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Message from the Vice-President, Research & Innovation

At the intersection of social science, science, and biomedical engineering, Ryerson researchers are providing innovative solutions to today's healthcare challenges through community outreach, leading-edge technologies, and perhaps most importantly, through inclusive, personalized, patient-centred care.

The stories profiled in this latest issue of Innovation are illustrative of the recent research developments and innovation led by Ryerson scholars. The social inclusion of children with chronic illness and disability improves their emotional well-being, according to the work of professor Donna Koller. In a recent project, professor Trevor Hart is examining the long-term benefit that strong community support can have on gay and bisexual men in encouraging healthy habits and reducing the propensity to engage in high-risk sexual behaviours. Hanna McCabe-Bennett, a PhD student in psychology, is developing an innovative use of virtual reality to interpret hoarding behaviours.

Shaping policy with regard to patient input is a focus of professor Zahava Rosenberg-Yunger's work. She is creating benchmarks to standardize how we apply the knowledge gathered from public consultations. Professor Farrokh Janabi-Sharifi is investigating the use of robots and artificial intelligence to assist cardiac surgeons. Professor Frauke Zeller is broadening the use of socially assistive robots that directly communicate with patients in order to track and monitor a patient's healthcare regimen.

We mobilize research through dynamic partnerships with industry and institutions. Professor Jahan Tavakkoli is co-leading a commercialization project that will put ultrasound in the hands of osteoarthritis sufferers. Through enhanced data analysis and advanced machine learning, professor Alireza Sadeghian, in collaboration with St. Michael's Hospital neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Cusimano, is contributing to new ways to monitor traumatic brain injuries and patient prognoses. Professor Scott Tsai is testing the boundaries of microfabrication in order to enhance ultrasound imaging and potential drug delivery. Professor Ali Mazalek is working with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research to develop AI tools to help cancer researchers visualize and analyze their clinical data.

Key collaborations strengthen the bridge between idea and application and put knowledge into practice through bench-to-bedside innovations. Professors Mazalek, Sadeghian and Tsai are all members of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST) research network, a state-of-the-art medical research partnership between Ryerson and St. Michael's Hospital. Professor Cheryl Atkinson's research with Bridgepoint Active Healthcare – a complex care and rehabilitative hospital – illuminates how a hospital's architectural design can help improve patient well-being and outcomes.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Innovation in good health.