Sana Smaoui, M.H.Sc., SLP(C),
CCC-SLP, Reg. CASLPO
Sana is a CASLPO registered Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinical Research Coordinator pursuing her doctoral studies at the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory. She received her MHSc. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto in 2017. Sana currently practices clinically providing dysphagia assessment and treatment along the continuum of care. Her interests lie in bridging the gap between research and clinical practice in terms of quantitative analysis of videofluoroscopy and contributing to theoretical knowledge for evidence-based practice
Pooja Gandhi, MSpPathSt., Reg. CASLPO
Pooja is a Speech-Language Pathologist and PhD Candidate at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (KITE) and the University of Toronto. She received her Masters of Speech-Language Pathology degree from The University of Queensland, Australia. Her doctoral research is focused on understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms that lead to swallowing impairment in Parkinson’s disease. Her clinical and academic work is paralleled by a strong interest in art and the humanities, teaching and health advocacy.
Renata Mancopes, Ph.D.
Dr. Mancopes received her clinical phonoaudiology training in Brazil, where she worked clinically for over twenty years. Before moving to Toronto, she worked as a professor at the Federal University of Santa Maria-BR teaching in the area of swallowing and dysphagia. She supervised masters and doctoral students, while also conducting research. Currently, Dr. Mancopes works as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Steele Swallowing Rehabilitation Lab, with a special interest in swallowing and swallowing disorders in people with lung diseases.
Andrea Bandini, Ph.D.
Andrea has been a postdoctoral research fellow at KITE – Toronto Rehab – UHN since September 2016. He holds a Ph.D. (2016) in Bioengineering from the University of Bologna (Italy), a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering (2012) and a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering (2010) from the University of Florence (Italy). His research focuses on neurological disorders and ageing and lies at the intersection of artificial intelligence, computer vision, biomedical signal processing, and rehabilitation engineering. He is author and co-author of 30 peer-reviewed papers published in international journals and conference proceedings.
Cecilia enjoys assisting and helping others while providing excellent, all-round customer service. In the past 7 years, through her role as an Administrative Assistant Cecilia has provided organizational support to Professor Catriona Steele, her team, and other research teams within the KITE institute. Cecilia works to ensure efficient operation of office administration and finance, drawing on her expansive knowledge of institution protocols to maintain excellent communication with UHN partners and with the lab’s external collaborators.
Clinical Research Manager
Melanie Peladeau-Pigeon, M.H.Sc., P.Eng.
Melanie completed her master’s degree in clinical engineering at the University of Toronto. Melanie currently works as an engineer and Clinical Research Manager at the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory (KITE, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network). She has been supporting dysphagia research since she graduated. She has been involved in a number of multi-site clinical trials and has a special interest in the technical components as it relates to supporting best practice recommendations, research data collection and analyses.
Clinical Research Coordinators
Emily Barrett, M.H.Sc., Reg. CASLPO, SLP(C)
Emily completed her MHSc in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto in 2010 and has a Certificate in Francophone Practice for SLPs from the University of Alberta. Emily also received Speech-Language and Audiology Canada’s (SAC) Student Excellence Award. Emily has worked clinically at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Michael’s Hospital. During her tenure at LHSC she contributed to work quantifying the impact of FEES in acute care and implementing AAC in the intensive care unit. Emily’s current interest is in the translation of research to evidence-based clinical practice.
Danielle Sutton, M.H.Sc., SLP(C),
Danielle is a Speech- Language Pathologist with a passion and enthusiasm for working with adults with acquired communication and swallowing disorders. She received her Master in Speech- Language Pathology from the University of Toronto and has a background working in both the acute care and rehabilitation settings. Her Bachelor of Kinesiology equips her with a unique, exercise-based perspective in clinical practice and in her work with the SRRL team. She values evidenced-based practice and looks forward to contributing to the wonderful and ever-growing field of Speech-Language Pathology.
Vanessa Panes, M.H.Sc., Reg. CASLPO
Vanessa currently divides her time working as a Clinical Research Coordinator for SRRL and at St Michael’s Hospital as an acute care Speech Pathologist. She completed her undergraduate degree in 2009 at the University of Toronto in Archaeology and went on to complete her Masters of Health Sciences in 2018 at the University of Toronto in Speech-Language Pathology. She volunteers her time as an administrator of an online Laryngectomee Support Group.
Todd Reesor, M.H.Sc., Reg. CASLPO
Todd graduated from the Speech-Language Pathology program at the University of Toronto in 2020. He eagerly joined the Steele Swallowing Rehabilitation Lab upon graduation to further develop his skills and knowledge base in the area of dysphagia and videofluoroscopic assessment of swallowing. As a complement to his research in the lab, Todd also works as an acute care speech-language pathologist with Mackenzie Health, in their newly-opened Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital. Todd strongly believes in keeping compassion at the forefront of clinical decisions, to both ensure patient-centered care and to maximize health outcomes.
Michelle Simmons, M.H.Sc., M.Mus.,
SLP Reg. CASLPO
Michelle recently obtained her M.H.Sc. from the University of Toronto, completing her final clinical internship in the Language Sciences Lab under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Rochon. In her role as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Lab, Michelle builds upon her previous experience as a professional singer (M. Mus, University of Toronto). Her clinical and research interests include language, communication, swallowing and voice rehabilitation in adult populations. Michelle maintains a website exploring her interests in Speech Language Pathology and Voice performance (www.michellemsimmons.com).