RSI Research Day

Check this page for updates on the 2021 RSI Research Day!

RSI Research Day
May 27, 2021
9:00AM - 2:30PM


  • All RSI & SLP research stream students MUST attend Research Day. If for any reason a student cannot attend or present, he/she should notify the Grad Coordinator
  • All 1st and 2nd year MSc students and 3rd and 4th year PhD students MUST present a poster or oral presentation at the Research Day. (Year 1 & 2 PhD students can present if they'd like to).
Abstract Book

Abstract Submission Deadline: April 9, 2021
Registration Deadline: May 14, 2021
To register/submit an abstract, please visit:

Program at a Glance:

Time event location
9:00 AM – 9:10AM Opening Remarks TBA
9:10 AM – 9:40AM Keynote Address TBA
9:40 AM – 10:05AM 3 Minute Presentations TBA
10:05 AM – 10:15AM Break TBA
10:15 AM – 11:00AM 7 Minute Presentations TBA
11:00 AM – 11:30AM Poster Presentations TBA
11:30 AM – 12:15PM Lunch & Networking TBA
12:15 PM – 1:00PM Concurrent Panel Discussion TBA
1:00 PM – 1:30PM Poster Presentations TBA
1:30 PM – 1:45PM Break TBA
1:45 PM – 2:15PM Awards Ceremony TBA
2:15 PM – 2:30PM Closing Remarks TBA

For program requirements or if for any reason you cannot attend or present, please notify the graduate coordinator, Karl Zabjek.   

For all other inquiries, please contact: 


News & Updates:

APR 12, 2021

Keynote Speaker – Nina G

Nina G was the only woman who stuttered in the stand-up comedy world when she started nine years ago. She co-produced the Comedians with Disabilities Act, a national touring comedy show featuring exclusively comedians with disabilities. She also produced the first compilation album to feature Disabled Comedy Only. Nina’s brand of comedy reflects the experiences of many with disabilities. She tours the country as a conference keynote speaker including at a TEDx talk at San Jose State University. A Huffington Post contributor, she has a doctorate in psychology, teaches at a Bay Area Community College, and lives in Oakland, California. Stutterer Interrupted: The Comedian Who Almost Didn’t Happen is her second book.

Panel A: RSI Alumni Working in Academia

Laura Desveaux, PT, PhD

Scientific Lead, Institute for Better Health & Learning Health System Program Lead at Trillium Health Partners

Laura is a scientist and physical therapist whose work draws on behavioural psychology and implementation science to design and evaluate interventions that aim to optimize care. To understand what makes an initiative successful and how to scale it, her team examines what drives behaviour, how and why things work, and the process, mechanisms of change and the contextual factors that characterize success (and failure). This approach provides insights into what works best, for whom, and in what circumstance and helps inform how to effect change at a system level. She collaborates with health system decision-makers to bridge the research to practice gap by helping them apply the principles of implementation science and behaviour change to their work. Laura is also the founder and Executive Director of Women Who Lead, an organization dedicated to support the career advancement and leadership development of women in the health sector.

Rosalie Wang, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto & Affiliate Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

Rosalie Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto. She is an Affiliate Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and a member of their AI and Robotics in Rehabilitation team. Dr. Wang’s research focuses on developing and implementing technology to enable daily activity participation and social inclusion of seniors. She is leading research in robotics for post-stroke rehabilitation and on the use of information and communication technologies by seniors with cognitive impairments. As an AGE-WELL investigator she leads a national project on enhancing equitable access to assistive technologies

Mika Nonoyama, PhD, RT

Associate Professor in Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University & Health Clinician Scientist at SickKids

Dr. Mika Nonoyama is a registered respiratory therapist with a PhD in the Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Toronto. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. She is currently an associated professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University, a Health Clinician Scientist at SickKids in the Respiratory Therapy Department and Child Health Evaluative Sciences, and a status-only assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto. Twitter @mikaRRT.​

Panel B: RSI Alumni Working in Industry

Heather McPherson

President & CEO Women’s College Hospital

Heather McPherson is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Women’s College Hospital (WCH). Heather is a highly recognized healthcare executive with extensive experience in clinical, academic and health system leadership.

Heather is an innovative leader who has been instrumental in establishing clinical programs and services that close the health gaps for patients – not only at Women’s College Hospital but throughout the province. With her unparalleled ability to partner across the healthcare system, build high-performance teams and foster a culture of excellence, she has created transformative solutions including the operationalization of WCH’s new building and the evolution of the hospital’s ambulatory model of care. Throughout her career, Heather has focused on the evaluation and improvement of the systems of clinical care delivery and redefining what it means to be a patient: engaged, empowered and understood.

Heather is a passionate advocate for a multifaceted and comprehensive approach to health. She is a registered Occupational Therapist and holds a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Toronto. She is also an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

Bimal Lakhani, PhD 

VP Product and Lead Scientist at HealthTech Connex Inc. 

As VP Product and Lead Scientist at HealthTech Connex Inc. in Surrey, BC, Bimal leads the translation of research into advanced neurotechnologies and medical devices. Passionate about brain structure, neuroplasticity, and neurorehabilitation, he integrates his background as an academic researcher into product ideation, development and release. Bimal completed his B.Sc. in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Toronto, and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of British Columbia’s Brain Behaviour Lab.

In his current role, Bimal works closely with scientists, clinicians, engineers, and industry partners to apply research findings and develop novel techniques, products and practices for impact in brain assessments. This includes strategic, tactical, and operational planning, product development, device rollout management, and implementation of intellectual property guidelines and quality assurance programs.

Bimal is also known for his love of sports, music and cheeseburgers – when he’s not immersed in the latest brain research, you are likely to find him cheering on all Toronto based sports teams (Go Leafs and Raptors!) and wandering around the city critiquing which restaurant has the best burger patty to bun ratio.
Diana Frasca, MSc, PhD

Strategic and Institutional Research Initiatives (SIRI) Specialist at York University 

Dr. Diana Frasca obtained her MSc (2006) and PhD (2015) from the Rehabilitation Science Institute, University of Toronto, co-supervised by Drs. Robin Green and Bradford McFayden. Her MSc work examined environmental enrichment in older adults and her doctoral work focused on social multi-tasking after traumatic brain injury. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Sydney (2016) with Prof Janettte Vardy, examining mindfulness in women with cancer-related cognitive impairment.

Dr. Frasca currently works at York University as a SIRI Specialist in the Office of Research Services, Vice-President Research and Innovation. Her role there includes supporting the development of large-scale grant applications (e.g. SSHRC Partnership, CIHR Collaborative Health Research Program, New Frontiers in Research Fund Transformation), Canada Research Chair nominations, and other tri-council awards. In addition, since 2014, she has taught various courses at Sheridan College in the Faculty of Health and Community Services.