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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. Translating knowledge into practice
  4. Promoting improved care and services

The partnership, led by Dr. Dale Corbett, scientific director and 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. Brian Levine, 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. Karen Mearow, researchers have extensive expertise in cellular and molecular models of stem cells and neural regeneration that complement laboratory models of stroke. Memorial researchers are using cellular and molecular approaches to understand how to promote neurogenesis and neural regeneration. Through identifying the pathways that regulate the survival of the neural precursor population and axonal regenerative process outgrowth, new targets may be revealed that can be manipulated to enhance brain repair following stroke. The MUN site is also known for excellence in clinical rehabilitation following stroke.

At Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, led by site leader Dr. William McIlroy, 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. It 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 Ottawa and Ottawa Health Research Institute, led by acting site leader Dr. Dale Corbett, researchers are developing potential biomarkers and therapeutic interventions for cognitive recovery post-stroke, in small vessel disease and in Alzheimer's disease. Stroke recovery would be greatly enhanced if scientists knew how to stimulate the growth of new brain cells to replace those lost as a result of stroke. Researchers in Ottawa 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.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

View our stroke resources for patients on the Sunnybrook website.