Dr. McLean and Lab Team

/Dr. McLean and Lab Team
Dr. McLean and Lab Team 2024-02-29T16:51:57+00:00

Dr. Linda McLean

Supervisor & Principal Investigator

Dr. Linda McLean received her undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy from McGill University and later pursued her MSc and PhD in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, respectively. She held academic positions in physiotherapy at Dalhousie University and Queen’s University before moving to the University of Ottawa in 2014 where she is currently Full Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences and holds the Endowed Chair in Women’s Health Research.  Linda’s dynamic and multidisciplinary laboratory combines her engineering and health sciences expertise to develop innovative approaches to study the biomechanics, motor control and neurophysiology of the female pelvic floor, using advanced techniques including electromyography, dynamometry, ultrasound imaging, motion analysis, quantitative sensory testing and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Her research focuses on the pathophysiology of and interventions for urinary incontinence and sexual pain disorders.  Linda holds over $3Million in research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the National Vulvodynia Association. She has published over 140 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and over the past 2 years has been invited to author 4 book chapters and to give 8 invited talks at major national and international conferences. She is Associate Editor for the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Women’s and Pelvic Health Physical Therapy and the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology.

Dr. McLean currently supervises our multidisciplinary team of researchers with backgrounds in psychology, physiotherapy, engineering, kinesiology, and biomedical science. In her position as our supervisor, we have come to know Linda as an intelligent, thoughtful, and driven leader with a passion for tackling issues related to research and policies in women’s health.  Dr. McLean’s dedication to promoting women’s health is also strongly demonstrated through her excellence as a researcher. As a mentor and professional, Dr. McLean conducts her research based on a strong, clear picture of clinical and policy relevance. Each project that she proposes as a leader, that we conceive as a team, or that she is brought in from a third party must unequivocally pass a test; a project worth pursuing must either lead to advances through its strong clinical relevance to the practice of women’s health or to policies related to women’s health.

Dr. McLean not only shows excellence in research, but demonstrates outstanding mentorship skills and strong relationships with the local community; she is a leader in advocating for women’s health.

Staff & Post Doctoral Researchers

Dr. Flavia Ignacio Antonio

Research Scientist & Physical Therapist
Research Scientist & Physical Therapist2018 - Present

Flavia Ignacio Antonio received her BSc in Physiotherapy from the University of Ribeirão Preto (Brazil) in 2006. In 2011, she received her MSc from the Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP – USP), Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo – Brazil, and in 2016 she received her PhD from the same institution. While researching Women’s Health she also was a physiotherapist in a private clinic in Brazil. Flavia moved to Ottawa in order to pursue research opportunities at the University of Ottawa. She is currently a research scientist collaborating on research projects related to the methods of assessment and physiotherapeutic interventions in the field of women’s health physiotherapy. Specifically, her work focuses on the assessment of corticomotor excitability, central sensitization of the pelvic floor muscles, using assessment methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and quantitative approaches to assess pain threshold and temporal summation in chronic pelvic pain conditions. Flavia also researches interventions for the treatment of pain in women with dyspareunia and endometriosis. In her spare time, she loves being with her family and friends and engaging in outdoor exercise.

Dr. Marina Petter Rodrigues

Postdoctoral Researcher and Physical Therapist
Postdoctoral Researcher and Physical Therapist2019-2020 and 2022 - Present

Marina is a certified Physiotherapist in Women’s Health, accredited by the Brazillian Association of Physiotherapy in Women’s Health (ABRAFISM) and the Federal Council of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (COFFITO).  She received her BSc in Physiotherapy from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil. She holds a Master’s and PhD in Gynaecology and Obstetrics from UFRGS. She was a PhD visiting student in the lab from September 2019 to September 2020, assisting with the research project on dyspareunia. Currently, she is registered as a Postdoctoral Fellow leading the cross-sectional project investigating the mechanisms involved in urinary incontinence among female runners, along with a randomized clinical trial to test intravaginal devices for controlling urine leakage in this population.

Anne-Marie Lake

Research Administrator
Research Administrator2019 - Present

Anne-Marie came to the team with a biomedical science and healthcare background eager to learn more about the pelvic region: its functions and roles in our day-to-day lives; and how complications may impact people’s lives. She recognized that it was grossly under-represented in all of her education experience and finds it an absolute privilege to be part of a team working towards increasing the body of knowledge and awareness about pelvic health and function. As a research administrator, she has a broad range of responsibilities and particularly enjoys contact with people who are curious and open to talking about our research. Outside of the lab, she is a mom to two great kids, and absolutely loves hiking and being on and in natural bodies of water!

Layla Mitri

Lab Engineer and Volunteer Coordinator
Lab Engineer and Volunteer Coordinator2019 - Present

Layla successfully defended her Master’s thesis in 2023. She has remained an MFM team member, acting as our lab engineer, helping with prototype design, fabrication and repairs of our custom equipment. Layla also organizes tasks for the volunteers which included electrode fabrication and CAD design.

