Clinician Scientist Profiles
I completed my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. For my Master’s degree, I worked under the supervision of Dr. Paul Frankland at the Hospital for Sick Children researching adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus using mouse models. I completed medical school at the University of Toronto and developed an interest in child and adolescent psychiatry. I am particularly interested in working with children with autism and hope to intertwine my future clinical practice with research in order to learn how to best understand and treat children with autism and co-morbid mental health disorders.
I am fascinated by the biology underlying psychiatric disorders, and my research uses genomic data as a window into that biology. I am particularly interested in psychoneuroimmunology, the way the brain and immune system interact to influence behaviour and predispose to psychiatric disorders. Prior to residency, I completed MD/PhD training at the University of Toronto with a research specialization in statistical genetics. I co-developed a method (BUHMBOX) to identify biologically relevant groups of patients in genetic samples with limited clinical data (e.g. immune-driven subgroups). I have collaborated with international consortia on genome-wide association studies of schizophrenia and immune-mediated disorders, and identified significant genetic overlap between schizophrenia and certain immune-mediated disorders (those with a strong T-cell component). In my CSP research I am continuing to use big data to better understand similarities and differences in biology – including neuroimmune mechanisms – across psychiatric disorders.
North de Pencier
Dr. North de Pencier has a BA (Hons) from the University of Chicago in South Asian Languages and Civilizations and an MD from
Western University. Her research centers around the history of mental health delivery and Indigenous Health in northern Ontario.
Supervisors: Dr. Gerald McKinley, PhD and Dr. Allison Crawford, MD PhD
I am a second year psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto. I am interested in the clinical and research implications of
differential placebo effects in late-life depression.