People

Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program

Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program Team picture 2019

Faculty

Dr. Adam Kirton

Dr. Adam Kirton

Director

Professor of Pediatrics, Radiology, and Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Director, Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program and N3 Non-invasive Neuromodulation Network

Pediatric Neurologist, Alberta Children's Hospital

Dr. Kirton is Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary and an attending Pediatric Neurologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on applying technologies including neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation to measure and modulate the response of the developing brain to early injury to generate new therapies. He is an externally funded clinician scientist and CIHR Foundation Grant Recipient. Dr. Kirton directs the Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program, Alberta Perinatal Stroke Project, ACH Pediatric Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Laboratory and University of Calgary Noninvasive Neurostimulation Network (N3).

ACHRI profile      CIHR profile      HBI profile      PubMed

Dr. Aleksandra Mineyko

Dr. Aleksandra Mineyko

Pediatric Neurologist

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.

Attending Pediatric Neurologist, Alberta Children’s Hospital. 

Dr. Mineyko is interested in the use of biomarker technology to determine pathophysiology of pediatric neurological diseases such as perinatal stroke and pediatric vasculopathy. Rare neurological diseases are collectively common, yet often poorly understood in pediatric neurology. They account for enormous health care costs. They result in significant morbidity and family burden. True mechanisms of disease are the unifying target for both understanding pathophysiology and designing new treatments. Inflammation provides a tangible example applicable to all pediatric neurology subspecialties. Modern biomarker technologies provide remarkable opportunities to explore such mechanisms. Such analyses can be performed on minute volumes (100uL) of any body fluid providing immediate and great clinical research potential. We continue to grow collaborations with researchers in other major centers to determine the role of inflammation in neurological diseases of childhood. Major directions poised for growth include pediatric stroke, traumatic brain injury, pediatric demyelinating diseases, medically-refractory epilepsy, primary headache disorders, and applying this knowledge to trial new treatments in childhood neurological disorders.

ACHRI profile     HBI profile      PubMed

Clinical

Lanna Bryksa

Lanna Bryksa

Stroke Program Clinical Resource Nurse

Lanna is passionate about caring for the children and families that are seen through the Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program Clinic at the Alberta Children's Hospital. 

Dr. Mary Dunbar

Dr. Mary Dunbar

Stroke Fellow

Dr. Dunbar is a pediatric neurologist completing a Clinician Investigator Program fellowship through UBC with clinical training in pediatric stroke and neurocritical care at Alberta Children’s Hospital, and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Calgary with research focused on perinatal stroke.

PubMed

Megan Metzler

Megan Metzler

Clinical Researcher

Megan Metzler is an occupational therapist in a research clinician role at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Her responsibilities include promoting clinical best practice, treating kids, and supporting ongoing research trials, particularly related to pediatric stroke. Research interests involve the efficacy of intensive motor therapies in combination with novel technology after perinatal stroke and the role of therapy for visual deficits arising from neurological injury.

PubMed

Research Staff

Dr. Helen Carlson

Dr. Helen Carlson

Lead Brain Neuroimager

Research Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. 

Dr. Carlson is the lead for the Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program Imaging Group. Helen is primarily interested in using multiple advanced MRI neuroimaging techniques to examine neuroplasticity such as functional connectivity of brain networks (via resting state MRI), neuronal metabolism (via MR spectroscopy) and white matter structural connectivity (via diffusion imaging) in children with stroke. She is also interested in researching new MRI, electroencephalogram (EEG) and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technologies to unlock the mysteries of neuroplastic compensation after early brain injury. The goal of this research is to examine pre/post treatment modulations in neural networks and to explore development of future treatment avenues for kids and families affected by stroke to improve lifelong motor and cognitive function.

ACHRI Profile    HBI Profile     Pubmed    Carlson Imaging

Dr. Ephrem Zewdie

Dr. Ephrem Zewdie

Lead Scientist

Research Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.

Dr. Zewdie is a biomedical engineer and neurophysiologist, experienced in pediatric and adult TMS.  He is the current non-invasive brain stimulation laboratory manager at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, orchestrating all neurophysiology and intervention studies. Ephrem would one day like to invent and develop leading edge, affordable medical devices to help children with movement disabilities.

Pubmed

Jacquie Hodge

Jacquie Hodge

Senior Research Coordinator & Neuroimager

Jacquie received her Master's degree in Neurosciences from the University of Calgary. Her research interests focus on the health of white matter in children who have suffered a perinatal stroke. Specifically she uses the MRI technique diffusion tensor tractography to explore the health of white matter in the motor system following injury. She is also highly involved in the organization of our current multi-site clinical trial (SPORT). A randomized control trial looking at the effects of brain stimulation on hand and arm function. It is designed as a fun two-week summer camp where children and teenagers that have hemiplegic cerebral palsy due to perinatal stroke engage in intensive motor therapy and brain stimulation.

PubMed

Amalia Floer

Amalia Floer

Research Coordinator & Clinical Recruiter

Amalia is the primary clinical recruiter for our research studies and is the main liaison between families involved in research and the pediatric stroke outpatient clinic. She is interested in perinatal stroke research, maximizing quality of life after perinatal stroke as well as family and children's outcomes. How these children function in their daily lives and how we can help them achieve their best given their disabilities is a major focus of her research. 

