Skip to main content

Dr Patrick Jachyra

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences 
Associate Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study



  • Affiliate Scientist: Clinical Research - Adult Neurodevelopment and Geriatric Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada
  • Visiting Fellow: Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Core Member: The Alliance of Suicide Prevention and Intervention Researchers and Educators (ASPIRE) Working Group, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Affiliate: Centre for Neurodiversity & Development, Durham University
  • Member: Autistica Early Career Researcher Training Programme 

Google Scholar

Biosketch: Patrick joined Durham University from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada where he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in mental health prevention and intervention. Prior to that, he completed a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences, at the University of Toronto and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, in Toronto, Canada. As part of doctoral training, Patrick completed the Collaborative Specialization in Bioethics at the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. 

Research Interests: Patrick’s research examines the psycho-social dimensions of disability, health, and well-being of neurodivergent individuals, with a particular focus on autistic people. The goal of this research is to support the physical activity, well-being, participation and inclusion of neurodivergent people in society.

Patrick's work draws on a participatory approach and often is co-produced and co-designed with neurodivergent people, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and policy makers.

To advance this research, Patrick takes a transdisciplinary approach drawing on scholarship from rehabilitation sciences, disability studies, psychology, sociology, and public health. Projects completed to date are included below.

Research on Physical Activity and Wellness: Autistic youth, parents, healthcare professionals, and autistic women highlight the benefits, challenges and mearning of physical activity participation. See links below for further information: POND Family Research Information Day NOV 16 2019 Presentation 3 Patrick Jachyra - YouTube

Webinar - Promoting Physical Activity During Adolescence and Adulthood with Dr. Patrick Jacyra - YouTube

Research on Mental Health in Neurodivergent Youth/Adults: Youth share their stories on accessing/receiving mental health care, with tips for healthcare professionals on how to initiate and foster conversations about mental health: POND Youth Digital Stories | Ontario Brain Institute

Article raising awarness on the mental health challenges experienced by autistic peopleAutistic people are six times more likely to attempt suicide – poor mental health support may be to blame (

Media and Event Speaking Engagements: 

Keynote Speaker: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilition Hospital: Keynote: Dr. Patrick Jachyra, Assistant Professor, Durham University. - YouTube

Durham University Convocation 2023 Speaker: Convocation 2023 - YouTube

Bloomberg News: Prognosis Newsletter: New Studies Support Exercise as Antidepressant - Bloomberg

Durham University: Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week: Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week with Dr Patrick Jachyra - Durham University

Dialogue Magazine, Durham University: A day in the life of Dr Patrick Jachyra (

Research Funding: Patrick's research has been funded by: Research England; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; Child-Bright Network, Knowledge Translation Innovation Incubator Grant; the New Frontiers in Research Fund Government of Canada; the Ontario Autism Scholars Award; Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. 

Academic Awards: Patrick's research has been recognized with the Disability in Sport and Physical Activity Champion Award from the Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network: Dr Patrick Jachyra awarded the Disability in sport and physical activity (DisSPA) champion - Durham University

Patrick's academic training has been supported by the Discovery Fund Talent Development Competition from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health which supports the next generation of world class mental health researchers. Patrick's doctoral research received a second prize award in the Pursuit Award from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital for outstanding global contributions and achievements to childhood disability research. 

Knowledge Mobilization: Patrick has presented his research locally, nationally and internationally in: Iceland, Australia, Japan, Canada, United States, Spain, Denmark, Poland, and across the UK.

Community Partnerships: Beyond research, Patrick has been actively involved in the community as the founder and organizer of the Extraordinary Youth Council in Toronto, Canada which is a community recreation program for neurodivergent young people. Patrick’s contributions to the community have been recognized by the University of Toronto Awards of Excellence which is the University of Toronto's most distinguished awards program. He has also received the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award from the University of Toronto.

PhD Supervision: Patrick welcomes applications from potential PhD students interested in the psycho-social aspects of disability, mental health, and physical activity. If you are interested in potential opportunities to study at Durham, please email Patrick directly.

Research interests

  • Autism
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Physical Activity
  • Mental Health
  • Bioethics


Journal Article

Supervision students