All of us at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience class of 2021! Six trainees are graduating this week and to celebrate, we compiled some of their favourite memories as grad students, as well as a special video from some of the faculty!

Patrick Coleman (MSc)

Supervisor: Dr. Kurt Haas
Thesis Title: Dynamo : An open source python application for comprehensive structural and functional analysis of developing neurons. (
Favourite GPN memory: There were good memories from the Cells-meet-Cognition reading group run by Ella Weik and Maric Tse, including when everyone was too Canadian and each pizza box was left with exactly one uneaten slice by the end of the meeting.


Heather Gerrie (MSc)

Supervisor: Dr. Brian MacVicar
Thesis Title: Characterization of the mechanosensitive cation channel Piezo1 in microglia
Favourite GPN memory: The friendships I made in the neuroscience program that have continued beyond graduation.



Dr. Troy McDiarmid (PhD)

Supervisor: Dr. Catharine Rankin
Thesis Title: Systematic phenomics analysis of Autism risk genes and variants.
Favourite GPN memory: I benefited immensely from the amazing Vancouver-area and international C. elegans research communities through my roles with the Vancouver Area Worm Research Meeting (VanWoRM). Worm people are the best. Overall though, I think my favourite memory was how my supervisory committee, and especially my supervisor Dr. Catharine Rankin, were always supportive of me following my curiosity even if it ventured outside what the lab had normally done.


Peter Senften (MSc)

Supervisor: Dr. Donna Lang
Thesis Title: The Effects of Exercise on White Matter in the Brain and emotion Recognition in a Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia Population.
Favourite GPN memory: My favorite memories would be presenting at ISMRM 2019 in Montreal, building a research team (who are all in graduate school now), and the new friends made along the graduate school journey.


Dr. Cameron Woodard (PhD)

Supervisor: Dr. Lynn Raymond
Thesis Title: Automated behavioural testing and drug treatment in mouse models of Huntington’s disease.
Favourite GPN memory: One of my favourite memories from my time in the GPN was doing a multi-week driving trip to San Diego (and back) with several other neuroscience grad students to attend the SfN conference.



Dr. Yiming Zhang (PhD)

Supervisor: Dr. Terry Snutch
Thesis Title: Functional Contributions of L-Type Calcium Channels to Basolateral Amygdala Excitability and Pathophysiology.
Favourite GPN memory: There were many happy moments in all my years with the GPN.  I very much enjoyed the events I attended, like serial seminars and parties.