Clinician Scientist Profiles

PGY1: Bushra Khan

COMING SOON!

PGY1: Enoch Ng

COMING SOON!

PGY1: Jennie Pouget

COMING SOON!

PGY2: Brett Jones

COMING SOON!

PGY3: Shahab Ghorashi

Degree(s): MD, PhD

Program (Year): CSP Postgraduate Stream, (PGY2)

Email: shahab.ghorashi@gmail.com

I have a background in cognitive psychology and in studying deficits in brain oscillations in schizophrenia patients. At the beginning of my psychiatry training here at the U of T I have the opportunity to work with Dr. Daskalakis, a great supervisor and a renowned clinician scientist in this field, to broaden my experience and learn more about using repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in treating treatment-resistant psychotic or depressed patients.

Project Title: magnetic seizure therapy (MST) for treatment resistant schizophrenia

Supervisor(s): Dr. Daskalakis

 

PGY3:Thiara Gurneet

Degree(s): MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY2)

Email: gurneet.thiara@mail.utoronto.ca

After graduating from medical school, I spent the last year acquiring a breadth of diverse research experiences in Psychiatry exploring the interplay with medicine in different patient populations (traumatic brain injury, bariatric surgery, and cancer). During this time, I also became interested in exploring health systems issues having contributed to academic research in residency curriculum development and quality improvement projects.

My primary research project in the CSP pregraduate stream is a longitudinal research study examining an evaluative psychosocial assessment tool: Toronto Bariatric Interprofessional Psychosocial Assessment of Suitability Scale (BIPASS). We are currently in phase II of this study.

Project Title: Toronto Bariatric Interprofessional Psychosocial Assessment Suitability Scale (BIPASSTM): Evaluating a new clinical assessment tool for bariatric surgery candidates

Supervisor(s): Dr. Sanjeev Sockalingam

PubMed link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=gurneet+thiara+%5Bau%5D

PGY3: Katrina Hui

Degree(s): B.S., M.S., M.D.

Program (Year):CSP Postgraduate Stream, (PGY2)

Email: katrina.hui@utoronto.ca

I completed a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Philosophy at Stanford University, followed by an M.S. in Bioethics from Columbia University with a focus on neuroethics. I attended medical school at McMaster University and am currently a psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto. Apart from bioethics, my research interests also extend to the use of neuroimaging to identify targets for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for the optimization of treatment parameters for mental illness.

Project Title: Optimization of treatment parameters for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment-resistant depression

Supervisor(s): Dr. Jonathan Downar

PubMed link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Katrina_Hui

PGY3: Ammar Khairullah

COMING SOON!

PGY3: Helen Lee

Degree(s): MSc, MD

Program (Year): CSP Postgraduate Stream, (PGY2)

Email: hyewon.helen.lee@gmail.com

Prior to residency, I studied Health Sciences at McMaster University, followed by a graduate degree (MSc) in neuroscience at Queen’s University and medical school at Western University. Throughout my training, I have been involved in multiple research projects including cultural comparison of stigma and deep brain stimulation. My current research interests include novel therapeutic modalities for psychiatric disorders, specifically neurostimulation. As a part of the research team at the MRI-guided rTMS clinic (Toronto Western Hospital), I am currently looking at clinical predictors of rTMS response in patients with medication-resistant MDD. My other research interests include novel targets and optimization of parameters of rTMS treatment for various psychiatric disorders.

Project Title: Clinical predictors of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) rTMS response in patients with medication-resistant MDD

My Citations 

Supervisor(s): Jonathan Downar

PGY3: Sean Nestor

Degree(s): MD, PhD

Program (Year): CSP Postgraduate Stream, (PGY2)

Email: sean.nestor@mail.utoronto.ca

During my MD/PhD studies under the supervision of Dr. S. Black at U of T, I developed automated software techniques to map human brain networks, and applied these methods to study Alzheimer’s disease. As resident in the CSP under the mentorship of Drs. D. Blumberger and J. Downar, I plan to apply these novel software platforms to examine how brain networks differ among healthy adults and persons with depression. I also plan to explore whether the integrity of particular brain networks can predict clinical response to neurostimulation therapies (e.g. rTMS) for treatment of depression. By exploring how depression biologically disrupts the brain, and predicting who will respond to state-of-the-art antidepressant therapies, we will be able to greatly improve treatment outcomes in depression.

