THE CATALYST FOR HEALTH TECH

Innovator Profile – Digital Health Hub

September 28, 2015

Dr. Sylvain Moreno | Director, Digital Health Hub | Simon Fraser University

What inspired you to become a neuroscientist?

The path to brain plasticity research, education and digital innovation I have pursued began with a car crash. At age 16 I was in an automobile accident, and my total recovery from the resulting memory loss left me curious about the brain’s power to relearn.

I’ve been fortunate to work with leading scientists affiliated with the Centre for Brain Fitness at Baycrest Hospital and was an assistant professor at the University of Toronto before coming to Simon Fraser University’s School of Engineering Science and Surrey’s Innovation Boulevard.

What have you been working on?

A significant part of my life’s work and research has been devoted to the study of brain development and plasticity in children and aging populations, and to identifying and developing accessible digital health solutions that can benefit these population groups specifically and the general public.

One example is to develop technology to strengthen the skills of children with autism. Software solutions developed in my laboratory have been used in several countries. Currently, we are participating in a large research trial in Brazil.

Describe your new role at SFU and Innovation Boulevard

As Director of the Digital Health Hub, I am continuing my research while also taking on an active role mentoring students. We want help students to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and enable them to give back through their research and technology expertise. Students will work on real-world health issues and on concrete projects.

In terms of a national scope, I have started working with NeuroDevNet – a research network dedicated to helping children and their families overcome the challenges of neurodevelopmental disorders. I am also working with Age-Well, a group of 25 universities and research centres and 80 partner organizations developing accessible technology to improve the quality of life for seniors.

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