Education Programs

Graduate Students

  • Mohammad Alam
    mmalam@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: MSc

    Supervisor: Satyabrata Kar
  • James Benoit
    Portrait of James Benoitjrbenoit@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: PhD

    Supervisors: Andy Greenshaw & Serdar Dursun

    Research Interests

    Psychiatry of high-risk adolescents

    Selected Publications

    Brown MRG, Benoit JRA, Juhas M, Lebel RM, MacKay M, Dametto E, Silverstone PH, Dolcos F, Dursun SM and Greenshaw AJ (2015). Neural correlates of high-risk behaviour tendencies and impulsivity in an emotional Go/NoGo fMRI task. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 9, 24.

    Brown MRG, Benoit JRA, Juhas M, Dametto E, Tse TT, MacKay M, Sen B, Carroll A, Hodlevskyy O, Silverstone PH, Dolcos F, Dursun SM, Greenshaw AJ (2015). fMRI investigation of response inhibition, emotion, impulsivity, and clinical high-risk behaviour in adolescents. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9, 124.

    Cocker PJ, Hosking JG, Benoit J, Winstanley CA (2012). Sensitivity to cognitive effort mediates psychostimulant effects on a novel rodent cost/benefit decision-making task. Neuropsychopharmacology, 37(8): 1825-1837.

    Selected recent awards

    • 2017: Andrew Stewart Memorial Research Prize
    • 2015: QE-II Doctoral Scholarship
    • 2015: AIHS Graduate Scholarship
    • 2015: AITF Graduate Scholarship
    • 2014: NSERC PGS Doctoral Scholarship
  • Jasmine Brown, MSc
    jmbrown1@ualberta.ca

    Current program: MSc

    Supervisor: Andrew Greenshaw

    My research is supervised by Drs. Andrew Greenshaw and Egon Jonsson (Institute of Health Economics). Our work focuses on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and is funded by an Alberta Innovates PRIHS Grant.

    Publications

    http://www.ihe.ca/advanced-search/the-state-of-health-economics-in-alberta-a-review-of-need-capacity-and-action

    Awards

    • Master of Public Policy, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, Scholarship (2011)
    • Master of Public Policy, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, Research Award (2012)


  • Catherine Cheng, MD

    Portrait of Catherine Chengccheng5@ualberta.ca

    Current program: MSc

    Supervisors: Glen Baker, Christopher Power

    I am a third year psychiatry resident physician with a strong interest in psychiatric disorders amongst geriatric populations. My interests are in the role of neurochemical and immune factors in neurocognitive disorders. My current research focuses on the relationship of inflammation and cognitive dysfunction in a subset of patients with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Evidence suggests that amongst individuals with HIV-infection, neuronal dysfunction leads to the acceleration in development of neurocognitive disorders. HAND continues to contribute significantly to the disease sequela, particularly in the context of effective antiretroviral therapies, which have transformed HIV-infection into a chronic disease. Thus, a better understanding of the role of biomarkers (amino acids) and pro-inflammatory cytokines in the disease pathogenesis of dementia in the context of HIV-infection is warranted.

    I am also actively involved in resident advocacy and community leadership, serving as President (2016-2017) of the Professional Association of Resident Physicians of Alberta (PARA), and on the Board of Directors of the Greater Edmonton Foundation (GEF) Seniors Housing, the largest not-for-profit seniors housing organization in Alberta.

    Publications:

    Karam G, Radden Z, Berall L, Cheng C, Gruneir A. (2015). Efficacy of emergency department-based interventions designed to reduce repeat visits and other adverse outcomes for older patients following discharge: A systematic review. Geriatrics and Gerontology International, 15(9): 1107 – 1117.

    Awards:

    • 2016 - AMA/CMA Emerging Leaders in Health Promotion Grant Recipient
    • 2015 - Canadian Depression Intervention Network (CDRIN) National Conference, First place basic science poster presentation
  • Tami-lee Duncan, M.Ed.

    Portrait of Tami-Lee Duncantamilee@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: PhD

    Supervisors: Andrew Greenshaw, Pratap Chokka

    I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Lethbridge in 2004 and a Master’s of Education degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta in 2010. After completing my registration as a psychologist in 2012, I have since built a successful therapeutic practice in Edmonton, offering specialized treatment for a variety of sexual health issues, including female sexual pain disorders.

    In 2016, I opened a mental health clinic, Transcend Psychological Services (www.transcendpsychological.com) where my colleagues and I provide individual, couples, and group treatment for a variety of psychological concerns. In addition to my clinical work, Tami is a regular contributor to VUE Weekly and other media outlets, sharing my expertise on sexual health. I also provide education and consultation for medical and psychology students and other healthcare professionals, and frequently present workshops and lectures in Edmonton.

