WHO WE ARE

The BC Consensus on Brain Injury Participatory Action Research Project is the initiative of the CGB Centre and generously funded by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and Vancouver Foundation. We are pleased to introduce you to our passionate and committed research team.

Janelle Breese Biagioni, RPC, MPCC

Founder & Project Manager

Janelle is a Master Practitioner in Clinical Counselling and she is the founder of CGB. She is an author and national speaker on the topics of brain injury and grief and loss.

 Janelle has actively pursued improved services for survivors of brain injury since the death of her husband, Cst. Gerald Breese in 1990.

Following her 2018 presentation at Brain Injury Canada’s Conference on the topic of mental health, addictions & brain injury, Janelle created the BC Heads Together Think Tank (HTTT). HTTT was in response to the number of individuals and organizations who lined up to speak with her at the conference affirming the need to provide a platform for this conversation.

Janelle’s intention is take this provincial conversation nationwide. She believes her greatest legacy will be her two daughters and three grandsons. Learn more about Janelle’s work here.

Dr. Mauricio Garcia-Barrera

Lead Researcher

Dr. Mauricio Garcia-Barrera (he/his) is a native of Medellin, Colombia. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Antioquia, he relocated to Georgia (US), where he obtained his Master’s and PhD in School Psychology at the University of Georgia. He is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria, which he joined in 2008.

At UVic, he created the Cortex Lab, a research lab specialized in the study of the neural and behavioural foundations of executive functioning. He serves as Associate Editor of the APA journal Psychological Assessment and is the Past President of the Latin American Association of Neuropsychology.

His current research focuses on the study of both clinical events and environmental variables that may modify the development of executive functions across the lifespan, and cross-culturally, including physical activity and participation in sports, as well as sports-related concussions, among other forms of brain injury.

Erica Woodin, PhD, R Psych

Lead Researcher

Erica Woodin, PhD, R Psych, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria, an affiliate with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and the Vancouver Island Health Authority, and a registered clinical psychologist.

Her research focuses on intimate partner violence, including the impact on individual, couple, and child functioning, as well as the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs to improve family wellbeing.

Julia Schmidt, BSc (OT), PhD

Lead Researcher

Dr Julia Schmidt is interested in improving everyday life for people after traumatic brain injury. Her research investigates neurological changes, psychosocial and cognitive consequences, and individualised rehabilitation strategies for people after brain injury. Dr Schmidt’s research is informed by her clinical experience in brain injury rehabilitation as an Occupational Therapist and based on a patient engagement framework of research and evidence translation.

Dr Schmidt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OSOT) at the University of British Columbia. She obtained her BSc(OT) at the University of Alberta and her PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia, focusing on cognitive interventions for people with traumatic brain injuries.

 

Cole J. Kennedy, B.A. (Hons.)

Graduate Student Research Lead

Cole is a third year Doctoral student of Clinical Neuropsychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria. Cole is a Student Senator, a member of the CORTEX lab, a student affiliate of the Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health, and is the Graduate Student Research Lead for the BC Consensus on Brain Injury.

Inspired by his clinical experiences supporting survivors of brain injury in the community, Cole’s previous research examined the clinical sequalae and management of sport-related concussion in elite athletes, whereas his more recent research aims to better the lives of those living at the intersections of brain injury, mental health, and addictions in BC and abroad through a variety of community-engaged and patient-oriented approaches.

Jasleen Grewal

Jasleen Grewal is currently a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia, investigating the use of novel treatment modalities such as, virtual reality, in the brain injury population. Jasleen completed her Masters of Occupational Therapy at Western University, after completing her Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto.

Clinically, Jasleen has experience working as an occupational therapist in various practice areas including community mental health, acute care, paediatric clinic settings and home care. Jasleen is passionate about helping individuals complete the activities they find meaningful.