Masterful SCI researcher wins Mitacs award
University of British Columbia student Emily Giroux is one of Canada’s best researchers. She has been working with SCIO and the SCI Ontario Alliance to bridge the gap between spinal cord injury research and real-world practice – innovative work that earned her the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation–Master’s. The award was presented by Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada for business and academia, at a ceremony in Ottawa on November 27.
Emily worked under the supervision of UBC Professor Heather Gainforth in partnership with SCIO and the Ontario SCI Alliance, and was the first to apply the emerging field of integrated knowledge translation (IKT), which links researchers and end-users, to spinal cord injury research on a large-scale. Her groundbreaking approach engages people living with spinal cord injury as equal partners in the research process, giving them opportunities to define priorities and communicate to funding organizations what is important to them.
The research allowed the Alliance to come to a consensus on which strategies and supports should be prioritized for implementation to support Ontarians living with spinal cord injuries in four key areas:
- Primary care and community supports
- Neuropathic pain
- Bladder management
- Pressure injuries
“Research is such an integral aspect of community engagement and service,” says our CEO Dr. Stuart Howe. “It’s been an honour to have a young researcher work with us as part of her education and produce such high quality work. We are indebted to Emily for supporting our community and to Mitacs for recognizing her outstanding contributions.”
Exceptional work, Emily!
Stay tuned for photos of the awards ceremony.