Project Title: Brain mapping to assess network disruption in depression and to predict response to rTMS treatment

Supervisor(s): Primary supervisor: Dr. Daniel Blumberger; Secondary supervisors: Dr. Jonathan Downar and Dr. Sandra Black

PubMed Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Sean+Nestor

PGY3: Victor Tang

Degree(s): MSc, MD

Program (Year): CSP Postgraduate Stream, (PGY2)

Email: victormtang@gmail.com

I completed a BSc in Psychology and MSc in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. Following this, I obtained my MD at Queen’s University before entering residency in psychiatry in Toronto. Previous research projects have included the study of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in bipolar disorder, white matter neuroimaging in psychostimulant drug use, and the diagnosis and treatment of catatonia. 

Currently I am doing research with the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention at CAMH in magnetic seizure therapy, a study novel brain stimulation therapy for those with severe, treatment resistant mood and psychotic disorders.

Project Title: Magnetic seizure therapy in treatment resistant psychotic disorders

My Citations 

Supervisor(s): Jeff Daskalakis

PGY3: Lily Van

Degree(s): BHSc, MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

I completed my Bachelors of Health Sciences at McMaster University with a minor in psychology. Following this, I completed medical school at the University of Toronto. My research area of interest is in the genetics of schizophrenia in particular 22q11.2 deletion syndrome which confers a ~25% lifetime risk for schizophrenia. I currently work at the Clinical Genetics Research Program at CAMH and am studying predisposing factors and treatment of schizophrenia in individuals with this condition.

Project Title: Schizophrenia in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

Supervisor: Anne Bassett

PGY4: Zenita Alidina

Degree(s): MD, BHSc

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

Email: zenita.alidina@mail.utoronto.ca

I became interested in academic research during my undergraduate studies in Health Sciences at McMaster University. I continued to pursue this interest in medical school at the University of Toronto and am excited to remain involved during my residency in Psychiatry. My current research focuses on children’s mental health, and specifically factors related to those that present with suicidality and their response to existing interventions, in order to guide the development of suicide prevention strategies in clinical settings.

Project Title: Examination of emergency department visits for suicide and suicide related behaviours in youth to inform prevention strategies

Supervisor(s): Dr. Peter Szatmari

PGY4: Emily Donaldson

Degree(s): MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

Email: ee.donaldson@mail.utoronto.ca

Throughout my studies, I learned that abnormalities of the brain change the way a person perceives and interacts with the world. I became fascinated by how the brain affects behaviour, and behaviour affects the brain. This interest continued to grow as I worked as a research assistant exploring the link between cerebrovascular disease, cognitive impairment and depression. In residency, I will continue academic pursuit through research in neuropsychiatry. As part of the Clinician Scientist Stream, I plan to investigate the high-level cognitive functions of patients with multiple sclerosis and assess the degree to which these behaviours correlate with structural abnormalities on brain imaging.

Project Title: Neural correlates of high-level cognitive functions in patients with multiple sclerosis

Supervisor(s): Dr. Anthony Feinstein

PGY4: Zainab Furqan

Degree(s): B. Arts Sc. MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

Email: zainab.furqan@mail.utoronto.ca

I completed my undergraduate degree in Arts and Science and my medical training at McMaster. I am fascinated by the process of rigorously and systematically examining the lived experiences of participants. Currently, my work involves the analysis of suicide notes with a focus on personal narratives of mental illness, mental health care and how these experiences impact suicidal behaviour. More nuanced understandings of these experiences may lead to the development of more strategic and effective tools in suicide prevention.

Project Title: Mental illness and mental health care as experienced by persons who die by suicide

Supervisor(s): Dr. Juveria Zaheer, Dr. Paul Kurdyak

PGY4: Jonathan Hsu

Degree(s): MD, BHSc

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

Email: jonathan.hsu@mail.utoronto.ca

I developed an interest in health services and epidemiology research after working with the World Health Organization Global Influenza Programme as part of my undergraduate thesis. I am continuing to explore these interests with my clinical research in Psychiatry. My current projects investigate (1) factors which impact quality care in patients with schizophrenia who develop diabetes and (2) antidepressant augmentation with aripiprazole for late life depression.

