New program to make Ottawa a global centre of excellence in concussion research and care across the entire patient spectrum

15 November 2023

Ottawa, Ontario — Tuesday November 14, 2023

A groundbreaking $5.4 million research collaboration between the CHEO Research Institute, 360 Concussion Care, and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), announced today, aims to transform concussion care globally, advancing knowledge and treatment across the full spectrum of impacted patients.

Concussion is the most common brain injury impacting 400,000 Canadians annually, yet research to date has primarily focused on professional and high-performance athletes or military veterans, with little effort to integrate data collection across the full spectrum of patients. This siloed approach has greatly restricted the potential for new discoveries in brain health and insights related to individualized recovery plans.

Funded by OBI, the TRANSCENDENT research program is led by Dr. Roger Zemek, a Pediatric Emergency Physician and Senior Scientist at CHEO, Scientific Director of360 Concussion Care and Professor and Clinical Research Chair in Pediatric Concussion at the University of Ottawa. An internationally recognized concussion expert, Dr. Zemek and his team strive to address the critical gaps in research by establishing one of the largest concussion datasets in the world, collecting data based on age, gender, mechanism of injury and co-morbidities across multiple sites within 360 Concussion’s learning healthcare system.

The TRANSCENDENT team will identify precise indicators to reliably track concussion recovery, utilizing cutting-edge assessments including physiological evaluations, fluid biomarkers and advanced neuroimaging. They will conduct parallel studies and transfer critical knowledge in real time – to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of concussion from all causes, across the entire patient spectrum.

To fully maximize the value of the investment in concussion learning, the TRANSCENDENT team will share its datasets of thousands of patients via the OBI’s collaborative research platform Brain-CODE, to leverage international partnerships and cross-link related datasets using advanced neuroinformatics.

TRANSCENDENT’s data registry will also be a hub of economic activity, acting as an incubator for industry to explore novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools to advance promising innovations with a global reach and impact.  The team aims to catalyse partnerships, facilitate data linkages and conduct real world effectiveness studies to accelerate discoveries in brain health.

“This collaboration represents a remarkable opportunity to push the boundaries of our understanding and treatment of concussion for all patients. Our goal is to help build the path to a future of personalized care, where treatments are not just one-size fits all protocols, but the right treatment tailored for the right patient at the right time, guided by individual unique biological markers to optimize outcomes. We are excited at the potential global impact of our efforts, across multiple patient populations, and are very grateful to the Ontario Brain Institute for their incredible support.”

Dr. Roger Zemek, TRANSCENDENT research program lead

“The CHEO Research Institute is proud to be a leader in concussion research. The TRANSCENDENT project will further push the boundaries of this important clinical research by using new technologies and collaborative data sharing to maximize the impact of new discoveries. Ultimately it is the patients who will benefit from this work.”

Dr. Jason Berman, CEO and Scientific Director, CHEO Research Institute, and Vice-President of Research, CHEO

“360 Concussion Care is excited to be at the very centre of this important work. Our clinic operates as a unique learning health system, an efficient model aimed at breaking down silos in concussion care, producing research in real time, and communicating those learnings early and broadly through an active knowledge sharing program.  Our patients always get the most current evidence-based care, and we know the TRANSCENDENT program will only enhance our efforts to help them recover from concussion safer and faster.”

 Alex Johnston, CEO, 360 Concussion Care

“OBI is committed to making a significant impact on brain health and wellness in Ontario and beyond. We know that concussion is a leading cause of debilitation for a growing number of people, and efforts like TRANSCENDENT have the potential to accelerate solutions and transform care.”

 Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, President and Scientific Director, Ontario Brain Institute

“This is a really important development in advancing concussion knowledge and care. We have known for years that too many key questions remain unanswered, and the old-way of doing things took too long. Canada can lead, and it is great to see that it is being approached differently by removing silos and focusing on impactful, real-time change that can quickly move research into action.”

Eric Lindros, Canadian former professional hockey player 

About the CHEO Research Institute

The CHEO Research Institute is a global centre of excellence in pediatric research that connects talent and technology in pursuit of life-changing research for every child, youth and family in the CHEO community and beyond. The CHEO Research Institute coordinates the research activities of CHEO and is affiliated with the University of Ottawa. At the CHEO Research Institute, discoveries inspire the best life for every child and youth. For more information, visit

About 360 Concussion Care

360 Concussion Care’s first clinic launched in Ottawa in September 2020, and we’ve since grown to include Toronto and Mississauga. Our internationally acclaimed founders have significantly advanced concussion treatment worldwide. We deliver scientifically grounded, evidence-based, physician-led concussion care, steered by a team of multidisciplinary experts. We operate as a learning health system, seamlessly embedding research into our care—every patient contributes to ongoing research, fostering new evidence as we deliver care. We produce and distribute publicly accessible knowledge resources, ensuring the latest research swiftly reaches those most impacted by concussions. Visit us at

About the Ontario Brain Institute

The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially funded, not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting both patients and the economy. Our collaborative ‘team science’ approach promotes brain research, commercialization and care by connecting researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. Funding provided, in part by, the Government of Ontario. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Ruff
Director of Communications
CHEO Research Institute