Behind the scenes at Holland-Bloorview with two of its inspiring researchers

L-r: Dr. Tom Chau, VP, Research, Holland Bloorview (HB) and Director, Bloorview Research Institute; Dr. Tomáš Paus, Distinguished Senior Scientist at HB; Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, Child Neurologist and Senior Clinician Scientist at HB; Gabriel, HB client; Rob Oliphant, MP, Don Valley West; Julia Hanigsberg, HB President & CEO. Photo Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
L-r: Dr. Tom Chau, VP, Research, Holland Bloorview (HB) and Director, Bloorview Research Institute; Dr. Tomáš Paus, Distinguished Senior Scientist at HB; Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, Child Neurologist and Senior Clinician Scientist at HB; Gabriel, HB client; Rob Oliphant, MP, Don Valley West; Julia Hanigsberg, HB President & CEO. Photo Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

As we welcome the New Year, one of Leaside’s strongest community partners, Holland Bloorview, is embarking on a major expansion of its research institute, the Bloorview Research Institute, funded entirely through the generosity of donors.

“Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital celebrated the arrival of its research MRI in September, which will be housed in a world-class MRI suite to be completed in winter 2020,” says Suelan Toye, senior research communications specialist at the Bloorview Research Institute (as reported in Leaside Life in December). “This MRI suite will be the first in Canada to be immersive, customizable, child-friendly and fully accessible, and is poised to accelerate research into child and youth brain function.”

But new equipment is only one part of the story. The real story is the people behind the machinery. We spoke to two of the key researchers to learn more:

The research team leaders, Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou and Dr. Tomáš Paus, bring unique research backgrounds and decades of experience to Holland-Bloorview. As Dr. Paus explains, “I came to Holland Bloorview last year to help launch this initiative. My research has focused on studying typical brain development mainly in teenagers. I’ve scanned thousands of young brains and will bring that expertise to looking at the brains of children and teens with developmental differences, which Evdokia has been studying for many years, in many contexts.”

The new kid-friendly MRI.
The new kid-friendly MRI.

Dr. Anagnostou confirms, “… the understanding of typical development is invaluable to studying developmental differences. We’re interested because we’re curious about how the brain may change over time and this may provide insight into to how and when to intervene as the brain develops. We’ll also be researching how caregivers can and are taking care of their own health.”

About Suzanne Park 21 Articles
Suzanne Park is a leadership and conversation coach and writer who enjoys bringing to the pages of Leaside Life the unique experiences and community contributions of her Leaside neighbours. Her daughter Zhen, a student at Leaside High School, is also a contributor to Leaside Life with a fresh perspective on her community.