Clinician Scientist Profiles: By Division
Adult Psychiatry & Health Systems
Dr. Tanya Hauck MD PhD FRCPC is completing the Bellwood Fellowship in addictions psychiatry and also currently completing a MSc degree in clinical epidemiology through the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include the clinical epidemiology of substance use disorders and their treatment, and the treatment of comorbid PTSD and substance use disorders.
Brain & Therapeutics
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.
I am interested in the clinical application of psychiatric neurostimulation - including ECT, rTMS, and MST - for the treatment of severe and refractory psychiatric disorders.
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.
Child & Youth Mental Health
Degree(s): MD, FRCPC, PhD (candidate) Program (Year): CSP Graduate Stream, (PGY6) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
Equity, Gender & Population
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
Lucy Church Barker (MD FRCPC) received her Doctor of Medicine from McMaster University in 2013 and completed her clinical psychiatry training at the University of Toronto in 2018. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include women’s mental health, reproductive psychiatry, psychiatric services, and the social determinants of mental health. Her thesis uses Ontario population-level data to explore the outcomes of postpartum women who visit the emergency department for mental health care, and takes an intersectional feminist approach to understand gaps in care and disparities for women experiencing multiple forms of marginalization. Her goal is establish a research program that improves the design and delivery of mental health services for marginalized women in the perinatal period.
June Lam is a fifth-year psychiatry resident and a Master's student in Clinical Epidemiology & Health Care Research at the University of Toronto. He has a clinical and research interest in working with underserved and marginalized populations, including with transgender and gender diverse, homeless, and new immigrant populations. He is part of the Clinician Scientist Program (CSP), working on a CIHR-funded qualitative study understanding the suicidal behaviour of Chinese and Chinese-Canadian women. His Master's thesis is looking at access to post-discharge mental health care for transgender and gender diverse individuals.
Dr. June Lam on PubMed
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.
Song Yang (Simon) Yu:
I am a PGY4 resident interested in geriatric psychiatry. I am currently working on designing a qualitative study on the transition from specialized dementia units to long term care, with a focus on family and caregiver perspectives. My supervisors are Dr. Andrea Iaboni at UHN and Dr. Sophie Soklaridis at CAMH.
Psychotherapies, Humanities & Education
Katrina Hui is a psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto. Before completing medical school at McMaster University, she received a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Philosophy from Stanford University and an M.S. in Bioethics at Columbia University. She has published work in ethics, advocacy, and addictions, including in The Lancet and Psychopharmacology. She is currently a Clinician-Scientist-in-Training pursuing mixed methods mental health services research with a main research focus on implicit bias in medicine.
Project Title: Optimization of treatment parameters for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment-resistant depression
Supervisor(s): Dr. Jonathan Downar
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.