Grace Collins

Research Assistant
Research Assistant2023 - Present

Grace graduated from Queen’s University, earning an Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in Kinesiology, and attained the Disability and Physical Activity Certificate. With a profound interest in women’s health and a passion for advancing our understanding of the human body, she joined the MFM Lab team in August 2023. Collaborating with our researchers, Grace is actively involved in several exciting areas of study that expand the boundaries of the laboratory. Currently, she is immersed in cross-sectional and randomized clinical trial research focused on discovering the mechanisms underlying running-induced urinary incontinence in women, exploring interventions to mitigate running-induced incontinence, and investigating the potential of a brain stimulation technique for alleviating pain associated with endometriosis. Outside of the lab, Grace enjoys quality time with loved ones, breaking a sweat at the gym or outdoors, and diving into her favorite hobbies.

Graduate Students

Marie-Ève Bérubé

Ph.D. Candidate, School of Rehabilitation, and Physical Therapist
Ph.D. Candidate, School of Rehabilitation, and Physical Therapist

Marie-Ève Bérubé BSc, MScPT, PhD candidate has been a registered physiotherapist (Ordre Professionnel de la Physiothérapie du Québec) since 2015. She is currently completing her PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on the biomechanics of exercise-induced stress urinary incontinence in women. She concurrently owns and operates her own private pelvic health physiotherapy practice in Gatineau, Quebec (http://www.pelvi-solutions.com). She actively participates in knowledge translation activities in her community to educate women and birth companions about pelvic health physiotherapy.

Marylène Charette

Ph.D. Candidate, School of Population Health, and Physical Therapist
Ph.D. Candidate, School of Population Health, and Physical Therapist2018 - Present

Marylène Charette received her bachelor’s degree in health sciences and then completed her masters in physiotherapy at the University of Ottawa. Since 2016, she has been a registered physiotherapist in Gatineau, Quebec where she is practicing mainly in pelvic health. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Population Health (expected 2024) with the supervision of Dr. Linda McLean. Her research focus is in the assessment of current management practices of women with urinary incontinence, including referral patterns of family physician & barriers and facilitators to conservative treatment.

Kaylee Brooks

Ph.D Candidate, School of Rehabilitation
Ph.D Candidate, School of Rehabilitation

Kaylee received her Bachelor of Science with honours in psychology from Queens University in 2015. She then completed her Masters of Science in Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa in 2017 focusing her research on creating a model of characteristics that are predictive of successful physiotherapy outcomes among women with stress urinary incontinence. Having worked with Dr. McLean since 2014, Kaylee is currently working towards completing her PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Ottawa with a focus on the neurophysiology of stress urinary incontinence in women. Outside of her research, Kaylee works in science communication, specializing in the creation of visuals to convey research and clinical practicie (www.brooksscicomm.com) In her spare time Kaylee enjoys kickboxing, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Olena Klahsen

Ph.D. Candidate, School of Human Kinetics
Ph.D. Candidate, School of Human Kinetics2021 - Present

Olena received her Hon BSc, majoring in Human Kinetics, from the University of Guelph in 2018. She stayed in Guelph to study osteoarthritis in the spine with Dr. Steve Brown during her MSc in Human Health and Nutritional Science. After a successful defense at the end of 2020, Olena has joined the MFM team. For her doctoral work, she will focus on the effects of aging on the pelvic floor using biomedical imaging, kinematics and tissue analysis and how these might contribute to conditions such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Outside of the lab, Olena is a photographer, foodie and avid hiker.

Olena passed her comprehensive exam in March 2022, stay tuned for her thesis proposal defense.

Silvia Saraiva

Master's Student, School of Human Kinetics and Physical Therapist
Master's Student, School of Human Kinetics and Physical Therapist2020 - Present

Silvia Saraiva (she/her) received her BSc in Physiotherapy from Centro Universitário de João Pessoa (Brazil) in 2008. That same year, she moved to Canada and started working as a physiotherapist assistant. After a lengthy equivalency process, she became a registered physiotherapist in 2017. Since then, she has focused her practice in pelvic health physiotherapy and women’s health. Silvia is a Master’s student in Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Linda McLean. Her research focuses on the effect of Hypopressive exercises on the pelvic floor muscles and intra-abdominal pressure. Silvia is passionate about educating, empowering and helping women.

Maja Ilijevska

Master's in Physiotherapy, Memoire, School of Rehabilitation2023 - Present

Maja Ilijevska received her Hon. BSc in translational molecular medicine in 2022 at the University of Ottawa.  As part of her Master’s in Physiotherapy at the University of Ottawa, she is conducting her Memoire in the MFM Lab where she is focusing on the effects of tampon and pessary interventions in female runners with running-induced urinary incontinence.

