Dave Walton  dwalton5@uwo.ca

Dave is a Physiotherapist and Associate Professor with the School of Physical Therapy at Western University, an Associate Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute, and Director of the Pain and Quality of Life Integrative Research Lab.  His teaching duties are in the Pain elective and Professional Consolidation courses in the Master's of Physical Therapy (MPT) program and he contributes as assistant and sessional lecturer in the Master's of Clinical Science (Manipulative Therapy) program.  His research interests are focused on assessment and prognosis in acute and chronic pain, especially in pain arising from musculoskeletal trauma such as whiplash, sporting, or work injuries.  Dave is de facto Chair of two interdisciplinary research groups at Western: the Collaboration for the Integration of Rehabilitation with Consumer Electronic (CIRCLE) and the Solving Traumatic Pain and Disability through Advanced Research Translation (START) groups.  He has over 60 scientific publications, book chapters, and several national and international presentations and workshops.  Significant awards include two faculty Teaching Awards of Excellence, the 2014 Canadian Physiotherapy Association National Mentorship Award, and Early Career Investigator Awards from the Canadian Pain Society (2015) and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (2016), and a nominee for the university-wide teaching (Marilyn Robinson Teaching Award). He is the only person in Western's history to simultaneously hold both a Western Faculty Scholar award (for scholarly productivity) and a Western Teaching Fellowship (for teaching excellence). Outside of the university, Dave provides high-quality continuing professional development sessions on pain assessment, managing neck disorders, interpersonal skills development and teaching development for providers of professional development.  He is an active member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association including as co-founder of the Pain Science Division, an Associate Editor with the scientific journal Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, an International Editor with The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Secretary of the Education SIG of the International Association for the Study of Pain, and sits on the steering committees of the International Whiplash Consortium, the Lawson Health Research Institute's Mental Health Advisory Board, and Lawson's Pain Advisory Board.  In his spare time he is a fan of good fathering, the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club, barbecue cuisine and the blues harmonica.

Stacey Guy B.SocSc (Hons), M.SocSc., Ph.D (C)   


I am a doctoral candidate in Rehabilitation Science at Western University. My research focuses on using implementation science to understand the context, intervention, and individual levels of clinical practice change in rehabilitation care. 

Twitter: @sguy2016


Joshua Lee B.Sc., M.Sc., MPT, PhD (C)    jlee2793@uwo.ca

Josh graduated with a masters in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Calgary. In South Korea, he gained international study and work experience in Suwon City (2005) and Hyeon-ri village (2012-2013). His research interests include physiology and the dynamics of chronic pain. Currently, his status as a PhD student at Western University allows him to explore the role of specific biological mechanisms in chronic musculoskeletal pain within a biopsychosocial framework.

Joe Putos BPE, B.Ed. B.Sc.PT, M.Ed.    jputos@uwo.ca

Chair, Leadership Division, Canadian Physiotherapy Association

In 2013, Joe was the recipient of the Syl Apps Volunteer Achievement Award by Sport Alliance Ontario. He's interested in understanding the effects of spinal manipulation on intervertebral disc morphology, dense connective tissue repair. Currently, he's a PhD candidate researching the effects of spinal rotation manipulations on the morphology of intervertebral discs.


Michelle Kleiner BScPT, MClSc, FCAMPT mkleiner@uwo.ca

Since graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy, Michelle’s passion for learning and for the profession of physiotherapy has been pursued through clinical work and post-graduate education.  Work in the public and private sectors in the areas of orthopaedics, cardiorespiratory and vestibular rehabilitation, and concussion management have been complimented by the pursuit of various certifications including standing as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physical Therapy and completion of the Master of Clinical Science (Manipulative Therapy) programme at Western University. Common to all areas of physiotherapy practice is the therapeutic alliance. How the patient-therapist alliance may be strengthened to improve physiotherapy intervention and patient outcomes will be the focus of her Ph.D. studies.


Alexandra Harriss B.Sc., MScaharri73@uwo.ca

Alexandra is a doctoral student at Western University in the combined PT/PhD program. She completed her undergraduate and Master’s degrees at the University of Guelph, and was captain of the varsity soccer team. Alexandra worked as a Concussion Therapist, and Kinesiologist before engaging in her doctoral studies. Alexandra’s thesis research involves evaluating the head impact exposure in youth
soccer, and evaluating whether these head impacts cause changes in cognitive and neurophysiological function. Together with Dr. Jim Dickey, and the Ontario Soccer Association, Alexandra has performed a large-scale study of head impact exposure over an entire soccer season in youth soccer, working with the Burlington Bayhawks OPDL female teams.


