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
Flavia Ignacio Antonio received her BSc in Physiotherapy from University of Ribeirão Preto (Brazil) in 2006. In 2011, she received her MSc in Sciences from the Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP – USP), Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo – Brazil, and in 2016 she received her PhD from the same institution. Concurrent with researches in Physiotherapy Women’s Health area she operates in Private Physiotherapy clinical practice in Brazil. Flavia moved to Ottawa in order to pursue with researches at University of Ottawa. She is currently registered as a Postdoctoral fellow at University of Ottawa under Dr. Linda McLean supervision. Her research focuses on the nature of pelvic floor muscle involvement in dyspareunia, and the outcomes of this research will help to develop new approaches to help women overcome their vulvar pain.
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!
Marina Petter Rodrigues, Ph.D.
Marina is a physiotherapist specialized in Women’s Health and pelvic floor dysfunction. 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.
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.
Darian has graduated from the Honours Bachelor of Arts Psychology program at the University of Ottawa. She joined the MFM lab team in September 2021 and is pursuing graduate studies in psychology with the goal of one day becoming a psychotherapist or clinical psychologist. Apart from assisting in the studies at the lab, Darian enjoys swimming, hiking, and travelling.
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 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 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 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 (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 1st-year Master’s student in Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa (expected 2022) 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.
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.
Thank you to our 2023-2024 volunteers who help to keep our research going.