• Christopher Power

    Professor | Principal Investigator Canada Research Chair(Tier 1 in Neurological Infection and Immunity)Academic Biography
    Christopher Power, B.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.P(C) is a Professor at the University of Alberta and holds a Canada Research Chair in Neurologic Infection and Immunity. He received a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and an M.D. from the University of Ottawa with subsequent training in medicine and neurology at McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario, respectively, and postdoctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health in neurovirology. Dr. Power is a physician-scientist who studies the mechanisms of neuroinflammatory diseases and their treatments including multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuroHIV. In addition to directing his laboratory, the BrainPowerLab, he is also an attending physician in the University of Alberta HIV and MS Clinics and is the founding Director of the University of Alberta MS Centre. He is an author on over 200 peer-reviewed publications and holds grants from CIHR and MS Society of Canada.

  • Jason Fernandes

    Jason Fernandes

    Lab Technician/Prospective MSc Student



    Academic Background and Interests:
    Jason finds the study of viruses to be particularly captivating, he believes they are a perfect example of the exquisite beauty molecular biology has to offer. Specifically, he is fascinated by retroviruses like HIV. To achieve a functional cure of HIV, it is necessary to eradicate viral reservoirs present in various areas of the body, such as the brain. One aspect of research in the Power lab seeks to understand the underlying viral and innate neuroimmunological mechanisms that allow HIV to persist in the brain.

    BSc (Honours) Immunology and Infection, University of Alberta (2018)

    CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarships-Masters (CGS-M; 2018)
    AIHS Summer Studentship (2016, 2017)
    URI Undergraduate Researcher Stipend (2018)

  • Matthew Doan

    Mathew DoanMSc Student



    Academic Background and Interests: Matthew completed his BSc at the Concordia University of Edmonton with High Distinction in 2017. He began in the Power Lab as a summer student in 2017 after completing his degree. He then transitioned into a junior technician role where he began his studies on a novel neurotropic virus that was identified in human brain tissue. He is now an MSc student in Neuroscience, where he is continuing the study of Human Pegivirus-1 and its association with encephalitis in humans.
    Education: BSc Biology, Concordia University of Edmonton (2017)
    Awards: CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships- Master's (CGS-M) Queen Elizabeth II Master's Award Myer Horowitz Graduate Students' Association Graduate Scholarship

  • Brienne McKenzie

    Brienne MckenziePhD Graduate Student


    Academic Background and Interests:

    Brienne is a PhD candidate in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology whose thesis focuses upon the role of inflammasome activation and pyroptosis in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its preclinical model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Her doctoral research highlighting the role of pyroptosis in MS and EAE was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). She has co-authored ten papers, including three first author manuscripts.


    BSc Biomedical Sciences, University of Calgary

    MSc Cancer Biology, University of Calgary


    Ivy and William Thompson Graduate Scholarship

    Queen Elizabeth II Doctoral Award

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research Banting and Best Doctoral Award

    Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Graduate Studentship

  • William Branton

    William BrantonSenior Lab Technician



    Academic Background and Interests: William is a researcher with nearly 20 years of experience in studying host microbe interactions. His current projects focus on measuring host and pathogen derived gene and protein interactions in diseased tissue by various techniques including confocal microscopy and next generation sequencing.
    Education: MSc, University of Alberta (2004)
    Awards: Nat Rutter Outstanding Technician Award (2019)

  • Yanna Xiao

    Postdoctoral FellowYanna Xiao



    Academic Background and Interests: Yanna is interested in studying the host-virus interaction, focusing on virus induced host innate immune response and the virus evading mechanisms from said responses.
    Education: PhD Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Alberta Master Medical Pathology and Pathophysiology, Shantou University MD, Wuhan University of Science and Technology
    Awards: Li Ka Shing - Sino Foundation scholarship GSA Professional Development Award First Class University Scholarship First and Second Class University Prize National Scholarship

  • Kyle Corbett


    Academic Background and Interests:kyle-corbett.jpg

    Kyle has completed both an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Political Science, as well as a Master's degree in Political Science from Queen's university. 

    Kyle assists with the administration of The Brain Power Lab research.

  • Mackenzie Smith

    Academic Background and Interests:
    After completing a BSc in biochemistry from the University of Alberta in spring 2019, I was focused on expanding my knowledge in the area of neuroimmunology. I am very excited by the research being conducted in the Power lab focusing on HIV and innate immune responses as well as studies investigating pyroptosis and inflammasome activation using MS models.

    BSc specialization in Biochemistry, University of Alberta

  • Nazanin Mohammadzadeh

    PhD candidate

    Academic Background and Interests:
    I completed my MSc (2018) at the University of Saskatchewan, where I studied the role of human APOBEC3 enzymes in HIV-1 evolution. I am interested in the interaction of host restriction factors and HIV-1. To follow my passion, I joined Dr. Power's lab at the University of Alberta in September 2019 to study the landscape of host-viral interactions in the HIV-1 infected brain. My research focuses on the correlation of upregulated host restriction factors in HIV-1 infected brains and the development of HIV associated neurological disorders.

    BSC Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Azad University Tehran Medical Branch, Iran
    MSc Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan

    U of A Graduate Fellowship Scholarship