The University of Alberta has named Ibolja Cernak, known for groundbreaking research on blast brain injury, as Canada’s first Chair in Military and Veterans’ Clinical Rehabilitation.
Cernak comes most recently from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., where she was medical director of the biomedicine business area and head of the applied physics lab. Her research there showed shock waves from an explosion can cause brain damage at a cellular level that does not appear for months.
In Edmonton Cernak will work closely with CFB Edmonton and the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital as well as military and rehabilitation specialists and researchers across the country.
As a civilian doctor during Yugoslavia’s civil war, Cernak treated combat injuries.
More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers were injured in Canada’s 10-year combat mission in Afghanistan.