Research on blast injuries brings together UAlberta research program, Japanese delegates for international collaboration

Rehab Med researcher showcases latest advancements in military research during one-day academic symposium

FRM Communications - 20 September 2017

The Canadian Military and Veterans' Clinical Rehabilitation Research Program is gaining some international recognition thanks to research conducted by University of Alberta Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine researcher Ibolja Cernak.

Cernak, who is the chair of the Canadian Military and Veterans' Clinical Rehabilitation Research Program, has been focusing on blast injuries, including blast-induced traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and their long-term effects. Her research has shown that even mild or repetitive sub-minimal blast exposures are capable of inducing chronic health impairments, often with debilitating effects in veterans.

On September 13, a five-member, high-level academic Japanese delegation, including researchers from Japan's National Defense Medical College (NMDC) and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) visited the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine for a one-day symposium to learn more about Cernak's latest advancements in the field, present their work and discuss potential collaboration.

The exchange of information on each group's experimental research approaches led to identifying future research directions of mutual interests that would leverage individual strengths and optimize the research outputs.

International cooperation between the Canadian Military and Veterans' Clinical Rehabilitation Research Program, NMDC and TUAT could bring researchers closer to developing treatments and rehabilitation approaches for victims of blast injuries, including those suffering from long-term consequences of blast-induced traumatic brain injuries.