    My doctoral research centers on the etiological underpinnings of vulvodynia with the intention of developing more effective multidimensional treatment approaches.

  • Daniela Gomez
    Portrait of Daniela Gomezgomexurb@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: PhD

    Supervisor: Esther Fujiwara

    Biosketch:

    My name is Daniela Gomez, and I am a graduate student in Dr. Esther Fujiwara’s lab. My thesis work focuses on understanding the neurocognitive changes associated with HIV-infection. I received a BSc. in Neuroscience at the University of Alberta, where I completed an undergraduate Thesis Project on decision-making deficits in HIV. My current projects include elucidating patterns of cognition in HIV, and understanding risk-taking behaviour in a large Canadian HIV cohort. Given that 25% of people infected with HIV will experience cognitive difficulties, it is important to understand HIV’s impact on cognition. It may help clinicians to optimize current cognitive rehabilitation and intervention strategies to help stop, reverse, or prevent impairment, and ultimately increase the quality of life of people living with HIV.

    Publication:

    Gomez, D., Power, C., Gill, M. J., & Fujiwara, E. (2017). Determinants of risk-taking in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Neuropsychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/neu0000366.

    Fujiwara Lab website:
    https://sites.ualberta.ca/~efujiwar/

    Awards:

    • 2016 Psychiatry Research Day Best Poster - “Determinants of risk-taking and impulsiveness in individuals with HIV+ infection”
    • 2017 Psychiatry Research Day Best Poster – “Neurocognitive profiles in HIV-infection”
  • Michal Juhas
    juhas@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: PhD

    Supervisors: Andrew Greenshaw & Serdar Dursun

    My PhD work uses neuroimaging (MRI) to identify altered brain connectivity in Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). I am working as a part of an international team grant project (funded by CIHR and the European Commission under ERANet Neuron) on a translational study of brain changes associated with early recovery from AUD. The aims of my project are to use MRI to study (1) structural and functional connectivity differences between normal and alcohol dependent brains and (2) examine longitudinal changes in brain net-works in response to different clinical interventions (with and without an opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone). Time permitting, I would also like to explore brain phenotype of sub-clinical alcohol abusers with limited total alcohol exposure in the general population (from the restricted Human Connectome Project dataset) compared to chronic abusers to better understand AUD etiology.

    Selected publications

    Juhas, M., Sun, H., Brown, M., MacKay, M., Mann, K., Sommer, W., Wilman, A., Dursun, S., Greenshaw, A. (2017). Deep grey matter iron accumulation in alcohol use disorder. NeuroImage,148, 115-122.

    Agyapong, V., Mrklas, K., Juhas, M., Omeje, J., Ohinmaa, A., Dursun, S., Greenshaw, A. (2016). Cross-sectional survey evaluating Text4Mood: mobile health program to reduce psychological treatment gap in mental healthcare in Alberta through daily supportive messages. BMC Psychiatry, 16, 378.

    Chen, Y., Meng, X., Hu, Q., Cui, H., Ding, Y., Kang, L., Juhas, M., Greenshaw, A., Zhao, A., Wang, Y., Cui, G., Li, P. (2016). Altered resting-state functional organization within the central executive network in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 70, 448-456.

    Juhas, M., Agyapong, V. (2016). Patients assessed by the liaison psychiatric team in the emergency department of a regional hospital in Canada - general characteristics and gender differences. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 20, 179-186.

    Chen, Y., Juhas, M., Greenshaw, A., Hu, Q., Meng, X., Cui, H., Ding, Y., Kang, L., Zhang, Y., Wang, Y., Cui, G., Li, P. (2016). Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity of the left caudate nucleus in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Neuroscience Letters, 623, 57-62.

    Brown MRG, Benoit JRA, Juhas M, Lebel RM, MacKay M, Dametto E, Silverstone PH, Dolcos F, Dursun SM and Greenshaw AJ (2015). Neural correlates of high-risk behaviour tendencies and impulsivity in an emotional Go/NoGo fMRI task. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 9, 24.

    Brown MRG, Benoit JRA, Juhas M, Dametto E, Tse TT, MacKay M, Sen B, Carroll A, Hodlevskyy O, Silverstone PH, Dolcos F, Dursun SM, Greenshaw AJ (2015). fMRI investigation of response inhibition, emotion, impulsivity, and clinical high-risk behaviour in adolescents. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9, 124.

    Kodiha, M., Hutter, E., Boridy, S., Juhas, M., Stochaj, U., Maysinger, D. (2014). Gold nanoparticles induce nuclear damage in breast cancer cells, which is further amplified by hyperthermia. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 71, 4259-4273.