PubMed

Erica Floreani

Erica Floreani

Brain Computer Interface Engineer

Erica earned her MASc. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto. She is passionate about developing technologies to increase independence and access for individuals with physical disabilities. Her current research interests include extending and adapting brain computer interface (BCI) technology for pediatric users, specifically for those with neurological impairments. She is interested in examining all aspects of BCI through the lens of a pediatric user, from developing engaging training paradigms, understanding how neurological phenomena used in BCI differ between adults and children, and translating BCI into novel and relevant applications for children with physical disabilities.

Trainees

Dr. James Wrightson

Dr. James Wrightson

Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Wrightson received his Ph.D. from the University of Brighton, UK. James’ research uses non-invasive brain stimulation and neuroimaging to investigate motor control and the causes of fatigue in children with perinatal stroke. He is interested in understanding why people affected by stroke feel fatigued, and developing effective treatments for fatigue.

PubMed

Dr. Eli Kinney-Lang

Dr. Eli Kinney-Lang

Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Eli Kinney-Lang is actively interested in research intersecting the fields of developmental neuroscience, mathematics, engineering, pediatrics, gaming and technology. His current research focuses on developing and translating an emerging technology, brain-computer interface (BCI), to children with severe physical disability. Eli is interested in multiple areas of BCI research and development. This includes the design and construction of engaging BCI paradigms for children, improving available communication strategies offered by BCIs for nonverbal individuals, and the advancement/implementation of cutting-edge biomedical signal processing techniques to enhance BCI applications for children. Eli's work is done in collaboration with the Alberta Children's Hospital and the University of Calgary.

PubMed

Adrianna Giuffre

Adrianna Giuffre

Ph.D. Candidate & Vanier Scholar

Adrianna received her B.A.(Hons) in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario and has extensive experience in sport as both an elite athlete and a coach. Her Ph.D. research interests include using non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to explore the motor systems of children and adolescents. Adrianna has extensive experience using the KINARM robot to investigate proprioception (the sense of limb position in space). Her imaging interests include resting state functional connectivity pre/post non-invasive brain stimulation and computer modelling of electric fields through brain tissue.

PubMed

Brandon Craig

Brandon Craig

MD/Ph.D. Candidate & Vanier Scholar

Brandon completed a BSc Honours degree in Psychology from MacEwan University in Edmonton prior to starting his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Calgary. His research investigates how structural connectivity within the brain changes following perinatal stroke and how various forms of non-invasive brain stimulation influence such connections. Brandon is passionate about understanding how the brain develops following early brain injuries and how these mechanisms of plasticity influence various outcomes.

PubMed

Dion Kelly

Dion Kelly

Ph.D. Student & Vanier Scholar

Dion completed a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMSc) degree from the University of Western Ontario, as well as a Master of Biomedical Technology (MBT) degree from the University of Calgary before pursing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience with the Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program. Dion's research is focused on assessing baseline performance levels across multiple brain-computer interface (BCI) systems and optimizing BCI use for applications in children with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Her research utilizes various brain imaging modalities to assess brain connectivity and activity, with the goal of establishing a screening program for BCI use in children.

CPSP Alumni

We have been very fortunate to have worked with many researchers and clinicians in the past and wish them well in their current endeavours:

 

Abdullah Azeem, B.Sc.

Kayla Baker, M.Sc.

Taryn Bemister, Ph.D.

Lucia Capano, MD

Lauran Cole, M.Sc.

Angela Coombs, B.Sc.

Colleen Curtis, MD

Patrick Ciechanski, Ph.D.      

David Czank, RN

Omar Damji, M.Sc, MD

Pauline Dejesus, M.Sc.      

Jessica Denys, B.Sc.

Derek Eng, B.Sc.

Edit Goia, MD

Jeff Grab, MD

Melody Grohs, Ph.D.

Alicia Hilderley, Ph.D.

Megan Holland, MD

Asha Hollis, M.Sc.

Jing Hu, B.Sc.

Zeanna Jadavji, Ph.D.

Cynthia Kahl, Ph.D.

Regan King, M.Sc.

Andrea Kuczynski, Ph.D.  

Cherie Kuo, PT, Ph.D.

Charissa Lam, B.Sc.

Jacinda Larson, Ph.D.

Sasha Letourneau, B.Sc.     

Damon Li, B.Sc.

Sarah Mah, DDS

Mary McNeil

Kara Murias, MD, Ph.D.

Kenneth Myers, MD

Thiline Rajapakse, MD     

Madison Riddell, B.Sc.

Jamie Roe, M.Sc.

Sonia Rothenmund, RN  

Jenny Saunders, M.Sc.

Trevor Seeger, M.Sc.

Hely Shah, B.Sc.

Tara Shannon, B.Eng.

Sidharth Shinde, MD

Ratika Srivastava, MD

Cole Sugden, B.Sc.

Bita Vaseghi, Ph.D.

Archana Vijay, B.Sc.

Felix Wei, B.Sc.

Elizabeth Williams, B.Sc.

Sabrina Yu, B.Sc.

Jack Zixuan Zhang, B.Sc.