UHN’s KITE Research Institute labs make Doors Open debut this weekend

A women sitting in a car for research
Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see groundbreaking research in action on Saturday, May 25, at UHN’s KITE Research Institute during Doors Open, an annual event across Toronto. (Photo: Tim Fraser/UHN KITE Studio)

UHN’s KITE Research Institute is inviting the public to tour its subterranean simulation laboratories on Saturday, May 25 as part of Doors Open 2024.

Doors Open is an annual event organized by the City of Toronto that facilitates public access to unique venues across the city free of charge.

Visitors to KITE – located within Toronto Rehab, University Centre at 550 University Ave. – will have the opportunity to embark on a self-guided tour of the Challenging Environment Assessment Lab (CEAL), which is located three floors below street level on Hospital Row.

“We are really proud of our impactful research and are excited to share it with the community,” says Dr. Jennifer Campos, CEAL’s Chief Scientist, a Senior Scientist at KITE, and the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Multisensory Integration and Aging.

“Our work, from preventing falls and vehicle collisions, to supporting successful aging, is very relatable and meaningful to many people.

“We look forward to engaging with the public to showcase our research efforts and their importance.”

CEAL is home to a collection of state-of-the-art labs that are used to test pharmaceuticals, assistive devices, smart clothing, footwear, and other products and technologies. These labs allow researchers to recreate a variety of real-world conditions, such as driving on a busy Toronto street or walking up a hill at a steep angle in harsh winter conditions.

“Our scientists utilize these incredible facilities to develop policies, technologies and assistive devices designed to prevent injuries and improve the lives of people living with the debilitating effects of disability, illness and aging,” says Dr. Milos R. Popovic, KITE’s Institute Director.

“I encourage anyone interested in learning about the future of health and rehab care to take advantage of this opportunity to witness groundbreaking research in action.”

KITE scientists, staff and trainees will be onsite Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., to meet visitors and answer questions about past and current research conducted in CEAL’s DriverLab, WinterLab, StreetLab, RampLab and StairLab facilities.

For more information, visit the Doors Open – KITE Research Institute profile page.

A researcher and a patient in the KITE StreetLab.
Visitors will have the opportunity to embark on a self-guided tour of the Challenging Environment Assessment Lab (CEAL), which is three floors below street level at Toronto Rehab, University Centre. (Photo: Tim Fraser/UHN’s KITE Studio)

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