    Castonguay, A., Doucet, C., Juhas, M., Maysinger, D. (2012). New ruthenium(II)-letrozole complexes as anticancer therapeutics. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 55, 8799-8806.

    Selected recent awards

    2016: QE-II Doctoral Scholarship
    2015: AIHS Graduate Scholarship
    2015: AITF Graduate Scholarship
    2015: NSERC PGS Doctoral Scholarship

  • Rohit Lodhi, MD
    rlodhi@ualberta.ca

    Current program: PhD

    Supervisor: Katherine Aitchison

    I am a practicing psychiatrist (MD) who received training in India, UK and Australia, currently earning a PhD under supervision of Dr. Katherine J. Aitchison and Dr. Scot E. Purdon. My research areas include change in bone markers after alteration of antipsychotic treatment, antipsychotic associated metabolic syndrome – its genetic and environmental contributors, treatment of psychiatric medication related metabolic syndrome and the effect of cannabis on the age of onset of psychosis.

    Selected Publications:

    Lodhi RJ, Masand S, Mir A, Shivakumar K, McAllister VDM, Young LC, O’Keane V, Head AH, Aitchison KJ. Change in bone turnover markers in an aripiprazole add-on or switching study, Schizophrenia Research. 2016 Feb; 170(2-3): 245-51
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2015.12.007

    Lodhi RJ, Rossolatos D, Aitchison KJ. Genetics and genomics in addiction research In: Wolff K, White J, Karch S (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Drug & Alcohol Studies Volume 2, Section 1, Chapter 1.
    https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/the-sage-handbook-of-drug-alcohol-studies-volume-2/book243830

    Rooprai HK, Ashkan K, Brazil L, Selway RP, Lodhi R, Aitchison KJ, Gullan RW, Beaney R. Role of a combination of seven different micronutrients in the management of Glioblastoma Multiforme. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2015 Feb 11. pii: S0936-6555 (15) 00034-5.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2015.01.010

    Awards:

    Junior Investigator Colloquium Award, Canadian Psychiatric Association September 2016
    Hassan F.A. Azim Graduate Award, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, June 2016
    University of Alberta Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship, April 2015

  • Jessica Luki
    jluki@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: MSc

    Supervisors: Jean Michel LeMelledo & Katherine Aitchison
  • Manoj Malik
    Portrait of Manoj Malikmkmalik@ualberta.ca

    Current program: PhD

    Supervisor: Andrew Greenshaw

    I study neuroimaging biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). AD is the most common form of dementia, which not only imposes a significant financial burden on our health care system, but also an immeasurable human suffering to the patients and their families. At present, the diagnosis of AD is based on clinical observations and cognitive testing, but the definitive diagnosis can only be confirmed by a postmortem study. My goal is to locate a set(s) of antemortem neuroimaging biomarkers for early diagnosis, prediction and better understanding of brain changes in AD and other related dementia. Apart from my curricular activities, I enjoy cooking, playing cricket and chess.

    Publications

    Dametto, E., Zuffo, S., Juhas, M., Malic, M. (2016). Neurocysticercosis in Asplenic Patient, Case Report. Revista Brasileira de Neurologia (ISSN: 0101-8469)

    Awards

    National Overseas Scholarship, Government of India

  • Tyler Marshall, MPH
    rtmarsha@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: PhD

    Supervisors: Sunita Vohra & Xinmin Li
  • Brad Necyk, MFA

    bnecyk@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: PhD

    Supervisor: Pamela Brett-MacLean & Andrew Greenshaw

    I am a visual artist working through the mediums of drawing, photography, video, film, sculpture, and performance, and I am completing an arts-based Ph.D. in Psychiatry. Currently, I am a visiting artist/researcher at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and have a studio residency at Workman Arts, Toronto. My current work focuses on patient experience, auto-ethnography, psychiatry, pharmaceutics, and biopolitics. I have been shown internationally, was an artist in the 2015 Alberta Biennial, participated in artists’ residencies, and delivered academic papers internationally. I am also a committee member on several professional bodies, a scholar at the Integrative Health Institute at the University of Alberta, and I teach several senior level courses in Drawing and Intermedia at the University of Alberta and MacEwan University.

    Website: Please visit www.bradnecyk.com for more information and my full CV.

