Dr. Christine Voss Physical Activity and the Clinical Management of Chronic Diseases in Children
Dr. Christine Voss is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is primarily based at the UBC Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in Kelowna in the BC Interior- a distributed site of the UBC Faculty of Medicine. She is also an Investigator with the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute and a Faculty member of the UBC Human Early Learning Partnership. Dr. Voss earned her doctorate from the University of Essex, UK (2010) and trained at UBC as a postdoctoral fellow (2011-2015). Dr. Voss’s overall research goals are to better understand how physical activity behaviours relate to current and long-term health outcomes in children in both clinical and community-based settings, and to identify strategies to improve physical activity participation in children. Dr. Voss’s research frequently utilizes a mixed methods approach involving state-of-the art technologies, with the aim to understand complex physical activity behaviours, particularly in at-risk pediatric populations in whom such insight might inform clinical care.
Dr. Elizabeth Confliffe Evaluating an Innovative Approach to Understanding the Development of Walking and Care for Children with Mobility Impairments
Dr. Elizabeth Condliffe’s clinical work and research are driven by an interest in supporting people with cerebral palsy and other causes of long-term neurodisabilities to live their best lives. She is clinician-scientist in the University of Calgary’s department of Clinical Neurosciences. She is the medial lead of the Youth Functional Independence Clinic at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and co-leads the Movement Impairment team of the RESTORE Network at the University of Calgary. She strives to ensure clinical interventions to promote neuroplastic change and reduce multisystem impacts of impairments throughout the lifespan. As a biomedical engineer, neurophysiololgist and physiatrist, the Pediatric Onset Neuromotor Impairment (PONI, @ponilabresearch) lab Dr. Condliffe leads uses technological innovations including robot-assisted gait training, neurophysiologic as well as clinical tools for assessment, rehabilitation and as assistive devices. Current projects involve robotic walking, power training, early intensive motor training, markerless motion analysis and the assessment of spasticity in individuals with cerebral palsy and other causes of movement impairments.
Dr. Orhan Selçuk Güven Advancing the Understanding and Diagnosis of Childhood Speech-Language Disorders Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Dr. Orhan Selçuk Güven is an Assistant Professor in the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the University of Montreal and a researcher at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre within the Brain and Child Development Axis, where he leads the Computational Speech-Language Pathology Laboratory (COALab). After earning his Ph.D., Dr. Güven pursued postdoctoral research at Purdue University in the Department of Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences. He then continued his academic journey as a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University's School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, followed by another postdoctoral research position at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, IVADO, at the University of Montreal. Dr. Güven's primary focus is on gaining a deep understanding of developmental speech and language disorders and speech-language impairments found in different neurodevelopmental disorders. With the support of the New Investigator Grant, Dr. Güven aspires to make significant advancements in our understanding of the complexities and underlying mechanisms of speech and language disorders in children. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, his meticulous investigation into the intricacies of these disorders has the potential to revolutionize their diagnosis and treatment, ushering in the era of precision medicine in this field. Ultimately, his goal is to enhance the quality of life for children with speech and language disorders and equip healthcare professionals with enduring resources to create a lasting impact.
Dr. Priyanka Pundir The Role of Mrgprs in Atopic Dermatitis Skin Inflammation
Dr. Priyanka Pundir is an immunologist who holds the position of Assistant Professor within the College of Biological Science at the University of Guelph. After completing her DVM and PhD training, Dr. Pundir continued to pursue her research in immunology as a postdoctoral CIHR Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. During this period, her research revolved around using cutting-edge mouse and microbial genetics to delve into the mechanisms by which the host detects interbacterial communication and tailors an effective immune response. Dr. Pundir made significant contributions by identifying the pivotal role played by a large family of G protein-coupled receptors, known as Mrgprs, in eradicating bacteria and bestowing protective immunity. In March 2022, Dr. Pundir joined the University of Guelph to lead the research program focused on host-pathogen interactions. Within her laboratory, custom-designed transgenic mouse lines are employed to investigate the intricate cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern host-microbe interactions in both normal homeostasis and disease states. Her New Investigator Research Grant is dedicated to exploring the involvement of orphan Mrgprs in skin inflammation, particularly in conditions such as atopic dermatitis, which poses a significant health challenge within the pediatric population.
Dr. Raquel Cuella Martin Genome Editing Technologies Applied to LSFC: Exploring Therapeutic Avenues and Improving Diagnostics in Canada
Dr. Raquel Cuella Martin is an Assistant Professor in Functional Genomics in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Oxford (2014-2018), where she unravelled a mechanism of positive regulation contributing to p53-dependent tumor suppression. In her postdoctoral work as an EMBO fellow at Columbia University in New York (2018-2021), she leveraged CRISPR-dependent base editing to conduct genetic screens at nucleotide resolution and functionalize DNA variants at scale. In 2022, Dr. Cuella Martin joined McGill to lead the Functional Genomics axis of the CERC of Genomic Medicine and develop a research program addressing outstanding mechanistic questions in the DNA damage response and its association with rare disorders through cutting-edge large-scale precision genome editing. Through collaboration with her colleague and co-applicant Dr. Bhérer, she learned about the genetics and mechanism underlying Leigh Syndrome French Canadian (LSFC), a rare disorder prevalent in Québec. In her New Investigator Grant, Dr. Cuella Martin is developing genome editing-based strategies to identify targeted therapeutics for LSFC. Supported by the LSFC Consortium, the Family Association (AAL) and clinicians treating LSFC patients, Dr. Cuella Martin and Dr. Bhérer are dedicated to addressing this unmet medical need in Canada and bringing therapy to LSFC patients.
Dr. Samantha Wilson Detangling maternal and placental origins of early and late onset preeclampsia
Dr. Samantha Wilson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University. Dr. Wilson completed her PhD in Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia (2018), focusing on characterizing placental genomic and epigenomic profiles. She subsequently completed her postdoctoral training at the University Health Network - Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (2022) focusing on further developing her computational biology and bioinformatics training. Her postdoctoral research worked on developing spike-in controls for epigenomics studies in order to mitigate technical and batch effects in the data. This work led to joining McMaster University (2022) with her research program focusing on using multi-omics approaches to understand placenta and pregnancy development and develop non-invasive methods to predict pregnancy complications before they occur.