About us

The Pain Science Division is a special interest group of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association that serves physiotherapists who have an interest in better understanding and managing pain and in connecting with likeminded clinicians, educators and researchers.

Geoff Bostick, PT, PhD, Division Chair, Division Research Representative Committee (DRRC) Representative

Executive Committee

Geoff obtained his BScPT from the University of Saskatchewan in 2001. He then worked in private practice in Saskatoon, Edmonton and Victoria. In 2005, he completed the Diploma of Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy. By 2006, Geoff had developed a fervent interest for pain sciences; particularly the cognitive and social aspects of pain. He then began his PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Alberta, completing the program in 2011. Currently, Geoff works as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta (U of A) in the Department of Physical Therapy (PT). He teaches primarily in the orthopaedic portion of the program, but incorporates as much pain education as possible into other courses in the MScPT program. His research interests include neuropathic pain in OA, cognitive factors in chronic pain and various teaching-related initiatives. He also runs a student-led physiotherapy clinic within the Department of Physiotherapy at the U of A, and a modest not-for-profit PT pain program in conjunction with the U of A Multidisciplinary Pain Centre.

Geoff’s current role with the Pain Science Division is the Division Research Representative Committee (DRRC) representative, promoting pain-related research to its members. He is also co-chair of DRRC. The DRRC rep is broadly charged with promoting pain-related research to its members. Geoff is particularly excited about a new initiative called Paincasts – short podcasts discussing pain with some bright people.

Jordan Miller, PT, Past Chair

Executive Committee

Jordan is a clinician, researcher, and educator. He has a Bachelor of Science with a Kinesiology major and Psychology minor as well as a Master of Science in Physiotherapy, both from McMaster University. As a clinician, Jordan works at Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre, which offers health services to people who are experiencing barriers to accessing health care services. The majority of his work is with people experiencing persistent pain. As a researcher, he has returned to McMaster and is currently working towards a PhD in Rehabilitation Science. His thesis research includes a randomized trial investigating the effectiveness of a self-management program for people experiencing persistent pain. His research interests also include understanding the transition from acute to chronic pain, whether we can identify those most likely to transition to chronic pain, and strategies to help prevent it. As an educator, Jordan is a sessional instructor with the physiotherapy program at McMaster University. In addition, he facilitates several labs in the physiotherapy program related to understanding, assessing, and treating pain. Jordan also has a passion for knowledge translation, which is an interactive process that includes tailoring the information from research to a target audience such as people with pain, clinicians, or policy makers with the goals of improving the healthcare system.

Janet Holly, BHSc, PT, MSc, Communication Liaison 

Executive Committee

Janet graduated from McMaster University in 1990.  In 2012, she obtained the Clinical Specialist  Certification in Pain Sciences and completed her Master of Science in Rehabilitation at McMaster University. Her 23 years experience, at the Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre, working with patients with complex, long term pain and acute pain complicated by other co-morbidities such as paraplegia has fostered a passion in pain management and pain neurophysiology education. Her present interests revolve around a knowledge translation project aimed at early identification and treatment of neuropathic pain in acute care and exploring specific research questions around complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) as well as the treament of pain using virutal reality. She teaches to physiotherapists nationally on the subjects of CRPS and persistent pain. She is a member of the International Association for the Study of Pain CRPS working group – COMPACT.

Katherine Harman, PT, PhD, Newsletter Editor

Newsletter Committee

Katherine is looking forward to participating on the newsletter committee because she wants to become more involved in the Pain Science community.  She likes writing, and has ideas she would like to share, but she is also excited about learning about what others are doing and wants to give them a voice.  She has always been interested in the problem of pain, and mostly from the perspective of how it affects peoples’ lives.  Her research methods have spanned the psychophysical to systematic reviews and now, is mostly focused on qualitative inquiry.  She has received small and large grants from NSHRF and CIHR as well as university and private sources and has a publication record spanning 25 years. 

Veronica Wong, BSc, PT, Treasurer

Executive Committee

Veronica has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. She decided that the human body is much more fascinating than what she had been studying and now, Veronica is in her final year of the Physiotherapy program at  McMaster University. She first became enamored with the complexities of pain after watching Lorimer Moseley’s TED Talk, “Why Things Hurt”. Her passion in understanding pain and using that understanding to help people in pain has been further fueled by her experiences shadowing Jordan Miller at the Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre and working with Jake Tumber on a clinical placement. She has had the fortune of having great mentors in her journey so far and is excited to be able to contribute as a member of the Professional Development committee.

Patrick Ippersiel, BhSc, PT, MSc, Secretary

Patrick graduated from McGill University with a BSc. Physical Therapy in 2007, and has over 10 years of experience working in sports medicine with “weekend warriors”, high level athletes and the general population.

In 2011, he attended Curtin University in Western Australia, and obtained a master’s in Clinical Physical Therapy with a specialization in Manipulative Therapy.  Learning from some leading clinicians in the field, Patrick developed a special interest in managing low back pain.  Approaching chronic pain or persistent injuries from a different perspective, he hopes to offer an alternative solution, or the occasional “second-opinion”.