    Selected Recent Awards

    2017 Alberta Foundation for the Art Individual Project Grant
    2017 Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship
    2016 Rudelle Hall Graduate Scholarship
    2016 Indigenous Graduate Scholarship
    2016 FFAC Research, Scholarly, and Creative Achievement Fund Award
    2016 Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CIHR)
    2016 Walter H. Johns Graduate Fellowship
    2015 Kule Research Team Grant
    2015 Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network
    2015 Profiling Alberta's Graduate Students Award
    2015 Graduate Students Association Travel Grant
    2015 Alberta Foundation for the Arts Individual Project Grant

  • John Wesley Paylor, MSc
    Portrait of Wes Paylorpaylor@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: PhD

    Supervisor: Ian Winship

    I joined the Department of Psychiatry in January 2016 for my PhD after completing my Master’s degree in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute at the U of A. My doctoral work is a continuation of my master’s, focusing on the underlying neurobiology of schizophrenia. In particular I examine the development of the prefrontal cortex and how neural plasticity might play a role in the disorder. Using the high-powered in vivo imaging techniques available in Ian Winship’s lab, I am evaluating how the structure and function of brain cells change in schizophrenia. Outside of the lab, I am a passionate advocate for science literacy and communication.

    Publications:

    Potter, L.E., Paylor, J.W., Jee Su, G., Tenorio, G., Caliaperumal, J., Colborne, F., Baker, G., Winship, I., & Kerr, B. (2016). Altered excitatory-inhibitory balance within somatosensory cortex is associated with enhanced plasticity and pain sensitivity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroinflammatio, 13(1), 142. doi: 10.1186/s12974-016-0609-4

    Thorburn, K.C., Paylor, J.W., Webber, C.A., Winship, I.R., & Kerr, B.J. (2016). Facial hypersensitivity and trigeminal pathology in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Pain, 157(3), 627-642. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000409

    Paylor, J.W. (2015). Perineuronal Nets and Parvalbumin Interneurons in the PolyI:C Model of Schizophrenia. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

    Benson,C*., Paylor,J.W*., Tenorio,G., Winship,I.R., Baker,G., & Kerr,B. (2015). Voluntary wheel running delays disease onset and improves sensory function in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Experimental Neurology, 271, 279-290. doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.05.017 *joint first-authors

    Website: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~iwinship/

    Awards:

    • 2017 – NSERC PGS Doctoral Award
    • 2016 – GSA Graduate Student Service Award
    • 2016 – Department of Psychiatry Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship
  • Matthew Reeson
    Portrait of Matt Reesonmreeson@ualberta.ca

    Current program: MSc

    Supervisor: Andrew Greenshaw

    My research is focused on epigenetic mechanisms responsible for mental health development in youth with Adverse Childhood Experiences. Childhood trauma and child and adolescent mental health are both fields that need extensive research. Long-term I would like to research the effects of psychedelic drugs on the brain; in particular, the effects these compounds have on individuals struggling with depression, addiction, and PTSD. The therapeutic potential of serotonin mimics is a developing field in neuropsycopharmacology and mental health.

  • Anna Sasse, MD

    vsasse@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: MSc

    Supervisor: Satyabrata Kar

    Publications:

    Banerjee M, Sasse VA, Wang Y, Maulik M, Kar S. (2015). Increased levels and activity of cathepsins B and D in kainate-induced toxicity. Neuroscience, 284,360-373.

    Buggia-Prévot, V., Fernandez, C.G., Udayar, V., Vetrivel, K.S., Elie, A., Roseman, J., Sasse, V.A., Lefkow, M., Meckler, X., Bhattacharyya, S., George, M., Kar, S., Bindokas, V.P., Parent, A.T., Rajendran, L., Band, H., Vassar, R., Thinakaran, G. (2013). A function for EHD family proteins in unidirectional retrograde dendritic transport of BACE1 and Alzheimer's disease Aβ production. Cell Reports, 5, 1552-1563.

  • Sudhakar Sivapalan, MD
    Portrait of Sudakhar Sivapalansivapala@ualberta.ca

    Current program: MSc

    Supervisor: Katherine Aitchison

    I am a PGY-5 resident in Psychiatry, and am currently working on an M.Sc. in the area of Early Psychosis, looking at the relationship between cognitive functioning and metabolic syndrome. I also have a background in computer engineering and have also developed an interest in how technology and social media affect the practice of psychiatry.

