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Holland Bloorview and the University of Toronto give opportunity for two early investigators to take their research to the next level

Announced earlier this month, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview) along with the University of Toronto’s Vice-Provost of Relations with Health Care Institutions is excited to appoint Drs. Melanie Penner as the new Bloorview Children's Hospital Foundation (BCHF)Chair in Developmental Paediatrics, and Nick Reed as the Holland Family Chair in Acquired Brain Injury.

Holland Bloorview prides itself in its capacity to advance the work of early career investigators that will help to create a world of no boundaries for all kids and their families. The appointments mark a significant step for both investigators, in the support of their critical and impactful research programs that will ultimately impact the lives of kids, youth, and their families across the globe.

Dr. Melanie Penner appointed BCHF Chair in Developmental Paediatrics

Dr. Melanie Penner, clinician investigator and developmental paediatrician, Holland Bloorview, will continue to advance the field of developmental paediatrics as the new Bloorview Children's Hospital Foundation (BCHF) Chair in Developmental Paediatrics.

“As a physician, research is a critical part of my career. I’ve always wanted to take it one step further and generate some of the research evidence myself. I’m excited to take on this new role with the amazing opportunity to not only address current system challenges and evidence gaps but also think proactively about how we plan what our future health systems will look like for kids and families with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders,” says Dr. Penner.

Dr. Penner began her career at Holland Bloorview as a paediatric resident in 2009, and then as a developmental paediatrics subspecialty resident in 2011. She has been on staff at Holland Bloorview since 2015. Since then, she’s received a prestigious Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant to study diagnostic accuracy of general paediatricians for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses, and co-leads Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Autism – a distance-learning program that trains community health providers in best-practice care for autism.

Dr. Penner is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine (Department of Paediatrics) at the University of Toronto, and at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, where she completed her masters in health services research.

At Holland Bloorview, Dr. Penner’s program of research focuses on optimal service delivery for children and youth with neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically ASD. To date, her research has shown little evidence to guide current diagnostic models and aims to build the empirical evidence needed to inform clinical guidance and policy development.

Through her new leadership role, Dr. Penner is excited to combine her clinical experiences with research to help improve the quality of care that children with ASD receive in the community, and outcomes and experiences of families with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Nick Reed appointed Holland Family Chair in Acquired Brain Injury

Dr. Nick Reed, senior clinician scientist, Holland Bloorview’s research institute will continue to lead scholarly activity in the area of pediatric acquired brain injury (ABI) as the new Holland Family Chair in Acquired Brain Injury for a five-year term.

"On behalf of the Bloorview Research Institute, we congratulate Dr. Reed on this well-deserved achievement. His passion, dedication, and commitment to advancing scientific knowledge in paediatric acquired brain injury over the last five years is truly exemplary. I am very pleased that the selection committee recognized Dr. Reed's manifold contributions, and look forward to the continued success of his research program," says Tom Chau, vice-president, research, Holland Bloorview.

Dr. Reed joined Holland Bloorview in 2013 as a clinician-scientist. In a very short time, he established a robust, externally-funded research program with many scholarship-touting graduate students, an impressive network of research collaborators, award-winning knowledge translation products, and a strong pipeline of peer-reviewed scientific publications.

In addition, Dr. Reed has assumed several leadership roles at Holland Bloorview, including scientific co-lead of the Centre for Leadership in Acquired Brain Injury and co-directorship of Holland Bloorview's Concussion Centre.

Dr. Reed's primary academic appointment is with the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto, where he is an associate professor. He holds a graduate school appointment through the University of Toronto's Rehabilitation Sciences Institute.

At Holland Bloorview, Dr. Reed’s program of research is founded upon meeting the immediate clinical and educational needs of kids and families impacted by concussion. It aims to disrupt the traditional refrain to move evidence into practice, and offer a deeper exploration of how to treat concussion in children and youth.

Congratulations, Dr. Penner and Dr. Reed!