegration is so fulfilling.

How did you become interested in research?

I think I have always been a researcher at heart. I was the kid that asked “why” a million times over and always looked forward to school projects that required trips to the library. As I completed my undergraduate education, I thought I wanted to become a physician but the attraction to asking questions and digging around for answers won out.

What is your research focus?

My research is focused on optimizing the health and well-being of patients and families by leveraging social and peer support while they are in the hospital and as they transition back into the community. The ultimate goal of my research is to keep people outside of the hospital and to have them reintegrate into their communities as best as possible.

What would you say some of the biggest challenges are in your field?

There are a number of challenges facing the field at the moment. Some of the biggest ones include supporting family caregivers in the important role they play in people’s recovery and meaningfully engaging both patients and families in the research we undertake.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I am working on developing a printed brochure that provides patients and families with information about engaging in rehabilitation research, why it is important, and how they can participate. I am also laying the foundation for some future work on peer support programming for patients who have suffered a traumatic injury and their family caregivers.

How do you unwind after a long week of work?

Weekends are prime time for family activities, lazy brunches, walks with our dog, and catching up on TV shows.

If you weren’t a scientist, how would you fill your days?

I think I realized too late in life that I am actually interested in the culinary world! If I weren’t a scientist, you would find me in the kitchen cooking and baking up a storm.