Actions and Detail Panel
Concussions: Science, Policy & Sport
Sun, 26 February 2017, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST
This panel discussion will feature concussion researchers, athletes who can suffer from them and doctors who treat them. The presentation and subsequent discussion by key experts in the field will explore the science behind concussions and what is (or should be) done to protect athletes.
Attendees will learn about evidence-based research, prevention and policy and how to be aware and vigilant about concussions, while continuing to participate in sports and all of the benefits that brings.
Charles H. Tator
Dr. Charles H. Tator graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1961, and trained there in research and neuropathology for which he received MA and PHD degrees, in 1963 and 1965, respectively. He completed the Neurosurgery resident training program at the University of Toronto. In 1989, he became Chair of Neurosurgery, at the University of Toronto and Chief of Neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital, and University Health Network. In 1992, he founded ThinkFirst Canada, a national brain and spinal cord injury foundation aimed at reducing the incidence of catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries. He joined the Board of Parachute Canada in 2012. Parachute is a leading agency for the promotion of safety for Canada’s children and youth and has developed and disseminated targeted injury prevention programs for schools and sports and recreation. He has published 385 papers in peer review journals and 85 book chapters, mostly in the field of brain and spinal cord injury. He has performed research on the epidemiology, prevention and treatment of brain and spinal cord injury. He initiated and held two research chairs at the University of Toronto, the Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery and the Campeau Family-Charles Tator Chair in Brain and Spinal Cord Research. He is a member of the Order of Canada, and an inductee into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. At present, he is a Senior Scientist in the Toronto Western Research Institute and a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. In 2012, Dr. Tator received the USA Hockey Excellence in Safety Award for his work in preventing brain and spinal cord injuries in hockey. In 2009, he became the Director of Canadian Concussion Centre at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre, Toronto Western Hospital which conducts research on the concussion spectrum of disorders with a focus on postconcussion syndrome and brain degeneration related to repetitive concussions.
Dr. Doug Richards, Dr. Richards is a clinical sport and exercise medicine physician and biomechanist. He has worked with high performance athletes for over 30 years, from intercollegiate to Olympic and professional levels. He has been the team physician for a number of organizations (U of T Varsity Blues 1984-present; Canada Basketball Women’s teams 1987-2012; Volleyball Canada Beach Teams 1997-2014; Toronto Raptors Basketball Club 1995-2004), and has organized and/or provided coverage at many international competitions including major games and world championships. He has advised the CSIO since its inception as the Multi-Sport Centre Toronto in the 1990s, served as a director from 2006-2013, and joined the staff as a physician and CMO in November 2013.
Dr. Lauren Sergio has studied the neural control of movement since 1988. After completing a bachelor’s degree at McGill University in physiology, she did her Ph.D. there in psychology. Her research projects examine the effects of age, sex, neurological disease, head injury, and experience (elite versus non-elite athletes) on the brain’s control of complex movement. Dr. Sergio works with a wide range of adult populations, including NHL draft prospects and Alzheimer’s disease patients, using behavioural and brain imaging techniques. Her funding has come primarily from NSERC and CIHR. She is also a member of the Centre for Vision Research, a research scientist at Southlake Regional Health Centre, a member of the York Lions Sport Medicine Team, and is currently the Neuroscience Graduate Diploma program coordinator.
Dale Hall is a World Rugby Level 2 Referee and World Rugby Level 1 coach for both for 7s and 15s. Dale has been refereeing rugby for four years and has been coaching rugby, at various levels, for five years. As a referee, he has been a part of the match official team at multiple Ontario Summer Games, the CIS Women's Rugby Championship and multiple age-grade National Championships. He has also been a technical official at the Pan Am Games in Toronto and the Vancouver International 7s. He has coached at the Niagara Rugby Club, he was a performance analyst for the Brock University Men's Team, and has done many specialized sessions for programs across Ontario and Western New York.
Rose Labreche is an International Rugby Referee. She has been refereeing rugby for 8 years, having picked up the whistle after suffering a number of concussions while playing rugby. She was able to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one, and has most notably refereed at the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games in 2016, the Six Nations Rugby Championship in 2016 and 2017, and the Pan American Games in 2015.
Swapna Mylabathula is an MD/PhD student supervised by Dr. Charles Tator at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on concussion, and she is currently evaluating concussion policy in Ontario and beyond. She is also interested in research characterizing concussions in the female athlete population, and is currently studying concussions in female hockey players in Ontario. Over the past several years, she co-developed a national concussion strategy which received its first reading in the House of Commons in Ottawa. She has also consulted on concussion policy development at the provincial level, for a policy that is currently being implemented in Ontarian public schools. She has co-delivered a TEDx talk on concussions and health advocacy for youth, and through her work on concussions, she has had the opportunity to present at national and international conferences, and was honoured to have been recognized as one of the fifty most influential Torontonians by the GridTO for her work. She aims to become a physician scientist with a clinical focus on sports medicine. Outside of academia, she loves to play hockey and lacrosse.