Untitled Page

Scientists in Surgery

Approximately 15% of our surgical faculty are non-MDs who work as full time scientists. These individuals are significant contributors to the research effort of our Department. This section will endeavour to profile excellence in research among the scientists in our Department.

Tom Schweizer
Tom Schweizer
Tom Schweizer earned his PhD at the University of Waterloo in Behavioural Neuroscience in 2004. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Donald Stuss at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest. He joined St. Michael's Hospital as a research scientist in the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and the Division of Neurosurgery in the summer of 2007. His research program combines experimental cognitive paradigms with neuropsychological and advanced neuroimaging techniques (functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging) in order to provide an integrative account of cognitive functioning in both basic and applied research settings. His current major research focus is on identifying the role of the cerebellum in non-motor behaviours and how this region interacts with the frontal lobes during the performance of complex, cognitive operations (e.g., attention and executive functions).

The ultimate goal of this research is to create a cognitive "localization" map of the cerebellum that will assist patients and clinicians in understanding the effects of damage to this area of the brain. Tom is also investigating how brain damage impacts real-world functional abilities such as driving performance; he has recently acquired a driving simulator to address this important question. Other projects in his lab include identifying the neuroanatomical correlates of surgical performance and the efficacy of various cognitive rehabilitation techniques in different brain damaged populations. Tom already has a very active research program. Since joining St. Michael's Hospital he has been awarded grants from CIHR, the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, the Alzheimer's Society of Canada and Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS). He has also developed collaborative projects with several of our Surgeon-Scientists including Michael Cusimano, Loch Macdonald, James Rutka and Teodor Grantcharov. Tom is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo in the faculty of Applied Health Sciences, a member of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario's Centre for Stroke Recovery and is cross-appointed with the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Please join me in welcoming Tom to our Department.

Ori D. Rotstein
Surgeon-in-Chief, St. Michael's Hospital

Skip Navigation Links