April 6, 2017
Announcing 2017 Pursuit Awards Ceremony keynote speaker, Dr. Stacy Suskauer
Holland Bloorview’s research institute is excited to present Dr. Stacy Suskauer as the keynote speaker for the 2017 Pursuit Awards Ceremony. Dr. Stacy Suskauer is the director of the Brain Injury Clinical Research Center and co-director of the Center for Brain Injury Recovery at Kennedy Krieger Institute, and associate professor of physical medicine & rehabilitation and pediatrics at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. She oversees clinical services and provides direct care to children with acquired brain injury of all severities. Dr. Suskauer's research focus involves better understanding and improving outcomes after childhood brain injury.
RSVP now to the Pursuit Awards ceremony. Email BRIevents@hollandbloorview.ca
Q&A with Dr. Stacy Saskauer
Q: What got you interested in pursuing a career in science?
When I was in junior high, I signed up to volunteer at a county-run camp for the summer. It just so happened that I was placed in a camp that had a program for children with physical disabilities. Being only 13, I was initially taken aback by all of the equipment – wheelchairs, walkers, and braces – but quickly realized that these were regular kids who needed extra help in some situations. That was when my passion for helping children with disabilities originated.
Q: What inspires you?
My interest in brain injury began in residency. I came across too many families whose child had experienced severe brain injury and wanted to know the long-term outcomes. It frustrated me that we couldn’t offer a concrete prognosis to parents and providers who were looking for answers. Today, I remain driven by the need to build an evidence base to answer questions such as “Will there be any further recovery?” and “What will make my child feel better fastest?”
Q: What are some of your most impactful memories from research?
For me, the most impactful moments are when we can directly apply our findings to guide clinical care for a patient. For example, we identified a cut-off point for time to follow commands associated with physical dependence at discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, and now we consider this piece of data when setting expectations for families and the rehabilitation team.
Q: What do you want people to know most about real-life implications that research can have?
As a community, our ability to make key contributions to evaluation and management of pediatric brain injury holds great promise. I believe in a time of better answers to clinical questions and in new understandings about brain function and recovery that will lead to better treatments.
Q: How do you feel about being asked to be a keynote speaker at the 2017 Pursuit Awards?
It’s a great honour! Having visited Holland Bloorview in the past, I know that it is comprised of talented clinicians and researchers. I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about the hospital, meet and learn from the Pursuit Award winners, and share my work!
Dr. Stacy Suskauer earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from Duke University. She completed a combined residency in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Suskauer then completed a Pediatric Rehabilitation Brain Injury Research fellowship at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She subsequently joined the faculty of those institutions and is currently an Associate Professor in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pediatrics.
As Co-Director of the Center for Brain Injury Recovery at Kennedy Krieger, Dr. Suskauer oversees clinical services and provides direct care to children with acquired brain injury of all severities. Under her leadership, the Institute’s Rehabilitation Continuum of Care has expanded to include thriving programs for children with concussions and those with disorders of consciousness.
As Director of the Brain Injury Clinical Research Center at Kennedy Krieger, Dr. Suskauer is the principal investigator on a number of studies. Her research focus is to better understand and improve outcomes after childhood brain injury. She is currently working towards identifying neuroimaging and behavioral biomarkers to assess and understand recovery and long-term outcome. This work will set the stage for trialing interventions to improve outcome after pediatric brain injury.