Kaitlin Turner kturne3@uwo.ca

Kaitlin graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy. She practiced as a physiotherapist in an outpatient orthopaedic setting in Toronto for 3 years before attending Western University to pursue a Master’s of Science in Clinical Anatomy. At Western she was connected with Dr. Dave Walton and the Pain and Quality of Life Integrative Research Lab (PIRL). Kaitlin identified a gap in clinical knowledge regarding the phrenic nerve and cervical hyper-flexion/extension injury, more commonly known as whiplash. During her Master’s degree Kaitlin and Dave worked on establishing rational for further research in this area to contribute another piece to the complex puzzle of pain. Kaitlin is so enthusiastic and passionate about this project that she decided to join the PIRL team in pursuit of a PhD and enhancing clinicians knowledge of the phrenic nerve and it’s role in pain and dysfunction post cervical hyper-flexion/extension injury.


Mohamad Fakhereddin B.Sc.(Hons), M.Sc.,   mfakhere@uwo.ca

Mohamad completed his Masters in Developmental and Molecular Biology at the University of Windsor. He is now pursuing his PhD at Western in Health and Rehab Sciences, specializing in the Physical Therapy stream. Given his extensive molecular research background, Mohamad is interested in looking at genetic markers in patients suffering from chronic pain to further understand the involvement of biological mechanisms in musculoskeletal pain.

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Mike Lukacs B.Sc., MPT    mlukacs2@uwo.ca

Mike graduated with his Master of Physical Therapy Degree from Western University in 2017 where he gained valuable research experience underneath the tutelage of Dave Walton. He has an extensive background in Strength and Conditioning as he helped train the Western Mustangs from 2011-2016. Mike is currently pursuing his PhD. His chief research interests lie in the study of autonomic system reactivity as it relates to chronic pain states as well as the development of a VR road collision simulator.

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Zoe Letwin zletwin@uwo.ca

Zoe is a PhD student in Health & Rehabilitation Science, Health Professional Education. She graduated with a Masters in Professional Education (Curriculum & Pedagogy) from Western University and received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Health Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has extensive experience in medical education including working at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry coordinating courses for the Undergraduate Medical Education curriculum. Her doctoral research will include developing the curriculum for the Interprofessional Pain Management MClSc program. She is passionate about creating a culture of empathy in health education and life-long learning.


Wonjin Seo Ph.D student, wseo4@uwo.ca

I am a Ph.D student in Health & Rehabilitation Science (Measurement & Methods) at Western University. I graduated with a Master's degree in 2016, majoring in Clinical Health Psychology at Duksung Women's University in Seoul, South Korea. I have been captivated by the field of research methodology, scale development especially Factor analysis, Rasch measurement, and Item Response Theory ever since encountering them in the 2nd semester of my MSc work. My doctoral work concentrates on developing a well-validated questionnaire relevant to resilience from post-traumatic stress and injury. My ultimate goal during Ph.D studies is to become an expert in scale development from a holistic (biopsychosocial) perspective.

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Maryam Ghodrati   maryamghodratipt@gmail.com

Maryam completed her Bachelor and Master in Physical Therapy and worked as a physiotherapist for two years. She is a PhD Candidate in Health & Rehabilitation Science, Physical Therapy at Western University. Her research interests include chronic musculoskeletal pain and her doctoral thesis focuses on the role of Sex & Gender in the chronic pain.


Shahan Salim shahan.salim@gmail.com

Shahan is a graduate student in Health Science (Health Promotion) at Western University. His research interest include harnessing  ubiquitous technologies for effective health management initiatives. Outside academia, he is passionate about social justice causes and sports (a self-proclaimed sportsaholic).You can find him tweeting at @shahanigans.


Iyad Al-Nasri B.Sc.,  ialnasri@uwo.ca

Iyad graduated from the University of Windsor in 2015 with a bachelor of science (Honours). Iyad is currently pursing his Masters degree in Health & Rehabilitation Science specialising in Physical Therapy at Western University. He is interested in bridging interdisciplinary applications of biomedical engineering and mechatronics in rehabilitation to advance healthcare treatment in the field of physical therapy. He hopes to introduce innovative and exciting technologies for rehabilitation practitioners with the supervision of Dr. David Walton. 


Shirin Modarresi BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD (c)  Email: smodarre@uwo.ca

Shirin is a PhD candidate in the combined Master of Physical Therapy-PhD program. She obtained her BSc (honors) in biology and psychology from the University of Toronto and completed her master’s degree in medicine (neuroscience stream) at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Shirin’s previous master’s research was primarily focused on understanding the concept of neuroplasticity from a molecular point of view. The focus of her PhD compliments her prior research from a more clinical perspective where she is exploring the relationship between mental health and chronic pain in people with distal radius fracture.


Helen Phan BHSc., hphan24@uwo.ca

Helen is the lab coordinator & research assistant for the PIRL. She is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Health Sciences from Western University. She has the opportunity to help out behind the scenes of the ongoing research with the PIRL’s brilliant lab members. Outside of the lab, you can find her trying to find the best foods to eat around London.