Student Feature: Danielle DuPlessis

Sep 24, 2019

The RSI Student Feature introduces you to some of the interesting people studying in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. From leaders in rehabilitation sciences research to providing care to Toronto’s most vulnerable populations, our students are making an impact on communities at home and around the world.

Do you have an interesting story to share? Fill out our New Student Feature Form or please contact

Danielle DuPlessis

Year & Program: 1st Year MSc
Supervisor(s): Shannon Scratch & Elaine Biddiss

Q. What is your area of research?

My research is focused on neurocoginitive rehabilitation following concussion in children. Specifically, we will be looking at ways to use technology to support clinicians in making evidence-based return-to-play decisions.

Q. What drew you to the field of rehabilitation sciences?

I was drawn to the field of rehabilitation sciences because of how it intersects with my personal and educational interests. From a personal standpoint, as a wheelchair basketball athlete, the importance of rehabilitation is constantly highlighted. The emphasis that RSI places on an interdisciplinary approach also aligns with my own experience of rehabilitation. From an educational perspective, I am excited to keep following my passion for learning about the mind and brain through the collaborative program in neuroscience at RSI.

Q. Why did you choose to pursue your studies in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto?

I was drawn to rehabilitation sciences because of how we are able to take an interdisciplinary approach to our studies, interacting with professionals from diverse fields. As someone who is still figuring out what I want to do as a career, I am looking forward to spending time with researchers, engineers, doctors, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists during my project. I am excited to gain an idea of where I would ultimately like to work, while pursuing my educational passions in rehabilitation and cognitive neuroscience.

Q. What advice would you give to prospective RSI students?

I think it is so important to follow your gut and put yourself out there! If you see a supervisor whose work seems interesting, reach out-- you never know who might be looking for someone just like you. I spent a lot of time stressing about how I should be writing emails and making sure everything was "just so". Don't worry about being perfect, the most important part is just making a connection with someone who is a good fit for you.

Q. Do you pursue any extracurricular activities or hobbies?

Outside of school, I am currently training with the Senior Women's National Team for wheelchair basketball, as we prepare for the upcoming 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Over the summer and throughout the school year I train with the National Wheelchair Basketball academy at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center.

Q. Please share a recent accomplishment!

In January, I was selected to represent team Canada Women's Wheelchair Basketball in an international series against the Japanese national team in Nagoya, Japan.