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Upcoming Event

CP-NET Science and Family Day 2020

Since 2014, Childhood Cerebral Palsy Integrated Neuroscience Discovery Network (CP-NET) has been bringing together families, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and researchers for a day of research and celebration in recognition of the World Cerebral Palsy Day. 


Cp research

Discover World Class Research

We will feature the latest Cerebral Palsy research and community resources​

Cpnet speakers

Learn from Scientists & Families

Internationally renowned experts and those with lived experience will share valuable information on Cerebral Palsy​

Cpnet online

Participate Online

Join from anywhere around the world and connect with the Cerebral Palsy community​


Please register by September 25, 2020.


Keynote Speakers


Dr. Peter Rosenbaum is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and an Associate Member of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. He has held more than 80 peer-reviewed research grants and is a contributing author to over 350 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He co-authored “Cerebral Palsy: From Diagnosis to Adult Life”, and co-edited “Life Quality Outcomes of Children and Young Adults with Neurological and Developmental Conditions”.

Topic: New ways of thinking around Cerebral Palsy

Olaf verschuren

Dr. Olaf Verschuren is an Assistant Professor at the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht. The overall goal of his innovative research is to improve the physical health of people with Cerebral Palsy. Therefore, he has broadened his research areas to include physical activity, sleep and nutrition. Managing these three components, preferably in a comprehensive fashion, will afford a vitally important opportunity to promote the health of people with CP across the lifespan.

Topic: Sleep and Cerebral Palsy

Breakout Session Speakers

Breakout sessions will highlight the four CP-NET theme areas: Clinical Database, Genomics/Epigenetics, Wellness and Neurotechnology.

Darcyfehlings cropped

Dr. Darcy Fehlings is a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and the Lead Investigator of CP-NET. Her research focuses on the innovation and evaluation of interventions for children with cerebral palsy. Dr. Fehlings is a Senior Clinician Scientist in the Bloorview Research Institute and leads the CP Discovery Project in the Canadian NeuroDevNet Networks of Centres of Excellence. 

Topic: Clinical Database (Learn about the comprehensive clinical database of CP-NET that allows researchers to study the risk factors of Cerebral Palsy)

Richard wintle resized

Dr. Richard Wintle is the Assistant Director of The Centre for Applied Genomics at The Hospital for Sick Children and the Assistant Scientific Director of CP-NET. Dr. Wintle trained in Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. He worked in two biotechnology companies, managing research programs focused on the genetics of complex inflammatory diseases and high-throughput genotyping services. 

Topic: Genomics/Epigenetics (Examines the roles of genes in understanding the complexity of Cerebral Palsy)​

Gorter resized

Dr. Jan Willem Gorter is the Director of CanChild and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University. His research at CanChild focuses on the themes of family, function and fitness and includes clinical studies and health services research. He currently leads the Stay-FIT program which studies the effects of a physical activity and active lifestyle intervention for youth with cerebral palsy (CP).

Topic: Wellness (Explores physical activity and active lifestyle of adolescents and youth with Cerebral Palsy)​

Mccormick anna

Dr. Anna McCormick is one of four individuals in Canada who has a dual specialty in Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine. She is the Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Services at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. She is a consultant at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Center and an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include transition to adult care, spasticity management, and connecting patients with research through involvement with databases.

Topic: Neurotechnology (Highlights the technological innovations for improving the lives of children and youth with Cerebral Palsy)

Hana alazem

Dr. Hana Alazem is a Physician in the Division of Development and Rehabilitation and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Ottawa. She completed her clinical fellowship in Pediatric Rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa, one of two programs that offers this unique training in Canada.  Her research interests are in robotic technology for children with physical disabilities, early diagnosis in cerebral palsy as well as establishing sustainable rehabilitation frameworks in northern communities.

Topic: Neurotechnology (Highlights the technological innovations for improving the lives of children and youth with Cerebral Palsy)​


Graduate Student Quick Hits


Sandra Abdel Malek completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo in Health Studies with a joint honours in Psychology in 2015. She then completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Waterloo in Public Health & Health Systems in 2018 with a focus in behavioural neuroscience. After gaining experience doing basic science research, Sandra realized her passion for working directly with people rather than in a lab. She is currently a PhD student at McMaster University in the School of Rehabilitation Science, working under the supervision of Dr. Jan Willem Gorter. Sandra’s PhD research is on the experience of immigrant youth with disabilities as they prepare to transition from pediatric to adult healthcare services, a topic that is near and dear to Sandra’s heart. 

Topic: Dealing with Every Day Life: Exploring Determinants of Adaptive Behaviour in Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

Heather shearer

Dr. Heather Shearer received her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and her MSc in Medical Science from the University of Toronto. She is currently a PhD candidate in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Shearer’s research focusses on identifying and understanding short-term pain trajectories and their association with physical and psychological well-being in children and youth with cerebral palsy. She has been awarded funding for her academic program and thesis projects from Brain Canada-Kids Brain Health Network, the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral award, and the Norman Saunders Complex Care Initiative grant (Sick Kids Foundation).

Topic: Does bodily pain intensity change in people with cerebral palsy? A systematic review

Event Program

Safd program

Important Reminders:

  • The CP-NET Science and Family Day will be hosted via Zoom videoconferencing. You can download the software for free here:
  • You will receive a Zoom link few days before October 6th. The link will be open all throughout the event and you are welcome to join and leave at your convenience.
  • Please note that the host will mute all participants during keynote presentations. Breakout sessions and panel discussion are interactive.
  • During the breakout sessions, participants can go back to the main room and ask the host to transfer them to a different breakout room.

If you have any questions, please contact Dayle McCauley: