March 7, 2017
Canada Foundation for Innovation awards clinician scientist Deryk Beal
Mohamed Lachemi (President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University), Minister Morneau, and BRI Clinician-Scientist Dr. Deryk Beal (second from the right).
The BRI is proud to announce that Dr. Deryk Beal, clinician-scientist and speech-language pathologist, has been awarded significant funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund, to support the purchase of neuromodulation equipment for his CONNECT Lab at Holland Bloorview.
On March 3, 2017, Ryerson University and the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, celebrated recipients of recent CFI grants from Toronto-area institutions. Dr. Beal was one of two researchers selected to represent the University of Toronto (receiving 19 CFI grants) at this important announcement.
Neuromodulation—the purposeful stimulation or alternation of activity in the brain—is an exciting new field attracting attention from researchers throughout Canada and across the world. The CFI award will allow for the purchase of safe, non-invasive equipment to develop and test new therapies that will benefit Holland Bloorview clients and inform the wider scientific and clinical communities. Neuromodulation may be the key to faster and more efficacious rehabilitation treatment. The CONNECT Lab intends to use tDCS (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation) and rTMS (repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) therapies—both funded by the grant—in this area of research.
The new equipment will place Holland Bloorview at the forefront of pediatric neuromodulation research in Ontario, with potential benefits for patients and for researchers and trainees. The CONNECT Lab will use the new brain stimulation devices to innovate and assess novel therapies for children with conditions ranging from speech and communication disorders, to acquired brain injury and autism, while fostering collaborations with professionals from these areas.
The equipment will also benefit research and clinical trainees, who will learn valuable skills in the growing fields of neuromodulation for rehabilitation and improved learning. As only the second pediatric hospital in Canada, and first in Ontario, with such a focus on neuromodulation, Holland Bloorview again leads the field in improving the lives of children and families with disabilities.