Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences

Fipke 320
phone: 2508078858
  • 1987: B.P.E. – University of British Columbia
  • 1990: M.P.E. – University of British Columbia
  • 1994: Ph.D. – University of Calgary


The research taking place in my lab focuses on gaining a better understanding of traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to sports concussion or intimate partner violence. For this purpose, we measure cerebrovascular, neurocognitive, sensorimotor, and blood biomarker variables using a suite of state-of-the-art equipment including the following:

For our research on intimate partner violence, we are using an integrated knowledge translation approach with the goal of co-designing and creating TBI-informed tools and resources for front line staff working at community organizations supporting survivors (see our recent TEDx Kelowna talk below on this topic).

Current Funding:

Max Bell Foundation Grant
Title: Integrating Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness into Support for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
Amount: $100,000
Period: 2018-2020
Principal Investigator: van Donkelaar, P.

BC Civil Forfeiture Grant
Title: Traumatic Brain Injury and Intimate Partner Violence: Exposing the Links
Amount: $28,250
Period: 2018-2019
Awardee: Kelowna Women’s Shelter
Role: Collaborator

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant
Title: The Connection between Intimate Partner Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury: Addressing Gaps in Knowledge and Awareness
Amount: $25,000
Period: 2018-2019
Principal Investigator: van Donkelaar, P.

CIHR Project Grant
Title: Precision Fluid Biomarkers of Traumatic Brain Injury
Amount: $100,000
Period: 2018-2019
Principal Investigator: Wellington, C.
Role: Co-applicant

NSERC Discovery Grant
Title: Neural Mechanisms of Predictive Movement Planning
Amount: $140,000
Period: 2017-2022
Principal Investigator: van Donkelaar, P.

Anonymous Donor
Title: Characterizing the Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury in Intimate Partner Violence
Amount: $233,450
Period: 2016-2019
Principal Investigator: van Donkelaar, P.

Title: Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium
Amount: $1,924,513
Period: 2015-2020
Principal Investigators: Hutchison, J., Turgeon, A.
Role: Collaborator

Current Lab Members:

Recent Lab Alumni:




Traumatic brain injury: The unseen impact of domestic violence. National Post, April 18, 2018.

Peer-reviewed publications (last 5 years)

Dierijck, J.K., Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D., Bryk, K. van Donkelaar, P. (2018) Sub-concussive trauma, acute concussion, and history of multiple concussions: effects on quiet stance postural control stability. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 132, 74-80.

Kennefick M, Wright AD, Smirl JD, van Donkelaar P. (2018) Anticipatory postural adjustments as a function of response complexity in simple reaction time tasks. Neuroscience Letters, in press.

Schmidt, J., Hayward, K.S., Brown, K.E., Zwicker, J.G., Ponsford, J., van Donkelaar, P., Babul, S., Boyd, L.A. (2018) Imaging in pediatric concussion: A systematic review. Pediatrics, in press.

van Donkelaar, P., Dierijck, J., Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D. (2018) A history of concussion does not lead to an increase in ocular near point of convergence. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 39: 682-687.

Wallace, C., Smirl, J.D., Zetterberg, H., Blennow, K., Bryk, K., Burma, J., Dierijck, J., Wright, A.D., van Donkelaar, P. (2018) Heading in football increases serum neurofilament light protein and SCAT3 symptom metrics. BMJ Open Sports and Exercise Medicine, 

Wallace, C., Zetterberg, H., Blennow, K., van Donkelaar, P. (2018) No change in plasma tau and serum neurofilament light concentrations in adolescent athletes following sport-related concussion. PLoS One,

Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D., Bryk, K., Jakovac, M., van Donkelaar, P. (2018) A prospective transcranial Doppler ultrasound-based evaluation of the effects of repetitive subconcussive head trauma on neurovascular coupling dynamics. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, in press.

Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D., Bryk, K., Fraser, S, Jakovac, M., van Donkelaar, P. (2018a) Sport-related concussion alters indices of dynamic cerebral autoregulation. Frontiers in Neurology, in press.

Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D., Bryk, K., Fraser, S, Jakovac, M., van Donkelaar, P. (2018b) Cerebral autoregulation is disrupted following a season of contact sports participation. Frontiers in Neurology, in press.

Hermosillo, R.J.M., Carmody, J., Ugoalah, N., Lee, J.-H., Binsted, G., van Donkelaar, P. (2017) Motor planning influences the perceived timing of vibrotactile stimuli in an amplitude-dependent manner. Journal of Motor Behavior, 49: 172-178.

Shultz, S.R., McDonald, S.J., Vonder Haar, C., Meconi, A., Vink, R., van Donkelaar, P., Taneja, C., Iverson, G.L., Christie, B.R. (2017) The potential for animal models to provide insight into mild traumatic brain injury: Translational challenges and strategies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 76: 396-414.

Wright, A.D., Smirl, J.D., Bryk, K., van Donkelaar, P. (2017) A prospective transcranial Doppler ultrasound-based evaluation of the acute and cumulative effects of sport-related concussion on neurovascular coupling response dynamics. Journal of Neurotrauma, 34: 3097-3106.

Smirl, J.D., Wright, A.D., Bryk, K., van Donkelaar, P. (2016) Where’s Waldo? The utility of a complicated visual search paradigm for transcranial Doppler-based assessments of neurovascular coupling. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 270: 92-101.

Wright, A.D., Jarrett, M., Vavasour, I., Shahinfard, E., Kolind, S, van Donkelaar, P., Taunton, J., Li, D., Rauscher, A. (2016) Myelin water fraction is transiently reduced after a single mild traumatic brain injury but not following repetitive subclinical head trauma. PLoS One, 11: e0150215.

Lo, O.-Y., van Donkelaar, P., Chou, L.-S. (2015) Distracting visuospatial attention during the approach to an obstacle leads to decreased toe-obstacle clearance. Experimental Brain Research, 233: 1137-1144.

Marsden, K., Strachan, N., Smith, K., Monteleone, B., Ainslie, P., Iverson, G., van Donkelaar, P. (2015) Exercise-induced increases in cerebral blood flow velocity contribute to headache exacerbation following concussion. Current Research: Concussion, 2: 17-21.

Colino F.L., Buckingham, G., Cheng, D.T., van Donkelaar, P., Binsted, G. (2014) Tactile gating in a reaching and grasping task. Physiological Reports, e00267, DOI: 10.1002/phy2.267.

Gardner, A., Tan, C.O., Ainslie, P.N. van Donkelaar, P., Stanwell, P., Levi, C.R., Iverson G.L. (2014) Cerebrovascular reactivity assessed by transcranial Doppler ultrasound in sport-related concussion: A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-093901.

Mayr, U., LaRoux, C., Rolheiser, T., Osternig, L.R., Chou, L.-S., & van Donkelaar, P. (2014) Executive dysfunction assessed with a task-switching task following concussion. PLoS One, e91379, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091379.

Ritterband-Rosenbaum, A., Hermosillo, R., Kroliczak, G., & van Donkelaar, P. (2014) Hand position dependent modulation of errors in vibrotactile temporal order judgments: The effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation to the human posterior parietal cortex. Experimental Brain Research, 232: 1689-1698.