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Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery

Established in 2002, the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery (CPSR) is a multi-disciplinary, multi-site research partnership including the following core partners:

Mission, Vision and Values:


A world where we restore the lives of everyone affected by stroke.


We restore quality of life to people affected by stroke by harnessing the collective expertise of leading national and international stroke recovery researchers to create, share and apply new knowledge.

Strategic Foci

  1. Conducting focused, high-impact research
  2. Developing long-term, mutually-beneficial partnerships
  3. Improving care and services through knowledge translation

The partnership, led by Dr. Dale Corbett, scientific director, and Katie Lafferty, CEO, capitalizes on the strengths of its partner institutions and develops synergies among them to maximize our ability to help stroke patients. Specifically, the partner institutions bring the following strengths and expertise.

At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, led by site leader Dr. Sandra Black, clinical researchers are known for their expertise in imaging and biomarkers. The site has a long history of excellence in developing and running clinical trials, and is currently devoting significant resources to the study of exercise and physical rehabilitation, an important focus of the CPSR's new strategic plan. The Sunnybrook site is also known for its work in the areas of neurophysiology, neurointervention, and brain-behaviour relationships (cognition and mood in overt and covert stroke). The site is also engaged in research into dementia (including interactions with Alzheimer's disease), stroke prevention and acute care.

At Baycrest, led by site leader Dr. Jed Meltzer, clinical researchers are known for their expertise in multimodal neuroimaging of cognitive and sensory function. This expertise helps researchers "see" into the brain to understand better neurological processes. Baycrest is also recognized for its work in development and application of advanced neural network analysis methods. Collection and sharing of data is a priority in modern neuroscience. Baycrest is a leader in neuroinformatics technologies synthesizing neuroimaging and behavioural data within and across multiple sites. Rehabilitation is vitally important for stroke survivors and people with brain injuries. Baycrest focuses on recovery and neurorehabilitation and sensory-motor speech, memory and executive functions.

At Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), led by site leader Dr. Michelle Ploughman, researchers have expertise in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation in stroke, cellular and molecular models of stem cells and neural regeneration. One major research focus is looking into the effects of aerobic exercise, intensive training paradigms and lifestyle habits on the brain challenged by injury such as stroke, disease and aging.

At Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network, led by site leader Dr. Liz Inness, researchers are revolutionizing rehabilitation by helping people overcome the challenges of disabling injury, illness or age-related health conditions to live active, healthier, more independent lives. Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network integrates innovative patient care, ground-breaking research and diverse education to build healthier communities and advance the role of rehabilitation in the health system.

At the University of British Columbia, led by site leader Dr. Lara Boyd, researchers are combining motor testing, cognitive testing, and neural imaging to examine how the human brain recovers from various types of injury and illness such as stroke. One focus is to develop innovative and effective rehabilitation interventions to improve functional abilities in people with stroke. UBC researchers are also investigating dynamic brain circuits and connections in health and disease including new imaging and optogenetic techniques.

At the University of Calgary, led by site leader Dr. Sean Dukelow, researchers use robotics to quantify and treat impairments resulting from neurological injury. In particular, they have done extensive work in sensorimotor deficits of stroke patients and have ongoing studies relating brain lesion location and neurological function using imaging technology. University of Calgary researchers are also applying neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation to measure and modulate the response of the developing brain to early injury to generate new therapies.

At the University of Ottawa and Ottawa Health Research Institute, led by site leaders Dr. Diane Lagacé and Dr. Dar Dowlatshahi, researchers are investigating ways to advance our understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain repair. Their work will lead to a better understanding of neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration and may suggest ways to harness these processes to enhance stroke recovery and brain health.

The CPSR is a collaboration of eminent scientists and clinicians with many years of experience in stroke-related research. Their scientific leadership is a major driving force for the focus and direction of the organization.

Scientists are learning how to help stroke survivors recover more quickly and completely through improvements in:

  • physical rehabilitation to restore physical functions, such as sitting, walking, gardening and playing sports
  • cognitive rehabilitation to restore mental functions such as planning, strategizing and remembering
  • cellular and molecular therapies to help recovery through brain repair and brain cell regeneration.

For queries and more information about research activities and current opportunities within Sunnybrook, contact Dr. Sandra Black, or visit the website.

We also have a new bilingual website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Visit our website to learn more about the partnership.

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View our stroke resources for patients on the Sunnybrook website.