Clinician Scientist Profiles: By Division
Adult Psychiatry and Health Systems
My parents have always been my fiercest advocates. As a child, my family moved continents to ensure that I received an education that would lead me to a boundless future. My parents’ example encouraged me to consider the lives of individuals with few advocates and how I could change their circumstances. In medical school, I served as the primary healthcare provider for marginalized populations in Ottawa, Hamilton, and Vancouver learning about novel harms reduction techniques including Prescribed Heroin, Managed Alcohol and Targeted Engagement and Diversion. My clinical work with underserved communities reinforced my research interests and I chose to partake in the Clinician-Scientist Program under the supervision of Dr. Vicky Stergiopoulos, the Physician-in-Chief of CAMH. My work evaluates the Supporting Transitions and Recovery Education (STAR) Learning Centre where individuals who are homeless or transitioning out of homelessness act function as experts to create classes and programming that they find useful. STAR challenges participants to guide their health treatments, learn skills, improve self-esteem and contribute to society in ways that they find meaningful. I am elucidating the key features differentiating STAR from other services, formulating the mechanisms that underlie the theory of change and determining health outcomes of participants. As a Clinician-Scientist, I will utilize rigorous research methods to create and evaluate interventions for individuals experiencing mental illness and homelessness and inform health policy initiatives to serve marginalized populations. For my commitment to marginalized communities, I have received the Ontario Volunteer Medal and the Governor General of Canada’s Caring Canadian Award
Martin Rotenberg's research focus is on the role of social and environmental factors on the incidence of psychotic disorders and pathways to care. He is also interested in rehabilitation with ethnic minority individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. He will be starting a MSc. in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in July 2019.
Erene Stergiopoulos completed her BSc in psychology and MA in history and philosophy of science at the University of Toronto. Her past work includes qualitative research on the experiences of medical students with disabilities, and uses a socio-cultural lens to study the effects of the hidden curriculum on their professional identity construction. Her current research uses mixed methods approaches to study barriers to physician health disclosure. She also works as a freelance health journalist translating psychiatric research and ethics for a general audience, with bylines in Nautilus, STAT News, and VICE.
Erene Stergiopoulos on PubMed
Child & Youth Mental Health
Degree(s): MD, FRCPC, PhD (candidate) Program (Year): CSP Graduate Stream, (PGY6) Email: email@example.com I attended the University of Toronto for both medical school and residency training in general Psychiatry, and will complete my subspecialty training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at U of T in June of 2019. My initial projects in the CSP focused on the clinical, genetic, and neuroimaging associated differences in social functioning across neurodevelopmental disorders. For my graduate thesis in Clinical Epidemiology at the Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation, I am examining the longitudinal association between anxiety and repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorder. I am interested in better understanding the underlying mechanisms and developmental trajectories of common childhood conditions like autism, ADHD and OCD, in order to help develop new targeted interventions. Project Title: Anxiety and Repetitive Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorder Supervisor(s): Drs. Simone Vigod, Peter Szatmari, Eleanor Pullenayegum, Evdokia Anagnostou
Dr. Danielle Baribeau on PubMed
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.
Sarah Smith is a 5th year resident in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with a research interest in eating disorders. Her clinical research to date has focused on outcomes of inpatient eating disorder treatment, disease progression and eating disorder education. Additional areas of interest include emotional dysregulation in eating disorder treatment and eating disorder psychopharmacology. She also has research and policy interests in physician health that she has pursued locally and nationally with multiple physician organizations.
Division of Geriatric Psychiatry
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.
Division of Neurosciences and Clinical Translation
Dr. Brett Jones has an MSc from the Institute of Medical Science looking at novel biomarkers predicting treatment response in MDD. Currently he is a second year psychiatry resident working with Dr. Jeff Daskalakis with an interest in studying novel treatments and better understanding the placebo response for MDD and Treatment Refractory Depression.
This is an exciting time to be an academic psychiatrist. Psychiatry is starting to benefit greatly from 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 through a number of active and engaging projects including my upcoming Master’s program in pharmacology and toxicology. For this degree, I will be studying how common antidepressants affect levels of suicidality in patients with major depressive disorder in a re-analysis of a previous, large study (The STAR*D trial). This project compliments my other work in brain stimulation treatments for suicidality in psychiatric disorders, and is also related to my side interest in the emerging field of psychedelic science.
During my MD-PhD studies under the supervision of Dr. J. Roder and Dr. A. Wong, I found a role for Neuronal calcium sensor-1 in motivated behaviour and dopamine signaling in mice. In my residency, I hope to apply my background in preclinical research on brain circuitry and behaviours to inform therapies for patients. Advances in brain stimulation provide many opportunities to translate knowledge about brain circuitry from human neuroimaging and preclinical rodent models into circuit-based treatments for psychiatric disorders. As a CSP resident, I plan to investigate the effectiveness of targeted brain stimulation (e.g. deep brain stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) for treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder.
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 novel targets and optimization of parameters of rTMS treatment for various psychiatric disorders including personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder.
Dr. Helen Lee on PubMed
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.
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.
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 a resident in the CSP under the mentorship of Drs. D. Blumberger and J. Downar, I am applying these novel software platforms to examine how brain networks differ among healthy adults and persons with depression. I am also exploring whether the integrity of particular brain networks can predict clinical response to neurostimulation therapies (e.g. rTMS) for treatment of depression. By examining how depression biologically disrupts the brain, and predicting who will respond to state-of-the-art antidepressant therapies, this work will be able to greatly improve treatment outcomes in depression.
Dr. Sean Nestor on Research Gate
I have a background in cognitive psychology and in studying brain oscillations in schizophrenia patients. At the beginning of my psychiatry training here at the U of T I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Daskalakis, a great supervisor and a renowned clinician scientist in this field. He is helping me to broaden my experience and learn more about using repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) for both treating treatment-resistant psychosis or depression, as wells as for studying basic differences in how in schizophrenia the brain responds differently to rTMS compared to healthy controls.
Dr. Victor M. Tang is a Canadian resident physician in the clinician scientist program at the University of Toronto's Department of Psychiatry. He received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, and completed his medical training at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. During his research and clinical training, he has published work on topics of oxidative stress in mood disorders, neuroimaging in stimulant addiction, history and clinical treatment of catatonia, and on Electroconvulsive Therapy and Magnetic Seizure Therapy. Currently his academic interests are in brain stimulation for treatment-resistant mental illness and addiction psychiatry.
Division of Psychotherapy, Humanities, and Psychosocial Interventions
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 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 our clients, particularly in relation to suicide. With my co-authors, I have published a study about experiences of mental illness and mental health care as described in suicide notes. I am currently working on cross-cultural considerations related to suicide and suicidal behaviour.