Project Title: (1) Diabetes Quality of Care in Schizophrenia (2) Antidepressant Augmentation with Aripiprazole in Late Life Depression
Supervisor(s): Dr. Paul Kurdyak, Dr. Daniel Blumberger
PubMed Link(s): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/browse/collection/48261489/

PGY4: Alvin Keng

Degree(s): BHSc (Hons), MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

Email: alvin.keng@mail.utoronto.ca

I attended McMaster University for my undergraduate studies, and the University of British Columbia for medical school. I started working with Dr. Kathleen Sheehan and Dr. Donna Stewart at UHN shortly after starting my residency in Psychiatry at Toronto. I am interested in understanding the intersection between neurosurgery and psychiatric outcomes. My hope is to improve psychiatric CL services with the post-op neurosurgical population. My most recent projects have been to conduct a scoping review on psychiatric outcomes post-operatively in neurosurgical patients, and a retrospective review of psychiatry CL consultations from UHN over the last 4 years from neurosurgical services.

Project Title: Examining psychiatric issues among neuro-oncological patients post-operatively, a scoping review and a retrospective descriptive study

Supervisor(s): Drs. Kathleen Sheehan & Dr. Donna Stewart

PGY4: Martin Rotenberg

COMING SOON!

PGY4: Cory Weissman

Degree(s): BSc, MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

Email: cory.weissman@mail.utoronto.ca

This is an exciting time to be an academic psychiatrist. Psychiatry is starting to benefit greatly from many discoveries happening now in neuroscience. Clinical psychiatry provides unique, rewarding interactions through rich relationships that physicians are able to make with their patients. I think that coupling discovery in neuroscientific research with clinical psychiatry can lead to an engaging and satisfying career. I am thrilled to continue this journey, and I will be doing so in a project involving the treatment of suicidal ideation in treatment resistant depression.

Project Title:

The Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Suicidal Ideation in Treatment Resistant Depression

Supervisor(s): Dr. Jeff Daskalakis

PGY4: Songyang (Simon) Yu

Degree(s): MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

Email: songyangsimon.yu@mail.utoronto.ca

I am excited to be part of the Clinician Scientist Stream because it’s a great way for me to keep doing what I love: science!  I have been involved in research throughout my academic career, from basic science studies on traumatic brain injury to clinical studies in pediatrics.  I became interested in child & adolescent psychiatry during clerkship, and I hope to become a clinician scientist in this field.  In the near term, I am looking forward to working with Dr. Schachar and his team in investigating the link between atopy and ADHD.

Project Title: Does atopy in early childhood contribute to the development of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder?

Supervisor(s): Dr. Russell Schachar

PGY4: Carrol Zhou

Degree(s): MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY3)

Email: carrol.zhou@mail.utoronto.ca 

I completed my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Queen’s University and my medical school at the University of Toronto. I want to be a clinician scientist because I believe in the power of gaining knowledge and creating change for better treatment of patients with mental illness.

Our current health care system poses limitations on how fast we can access expert psychiatric care. My current project focuses on a collaborative care model between Psychiatry and other specialties such as Family Medicine. I believe that this can remove barriers so more individuals will receive timely and adequate psychiatric care when needed. I have no specific future plans, but hope to continue doing research wherever it takes me.

Project Title: Collaborative Care in Psychiatry

Supervisor(s): Dr. Sanjeev Sockalingam

PGY5: Suze Berkhout

Degree(s): MD, PhD

Program (Year): CSP Postgraduate Stream, (PGY5)

Email: suze.berkhout@mail.utoronto.ca

My research interests focus on contemporary feminist ethics and feminist philosophy of science, and how theoretical insights from these areas of scholarship might aid in understanding challenges in contemporary medical practices as well as inform improvements in mental health clinical services. My doctoral research (MD/PhD, Experimental Medicine, UBC) examined the ways in which social identity impacts the uptake of HIV/AIDS care in an inner city setting, and I have now developed similar lines of research within psychiatry. I have a special interest in how knowledge practices in medicine have unintended ethical consequences and utilize narrative methodologies to explore these issues within first episode psychosis. I’m also involved in a philosophical project examining placebo/nocebo effects.