Patrick is presently a sessional lecturer at McGill University, and is in the process of pursuing his PhD in the area of chronic low back pain.

Arthur Woznowski-Vu, PT, MSc, Cert. MDT

Division Knowledge Management Committee (DKMC) Representative

Executive Committee

Arthur graduated from McGill University with a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy in 2013, in addition to a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Sciences. Since then, Arthur has completed numerous post-graduate continuing education courses, with a focus on pain science. In 2015, he became certified in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT).

Arthur works in a private practice physiotherapy orthopaedic clinic, seeing a cross-section of the general population, which includes complex and persistent pain conditions. Arthur is also involved in knowledge translation efforts both nationally, as the Pain Science Division’s DKMC representative, and locally in Montreal, in helping to coordinate the “Pain Science to Practice” Discussion Group monthly meetings. In 2016, Arthur is starting his PhD studies in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. Timothy H. Wideman, with a focus on Pain and Disability.

Arthur has developed a passion for the pain sciences shortly before graduating, after attending Dr. Lorimer Moseley’s plenary speech at the 2013 CPA Congress in Montreal. Ultimately, Arthur would like to promote pain science-informed physiotherapy as thenon-pharmacological

Dr. Bahram Jam, DScPT, MPhty, BScPT, CredMD

Newsletter Committee

Bahram Jam graduated from the University of Toronto then he completed a Clinical Masters in Manipulative Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, Australia. He also completed his Doctorate in Science in Physical Therapy at Andrews University, USA. He has the Canadian Diploma of Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy and is also credentialed with the McKenzie Institute International. He is the founder and director of Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute (APTEI) and has been a chief instructor for over nine hundred post-graduate Orthopaedic clinical courses across Canada and internationally. He has presented at several national and international conferences. He continues to practice at Athletes Care at York University.

Dave Walton, BScPT, MSc, PhD

Professional Development Committee

Dave Walton is an Assitant Professor with the School of Physical Therapy at Western University in London, Ontario, an Associate Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute, and Director of the Pain and Quality of Life Integrative Research Lab (www.pirlresearch.com).  He is a co-founder of the Pain Science Division, previous Newsletter Editor and past-Chair.  He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Physical Therapists, he has over 40 scientific publications, 2 books chapters, is a two-time teaching award winner and 2014 CPA National Mentorship Award recipient.  He is a certified Instructional Skills Workshop facilitator, is currently chairing the Professional Development Task Force for the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, and is Secretary of the Education SIG of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Sebastian Asselbergs, PT

Professional Development Committee

Sebastian Asselbergs is a Registered Physiotherapist in Ontario. Since his 1983 graduation in the Netherlands, he specialized in Orthopedic Manipulative Therapy, Sports Physiotherapy, Pain Sciences and Acupuncture. He has been in private practice since 1986, and has been Clinical Supervisor for Physiotherapy students of the University of Western Ontario, Queens University, McGill University, McMaster University, University of Ottawa and the University of Zimbabwe.  He has been on the faculty of the University of Toronto.

Sebastian has been involved with athletes and sports events at Provincial, National, Olympic and World levels. He has conducted many workshops across North America from 1991- 2006, for the American and Canadian Association of Orthopedic Medicine, with a focus on Spinal and Peripheral Evaluation and Rehabilitation. During the past several years his focus in on patient-centered therapy, with a strong emphasis on education of the patient in the neurophysiology of pain.

He is actively involved in international physiotherapy science discussion forums since 1999.

Sebastian  served as Secretary on the Pain Sciences Division Executive from June 2012 - June 2015.

Susannah Britnell, BSc, PT, FCAMPT

Communications Committee

Susannah graduated from Manchester University, England, with a BSc Honours Degree in Physiotherapy in 1997. She has worked in private and public practice in the UK and Canada and received her Advanced Diploma of Manual and Manipulative Therapy in 2001. Susannah has completed postgraduate courses in orthopaedics, pelvic dysfunction and incontinence and currently works at BC Women's with pregnant and postpartum women as well as at Dayan Physiotherapy, where she treats orthopaedic concerns and pelvic floor dysfunction. She is a guest lecturer of Obstetrics in the Master of Physiotherapy program at the University of British Columbia and is a co-instructor with Dutch physiotherapist Cecile Rost, teaching a postgraduate course on pelvic girdle pain to physiotherapists in North America.

Murray Kowalczyk, PT

Communications Committee

Murray completed his physiotherapy degree from the University of Alberta, after getting his kinesiology degree from the University of Calgary (he thinks both cities are equally lovely). He continues to work in Edmonton at an interdisciplinary private practice focusing on active rehabilitation and giving patients the tools to manage their own symptoms. Murray particularly enjoys teaching patients (both of Murray’s parents were teachers…), and showing his patients that they are not broken nor as frail as they often have come to believe!