Dr. Jaimie Borisoff

Principal Investigator

B.A.Sc. [Engineering Physics] (University of British Columbia), Ph.D. [Neuroscience] (University of British Columbia)
Canadian Research Chair, Rehabilitation Engineering Design, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Research Director, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Adjunct Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Research Interests

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Dr. Borisoff focuses his research on how technology development can improve accessibility and mobility for people with SCI. One focus of his work is on expanding patients’ ability to interact more fully with others, the environment, and their world. This includes dynamic wheeled mobility, the ability to change your position in a wheelchair to suit different daily activities. Rehabilitation Engineering Design looks at how people use devices in real life and, from these observations, designs better versions of the devices. In the long term, Dr. Borisoff wants to merge current models with newer technologies like robotics and exoskeletons in order to increase the ways in which technology can improve the lives of people with SCI.

Dr. Borisoff is the Canadian Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering Design at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He is also a Research Director at BCIT and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the Biomedical Engineering Program, both at the University of British Columbia, as well as a Principal Investigator at ICORD. He completed his B.A.Sc. in engineering physics and his Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of British Columbia.

If researchers like Dr. Borisoff can build a piece of technology which can be commercialized, it can be made available for others to use and provide help to many people. Simple, practical solutions are likely to be the real-world solutions to improve the lives of people with SCI. Dr. Borisoff tries to “fill in the gaps and divides in people’s lives with technology.”

Having access to a full-time rehabilitation engineer like Franco Chan, who can provide on-site, in-person skills, is Dr. Borisoff’s favourite aspect of working at ICORD. In some cases, a product idea can be taken from research and design, through testing, and even into clinical trials within one building. He also excited by the ability to collaborate with diverse groups of researchers and bring them together on new projects.

Dr. Borisoff says the best thing about his job is that he is his own guinea pig; he tests everything he designs, even if it ends up being awkward or difficult to use. Part of what drives his research is not asking anyone else to do something he hasn’t tried himself!

Currently recruiting for:

AAPLEwalk: A novel gait mimicking exercise machine

AAPLEwalk: A novel gait mimicking exercise machine for cardiovascular fitness and rehabilitation Researchers in Dr. Jaimie Borisoff’s lab are exploring exercise options for people with lower limb disabilities and looking for feedback on a new sit-to-stand exercise machine that aims Read More...

Evaluating the Wheeled Autonomy of Wheeled Mobility Device Users

Researchers in Drs. Jaimie Borisoff and Ben Mortenson’s labs want to identify and prioritize how certain features of WMADs, such as speed and maneuverability, influence the personal autonomy of users in different contexts. Study participants will take a 20-25 minutes Read More...

Phone-based peer physical activity counselling for people with spinal cord injury

This study aims to explore the impact of a Smartphone Peer Physical Activity Counseling (ALLWheel) program in a group of manual wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury. The ALLWheel program is a 10-week program that is led by a Read More...

Outdoor Leisure Participation

This exploratory study examines wheelchair users’ experiences participating in spontaneous outdoor leisure activities. Data will be collected via semi-structured interviews with participants. The goals of the study are: 1) to explore the barriers and facilitators experienced by wheelchair users when Read More...

How do people use their wheelchairs? Exploring bout mobility patterns among Canadians

UPDATE: Sept 18 2017 If you want to try a week with the latest version of the Smartdrive, there is an option within this study to do a Smartdrive comparison (one week without the Smartdrive and one week with it). Read More...

Recent Collaborations:

Dr. Borisoff collaborates with Dr. Bill Miller, Dr. Ben Mortenson and others on the impact of mobility issues on social participation.

With Dr. Christopher West and Dr. Tania Lam, Dr. Borisoff is studying “hybrid exercise” for SCI (and other disabilities), exercise that combines both arm and leg movements in synchrony.

He is also working with Dr. Bonnie Sawatzky, Dr. Ben Mortenson, and rehabilitation engineer Franco Chan on data logging / monitoring of wheelchair use in the community.

Major Findings:

Dr. Borisoff helped develop the Elevation Wheelchair. This new wheelchair design is light-weight and has on the fly adjustable seating; both the seat height and backrest angle can be adjusted easily, making it a real-time wheelchair designed to suit various functional activities.