    Awards:

    • Chairman’s Prize for Research, 2014
    • Sidney Spaner Memorial Award in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, 2014
    • RH Mewburn Memorial Prize (Geriatric Psychiatry), 2014
    • RH Mewburn Memorial Prize (General Adult Psychiatry), 2013
    • “Resident of the Year - Psychiatry” Award, Grey Nuns Medical Staff Association, 2013.
  • Rejish Thomas, MD
    Portrait of Reji Thomasrejish@ualberta.ca

    Current Program: MSc

    Supervisors: Serdar Dursun, Glen Baker

    A humble man, from humble beginnings, I grew up in small town Fairview, Alberta, where I made the decision to forego the fame that comes with a career in college volleyball, to pursue medicine. I obtained my BSc at the UofA in Immunology and then continued to complete my MD at the UofA. I enjoyed medicine, and then fell in love with psychiatry. I am currently a proud PGY3 at the UofA and glad to be able to explore my passion in research. Amongst my research interests are treatment resistant depression, psychopharmacology and transcultural psychiatry.

    Selected Publications:

    Thomas, R., Baker, G., Dursun, S., Dhami, K., Chue, J. and Chue, P. Glycine reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Bulletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2014;24(3):195-200.

    Thomas, R., Cetin, M., Baker, G., Dursun, S. Comments on FDA’s breakthrough therapy designation of intranasal esketamine for the treatment of major depressive disorder with imminent risk of suicide. Bulletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2016;26(4):329-31.

    Riske, L., Thomas, R., Baker, G., Dursun, S. Lactate in the brain: an update on its relevance to brain energy, neurons, glia and panic disorder. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology accepted for Vol 7, Issue 2, 2017.

    Thomas, R., Sivapalan, S. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Chapter accepted for publication in Edmonton Manual 2017.

    Thomas, R, Kao, C, Fraser, D (2013). Preterm Labour. ObsGyne Section: The Edmonton Manual of Common Clinical Scenarios. Edmonton, Canada: University of Alberta Medical Students Association.

    Selected Awards

    • COPE Best Paper Award (2016)
    • The Henry Wojcicki Transcultural Psychiatry Resident Award (2016)
    • Grey Nuns Hospital Department of Psychiatry Resident of the Year (2015/2016)
    • University of Alberta Psychiatry OSCE Junior Resident Prize (2015)
    • AMA Emerging Leaders Grant – Addictions prevention project at Spruce Ave Jr. High (inner city) (2015)
    • Psychiatry Resident Researcher of the Year award - first PGY1 to ever win the award (2015)
    • CPA Global Psychiatry Essay Contest Winner – presented at the International Congress of Psychiatrists conference in Birmingham in July 2015 in a 75-minute time slot on Transcultural Psychiatry and Training in Canada (2014)

     

  • Eszter Wendlandt
    eszepesv@ualberta.ca

    Current program: MSc

    Supervisor: Ian Winship

    I am currently completing my Master's degree under the supervision of Dr. Ian Winship in the Neurochemical Research Unit of the Department of Psychiatry. I received my Bsc. Honors in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta in 2016.

    Research Interests:

    One of the main mechanisms governing functional recovery following stroke is the functional and structural rewiring of neural circuits – central nervous system (CNS) plasticity. Axonal sprouting is a key component of this process and is tightly regulated by a multitude of complex signalling pathways, which, in the adult CNS, result predominantly in its the inhibition. Some of the more salient inhibitory signals recognized today include those found on myelin sheaths and on chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) – a major component of the interstitial and perineuronal extracellular matrices. Interestingly, myelin changes themselves are increasingly recognized as a form of plasticity that is essential for healthy neural processing; plasticity that appears likewise regulated by an interaction with CSPGs. My research is focused on characterizing this relationship between post-stroke axonal sprouting, CSPG formation and myelination via longitudinal in vivo imaging of these variables and ultimately determining how they relate to functional remapping and stroke outcome.

    Awards

    • QE-II scholarship 2016
    • NSERC Master’s scholarship 2016/2017

Selected Recent Alumni

Dimitar Ourdev (MSc 2017) -  Law school, University of Calgary

David Rossolatos (MSc 2017) - Medical school, UK

Paramjit Bhardwaj (PhD 2017)

Deena Hamza (PhD 2017) - Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta

Saleem Al-Nuaimi, MD (MSc 2017) 

Yanlin Wang (PhD 2016) - Medical Information Specialist/Product Manager, Biohop Technologies Inc. (Vancouver)

Chandra Ashton, M.Ed. (PhD 2016) - Counselling Therapist, Kells Counselling (Edmonton)

Erin Martin, M.Ed. (PhD 2016) - Counselling Therapist, Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton

Brenda Maire (MSc 2016) - Provincial Homicide Family Liaison, Victim Services

Eric Dametto, MD (PhD 2016) -  

Huining Guo, MD (MSc 2016) 

Yasmeen Krameddine (PhD 2015) - Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta, Department of Psychiatry & ProTraining - Effective Mental Health Training for Police and Security Professionals

Victoria Suen (PhD 2014) - Manager, Addiction and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network Alberta Health Services