Nalia Juarez-Gurgel, DDS, MSc

Nalia is undertaking PhD studies in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests involve understanding the recovery process and developing evidence-based interprofessional interventions for oral health in patients who have experienced a stroke.

Nalia previously obtained a Doctorate in Dental Surgery (DDS) from the State University of Campinas, Brazil. She later completed a Master of Science in dental prosthetics at the São Leopoldo Mandic Faculty of Dentistry in Campinas, Brazil. Nalia has a certificate of Residency in Dental Implants from the Brazilian Dental Association, and has been practicing dentistry and treating the oral health of adults and persons with disabilities since 2002.


Marie-France Perrier, MHSc

Marie-France Perrier began her PhD studies in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ottawa as a speech-language pathologist. She has worked for many years in neurorehabilitation at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Marie-France’s early academic course involved studying at the University of Western Australia and at the University of Geneva before she undertook her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Ottawa. As a PhD student, Marie-France benefited from a research internship (MITACS Globallink Research Award) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the supervision of Drs. Sarah Short and Cathi Propper.

Marie-France’s clinical experience includes many years working as a member of the interdisciplinary rehabilitation team at CHEO, treating children with acquired brain injuries (ABI) and those with complex care needs starting from the acute phase of recovery.

Marie-France is interested in applying mindfulness meditation to improve cognition and communication functions in children and adolescents with various types of ABI (traumatic brain injury, stroke and brain tumours). Through her dissertation research, she seeks to examine the feasibility and efficacy of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for children with ABI who have cognitive-communication impairments. Marie-France aspires to extend the existing evidence base by conducting empirical research that can inform pediatric rehabilitation and contribute to an emerging and promising field.