KITE trainee’s SCI fracture research awarded with respected CIHR Fellowship

Recipients receive $50,000 per year in funding for up to three years

KITE trainee Christina Ziebart has received the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Fellowship for her research work which focusses on studying fractures after spinal cord injury.  

The fellowship is bestowed annually on postdoctoral students at Canadian research institutions. It supports highly qualified researchers at the postdoctoral (post-PhD) or post-health professional degree stages of their careers by providing much-needed experience in health research, either in Canada or abroad, and includes $50,000 per year in funding for up to three years.

“It’s an honour to have my work recognized by the distinguished committee at CIHR,” said Dr. Ziebart who is supervised by KITE senior scientist Dr. Susan Jaglal. “I’m extremely grateful to have some financial security going into the next phase of my academic career.” 

Dr. Ziebart’s project examines the prevalence, demographics, and impact of fractures after spinal cord injury (SCI) in Ontario. With this information, future projects can begin to look into the economic consequences of secondary fractures; the rehospitalization rate of people post SCI; and which demographics are more likely to suffer a fracture post-SCI.  

“I’m really excited to work with her,” said Dr. Jaglal who is the Chair and a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. “This project has the potential to be very impactful as it is the first study ever to look at refracture rates post-SCI in Ontario.”

Applications for the fellowship are reviewed and chosen by the CIHR Scientific Council based on the candidate’s potential as an independent investigator in health services research and/or social, cultural, environmental and population health research.

“If people are consistently suffering fractures or being rehospitalized post-SCI there is a huge economic burden and decline in quality of life because of the time and money spent recovering,” said Dr. Ziebart. 

“By getting a better sense of this issue we can create interventions to reduce the risks of fractures and allocate resources to the populations that need it most.” 

Dr. Ziebart will use ICES Data Repository, which contains data from hospitals across Ontario, to conduct this study. 

ICES is a repository that holds health service records for as many as 13 million people across Ontario. Data from ICES is used in hundreds of research projects each year as it provides unbiased evidence to inform health system policy, planning and evaluation.