Project Title(s):

Principle Investigator, Ontologies of First Episode Psychosis: A Critical Exploration through Narrative (collaborator/supervisor, Gary Remington)

Co-Principle Investigator, Feminist Placebos: A Philosophical Analysis of Placebo/Nocebo Effects and the Significance for Feminist Science Studies (co-PI, Ada Jaarsma, Mount Royal University)

Co-investigator, “Client, Family and Provider Perspectives of an Integrated Care Pathway for First Episode Psychosis” (PI, Juveria Zaheer, CAMH)

Co-investigator, “Did I do the Right Thing? A Practical Handbook to Foster Insight and Reflective Capacity of the CanMEDS Advocate Role for Medical Residents” (PI, Sophie Soklaridis, CAMH)

Working Group Member, “Experts By Experience: Developing a Program for Service-users as Teachers in the Mental Health and Addictions Professions” (PI, Sacha Agrawal)

Placebogenic Fantasies: Impurity, Efficacy, and Ontologies of Placebo Effects in Biomedicine (in collaboration with Ada Jaarsma, Mount Royal University)

Supervisor(s): Gary Remington; Collaborator: Juveria Zaheer; Mentor: Pier Bryden

PGY5: Araba Chintoh

Degree(s): BSc, MBBS, MD, PhD

Program (Year): CSP Postgraduate Stream, (PGY5)

Email: araba.chintoh@utoronto.ca

My research interests include the clinical impact of psychopharmacology in patients with psychosis.  I have experience in both pre-clinical and clinical paradigms investigating the diabetogenic effects of antipsychotic medications.  I am also interested in primary and medication-induced movement disorders, exploring neurological soft signs and dyskinetic movements in the first episode population.

Project Title: Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Fat Deposition in Adolescents with First-Time Use of Antipsychotics

Supervisor(s): Dr. Gary Remington

PubMed Link(s):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Chintoh%20A[Author]&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=24477569#

PGY5: Justine Giddens

COMING SOON!

PGY5: Aneta Krakowski

Degree(s): MD, MSc

Program (Year): CSP Postgraduate Stream, (PGY4)

Email: aneta.krakowski@mail.utoronto.ca

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.

Project Title: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Supervisor(s): Dr. Peter Szatmari

 

PGY5: Sarah Smith

Degree(s): BA, MD

Program (Year):CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY4)

Email: sa.smith@mail.utoronto.ca

I completed my undergraduate degree at Mount Allison University and medical school at Memorial University in Newfoundland before moving to Toronto for my residency in psychiatry.

In the clinician scientist pre-graduate stream I am working under the supervision of Dr. Blake Woodside in the Eating Disorders Program at Toronto General Hospital. I am interested in the treatment of eating disorders, specifically which patients get better and why. Thus, my current primary project looks at correlates of response to inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa. My broader interests also include attachment and affect regulation in eating disorders, eating disorder pharmacology, eating disorder education and physician health and wellness.

Project Title: Correlates of Response to Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment

Supervisor(s): Blake Woodside

PGY5: Anne Sonley

Degree(s): BSc, JD, MD

Program (Year): CSP Pregraduate Stream, (PGY4)

Email: anne.sonley@mail.utoronto.ca

My project involves looking at a subset of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) who are high health care utilizers to determine if they respond differently to treatment with either dialectical behavioural therapy or general psychiatric management. In future projects I would like to explore the stigma patients with BPD face when accessing health care and investigate ways to improve access to care for patients with BPD. I was interested in participating in the clinician scientist stream because research is an important avenue for clinicians to improve patient care by increasing our knowledge about mental illness/treatments.

Project Title: Differential response to treatment in a subset of high health care service utilizing patient’s with borderline personality disorder

Supervisor(s): Dr. Shelley McMain

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