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discovery iconThe Grow Holland Bloorview Research strategy includes the creation of nine novel Discovery Hubs. The Discovery Hubs are dedicated and shared research spaces that bring together multiple research teams from different disciplines to support their scientific discoveries and foster strong collaborations in childhood disability research. Each hub will be outfitted with state-of-the-art research equipment designed to meet the needs of specialized research as well as ensure privacy and safety standards for all research participants and their families.

Psychosocial Ecological Discovery Hub

The Psychosocial Ecological Discovery Hub will house eight new multi-purpose data collection rooms outfitted with state-of-the-art behavioural observation recording systems. The spaces will allow for flexible and creative data generation and configured to be comfortable and welcoming for children and parents in a home-like space that does not resemble a clinic.

The hub will support diverse research examining people’s experiences and community participation, their social settings and rehabilitation services, as well as address societal issues around stigma. 

Principal Researchers

  • Dr. Gillian King
  • Dr. Barbara Gibson
  • Dr. Amy McPherson
  • Dr. Sally Lindsay
  • Dr. Timothy Ross
Neuromodulation Discovery Hub

This hub will support research that advances neuromodulation to help children of all ages with disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism as well as from a brain injury or stroke.

Principal Researcher

  • Dr. Deryk Beal
Machine Learning Discovery Hub

This hub supports research that will look at how machine learning tools can be applied a wide swath of areas including: 

  • ‘big data’ in child health research and related industry-academic projects
  • Economic analyses of intervention effectiveness
  • Data-driven personalized interventions
  • Translational bioinformatics 
  • Artificial intelligence for tech-based assessment and interventions

Principal Researcher:

  • Dr. Azadeh Kushki
High Performance Discovery Hub

The High Performance Discovery Hub will support research that provides new insights into the mobility and physical activity of children with disabilities. Researchers can then develop novel treatments including assistive technology such as prosthetics, orthotics and wearable systems to enhance motor learning.

The hub will include a full motion capture system to capture high-activity movements and to assess full body biomechanics. It also includes systems to measure muscle activity for human movement studies. For instance, a force measuring treadmill will facilitate the controlled study of lower-limb forces and movements to inform the design of unique assistive technology and the development of wearable systems.

An integral part of the hub is the CP Discovery Lab. This lab is focused on innovating and evaluating neurorehabilitation treatments for children and youth with cerebral palsy. 

Principal Researchers:

  • Dr. Jan Andrysek
  • Dr. Virginia Wright
  • Dr. Darcy Fehlings
Gaming/App Development Discovery Hub

This hub supports research on the design and evaluation of interactive media including "mixed reality" video games and mobile apps for young people of all abilities for health, play, and learning.  The hub will be outfitted with mainstream gaming consoles (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch) and 12 game development stations to support co-creation of interactive media to tackle family- and clinician-driven needs such as:

  • closing opportunity gaps in early childhood music education
  • enhancing access and engagement in home-based therapies 
  • expanding opportunities for inclusive, social play

With the capacity to simulate a family living room, we will observe how families might engage with these systems in the comfort of their own home to help guide the co-creation process.   The room itself will have a behavioral data collection system with eye and motion tracking capabilities, sound-proofing, and lighting that can be adjusted for its users.

Principal researcher:

  • Dr. Elaine Biddiss
Image Discovery Hub

The majority of children treated at Holland Bloorview have a disorder that affects the brain. This hub will support research on how MRIs can: 1) further our understand of the  mechanisms of function, injury and recovery and 2) chart the diversity of brain development from infancy, adolescence to young adulthood in individuals living with and without disabilities. 

The goal is to improve the ability to diagnose, develop novel and innovative interventions, supporting precision medicine and personalized pathways. 

Principal Researchers:

  • Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou
  • Dr. Deryk Beal
  • Dr. Darcy Fehlings
  • Dr. Shannon Scratch
Brain & Body-Machine Interfacing Discovery Hub

This hub supports research to connect the body and brain to external devices to facilitate communication, interaction, and physiological measurement. 

Principal Researchers:

  • Dr. Tom Chau
Rapid Prototyping Discovery Hub

This hub will support a broad range of research where modifications to existing instrumentation/devices are required, where custom instrumentation/devices are needed, or where new designs need to be fashioned and evaluated.

Principal Researchers:

  • Dr. Tom Chau 
  • Dr. Jan Andrysek
Music and Arts Discovery Hub

The Music and Arts Discovery Hub will support discovery and innovation in the arts, health, pediatrics, social justice and arts-based research. On a global front, the hub is one of the few pediatric research environments to incorporate music and the arts in how we think about health, healing, wellness and research in the context of childhood disability.

The Hub will serve several purposes:

  • Place for arts-based researchers, staff, scientists, students, artists and trainees to advance studies on the health impacts of arts in the lives of children with disabilities
  • Host art exhibits, music and dance performances for the Holland Bloorview community and the public
  • Support arts-based research grounded in social justice
  • Support Indigenous children and families with a place to call their own 

Principal researchers:

  • Dr. Fiona Moola
  • Dr. Timothy Ross
  • Andrea Lamont
  • Dr. Gillian King
  • Dr. Amy McPherson
  • Dr. Sally Lindsay
  • Dr. Barb Gibson