Gustavo Saposnik

Faculty Member

Professional Interests

Dr. Gustavo Saposnik is an Associate Professor of Medicine (Neurology) at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is a staff Neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and Director of the Stroke Outcomes Research Center at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.  He also holds a cross appointments at the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), and at Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.
Gustavo was the recipient of the recent Distinguished Clinician Scientist Award (2012-2017) and the Mac Donald Award both from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC)
Dr Saposnik’ research interest include: Stroke Outcomes research, Heath services research, virtual reality, clinical decision making.
Vision: To improve stroke outcomes through cost-effective, high impact, & innovative research. I do so using a multidisciplinary approach that is integrated within existing stroke care services across the continuum.
Productivity: Dr Saposnik has peer-reviewed funding as a PI (13 grants), and over 140 publications (h-index 33) in high-impact journals (JAMA, Circulation, Neurology, Stroke). He has achieved national and international recognition (speaker invitations, Chair of AHA meetings) by leading collaborative projects, attracting numerous students (10), residents (9) and fellows (4) to build research capacity. Many were hired at prestigious Universities (UofT, McMaster, UWO) or major institutions worldwide.


Dr Saposnik created a network on Stroke Outcomes Research across Canada ( This network comprises over 45 stroke leaders from all major Canadian and International stroke centers (USA, UK, Australia, Sweden, Brazil, etc). SORCan is allied with the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery. Other lead roles [Chair and writing groups at AHA (4), AHA Guideline Oversight Committee] fostered international collaborations. These networks facilitate access to all major stroke and rehabilitation clinics across Canada to promptly translate positive results into practice.
Furthermore, the last four summary reviews on ‘Advances in Stroke, Health Policy and Outcomes’ published in the STROKE Journal (Rudd et al. Stroke 2009; 40: e301-e304 – Williams et al. Stroke 2010;41: e77-e80 and Braining et al. Stroke 2013;44:311-313) and LANCET (Lancet 2011; 377: May 14), as well as, speaker invitations at International meetings [e.g. World Stroke Congress (Brazil Oct, 2012), International Stroke Congress (Hawaii Feb 2013), World Neurology Congress (Vienna, Sept 2013), among others] also highlight the recognition of the group.
Dr. Saposnik is actively involved in teaching and international research. For example, he was selected by the American Heart Association (AHA) to be part of three writing groups for developing Scientific Statements and Guidelines, including: ‘Palliative and End-of-Life Stroke Care’, ‘Stroke Prevention in Women’ and ‘Inclusion and Exclusion criteria for Thrombolysis in Acute Ischemic Stroke’.

Several projects (eg Virtual reality, iSCORE) garnered worldwide media attention on CNN, BBC, CBS, CBC & CTV. Receiving personal awards (HSFO Clinician-Scientist Award, HSF NI & CIHR NI Awards); a recognition of Dr Saposnik’s team work and vision; help fostered new ideas for SORCan program.
Research support and teaching are also part of Gustavo’s mandate as a clinician scientist. Our group (19) includes, a stroke clinical fellow (Dr. Pongmoragot), a stroke research fellow (Dr. Maggie Shi), a visiting Professor from Korea (Dr. Tai Hwan Park), three undergraduate students (Sara Tawadrous, Josh To, Ann Mansur), postgraduate Neurology residents (2), research coordinators at the Applied Health Research Centre (3), occupational/physiotherapist (3), and core members of the stroke research team (4). The Stroke Research rounds at SMH are a new initiative aim to foster innovative stroke research.

Gustavo’s continuing strategic plan includes expanding our Stroke Outcomes Research and the Centre for Virtual Reality studies by working closely with other colleagues across the country, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Canadian Stroke Network, the AHA and other Scientific organizations across the world to answer new and provocative questions impacting healthcare in Canada and Worldwide.

Current Operating Grants

Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Exercising using Wii gaming technology in Stroke Rehabilitation (EVREST Multicentre) (Operating grant)
PI: Saposnik G.
Co-PIs:Teassel, Bayley, Mamdani, Duncan, Willems, Cohen
Funding Sponsor- HSFC
Dates: 07/11- 06/14
Funding: $246,000

iPad tablet technology for HOME Rehabilitation in patients after stroke.
PI: Saposnik G
Co-PIs: Schweizer T, Gladstone D
Funding Sponsor- HSF Centre for Stroke recovery
Dates: 07/12- 06/15
Funding: $49,600

Effectiveness of iPAD technology for HOME Rehabilitation after stroke (iHOME).
Saposnik G, Chow, CM (PIs)
Co-PIs: Teassel, Bayley, Mamdani,
Funding Sponsor: OSS, HSFO, MOH
Dates: 07/12- 06/14
Funding: $74,600

EVREST Multicentre renewal
PI: Saposnik G
Co- PIs: Teassel, Bayley, McIlroy, Laupacis Mamdani, Dukelow
Funding Sponsor: HSFC
Dates: 07/14- 06/17
Funding: $162,900

Other Affiliations