Barry Willer, PhD - Canada

Dr. Willer has a PhD in Psychology from York University in Toronto (1975) and is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University at Buffalo. He has made many contributions to the field of TBI rehabilitation. He authored the community integration questionnaire (CIQ) and the ‘whatever it takes’ (WIT) model. He led research projects on the psychological and social effects of TBI on the individual and the family. He was the PI and Director of the first funded RRTC on Community Integration. More recently he was the PI of a multi-national RCT of affect recognition training for individuals with TBI. Over the past 20 years he has been a leader in the study of concussion and mild TBI. Along with Dr. John Leddy, he pioneered the proactive use of exercise to assess and treat concussion. They created the Buffalo Concussion Treadmill test, and more recently adapted the test to a stationary bike. They have demonstrated the effectiveness of exercise in speeding the recovery from concussion. To understand why exercise helps they have conducted the most widely cited (NIH funded) research on the effects of concussion on the autonomic nervous system in humans. Drs. Willer and Leddy were instrumental in developing a 'return to duty' protocol for the US military. They also had a substantial influence on the development of the new consensus (Berlin) guidelines for return to sport. Dr. Willer recently completed a study of former NFL and NHL athletes and their likelihood for early onset dementia and is Co-PI on a multi-site RCT of exercise treatment for concussion in adolescents.