Led by graduate student Jacquelyn Cragg in collaboration with Dr. John Kramer and others, Dr. Borisoff’s lab has further documented the myriad health and lifestyle complications impacted by secondary complications after SCI. They have contributed data about heart disease, stroke, chronic pain, type 2 diabetes, and other factors, as well as possible mechanisms that contribute to a reduced quality of life after SCI.

Techniques employed in the lab:

  • Biosignal acquisition analysis
  • Prototyping technology
  • Signal processing
  • Technology design

Affiliation with organizations and societies:

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
  • Advisory Committee, BC Provincial Ministry of Social Development

Awards

Some of Dr. Borisoff’s major awards and accomplishments include:

  • Best Pick Wheelchair for the Elevation Wheelchair in Mobility Management (2015)
  • Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal (Governor General, 2012)
  • Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering Design Tier 2 (2011)
  • Nominee for the Elevation Wheelchair (Manning Innovation Awards, 2008)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow Operating Grant (Christopher Reeve Foundation, 2006)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship (MSFHR, 2003-2006)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship (NSERC, 2003-2005)
  • Best Poster Award (ASIA Conference, 2002)

Current Lab Members

Masters Students Ph.D. Students Research Staff
Garrett Kryt Mahsa Khalili Johanne Mattie
Colleen Oligvie Rory Dougall

Trainee Awards

Year Name Award
2015 Sripriya Kalidoss Globalink Research Internship, MITACS
Garrett Kryt
  • 3rd Place and TREAT Award in the Student Design Competition (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America)
  • Undergraduate Student Research Awards (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
2014 Jacquelyn Cragg
  • ASIA Apple Award for excellence in publishing in SCI research
  • Top Abstract Award (National Spinal Cord Injury Conference)
  • War Memorial Doctoral Scholarship (IODE Canada)
  • Harry & Florence Dennison Fellowship in Medical Research (UBC Faculty of Medicine)
  • May Adele Normal Postgraduate Award in Medical Research (UBC Faculty of Medicine)
Guobin Wu Undergraduate Student Research Award (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
Megan O’Brien Undergraduate Student Research Award (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
2013 Kevin Chen Undergraduate Student Research Award (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
Jacquelyn Cragg
  • Women in Science Award – Emerging Leader in Science (Minerva Foundation)
  • Institute of Community Support Travel Award (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
  • Travel Award (International Symposium of Neural Regeneration)
  • Top Graduating Doctoral Student Award (Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute)
2012 Jacquelyn Cragg
  • PhD Studentship (Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada)
  • Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
  • Killam Doctoral Scholarship (UBC)
  • Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award [Nominee] (UBC)

Current Opportunities in the Lab

There are currently no openings in Dr. Borisoff’s lab. Please contact Dr. Borisoff with inquiries.

Watch a video

Watch Dr. Jaimie Borisoff’s Café Scientifique presentation on the challenges faced by Paralympic athletes with SCI.

Recent publications

  • Choukou, MA et al.. 2019. Scoping review of propelling aids for manual wheelchairs.. Assist Technol. doi: 10.1080/10400435.2019.1595789.
  • Best, KL et al.. 2019. Smartphone-Delivered Peer Physical Activity Counseling Program for Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury: Protocol for Development and Pilot Evaluation.. JMIR Res Protoc. doi: 10.2196/10798.
  • Cragg, JJ, Kramer, JLK, Borisoff, JF, Patrick, DM, Ramer, MS. 2019. Ecological fallacy as a novel risk factor for poor translation in neuroscience research: A systematic review and simulation study.. Eur. J. Clin. Invest. doi: 10.1111/eci.13045.
  • Borisoff, JF, Ripat, J, Chan, F. 2018. Seasonal Patterns of Community Participation and Mobility of Wheelchair Users Over an Entire Year.. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.02.011.
  • Khalili, M, Borisoff, JF, Van der Loos, HFM. 2017. Developing safe fall strategies for lower limb exoskeletons.. IEEE Int Conf Rehabil Robot. doi: 10.1109/ICORR.2017.8009266.
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