Jennifer Beck

PhD, MSc



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. Coiffard, B, Dianti, J, Telias, I, Brochard, LJ, Slutsky, AS, Beck, J et al.. Dyssynchronous diaphragm contractions impair diaphragm function in mechanically ventilated patients. Crit Care. 2024;28 (1):107. doi: 10.1186/s13054-024-04894-3. PubMed PMID:38566126 PubMed Central PMC10988824.
  2. Lynch, AL, Matlock, DN, Akmyradov, C, Weisner, MD, Beck, J, Sinderby, C et al.. Tidal volume delivery during nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation: infant cannula vs. nasal continuous positive airway pressure prongs. J Perinatol. 2024;44 (2):244-249. doi: 10.1038/s41372-023-01846-7. PubMed PMID:38129599 .
  3. Zhang, R, Xu, X, Chen, H, Beck, J, Sinderby, C, Qiu, H et al.. Predicting extubation in patients with traumatic cervical spinal cord injury using the diaphragm electrical activity during a single maximal maneuver. Ann Intensive Care. 2023;13 (1):122. doi: 10.1186/s13613-023-01217-7. PubMed PMID:38055103 PubMed Central PMC10700269.
  4. Liu, L, Li, HL, Lu, C, Patel, P, Wang, D, Beck, J et al.. Estimation of transpulmonary driving pressure during synchronized mechanical ventilation using a single lower assist maneuver (LAM) in rabbits: a comparison to measurements made with an esophageal balloon. Crit Care. 2023;27 (1):325. doi: 10.1186/s13054-023-04607-2. PubMed PMID:37626372 PubMed Central PMC10463600.
  5. Namdev, S, Tarafdar, O, Fusch, G, Beck, J, Mukerji, A. Pressure transmission and electrical diaphragm activity in preterm infants during nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation-an exploratory prospective physiological study. J Perinatol. 2023;43 (8):1004-1006. doi: 10.1038/s41372-023-01686-5. PubMed PMID:37138164 .
  6. Beck, J, Li, HL, Lu, C, Campbell, DM, Sinderby, C. Synchronized and proportional sub-diaphragmatic unloading in an animal model of respiratory distress. Pediatr Res. 2023;93 (4):878-886. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02238-x. PubMed PMID:35941145 .
  7. Beck, J, Sinderby, C. Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist in Newborns. Clin Perinatol. 2021;48 (4):783-811. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2021.07.007. PubMed PMID:34774209 .
  8. Takahashi, D, Beck, J, Goto, K, Sinderby, C. Spontaneous breathing during high-frequency oscillation revealed by diaphragm electrical activity. Pediatr Neonatol. 2022;63 (1):99-100. doi: 10.1016/j.pedneo.2021.08.005. PubMed PMID:34535430 .
  9. Neumann-Klimasińska, N, Merritt, TA, Beck, J, Miechowicz, I, Szymankiewicz-Bręborowicz, M, Szczapa, T et al.. Effects of heliox and non-invasive neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NIV-NAVA) in preterm infants. Sci Rep. 2021;11 (1):15778. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-95444-2. PubMed PMID:34349223 PubMed Central PMC8338984.
  10. Yuan, X, Lu, X, Chao, Y, Beck, J, Sinderby, C, Xie, J et al.. Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist as a weaning mode for adults with invasive mechanical ventilation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Crit Care. 2021;25 (1):222. doi: 10.1186/s13054-021-03644-z. PubMed PMID:34187528 PubMed Central PMC8240429.
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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