Visiting Researchers

Tatiana de Bem Fretta

Visiting PhD Student - Fall of 2023
Visiting PhD Student - Fall of 2023

Tatiana de Bem Fretta graduated in Physiotherapy from the University of Ribeirão Preto in 2000. She has worked in the area of ​​women’s health since graduating: “I love being a Physiotherapist. Rehabilitating through movement and improving patients’ function is very rewarding”. After graduating and working in clinical practice, she began her master’s degree in 2017  at the State University of Santa Catarina and discovered her love for research. Her doctoral research project deals with pelvic floor dysfunction in women after gynecologic pelvic cancer treatment, at the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto. Tatiana is also a representative of the Brazillian Association of Physiotherapy in Women’s Health (ABRAFISM) in the state of Santa Catarina. She was also a teaching assistant in women’s health before leaving to come to Ottawa as a visiting research student. Tatiana has been a team member on our project on pain associated with endometriosis and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). She is also carrying out a systematic review of conservative treatment of pain associated with endometriosis.

Talita Martins

Visiting Physiotherapy Student - Fall of 2023
Visiting Physiotherapy Student - Fall of 2023

Talita is a Fifth year Bachelor of Physiotherapy student at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. She joined the MFM Lab in March 2022 and since has been participating and contributing to our research.  Furthermore, she has facilitated the collaboration between the MFM Lab and the lab she is a member of in Brazil. Talita’s main focus within our lab has been as a team member with our upcoming project about endometriosis associated pain and repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).  She is able to bring her knowledge and experience from her project in Brazil which is looking at endometriosis associated pain and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS). We thoroughly enjoyed having her here as a visiting research student in the Fall of 2023, and are thrilled that she is continuing her work with us virtually.  Outside the lab, Talita is also a certified Doula and helps women throughout the childbirth process.

Agata Krawczyk

Visiting Physiotherapist & Ph.D. Candidate - Fall of 2023
Visiting Physiotherapist & Ph.D. Candidate - Fall of 2023

Agata Krawczyk is a women’s health physiotherapist from Poland.  She received her BSc and MSc in physiotherapy from Medical University of Warsaw.  Currently, she is a PhD student at the Doctoral School at the Medical University of Warsaw and works as a physiotherapist at St. Sophia Specialist Hospital in Warsaw.  Her research project is about pelvic floor muscle function, pelvic floor dysfunction and diastasis recti abdominis in post-partum women.  She visited the MFM Lab for 4 weeks in the Fall of 2023.  Outside of her studies and work she likes to try different forms of physical activity, travelling and enjoying regional cuisine!

Undergraduate & Support Team Members

We’re happy to welcome amazing and diverse undergraduate students from various fields as through scholarships, co-op placements and volunteering.

Mary Ojo

Research Assistant; Thesis Student; Social Media Volunteer
Research Assistant; Thesis Student; Social Media Volunteer2022 - Present
Mary recently graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences with theTechnologies and Innovations in Healthcare option at the University of Ottawa. She initially joined the MFM Team in February of 2011 as a research assistant. She later completed an honour’s thesis on the differences in pelvic floor muscle activation between women with and without vulvar pain with the guidance of Dr.Linda McLean and Dr. Flavia Ignacio Antonio. After wrapping up her thesis, she joined the social media team to assist in Instagram post creation and analytics review. During her free time Mary loves reading and completing puzzles.

Salena Aggerwal

Undergraduate Team Member - Data Extraction and Analysis
Undergraduate Team Member - Data Extraction and Analysis2023 - Present
Salena is currently in her Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. She joined the MFM Lab in May 2023 and has contributed to our research endeavours, focussing on conducting an environmental scan to comprehensively analyze the standard of care for female athletes with urinary inconsistencies. She also does other data extraction and analyses within the lab. Outside of the lab, Salena enjoys horseback riding and creative writing.

Anjali Jagannathan

Undergraduate Team Member - Social Media Team Lead and Manufacturing Team
Undergraduate Team Member - Social Media Team Lead and Manufacturing Team2023 - Present
Anjali is a fourth year Human Kinetics student at the University of Ottawa. She joined the MFM Team in 2023 to assist with our social media work. She currently manages our media accounts and online presence, creating content to highlight and share the incredible work done in our lab. Outside of the lab Anjali enjoys playing guitar and piano, creating content for her foodie Instagram account, and playing on the varsity women’s rugby team at uOttawa.

Sarah Milton

Undergraduate Team Member - Social Media and Manufacturing Teams
Undergraduate Team Member - Social Media and Manufacturing Teams2022 - Present
Sarah is in her 4th year of a bachelor degree in Health Sciences at Carleton University with special interests in global health and psychology. She joined the MFM lab in 2022 as a manufacturing volunteer and assisted with data collection as well. This year, Sarah has transitioned to volunteering on the social media team to make engaging and informative social media posts! Outside the lab, Sarah enjoy’s skating, biking and being in nature.


Thank you to our 2023-2024 volunteers who help to keep our research going.

Maheen Khanotia

Estella Trieu

Sarah Milton

Isabella Babin

Karina Hamilton

Kayla Randles

Dorcas Nkrumah

Muna Derie

Minarwa Shrestha

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