Knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of long-term disability in Canada and across the world, resulting in chronic pain and activity limitations, and eventually decreased quality of life. This condition also bears significant economic burden due to treatments, loss of productivity and indirect healthcare costs. Knee osteoarthritis is thought to develop because of a variety of risk factors including advancing age, obesity, previous trauma and genetics.

Regular physical activity can help in reducing the incidence of knee osteoarthritis and its economic burden, in part because of its beneficial effects on weight control. In addition, physical activity and exercise have been widely recognized as essential components of clinical management of people with knee osteoarthritis.

Jean-Francois Esculier - MSc, PhD

Jean-Francois Esculier - MSc, PhD

Research Trainee, Arthritis Research Canada

Jean-Francois Esculier completed his bachelor of physiotherapy at the University of Ottawa and his Masters and PhD at Laval University.

Over the past few years, he has conducted studies on running-related knee pain (treatment approaches, bio-mechanics, footwear), and shows particular interest for clinical research.

He is currently doing his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia with Dr. Michael Hunt. Their team is investigating the association between running and knee joint health in people with and without knee osteoarthritis. Jean-Francois is also an active clinician practicing as a physiotherapist at the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic at UBC.

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Linda Li - BSc(PT), MSc, PhD, FCAHS
Linda Li - BSc(PT), MSc, PhD, FCAHS

Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, Arthritis Research Canada


Dr. Linda Li is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia. In 2006, she was the first rehabilitation professional appointed as Harold Robinson / Arthritis Society Chair in Arthritic Diseases.

Dr. Li’s research and academic activities focus in two areas: models of care in the management of arthritis, and the development and evaluation of knowledge translation strategies.Her research centers on assessing health service delivery models, and understanding and facilitating the use of evidence by health professionals and patients. Areas of methodological expertise include clinical epidemiology, knowledge translation, clinical trials, and survey design.

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Jackie Whittaker -  BScPT, PhD

Jackie Whittaker - BScPT, PhD

Research Scientist of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Arthritis Research Canada


Dr. Jackie Whittaker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, at the University of British Columbia and is recognized as a Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Dr. Whittaker’s research focuses on preventing osteoarthritis resulting from traumatic sport-related knee joint injuries through: improving care pathways; seeking a better understanding of the consequences of these injuries and; optimizing function and healthy behaviors in persons that have suffered a sport-related knee injury or developed osteoarthritis prematurely as a result. Her research program is supported by CIHR and the Arthritis Society.

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