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Dr. Tom Chau



Tom Chau, PhD, PEng, is Vice President of Research, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, the Raymond Chang Foundation Chair in Access Innovations, and a full Professor in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He holds a doctorate from the University of Waterloo in the area of pattern analysis and machine intelligence and received post-doctoral training in pediatric rehabilitation engineering as a Duncan Gordon Fellow. From 2004-2014, he held a Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Rehabilitation Engineering. He was graduate coordinator of the Masters of Health Science Program in Clinical Engineering from 2006-2011 and has been Leader of the NSERC CREATE: Academic Rehabilitation Engineering doctoral training program since 2009, both at the University of Toronto. To date, he has directly supervised over 50 graduate students and more than 110 undergraduate thesis and internship students. His recent research has focused on the investigation of novel access pathways for children and youth with severe physical impairments. Chau has published over 150 refereed scientific articles and holds 5 patents. His lab has developed numerous innovations aimed at maximizing possibilities for children. Research from his lab has been featured over 150 times in national and international media including CNN, Time Magazine, ITN (UK), Discovery Channel, and Report on Business. Chau was the lead editor of “Pediatric Rehabilitation Engineering: From Disability to Possibility”, published by CRC/Taylor & Francis in 2010. Chau’s contributions to pediatric rehabilitation have been recognized with accolades such as the 2012 Product Utilization Support and Help (PUSH) Award (University of Buffalo), a Da Vinci Award (US National Multiple Sclerosis Society) in 2009, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2007 and Maclean’s Magazine’s Honor Roll in 2006. In 2011, he was named by the Globe & Mail as one of 25 Transformational Canadians.

Areas of Focus

Dr. Chau and his lab have focused on access innovations in recent years. Access innovations include the discovery, design, and evaluation of novel pathways by which children and youth can communicate or interact with their environment in the absence of functional speech and gestures.