For Tania Janaudis-Ferreira, health outcomes research begins with meaningful patient partnership

Tania Janaudis-Ferreira, PhD, a scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and associate professor in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, is the recipient of two CIHR-IMHA Inclusive Research Excellence Prizes in 2023. Created to champion a more inclusive concept of research excellence in all its diversity, these prizes were awarded last month for projects from the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) community within the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The selected projects will serve as examples of research excellence to help guide the CIHR’s concept development for inclusive research excellence.

Both of Janaudis-Ferreira’s winning projects were in the Patient Engagement Competition stream and are now completed. She is principal investigator of the project, “Co-development of the Keep Active Club for kidney transplant recipients: a patient-researcher partnership.” This project represents a collaboration between the transplant programs of the MUHC and Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), together with three patient partners who are transplant recipients. Collaborators include Dr. Marcelo Cantarovich and Dr. Ruth Sapir-Pichhadze from the MUHC and co-principal investigator Dr. Marie-Chantal Fortin from the CHUM. Patient partners Janie Boulianne Gref, Elizabeth Ingram and Lloyd Mangahas played an essential role throughout the project, beginning with strong support for the grant application.

Janaudis-Ferreira is co-principal investigator of the second project, “Building a platform for meaningful patient partnership to define research priorities and support knowledge translation of best practices in rehabilitation for solid organ transplantation.” This project grew from the development of the Canadian Network for Rehabilitation and Exercise for Solid Organ Transplant Optimal Recovery (CAN-RESTORE network), which Janaudis-Ferreira co-founded in 2013 and co-chairs with her colleague Sunita Mathur, PT, PhD, of Queen’s University, also co-principal investigator of the project.

“These awards are a testament to the excellent work my research team and collaborators have done with patient partners in rehabilitation research,” says Janaudis-Ferreira. “I have been partnering with people with lived experience for 10 years and really enjoy having them on my team. They offer a unique perspective and give a face to the subject of our research. They are my daily confirmation that my research agenda is meaningful to them, and to people experiencing similar health problems. It’s an honour to have this work recognized by CIHR.”

A physiotherapist who completed her training in Brazil, Sweden and Canada, Tania Janaudis-Ferreira conducts research in the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program and Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at the RI-MUHC. Her research focuses on improving care and rehabilitation outcomes of individuals with chronic lung disease and solid organ transplant candidates and recipients.

Learn more about the CIHR-IMHA Inclusive Research Excellence Prizes and the CAN-RESTORE network.