Jennifer Beck

PhD, MSc

Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science


Dr. Jennifer Beck is a Physiologist who graduated with both a Masters of Science and PhD from McGill University at the Meakins Christie Laboratories.

She trained as a postdoctoral fellow for two years at McGill University and at the University of Montreal. She became an independent researcher at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in 2003. In 2008, Dr. Beck took a position as a Staff Scientist in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) and Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (LKSKI) of St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at University of Toronto and a Member of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBEST) at Ryerson University and St.Michael’s Hospital.

With her colleagues, Dr. Beck developed a method to accurately measure the electrical activity of the diaphragm, which is the most important muscle of respiration. This technology is now used in the critical care setting to monitor patients and to control mechanical ventilation. She is co-inventor of the “NAVA technology”, and has published numerous papers on the topic of control of breathing and patient-ventilator interaction. Her current work is focused on new ventilation methods for preterm newborns.

Recent Publications

  1. Iyer, NP, Dickson, J, Ruiz, ME, Chatburn, R, Beck, J, Sinderby, C et al.. Neural breathing pattern in newborn infants pre- and postextubation. Acta Paediatr. 2017;106 (12):1928-1933. doi: 10.1111/apa.14040. PubMed PMID:28833570 .
  2. Brander, L, Moerer, O, Hedenstierna, G, Beck, J, Takala, J, Slutsky, AS et al.. Neural control of ventilation prevents both over-distension and de-recruitment of experimentally injured lungs. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2017;237 :57-67. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2016.12.010. PubMed PMID:28013057 .
  3. Firestone, KS, Beck, J, Stein, H. Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist for Noninvasive Support in Neonates. Clin Perinatol. 2016;43 (4):707-724. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2016.07.007. PubMed PMID:27837754 .
  4. Ng, E, Schurr, P, Reilly, M, Dunn, M, Beck, J. Impact of feeding method on diaphragm electrical activity and central apnea in preterm infants (FEAdi study). Early Hum. Dev. 2016;101 :33-7. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2016.05.005. PubMed PMID:27405054 .
  5. Stein, H, Beck, J, Dunn, M. Non-invasive ventilation with neurally adjusted ventilatory assist in newborns. Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016;21 (3):154-61. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2016.01.006. PubMed PMID:26899957 .
  6. Cantin, D, Djeddi, D, Carrière, V, Samson, N, Nault, S, Jia, WL et al.. Inhibitory Effect of Nasal Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation on Gastroesophageal Reflux. PLoS ONE. 2016;11 (1):e0146742. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146742. PubMed PMID:26785264 PubMed Central PMC4718652.
  7. Beck, J, Emeriaud, G, Liu, Y, Sinderby, C. Neurally-adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) in children: a systematic review. Minerva Anestesiol. 2016;82 (8):874-83. . PubMed PMID:26375790 .
  8. Liu, L, Takahashi, D, Qui, H, Slutsky, AS, Sinderby, C, Beck, J et al.. Feasibility of neurally adjusted positive end-expiratory pressure in rabbits with early experimental lung injury. BMC Anesthesiol. 2015;15 :124. doi: 10.1186/s12871-015-0103-z. PubMed PMID:26369672 PubMed Central PMC4570554.
  9. Parikka, V, Beck, J, Zhai, Q, Leppäsalo, J, Lehtonen, L, Soukka, H et al.. The effect of caffeine citrate on neural breathing pattern in preterm infants. Early Hum. Dev. 2015;91 (10):565-8. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.06.007. PubMed PMID:26217936 .
  10. Liu, L, Xia, F, Yang, Y, Longhini, F, Navalesi, P, Beck, J et al.. Neural versus pneumatic control of pressure support in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases at different levels of positive end expiratory pressure: a physiological study. Crit Care. 2015;19 :244. doi: 10.1186/s13054-015-0971-0. PubMed PMID:26059238 PubMed Central PMC4487968.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Member, Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBEST), St.Michael’s Hospital and Ryerson University
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada