Many awards have been handed out to DMCBH students and postdoctoral fellows this week. Congratulations to all the winners!

DMCBH 2020 Endowment Award Winners

Jock & Irene Graham Brain Research Endowment (Postdoctoral Award):
Jill Dosso, Postdoctoral fellow  

Under the supervision of Dr. Julie Robillard, Jill’s research involves working with older adults with dementia and their care givers to identify ways in which social robotics might serve their mental health. She will design and validate assessments that capture whether these patient-reported outcomes are achieved by social robotic interventions.

Benjamin Feldman and Family Endowment Fund for Transformational Activity in Mental Health:
Ariana Cahn, MSc student

Under the supervision of Drs. Lakshmi Yatham and Trisha Chakrabarty, Ariana’s research aims to find an early neurological biomarker for Bipolar I Disorder (BD-I). This will provide strong evidence for early intervention to ameliorate patient prognosis, as well as guide targeted therapeutics.

Neural Repair (Spinal Cord) Endowment:
Katelyn Hudak, MSc student 

Under the supervision of Dr. Wolfram Tetzlaff, Katelyn’s research investigates the use of an innovative technology called antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). In using this technology, she’s able to knock down the expression of specific molecules that inhibit regeneration, to determine if there’s a way to promote recovery of motor function in people living with spinal cord injury.

Schizophrenia Endowment:
Melissa Woodward, Postdoctoral fellow 

Under the supervision of Dr. William Honer, Melissa’s research uses retinal imaging to investigate mental health and addiction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Retinal vascular integrity may offer pathophysiological insights into cerebro-and cardiovascular deficits that occur with substance use.

DMCBH General Awards

Travis Hodges, Postdoctoral fellow 

Under the supervision of Dr. Liisa Galea, Travis’ research focuses on discovering the underlying mechanisms of negative cognitive bias, which will aid in the development of new effective treatments for major depressive disorder. A focus on sex differences will allow for improved precision treatments.

Jennifer Richard, Postdoctoral fellow 

Under the supervision of Dr. Liisa Galea, Jennifer’s research evaluates the potential of a new compound called GLP-1-estradiol as a novel treatment for Alzheimer’s disease to combat against cognitive decline and dementia.

Emily Button, Postdoctoral fellow 

Under the supervision of Dr. Cheryl Wellington, Emily’s research focuses on the development of an assay for a blood biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a mouse model.

Poljanka Johnson, MSc student 

Under the supervision of Dr. Shannon Kolind, Poljanka’s research aims to create a new paradigm for comparing and understanding myelin water imaging in development, aging, and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Adrienne Kinman, MSc student 

Under the supervision of Dr. Mark Cembrowski, Adrienne’s research explores the molecular and behavioural mechanisms that underlie fear memory to improve understanding of the basic neuroscience behind memory, while also advancing treatment options for PTSD and associated anxiety disorders.

Yang Ge, PhD student 

Under the supervision of Dr. Yu Tian Wang, Yang’s research will focus on developing novel NMDAR modulators to treat cognitive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia.

Melanie Lysenko-Martin, PhD student 

Under the supervision of Dr. Catharine Winstanley, Melanie’s research aims to understand whether cannabis induces a sensitivity to reward-paired cues and maladaptive decision making in adolescence, placing them at risk of developing cannabis use disorder.

Shruti Kochhar, PhD student 

Under the supervision of Dr. Shernaz Bamji, Shruti’s research investigates the role of DHHC enzymes in the brain and whether disrupting enzymatic activity is causative of brain disease.

Alireza Kamyabi, MSc student 

Under the supervision of Dr. Brian MacVicar, Alireza’s research investigates the interplay between astrocyte and neuronal signals, providing valuable information about the relative significance of glial networks as an additional module for information processing in the brain.

Faculty of Medicine Awards

Meighen Roes, PhD student 

Meighen is a PhD student in Dr. Todd Woodward’s lab, and is the recipient of the 2020 Dr. Memory Elvin-Lewis Award for research in schizophrenia.